dinner-partyIf there’s one thing my friends and family know about me, it’s that I love to entertain guests. There is nothing I love more than being with those who know me the best and sharing laughs and good conversation over good food and drinks.

Once every couple of months, less now that we have been dealing with the kids, I like to invite people over cook up a storm. Good food and good coffee are another passion of mine, and I like to share that with others.

I know some people can be overwhelmed with the idea of cooking AND entertaining for a large group of people, so I thought it would be a great post if I broke this down into simple steps. After all, if all you are doing is worrying about making everything perfect and stressing over every little detail, there isn’t really a point in doing it at all!

So without further delay, here are Terry’s simple steps to throwing a dinner party.

K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Stupid)

Most dinner parties start with either drinks or cocktails. In my experience. it’s best to just choose one. Trying to go after both will only drive your crazy and also affect the quality of whatever you decide to serve your guests.

Choose Something Different

Parmesan-spiked-relishDon’t go for the same old tired cheese and crackers. Get creative, but keep it simple, with something like a parmesan spiked relish of bacon wrapped dates. Check out this list of 11 great but quick and easy recipes.

Great Guest Make the Party

Don’t forget why you are having your party in the first place! Make sure you invite the guests well in advance so everyone has time to plan and make sure they can attend. I have found that 8-10 people is the real sweet spot. Any less and the party feels a little dead. More than that and you are in for a real headache when trying to prepare for that many people.

Don’t do EVERYTHING Yourself

Realize that you are only one person and play to your strengths. If you have people that can assist, let them! Plus having people there to help you is an awesome way to spend more quality time with people you care about. Remember, this is about human interaction after all.

Prepare the Main Course Well Ahead of Time

Pick a dish that you can prepare the night before and that will get better with time. Something like a stew works well for this. You’ll rest easy knowing that it’s out of the way and taken care of. Knowing that this part of the evening cant go wrong will be a huge load off of your shoulders.

Don’t Forget the Music

When it comes to the music, it’s best to pick something that you can put on and never have to think about again. Find a good Spotify playlist like this one that is centered around some light jazz or easy listening and call it a day. The last think you want to have to worry about is playing DJ all night.

The Dessert

Everyone’s favorite. Again, you want to pick a dessert that you can prepare ahead of time. This is going to save you tons of stress and worry. Good options here and a cake or pudding that can be made the day before and set aside for after dinner. Again, you’re going to feel a lot bette knowing this is taken care of.

After Dinner Coffee

caveman-coffeeEvery know’s I’m a total coffee snob, so making sure that we have the finest coffee to share with friends is important to me. This is a crucial part of the evening as everyone will be high of a delicious meal and ready to relax and chat over a delicious cup of perfectly roasted coffee. My personal favorite is Caveman Coffee out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I know one of the owners and they have an incredibly high-standard when it comes to selecting and roasting the coffee beans. They also have a coffee subscription service where you can order it online and every month they will ship it right to your door!