F&W's editor in chief is coming to dinner. First thing to do? Plan the menu, said 53%. Here are some tips.

1. Take an equipment inventory.

Don't decide to roast a turkey if your pan can only hold a quail.

2. Mix textures and colors.

You don't want everything on the plate to be round or brown.

3. Play to your audience.

Avoid messy foods if your guests are bringing kids.

4. Think like a food stylist.

For buffets, serve dishes that will still look good after guests dig in.

5. Give yourself time to hang out.

Avoid having more than one dish that needs last-minute attention.