I love my food, and I do like to eat as healthily as I can. But I also love to entertain and treat my guests to some incredible foods. Some of it is made from scratch, but to really enjoy the evening I sometimes buy something already prepared. If you’re having a dinner party this summer, then check out my tips for having an incredible evening without all the hassle.
Start by preparing things well in advance. You don’t want to be rushing at the last minute as your guests are coming in the door. Flick through some of your tried and tested recipes rather than tackling something new on such a big night. I like to have a light starter, a ‘wow’ factor main and a dessert.
For the starter, you might like to keep things fruity. Fruit is a wonderful appetiser as well as something cool for a dessert. If I’m preparing a cheese board for dessert, then I add fruits like grapes to it. As a starter, a melon is light and delicious. Slice down the length of a honeydew melon to create a smiley face shape. Add some cut strawberries and a few blueberries. Perfect.
For the main course, I often prepare something meaty and filling. I’ve seen some incredible examples of Beef Wellington online that look really good. I stick to three vegetables. One of those is usually a potato. Boiled Jersey Royal potatoes are one of my favourites.
If I’m preparing a lamb dish, I prefer to mash. To do this, pick some large potatoes like a Maris Piper. Boil them for about twenty minutes until very soft. Add some milk and a knob of warmed butter. Then mash to a creamy consistency. Yummy.
If I’m entertaining a family, I like to have something like a homemade smoothie on hand for drinks. That way, the kids are all getting something healthy and fun to drink without resorting to squash. As a non-drinker, something similar or ‘mocktails’ goes down well for the adults.
I could make lighter dishes, like a pasta bake that I know kids will enjoy. All the vegetables get chopped up into it, so there are no arguments about them from the picky kids. It could be topped with mozzarella to make it really cheesy but light. The kids love it.
For a really indulgent dessert, I like to bake a fruit pie and have whipped cream with it. Lots of my guests love rich desserts like tiramisu and cheesecake. These can be a challenge to make. There is no harm in buying one ready-made if you are short of time. However, to make an incredible dessert like this, you will need a little time and some good quality mascarpone cheese. Fortunately, they can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge.
I love cooking for a dinner party. Even if some of the courses have been cheated a little, I know that I’m picking good ingredients for everything else. Enjoy your next dinner party at home.
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