A Dinner Party (with some tips!)

I love to entertain!  When you welcome guests into your home, whether it be for coffee, drinks, or a sit down dinner, your goal is to make them feel special.  And like the Scouts say, “Be prepared.”  Thinking ahead is key!  Friday evening we entertained, so I thought I’d share my tips for a successful dinner party…

1.  Once the date is confirmed, plan your menu.  Deciding whether your dinner will be casual or formal will impact the menu as well as the time of year.  Remember to prepare dishes that can be in the oven, fridge, or on the stovetop prior to guests arriving.

2.  Create a shopping list including food, alcohol, and flowers 1 week out.  I shop the day prior leaving the “day of” for cooking and last minute cleaning.

3.  Set the table the day before your event!  Create a centerpiece that provides easy conversation.

4.  Create stations for:  cocktails and drinks, appetizers, main dinner items, and dessert.  As guests arrive, the cocktail and drinks are ready to go including ice water on the bar, and the appetizers are ready as well. Dinner is on the stove.  The salad is in the fridge cold and crisp as well as the additions and dry ingredients are out on the counter.  Add and toss and the salad is ready to serve.  Dessert has been baked and ready to go.  Being prepared ahead of time is the key!

5.  Crazy but true, make sure the toilet tissue has been replenished and always start with a fresh roll!  And add flowers in the bathroom or a wonderful fragrant candle.

6.  Apply lipstick and welcome guests with a smile!

7.  Continue to offer refills on cocktails and drinks throughout the evening!

8.  Relax and enjoy!!!!  After all, relaxing with great friends is the reason you’re entertaining in the first place (and for the cocktails and food too!!!)


Friday’s menu was created in December!  This dinner party was to have taken place December 20, as a Christmas get together.  However, we had to postpone due to sick children.  The beauty of great friends, they understood…



The table is set!  (Lighter on the table for candles!)


I chose floating candles for an easy but elegant centerpiece!


Dinner was hot on the stove!  We had Shrimp and Cheese Grits!  The Rosemary Simple Syrup was ready for the cocktails as well as the Hot Butter Sauce for the dessert!


Plates, napkins, and appetizers!


Brie with Fig Spread and Almonds makes for an easy yet yummy appetizer!


And the Red Pepper Jelly with Cilantro and Lemon over Cream Cheese was also delicious and easy!


I now keep the Rosemary Orange Mixed Nuts from the Christmas Cocktail Party on hand!


Cocktails, check!  A delicious concoction of Pomegranate Juice, Prosecco, and Rosemary Simple Syrup was delightful!  We also had beer, wine, and liquor!


I also enjoy Prosecco all by itself!


However, this Rosemary Simple Syrup is a keeper!!!!


I made Mother’s “Company Salad.”  The iceberg lettuce and spinach were chilling in the fridge as well as the cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts which had been sliced earlier. All I had to do was throw everything together along with the croutons and salad dressing (which was prepped ahead)!


The Apple Cake, chopped pecans, spatula, and ice cream scooper are laid out and ready.  Ice Cream in the freezer!


While enjoying cocktails, I prepped the salads and lit the candles.


Next, we enjoyed the Shrimp and Cheese Grits, filling and hearty!


And on to dessert, Apple Cake with Hot Butter Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream!


And at last, we enjoyed my “Go To After Dinner Drink”…ButterShots!!!  You must try!


So thank you dear friends for a lovely evening with great conversation! 😉  Here’s to great dinner parties!

Do you enjoy hosting a dinner party?

Enjoy the day!


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