THE DINNER PARTY

March 17, 2014




Once in a while, while the boys are away, Aaron and I get to do grown up things. Though I am about to start the last year of my 20’s I have yet to feel a true sense of adulthood. You know the kind you imagined you would feel when you were a kid watching your mom get ready for a grown up party?

For me, arranging my first dinner party was a benchmark of adulthood. I am not exactly sure where this mentality came from, but it’s there and now that I am fresh off the heels of having hosted my first one, I would love share what worked and what has not work for me.

Re-purposing


Our home isn't exactly large enough to entertain a lot of people comfortable, nor do we have a lot of furniture to work with. Basically everything we own serves a specific purpose, therefore we had to work with what we had. For instance, much to my chagrin, we don't own a bar so we took a serving tray we had laying around and created a bar tray and placed that on our coffee table. Also, since we don't entertain all that much, we don't have a lot of serving dishes. Instead of running to the store to purchase some, we decided to grab a few mixing bowls we had laying around and boom, we now have serving bowls! I had them set up well before our guests came but left them empty. A few minutes before they were to arrive, we filled them up with chips and popcorn, something causal, simple and store bought!

The Meal

I decided to go with a dish that I have made and made well many times. Ina Garten's recipe for Roasted Chicken stuffed with lemon, thyme and garlic, on a bed of fennel and carrots. As a side I chose mashed potatoes with steamed veggies tossed in a light butter sauce. The chicken takes 1.5 hours to roast, plus it has to sit for 20 minutes after coming out of the oven. I didn't want my guest to walk in the door then head straight for the dinner table, so I timed it so that as soon as my guest were expected to arrive, there would be 20 minutes left for the chicken to cook giving ups 40 minutes when you include the rest time, to sit, talk, have a drink and eat out salad before the main course. Everything was served family style which allowed for our guest to control their portion as well as avoid foods that they might not like rather than being “forced” to clear their plate out of guilt.

Tips: Try to serve your meal twenty to thirty minutes after your guest are expected to arrive. No one wants to be rushed right into a meal as soon as they walk through the door.

Your dinner party is not the time to try out a new recipe. Stick with someone you have made well before.

Dessert

One of our guests insisted on bringing a dish. When you are hosting it is your responsibility to provide everything for your party but since this guest really wanted to bring something I told them to bring a dessert which in the end, really helped me out. I was not sure what they were bringing. Since a few of my guests are health conscious I provided a fruit platter and ice cream just in case, besides fruit and ice cream goes with just about any dessert. 

After the meal everyone headed back into the living room to continue our conversation. It was a lot of fun and a lot less stressful than I initially imagined. 

Other tips: If you have an oval shaped dining table like I do, opt for a table runner rather than table cloth, it will be much easier to find, plus having visible wood is always nice!



1 comments:

  1. Absolutely love this! Beautiful photos and a very welcoming environment. I'm really bad at doing dinner parties...

    ReplyDelete