Don't Dine Alone - Throw an Informal Dinner Party
Invite friends for dinner! 2 or 10 it doesn't matter.
Love to cook?
Enjoy friends and/or family?
Invite them to join you for dinner.
I will show you how I plan a dinner party. You can change this and that to make it your own, or claim my ideas as yours. The only requirement is that you enjoy yourself. If not, then the party wasn't a success.
Food & Friends
Parties are about friends and food.
I like to do my own cooking. I try to cook everything from scratch. I have cheated though. I have bought dessert from a bakery or even pizza and subs from local businesses. It all depends on how much time you have to spend. Cooking is less expensive than buying pre-made. Maybe that is why I prefer to cook. I also like to have control over what ingredients go into the food. I can do that when I make my own food.
I don't have a fancy house with a large formal dining room, so I don't do formal. Beside, I am not the formal dinner type of cook. I prefer that old fashioned home style cooking.
Where to start?
Pick a date and get on the phone
If I have caught your attention, if you are interested in throwing your own dinner party, you may be asking yourself how to get started.
Just like learning to swim the only way to start is to dive right in!
I have room for at most 10 around my table, but have squeezed in 11 without having to put everyone into the basement.
You may only have room for one or two guests. That is ok, they will be thrilled at receiving an invitation.
Pick a date - - - Make it any day that is convenient for you. If you are honoring a particular guest, You may ask that person if they are available on that date. This simple planning will ensure they will be available to attend.
Make your invites - - - You don't need to send out invitations in the mail. Just pick up the phone and call your guests. Calling people, or inviting them in person, is the advised method. The benefit is that you will know they got the invitation. If you email them, or send a facebook invite, follow up with a phone call if you didn't hear back within a day.
Dinner Party Poem
Early I start my day,
Pick up and put away.
Guest's are coming hurray
Let's ready for the soiree
Invited ten to dine
Have enough food, that's fine
More company than planned.
It's ok, some will stand.
Chance to mix and mingle
Makes my heart to tingle
That is the reason why
Dinner parties I ply
When crowd is gone I sigh
House again, a pig sty
Tomorrow start my day
Pick up and put away.
A lot of work, friends say,
Tell them to go away.
Maybe one day I may.
Shall enjoy them today.
- June Nash
Have a plan on what you will serve.
Cook something you have cooked before if you want.
Or. . .
I have a few friends who love to experiment on their friends with new recipes they have discovered. They let their guests know it is experimental and everyone has a great time!
There is no right or wrong to what you should serve. You are in charge and have the pleasure of picking what you like to eat. When celebrating birthdays I sometimes take requests, but normally I enjoy choosing the menu.
Make sure you ask your guests if they have a food allergy, so that you can avoid serving dishes that contain those ingredients.
Time To Clean The House! Company is coming!
You want your guest to feel comfortable.
That means that your house needs to be clean. It is also important to make sure there is room for everyone to sit down.
vacuum because I hate running the vacuum cleaner. I run my robotic vacuum before everyone come, and again after they leave.
I Robot, the Vacuum Cleaning Robot - Not just a gadget. It really works!
I never liked to vacuum. Now I don't have to.
I can either push the button and my little robot gets to work, or else I can schedule the little guy to start on a preselected schedule.
He even is good at picking up dog hair!
I was skeptical when I first purchased my robotic vacuum. Now, I would not be without one.
I would recommend getting a iRobot with the AeroVac. It has a larger bin and the suction is improved.
If you end up purchasing a robot with the old filter, you can upgrade the older model for about $70. It is easy to do, just a modular piece.
Keep this in mind when you are pricing them. An older model is fine, but if it is less than a $70 difference, you may be better off purchasing the one with the AeroVac.
I love having people over to eat, drink and enjoy each others company.
We play games afterwards or just talk.
I hope this inspires you to pick up the phone and invite someone over for a meal.
Invite one or a dozen. It is up to you. I have to admit, a dozen is a lot of work. For me 6 to 8 people seems to be just right!
Let me know if you invited people over to dine. What are some of your secrets?
Grace your table with vintage china - Find antiques and vintage china on Ebay
This site has a lot of incredible options if you want to add some flair to your dining room table.
I bought a brass coffee urn which I use when I am entertaining large crowds. Very unique and I love it!
You'll want to get yourself a good cookbook. Mine is Betty Crocker. - Betty Crocker Cookbook is my favorite basic cookbook
I have collected books throughout the years.
The book I keep coming back to is my Betty Crocker Cookbook.
Every kitchen needs to have a basic cookbook.
Betty Crocker also has several that specialize in one category or another. Here are a few you can choose from.
How to entertain your guests - What do you do when everyone is just sitting there looking at each other?
Do you worry about throwing a party and find out that everyone is just sitting there. Nobody knows what to say?
You don't normally have to worry about that at a dinner party. The food is often a great icebreaker.
You can be prepared though. Have topics ready to discuss on hand so you can ask provocative questions and get the conversation going.
Books you can read on this subject could include the following.
Unless otherwise noted, photos in this lens were taken by me, June Nash
Copy right under creative commons 3.0, some rights reserved
Everyone loves going to a party. There are all sorts of entertainment ideas, from casual conversation to playing games.
What types of parties do you prefer?
Super bowl parties?
Small groups with good conversation?
Please share your ideas with me.