Traditional recipes

Best Dinner Party Recipes

Best Dinner Party Recipes


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Dinner Party Shopping Tips

Purchase ingredients that can be used in a variety of dishes in bulk, in order to minimize waste and save money.

Dinner Party Cooking Tips

When planning your menu, try to stick to items that can be prepared in advance. This way you'll be able to enjoy the company of your guests on the day of your party.


The best easy dinner party recipes for stress-free entertaining

Looking for an easy dinner party recipe to impress your guests &mdash now that indoor gatherings (albeit limited) are back on the agenda as of next week &mdash without the faff? You've come to the right place.

Although we've not done much of it over the last year due to various lockdowns and harsh restrictions on indoor gatherings, from what we do remember, hosting a dinner party can be a stressful affair. A plan of complex dishes and not enough prep time leads to a stressed cook trying to get all the dishes out on time. Not fun.

Easy dinner party recipes: What's the key to hosting a good dinner party?

The key to hosting a good dinner party is all in the atmosphere, so making sure you're relaxed and sitting down at the same time as your five guests is key. It's important to remember that dinner parties don't have to be perfect, either.

Although you might be feeling under pressure to host your first dinner party since last year, they don't have to have restaurant-quality food or be set on a dining table like the ones in any of these dreamy restaurant interiors. They just have to be convivial, warm, inviting, relaxed. For your guests, sure, but for you, too.

Easy dinner party recipes: What's the ideal dinner party dish?

With that in mind the ideal dinner party recipe can be mostly made in advance, giving you time to get ready and relax before guest arrive. It can be served family-style, meaning in a big bowl in the middle of the table, or at least be unfussy enough that it doesn't have to be picture perfect on the plate, like a risotto. You probably need a few easy vegetarian dinner party recipes up your sleeve, too. Oh, and some make-ahead dinner party desserts for the perfect finishing flourish.

So if you&rsquove been tentative about planning your dinner party until you knew for sure lockdown restrictions would be lifted in time, have no fear, and don't do a trolley dash to M&S just yet. Here's our pick of the easiest and most delicious dinner party recipes to make. From tarragon chicken and creamy shrimp pasta to Mary Berry's filo pastry bites &ndash these effortlessly easy dinner party dishes are sure to impress your guests and will give you more time to spend enjoying the evening, too.


19 Dinner Party Ideas That Look Fancy but Are Super Easy

Dinner parties always seem like a great idea. Good food, good company, no corkage fees, and no need to leave your home. But if you’re the host, throwing a dinner party can easily turn you into a ball of stress.

Often, you spend half the day prepping, and it always takes longer than you think it will. The guests arrive on time, and you’re still frantically zooming around in the kitchen.

Not to mention, sometimes that beautiful recipe you found ends up looking like a Pinterest fail and tastes mediocre at best. Just like that, going out to dinner feels well worth the splurge.

But there’s no need to throw in the towel. We’ve got tips on how to throw a successful dinner party. Hosting a dinner party can be a blast — and these 19 fancy-looking but super-simple dinner recipes prove it.

1. Slow-cooker beef ragu with pappardelle

Slow cookers are the secret ingredient to happy cooking. The magic happens in the pot, and you don’t even have to be home while it does.

Prep the meat in the morning, let it simmer for 6 to 10 hours (leaving plenty of time for a workout, massage, and more), and the rest can be prepped in less than 10 minutes.

Your house will smell like heaven, you’ll hardly be in the kitchen, and the end result will taste anything but effortless.

2. Soy-lemon flank steak with arugula

A grill is a dinner party host’s best friend. Make the marinade in the morning for the best flavor.

And then you’re ready for the party.

The steak will need just a few minutes of grilling on each side and a few more minutes to rest. Make this meal more special by getting the arugula and cheese from a farmers market.

3. Sweet potato noodles with chorizo, roasted red pepper, and spinach

Nothing says “Dig in!” like a plate of veggie noodles. Throw in some chorizo, hearty vegetables like spinach and red pepper, and a slew of herbs and spices, and you’ve got a real crowd-pleaser.

Feel free to swap in Italian sausage if chorizo isn’t for you, and experiment with bitter greens like broccoli rabe. Baking the noodles gives the squash an al dente texture and tempts us to never go back to wheat pasta.

