During November and December, all we really feel like doing is cozying up with friends and family in order to adjust to the colder weather. What better way to do that than with a dinner party? With warm, comforting dishes, some great drinks and some even better people, throwing together a gathering of your closest friends could be one of the best ways to celebrate the season.
If the thought of planning something like this intimidates you, not to fret. There are plenty of ways to make these gatherings easy as pie. Check out our tips, and share your own below!
The Key: Prepping Ahead of Time
- Pick your favorite people: This is a super important step! Choosing your guest list can be a challenge, but be sure to invite reliable, positive friends who can help you along the way.
- Shop early: Making a list and doing your shopping a couple days ahead of time will save you some serious hassle the day of the party. Even better, you have a couple days to remember anything you could’ve forgotten!
- Chop ahead: Once you decide on a recipe, prepare everything you can the day before. Veggies can be chopped, broths can be stirred up, and desserts can be baked the day prior to save oven-space and time the day of.
- Set the table & drink station the night before: This is a key step many forget! Setting out plates, silverware and any DIYs you’ve stirred up the week before (get some ideas here!) will save serious time before your guests arrive.
- Stay simple: If you love food like we do, you probably have a million ideas for delicious dishes you could put together for your loved ones. However, for sanity’s sake, it’s important to keep your fancy, million-ingredient dishes to one main course. Keep sides and desserts simple to avoid being overwhelmed.
- #DinnerMode: Put down the gadgets! Take the time during the meal to zen out with your best pals without the ring of your cell. Staying unconnected is the perfect way to truly connect. Read more about the #DinnerMode movement here.
- Clean as you go: This could seem like an annoyance, but you’ll thank yourself after the meal. The less dishes after everyone leaves, the better!
- Leave time to mingle: Don’t over-stress. Everyone is there to enjoy each other’s company, and you should be a part of it! Be sure not to get bogged down in the kitchen, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Dessert Idea: Ice Cream Bar
We love this dessert idea from One Ingredient Chef: let all your guests make their own ice cream flavors! All you need are some frozen bananas, a food processor, and a couple flavor toppings.
Greatist also has a great list of healthier dessert recipes here. Make them ahead or delve the tasks out to friends for them to bring the night of the party.
How do you prep for an awesome dinner party? Share your ideas in the comments below!