It must be time for dinner parties again, pandemic be damned, because Bon Appétit had a bunch of pieces on the topic recently:
Now if you thinking of throwing a dinner party soon, those are worth reading. That said, lord they do overthink a dinner party. Rules! Playlists! Cultural relevance! I mean….
For what it’s worth, if you haven’t had people over for dinner in some time, the KISS principle applies (Keep It Simple, Stupid). If you need rules, here are some low stress ones:
- invite people you know well and who you are comfortable with. Not too many.
- know what they can and can’t eat.
- pick dishes that they can eat and you can make in your sleep.
- have people help you.
- have as much of it prepared ahead of time as you can.
- have a variety of food so that if someone doesn’t care too much for something, they can still fill their eat enough.
- have a dessert if you can. It leaves people with a nice impression. Plus it is great for people who are still hungry.
- have some appetizers if you can. It lets you buy time with early guests and hungry guests.
Ugh. Too many rules. Remember: it’s just dinner! People need to eat! Give them food! That’s it!
Unlike Bon Appétit, the blog Cup of Jo has the right approach to low key dinner parties. Two pieces of theirs I liked were:
And if you are still stressed by things, then make yourself throw a “crappy dinner party”. It’s zero pressure and 100% enjoyment.
If you want to read more about dinner parties, I wrote a ton of things and you can get them here.
(Photo is of the Canadian Thanksgiving dinner party in 2021 in Charleston, S.C. I broke some of my own rules but hey, rules are made to be broken. 🙂 )
If the idea of having a dinner party after this time seems daunting, here are some resources to help you. First, check out this: How to Plan a Menu for a Dinner Party. Now you can make anything you want, but if you are thinking of making a few dishes, those dishes should fall into each of these three categories:
Something that can be made ahead of time: This could mean days ahead or hours ahead—it’s up to you. But basically, you want at least one dish that you can make and then forget about until serving time. A cold salad, homemade bread, a dessert, or even a meat dish best served cold or at room temperature—are all good options.
Something you can kind of ignore: This may be a dish that can be roasted, very slowly grilled, or cooked in an Instant Pot or slow cooker. This could be your protein (like a pork tenderloin or some chicken thighs, for instance), but roasted carrots, baked potatoes, or rice made in a rice cooker or Instant Pot also work.
Something that demands your attention: This is anything that requires fiddling, watching, flipping, or futzing. Delicate vegetables, meat on the grill, or expensive steaks all fall into this category.
If you want even more help, why not check out this book by Corey Mintz: How to Host a Dinner Party. You can also find lots of great ideas in Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy.
(Photo by Stefan Vladimirov on Unsplash )
The wise David Lebovitz has great tips on how to host a dinner party in the manner that Parisians do. If that sounds daunting to you, it shouldn’t. It’s filled with such smart advice such as “Keep it Simple” and “Finish with chocolates”. If you have a dinner party hosting coming up, drop everything and read and follow this: How to Entertain Like a Parisian Tips – David Lebovitz. . From the good people at Food52.com.
(Photo from here)
Onions, butter, tomatoes. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. And yet, delicious. Also beats the stuff in a jar, of course.
Once you have a great tomato sauce, then there is a wealth of possibilities for dinner, from pasta to veal to eggplant to….whatever needs a great tomato sauce.
For more on the recipe (and where I got the photo), see: Stacey Snacks.
I love this. Andrew Hyde made a decision. He decided
to cook dinner for people. A year later I’ve hosted 138 dinners. The average dinner had 14 guests which means I’ve made 1932 dinners for friends and strangers.
I highly recommend this post of his describing it: Dinner At My House (How I Hosted 138 Dinners in a Year) by Andrew Hyde. It makes me want to try and do something similar.
Posted in cool, food, fun
Tagged cool, dinner, food, fun