4. Salami, jalapeño, and olive pizza with honey

Pizza dinner party? We’re in. Homemade pizza is easy when you use store-bought dough and jarred sauce. Just remember not to overload the dough with toppings, so you don’t end up with a soggy crust.

Sprinkling the outer rim with “everything bagel” seasoning gives the crust a special crunch.

5. Spicy sausage, kale, and whole-wheat orecchiette soup

If you’re feeding a big group, this recipe will make a big batch of a hearty soup in just one pot. We’re big fans of the genius soup hack used in this recipe: mixing grated cheese into the broth to add flavor and richness.

Pair with a crusty loaf of multigrain bread.

6. Baked chicken meatballs with garlic-dill yogurt sauce

Homemade meatballs in less than 30 minutes? ’Tis true. Simply combine ground chicken, panko breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, herbs, and spices. Roll the mixture into bite-size balls and bake.

While we’d usually tell you to prep the sauce in advance, this one can be made while the meatballs are in the oven. We love serving this over zucchini noodles or in warm pita bread.

7. Easy weeknight chicken curry with cucumber yogurt and roti

Entertaining a bunch of spice-lovers? This simple curry creates an awesome aroma of Indian spices. Your guests will be drooling when they walk in the door.

Pro tip: Prep in advance. That way all you have to do is toss things into the pot and give it an occasional stir. Start cooking the chicken about 20 minutes before guests are set to arrive.

8. French onion chicken

Don’t let the cooking time fool you: This recipe is a breeze. The majority of the time is dedicated to simmering the onions in butter (hello, savory house scent!) and roasting shortly before serving.

Aim to add things to the oven right before guests arrive so you have time for a glass of wine and a chat before it’s time to assemble and serve the meal.

We’ll never turn down melted cheese, but feel free to opt out of the Gruyere topping to keep things cheese-free.

9. Maple-glazed sheet pan salmon

Take 15 minutes to prep this dish ahead of time, and then put the salmon and veggies on a sheet pan and cook for 25 minutes. You’ve got an impressive, healthy, company-worthy entree loaded with Brussels sprouts, delicata squash, and radicchio.

Plus, you’ve only got one pan to clean. Check out the recipe here.

10. Seared ahi tuna with chimichurri sauce, arugula, and avocado

This recipe calls for sushi-grade tuna. It’s important to use high-quality tuna because the inside remains mostly raw.

Shopping is the hardest part of this tuna recipe. Nothing, and we mean nothing, is as simple and quick as searing. This is a good dish for dinner parties that start with an appetizer, since it’s easy to leave the crowd and come back minutes later with the main dish.

The arugula and chimichurri can be prepped in advance in minutes. Check out the recipe here.

11. Moules à la marinière

Mussels steamed in white wine are absolutely delicious. And they couldn’t be easier. Toss the mussels in a big pot with wine, onions, and fresh herbs and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, until the mussels open.

Serve with oven fries or a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the buttery juices. Check out the recipe here.

12. Roasted sweet potato pitas with arugula and garlic dressing

This vegetarian dish gets its robust flavor from the homemade garlic dressing and is filled with beautiful, fresh ingredients like lightly dressed arugula, red onion, and roasted sweet potato.

The dressing can be made ahead to shave off prep time, and the rest is a matter of roasting followed by quick, easy assembly.

This dish is perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike and friendly to both the waist and the wallet. Heat the pitas right before serving for a freshly baked texture and an extra-nice touch.

13. Cauliflower steak with olive and caper salsa

It doesn’t get simpler or more beautiful than roasted cauliflower steaks. The salsa can be made well in advance — the more time it gets to marry, the more flavor it yields. The steaks are done in two simple steps: Slice and then roast.

Pair with a simple side salad and farro or quinoa. Check out the recipe here.

14. Grilled bruschetta portobello mushrooms

We’re all about anything with garlic butter. We’re also all about dishes that can be thrown together in 15 minutes flat. To cut down on cooking time, prep the tomato mixture (sans basil) the morning of and leave it in the fridge to lightly marinate.

Serve with an equally easy-to-prep Caesar salad and fresh multigrain bread — trust us, you’ll want it to soak up every last drop of garlic butter.

15. Eggplant cannelloni

This dairy-free recipe uses cashews in a tasty spinach and basil filling. It requires soaking the cashews the night before. And soaking yields the best result, so don’t skip it.

