I’m going to be completely honest—I’m one of those people who likes to host a party so I can stay home with my dogs. This should tell you I don’t throw many parties.
But the ones I do host tend to involve throwing some chips in a bowl or a couple of frozen mini corn dogs in the oven. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking and baking—just not for a ton of people.
Hosting a dinner party is time consuming and labor intensive. However, with the right meal plan and guests, it can also be a lot of fun. Here are seven steps to hosting a successful party.
1. Plan the Food
I already plan out my weekly dinners, so planning a dinner party wasn’t that difficult. Luckily my guests didn’t have any food issues like gluten intolerance or any allergies, and no one was a vegetarian—so that made the meal plan a little easier.
I probably should have stuck with recipes I’ve made before, but I really wanted to try something new. I’m glad I did because it was a success; however, I don’t recommend it if you’re a cooking novice.
Hitting up Pinterest, I decided to make dishes with lots of delicious, seasonal fruits and vegetables and herbs and spices.
- Appetizer: Pumpkin Hummus with Pita Chips
- Salad: Pomegranate, Pear, and Pecan Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- Main Course: One Pan Chicken Dinner
- Vegetable: Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
- Dessert: Healthy Apple Crisp
2. Invite the People
A small kitchen and no dining room is not conducive to a large group. Unfortunately, that’s what I have in my house, so we couldn’t accommodate a lot of people.
My husband and I invited over our friends Chad and Wendy to partake in the dinner party. It just so happened to be the weekend before Wendy’s birthday, so we made it a dinner/birthday party. Plus, Wendy’s a foodie and loves to cook and was more than willing to help.
3. Purchase the Ingredients
Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need to make the recipes. Always check your fridge, cupboards, and pantry beforehand to ensure you have some of the more common ingredients. The last thing you want to do is run to the store in the middle of the party because you forgot something.
4. Prep the Meal
No matter how much time you think you’ll need, add a half an hour to it—just to be safe. I made the pumpkin hummus ahead of time so we could munch on it while making the rest of the food. And I probably should have chopped all the fruits and vegetables, but I knew Wendy wouldn’t mind doing it. We split up those duties.
5. Cook the Dishes
I made the mistake of using bone-in chicken thighs instead of my go-to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Since I’m not used to thighs, I couldn’t tell when they were cooked through—and my meat thermometer wasn’t working. My advice: stick with meats you’re used to. Use the baking time to make the rest of the meal, like the salad and vegetables.
6. Eat the Food
Easily the best part of any dinner party: eating the food. Although we had to wait a little longer for the chicken, everything smelled and tasted wonderful.
7. Enjoy the Company
OK, so maybe eating is tied with enjoying the company of your dinner party guests for the best part. Even though our dinner party wasn’t completely perfect, it was a good time with great food and even better company.
No matter what you end up making for your next dinner party, these steps can make it a successful event for you and your guests. Plus, you get to stay home with your dogs.
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