So maybe you’re not the most confident cook, but you’re stuck at home over the holidays while family is far away. Maybe you want to try having a few people over and sharing in that holiday spirit. (Okay, maybe this my MY story, except it ain’t my first rodeo. But I’m stuck at home AGAIN this year, so instead of spending the entire day in my pajamas pouting I invited my friend Sharon over for dinner!) So I thought I might write up a little tutorial on how to plan for a small holiday dinner party.
Keep it small. Starting off with too many guests is a recipe for disaster. We’re just having one guest, but I’d say if you’re in a couple, choose another couple and stick to just the four of you. You’re going to enjoy yourselves even if it’s a small group, and only having to worry about one or two extra people really helps reduce the stress, especially if you’re close friends! Bonus if those people are willing to be involved in the prep.
Keep it casual. Please do not decide you’re going to make beef wellington for a dozen guests. This is the definition of insanity. I’m an intermediate cook, and beef wellington is HARD. Choose dishes that don’t require you to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, out of sight. I plan on making a lot of things that can be prepped ahead of time. Here’s my menu:
- Baked Ham
- Cheesy Potato Casserole (Boiled potatoes, cubed and mixed with sour cream, cheese and chives)
- Brown Butter Balsamic Green Beans
- Russian Black Bread
- Pear, Pomegranate & Spinach Salad
The only thing that needs to be prepped last minute are the green beans.
I’m also not going to worry about fancy place settings or courses. Everything’s going on the table at once, and we’ll help ourselves.
Make it personal. Do you have an ethnic family recipe that you can share with your friends? I plan to make potica for dessert, as long as I remember to ask my grandma for the recipe! Sharing your cultural background with friends is a great way to show you care. What about a family tradition you can share?
Make room for fun! Do you have board games? A Wii? Be goofy and have some fun!
So, are you hosting anyone for the holidays this year? What are your tips for keeping your cool? Let me know in the comments!