Another favorite trick: going with store-bought tomato sauce. All you have to do is roast or grill the eggplant slices, fill ’em, top with sauce, and pop them in the oven right as guests arrive.

Pour glasses of wine and relax until the timer goes off. Check out the recipe here.

16. Stuffed za’atar-roasted acorn squash with pepper-lemon tahini sauce

Za’atar is one of our favorite Mediterranean spices — or rather, mix of spices, which can include thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds.

We also love that this flavorful dish is packed with nutritious ingredients like chickpeas, kale, and quinoa.

17. Zucchini bake with farro and ricotta

How do you make zucchini and grains delicious? With melted cheeses — ricotta, mozzarella, and fontina, to be exact.

This recipe requires minimal effort in the kitchen, but it’s important to start cooking well in advance since the recipe takes about an hour from start to finish.

Whole grains taste better when they’re toasted before cooking. Heating the dry farro gives it a nuttier flavor.

18. Creamy roasted red pepper tomato soup

Soup made from scratch doesn’t have to be a pain. The heaviest lift in this vegetarian recipe is grilling (or broiling) the red peppers, which takes only 5 to 15 minutes.

Everything else happens in the pot, and most of the magic happens while it simmers — meaning you can drink that much-deserved glass of wine and even set the table.

To keep things simple, opt for an immersion blender since transferring the ingredients to a standing blender means extra labor (and likely a lot of spilling).

19. Veggie black bean enchiladas

Surprise your guests with the bean-and-veggie filling in these enchiladas. Sometimes the tastiest meals come from the least-expected combos.

Double the recipe for a big group (or for leftovers), and make the sauce in advance to keep things easy the night of the party.

This recipe is easily adapted. For folks who eat meat, use rotisserie chicken in place of the black beans. If you’re looking for even more veg, add mushrooms to the veggie mixture. Serve with extra napkins and don’t be shy about licking your plate.


Festive Brie – A 2 minute appetizer that looks festive and is devoured in seconds! It’s like the best fondue you’ll ever have! Or try this Baked Brie with Maple Syrup and Thyme.

Herb Chilli Feta – An impressive, cost effective starter that takes minutes to make and looks so festive!

Cheese Truffles (Mini Cheese Balls) – Everything is better in mini form! These are made with your choice of cream cheese, feta or goats cheese and with plenty of coating options!


70 Best Summer Recipes to Make for Your Next Cookout

Summertime means different things to different people. For some, it's a chance to get outside and stretch our legs with family and friends. For others, it's an opportunity to run around at the beach and build sand castles. And for others still, summer's just about relaxing. But no matter who you are or what you enjoy doing, odds are you look forward to one particular aspect of summer all year long: the food! Here are some of Ree's best summer recipes, including delicious sides, desserts, and grilling recipes to get you even more excited to dig into your favorite dishes out there.

Included in the list are upgraded versions of picnic recipe classics, like a spicy Dr. Pepper-infused pulled pork sandwich and a peach-ginger hand pie, and all of it will have your neighbors calling you up to ask for the recipe. There are also plenty of bbq sides, like Ree's green goddess potato salad (the perfect Fourth of July appetizer!), barbecue chicken, sliders, coleslaw, and more will leave you wondering why you never thought to add this or that ingredient in the first place. Oh, and don't miss out on the chance to try her loaded corn casserole, which&mdashbelieve it or not&mdashcomes together with just four ingredients.

Get ready to dig into some seriously tasty dishes&mdashand craft one heck of a Fourth of July menu too.


17 Easy Dinner Party Recipes for Stress-Free Entertaining

We love hosting our friends and family for dinner parties&mdashtruly, there&rsquos nothing better than seeing our loved ones gathered around our table. But we don&rsquot necessarily love the stress that goes along with it (planning menus, shopping for ingredients, spending the whole day cooking) or the last-minute frazzle to get everything done when we&rsquod really rather be hanging out with our guests. But over the years, we&rsquove mastered our technique. The secret to our success? Crowd-pleasing dishes that look super impressive but are actually so easy to pull off. Here are 17 of our favorites.


