Monday, January 31, 2011

Project Dinner Party - I Need Your Help

Hey, everyone! I am back from L.A. I'm having some "issues" as they relate to computer access(nothing mechanical just some other things), so posting may be light this week. Hopefully, it won't. In the mean time, please see below 'cause I need your help!

Remember when I mentioned that I wanted to entertain more this year? Well, we've started already trying to stick to our goals in the Try Anything Once household. This upcoming weekend, Husband J and I are going to be hosting a dinner party for some of Husband J's work friends/colleagues. To be honest, I've very rarely cooked for people that I don't know very well. Usually if you're a friend, and we've hung out before, you most likely like me; and so you won't care if I screw up a meal. :) Luckily, I haven't screwed up a meal YET! Our invited guests are coming from Manhattan on a what will presumably be a cold weekend night, I've never met them, these are people who see Husband J everyday. I want to make a good impression and not serve them garbage. Can you tell?

You all have been helpful in the past, so I'd love to hear what you think about whatI should do for this dinner party. Just to let you know, it will be Husband J and me as well as four other couples. The only dietary restrictions that I know of are no shellfish for one guy. So far, I haven't gotten any indications that there are any vegetarians. So.....

1. Mini-Buffet vs. One Pot Meal - When we entertained for a crowd the last time, I made several small dishes and had everyone dig into whatever they wanted. If you wanted a ton of chicken or roasted vegetables, then you could create the meal you wanted. I'm leaning towards this since there will probably be a variety of palates, and I want to cover my bases. The other option is making a large main dish that will probably include a veggie and protein and then make an accompaniment (rice, couscous, maybe some other pasta). The benefit of this of course is way less work for me. That being said, it's less variety for my guests. I know entertaining should be easy breezy, but I like the idea of having a little something for everyone.

2. Disposable Plates vs. Real Plates - Husband J suggested that we buy disposable plates instead of using what we've got here. Honestly we're all adults here; our guest count is pretty manageable; and we have a dish washer. If I clean up throughout the cooking process, it's not going to be that bad. I want to use real plates, but um...I don't think we've got a full set of ten. Er...Even our pretty china we inherited is only service for eight people. Perhaps maybe we just get some upscale disposable ones like these below?

3. Sure, Guest, You Can Bring.....- I know that people want to give the hosts a little something upon arriving. I usually ask for dessert or wine. I would feel awful though if someone dropped money on dessert and then someone else bought some bargain, but very good, Trader Joe's wine. Should I not be worried about that? Should I coordinate? Of course this is all 'cause this is a new group of people. If it was just my friends, I'd surely tell them what to do. :)

Let me know what you think! Am I over thinking everything?


lavenderpug said...

yay for dinner parties and kudos to you for keeping up with your resolution! i understand the pull to have some variety, but i also like the idea of having a one-pot meal so it's not only easier on you, but also it makes it feel a bit more cozy and comfy for your guests--nothing too elaborate. as for the dishes, my general rule is that if i don't really know them that well, i will take the extra step of using real plates to give a good impression (although i almost always use paper plates for dessert). especially if you have a dishwasher. don't get me started.

Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

I'm with Pug! Though I think you should go with whatever will make your life easiest, as that will encourage you to entertain more.

Nellie said...

I agree. Do things that continue to encourage you to have dinner parties. I think it's fine to have people bring dessert and wine.. or apps and sides if you want more variety with your one pot. When I go to other people's place for dinner, I'm always impressed with one-pot meals because it's more comfortable. It feels like you get to see how they eat regularly. It's going to be great!

D. Marie said...

I agree with the other ladies about the one pot meal, this is your home and they shouldn't expect you to make different meals, if they want that they can go out to eat! Also I would use your own plates too since it is the first time meating them, even if your two of the plates won't match, make sure those are the ones you and your husband get.

I know your meal will be great. Good luck and enjoy! <3


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