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Restaurants are so loud. If you have over six people forget it you can’t hear anything at the other end of the table. And if you are me you always think “ what are they laughing about down there” and “ please lord make this woman stop talking about her dogs knee surgery and how brilliant her kids are”
Guess what, I bet your dining room or kitchen table for that matter is perfect and would allow you to hear the funny stuff so you don’t get stuck in “Conversation Jail” with the Dud couple. If you haven’t entertained in a while ask yourself why not? It isn’t that hard.
You really get to know people, you can laugh super loud if you want and there is no waiter that is going to give you the stink eye if you don’t tip enough. You NEVER have to wait for drinks. What? Your guests are out of wine? Just pour some more. Done.
Don’t freak out over what to make. I promise people just want to come over. Think simple and make ahead. It doesn’t need to be fancy French restaurant food like Pheasant under Glass and Escargot. It can be a big pot of beef stew that has been simmering in your slow cooker all day. Your house will smell amazing without you having to light all your expensive candles. Just have your guests bring a salad and some bread and you are all set. And do LET them bring something. This took a while for me to figure out. I would do everything myself. They want to help out, almost everyone I have ever had over says “what can I bring”.
If you haven’t had a dinner party (a real one, not bbq on paper plates although I love that too) than I challenge you to do it. Use the nice stuff you got for your wedding, after all why do you have it in the first place. My plates are from Marshalls, I don’t think anyone has ever turned one over to check the brand then promptly refused to eat my food because it wasn’t imported from Italy.
A few tips and then I will give you some links of my tried and true go to recipes; ones I have made time and time again.
Tip#1 You don’t need to spend a fortune on dinner. Sometimes cooking like your grandmother is a good thing. Did you know anyone who could stretch a dollar more? Probably not and whose food was better than hers? No ones.
Tip#2 Don’t worry about how clean your house is. Just straighten up. No one cares
Tip#3 Make a dish that can be assembled ahead of time. Think big casserolly thing or huge pot of soup. You make the mess, clean and can enjoy your guests when they come over.
Tip #4 Let your guests help you. Ask them to bring a dessert or salad. I like to make the appetizers myself so that they are ready to go when friends start to arrive.
Tip #5 Most importantly have fun and don’t freak out. If something burns just laugh and order Chinese take out. At least you will have a great story to tell.
My Favorite recipes lately are:
Beef short rib lasagna with porcini mushrooms.
Certified to blow your guests away. It is amazing. Make ahead and just bake off when guests arrive. They will DIE.
Chicken Tikka Masala.
Very easy to toss in the slow cooker. Indian food is amazing. Serve with rice and Naan bread (you can get it frozen at Trader Joes, shhh)
Awesome for Tacos. Could not be easer.