Best ever platter recipes for an impressive dinner party spread

Mix and match from our best ever delicious platter recipes to create your very own (and very tasty) impressive dinner party spread. Don't be afraid to increase the quantities, all these recipes can be customised to suit the number of guests you're hosting

Published: October 3, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Gravadlax

Gravadlax is a real show-stopping centrepiece for any occasion. Making this Scandi classic is easier than you think with this step-by-step video from olive’s test kitchen.

Beer cheese

The addictive dish from Montreal restaurant, Joe Beef, works both as a snack to go with beer or as a starter. It’s super fun to make (we’ve even made an video to show you how), and can be prepared in just 20 minutes! Stock up on blue cheese, quark, soft cheese, pilsner beer and garlic for this recipe.

Pork belly skewers with Vietnamese caramel sauce

Incorporate a taste of the orient into your dinner party spread with these easy pork belly skewers with Vietnamese caramel sauce.

Kale hush puppies with lemon aïoli

Hush puppies are little American savoury doughnuts in a polenta batter. A classic side dish for seafood, they are also great for parties. These vegetarian kale ones are eaten with an aioli dip.

Gruyere and cider fondue

A twist on the classic Swiss fondue which uses dry cider instead of wine. Great for a party or as an easy sharing starter for friends. Not sure how to make the perfect fondue? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered (plus more recipe suggestions)…

Fig with gorgonzola and walnut

An absolute classic flavour combination, these figgy gorgonzola bites are just the ticket for a Christmas party or New Year’s nibble. One of our favourite vegetarian canapés, and great with a good glass of red.

Oysters with ginger Japanese dressing

Hosting a very classy get together? Then this oyster recipe is for you. Salmon roe is available in fishmongers and supermarkets, or look for tobiko (smaller eggs) in Japanese shops and from japancentre.com.

Venison carpaccio with pickled red cabbage

A lovely restaurant-standard winter sharing platter idea of paper-thin slices of venison marinated with herbs and served with a red cabbage salad and a Parmesan, olive oil and lemon dressing. A wonderful way to kick off to a posh dinner!

Warm olives with pickled lemon and fennel

This recipe makes a quick but impressive snack to serve with drinks. Heating the olives makes them absorb more flavour without having to marinade them for ages.

Grilled padron peppers and chorizo skewers with honey drizzle

These sticky grilled padron peppers and chorizo skewers with honey drizzle make the perfect starter or finger food to serve with drinks. What’s more, they’re super quick and easy to make.

Tomato and pesto tart

Cut this super simple tomato and pesto tart into bitesize slices to turn it into the ultimate sharing food. Using ready-rolled puff pastry makes the cooking even easier.

Fried aubergine sticks with sumac and honey

Easy aubergine sticks: designed to impress your friends and family as a quick dinner-party starter, or as part of a dinner party spread. With a minty yogurt dip, this Mediterranean-inspired recipe with sumac and za’atar just needs a drizzle of honey to finish it off.

Fig and goat’s cheese puffs

The easiest party finger food, ready in half an hour – ready made puff pastry topped with goat’s cheese and pretty figs makes perfect nibbles.

Tsukune with Japanese-style quinoa

Peruvian/Japanese fusion food is called Nikkei and this recipe for tsukune with Japanese-style quinoa is a great, easy way to try it at home. Leave out the quinoa to make these into a portable easy-to-mingle-with snack.

Smoked salmon pancakes with lemon and caper crème fraîche

Looking for a tasty appetiser to hand round at your next gathering? Chive pancakes are topped with smoked salmon, lemon, nonpareil capers and dill crème fraîche in this easy recipe.

Spiralized summer rolls

Spiralized veg takes the place of noodles in these super-healthy, Vietnamese-style vegan rolls. They’ll add a spot of lively colour to your posh table spread.

Tapenade

Got 10 minutes to spare? Ditch the jar and make your own Provençal tapenade instead. Spread over mini toasted baguette slices to serve them to your hungry guests.

Quails’ eggs with pink peppercorn salt

These quail’s eggs with pink peppercorn salt make for stylish-looking canapés for your next party. Leave a bit of the speckled shell on to serve for a more interesting look.

Griddled nectarines with frozen yogurt and honeyed pistachios

This low calorie recipe for griddled nectarines with frozen yogurt and honeyed pistachios makes for an easy, speedy and sweet nibble. Increase the recipe quantities to suit the number of guests attending your soirée.

Bermondsey bombs

Pork mince wrapped in mash makes an easy nibble that’s coated in breadcrumbs and served with spicy tomato sauce and aïoli. It’s the creation of genius Spanish chef Jose Pizarro who has a tapas bar and restaurant on Bermondsey Street, London.

Posh hummus

This poshed-up hummus with tomatoes and spring onion tastes so much better than shop-bought. Serve as a dip with some hot pita bread or freshly sliced crunchy veg.

Crab crostini

Light and delicate crab crostini make perfect canapés for drinks parties. Make the crab mix and toast the baguette ahead, but don’t assemble until ready to eat as the bread will become soggy.

Vegan quinoa sushi

Cut the costs and impress your guests with these homemade sushi rolls. No one will even realise that they’re vegan – unless you tell them of course! We’ve stuff these full of avocado, carrot and pepper but if you’re feeling adventurous, go freestyle and mix it up.

Bacon-wrapped dates with quince marmalade

This recipe for bacon-wrapped dates with quince marmalade comes from Dan Doherty of Duck & Waffle and makes for a great festive canapé when you have guests over. They look really impressive but are actually very easy to make.

Ibérico, manchego and rocket bites

A super sophisticated party nibble, or canapé for a dinner party. We all know how well Ibérico ham and manchego ham go together – add rocket for extra punch, and serve alongside a glass (or two) of fizz.


Italian dinner party recipes

The perfect dinner party recipe should be a fine balance of minimal hands on cooking (at least in the final stages) and impressive results, offering a seemingly effortless display of skill which won't keep you away from your hungry guests for too long at a time. With this collection of impressive Italian dinner party recipes from some of the country's most talented chefs we've hand picked those which best lend themselves to cooking for guests.

When choosing a starter for your dinner party menu opt for a dish where most of the preparation can be done well in advance, or put together quickly just before serving. The Damini Brothers' Raw beef recipe, served simply with tomatoes, mozzarella and seasoning, takes next to no time to prepare and relies on the quality of its ingredients to shine through, while similarly the Costardi Brothers' Aubergine and pesto recipe looks incredibly striking on the plate with minimal hands on preparation required. In true Italian style a pasta starter is always an elegant option, and can be freshly prepared earlier in the day ready to be cooked at the last minute. Try Aurora Mazzucchelli's Tortelli with Parmesan, nutmeg and lavender or Daniele Usai's Egg yolk ravioli recipe, the latter served with shavings of fresh truffle for added decadence.

There are plenty of interesting and unusual Italian main course ideas to dazzle even the most jaded of party-going diners. Fabrizio Marino's Buckwheat with milk and cheese is an innovative vegetarian dinner party recipe with impressive results, while Andrea Miglaccio's Italian rabbit recipe will showcase a meat less commonly cooked in the UK.

For dessert, Grazia's Poached cherries in a spiced red wine syrup makes a fantastically easy pudding, or hone your presentation skills with Andrea Sarri's stunning chocolate mousse recipe, served alongside a boozy Campari sorbet.


Another excellent one-pot wonder is this classic chicken pot pie. Packed with tender meat and colourful veg, it's topped with crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth pastry for the ultimate dinner satisfaction. There's no need to make pastry from scratch and you can vary the vegetables according to the season and availability too.


Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook/DK


Dinner

Let Nigella provide you with some inspiration for delicious Dinner recipes.

Photo by Lis Parsons
Anglo-Asian Lamb Salad
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew
Baked Ricotta With Grilled Radicchio Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Baked Ricotta With Grilled Radicchio
Photo by Lis Parsons
Beef Stew With Anchovies and Thyme
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Bulgur Wheat Salad with Pink-Seared Lamb
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Butterflied Leg of Lamb With Bay Leaves and Balsamic Vinegar
Photo by Lis Parsons
Carbonnade a La Flamande
Photo by Lis Parsons
Cheddar Cheese Risotto
Cheese Fondue
Photo by Lis Parsons
Chicken Schnitzel With Bacon and White Wine
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Chicken With Chorizo and Cannellini Beans
Photo by Lis Parsons
Chicken With Spring Onions, Chilli and Greek Yogurt
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Chicken With Tarragon Salsa Verde
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Chicken, Almond and Parsley Salad
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Chicken, Mango and Chilli Salad
Photo by Lis Parsons

Help! What’s the Best “Impress the Hell Out of Everyone” Dinner Party Recipe?

I’m hosting a small-ish dinner party (six people total) next week, and I want to impress the hell out of everyone. There are no dietary restrictions. What’s the best never-forget, award-winning, please-give-me-the-recipe recipe that I can make? What about sides and dessert?

Faith: For a main dish? Gosh that’s hard. I do think the Ottolenghi chicken dish is wonderful. (From our showstopper chicken showdown.)

Arie: Oh yes, of course!

Faith: I think that people are really impressed by a well-cooked steak, or scallops with risotto or pasta. But for something more hands-off, Ina’s eggplant Parm is a great option. And if you want to be a little more casual, may I recommend our own fried chicken recipe which is AMAZING and very good at room temperature or cooked an hour ahead. Serve with Champagne, a vinegary potato salad, and a panna cotta or another showstopper dessert and I think it’s the kind of comfort food people secretly want at a dinner party.

Arie: I think my two show-stoppers would be a mushroom lasagna (Smitten Kitchen or Ottolenghi) and then Nik Sharma’s curry leaf popcorn chicken. The lasagna is a great make-ahead option. The chicken is a pain to make but it’s SO GOOD and impressive as hell.

Lauren Kodiak: I have thoughts on dessert! I recently made a flourless chocolate cake from Aran Goyoaga’s new book, Cannelle et Vanille, and it was a HUGE hit. It’s made with olive oil instead of butter, and calls for lemon and orange zest and juice. It’s decadent but light, and bitter yet sweet? I think something in this realm if you can’t get your hands on this cookbook would be a hit!

Arie: I love that Lauren! The flourless chocolate cake from the River Café cookbook is also a favorite.

Faith: Oh! I forgot one — our ultimate fast and fancy prosciutto ravioli with figs. Soooo fancy and easy, although I wonder how easy it would be to do at last minute (I think it needs to be prepped fresh).

Lauren Masur: Wow I am so low-brow, but for NYE I hollowed out a loaf of sourdough, toasted it, and filled with with TJ’s spinach dip (lol). Effort level aside, IT WAS A SHOWSTOPPER.

Grace: This sounds boring but I think a simple, well-seasoned salad with a homemade dressing is impressive because it might look unassuming, but then it has a surprising amount of flavor.

Faith: I agree with Grace, but I also think that the “impressive” thing that people do respond to is to portion out salads and have them on table ahead, with finished garnishes in pretty bowls at each place + cloth napkins + water/wine etc. — turn lights down, light candles, set the mood. Garnish salads with a curl of Parm and fresh pepper, or something else, depending on recipe — just all looks so polished and nice that way.

Grace: Yeah! For a main, stuffed shells are easy and make-ahead-friendly. If you finish them off with lots of fresh herbs and grated Parm and red pepper flakes or lemon zest they can be fancied-up, too.

Lauren Masur: Lisa, when are you going to say cheese?

Lisa: CHEESE BOARD ALWAYS. I just grab things from the fridge/pantry and pile it all up on a board. Cheese, pep, olives, nuts, dried fruit, crackers. I just did it on NYE and people were mega impressed. Even though they’ve seen me do it a million times.

Chris: If I’m trying to impress meat-eaters I’ll often go with either a roast chicken (I default to the very simple instructions from Michael Ruhlman’s “How to Roast Everything” which is basically just to rain salt on it and put it in the oven at like 400 for an hour) or maybe a pot roast. But honestly one of the smartest things I’ve learned (from my very smart wife) is to just ask questions — If we’re having people over that we don’t know very well, she often asks them a lot of questions about the food they like, the restaurants they like, etc. She actually does this anyway, but then when we’re coming up with a dinner party plan, we end up talking a lot about the kinds of foods we think people will like and then crafting a menu that feels more personal — even if you can say “Hey, I made these sweet potato fries because I know how much you loved the ones we had at that bar the last time we hung out” it tends to be more affecting than the biggest show-stopping dish.

Christine: So many great ideas! Also, having a batch cocktail ready to go is always impressive. As well as if you take the time to get a dessert wine.

Patty: I love serving homemade pudding with fresh whipped cream for dessert. It’s totally make-ahead friendly, and since it’s so uncommon these days people are impressed. Also any big roast — pork or beef loin. They are more forgiving to cook than individual steaks or chops.



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