5 Top Tips to hosting a dinner party
Ever think that it is just too hard to host a dinner party? Or entertain every single weekend? Well it isn’t with these tips & tricks! You will be hosting events at your place every weekend & it won’t stress you out one bit.
A lot of people avoid having people over, the thought that it will take too much time, or money, or just be too stressful. I can assure you, it is not any of those things & it can save you a load of money at the end of the month if you host events at home and not go out. The kids can also do as they please – they have their rooms there to go to sleep and it is actually a lot ‘stress-free’ being at home then at a busy restaurant with littlies running around.
Buy meat or vegetables on special
Aldi is FABULOUS for this! You can get a 1KG rolled boneless lamb for $13 and if you’re smart with how you serve it up, you can easily serve 8 people.
Another type of meat to serve a lot of people on a budget is to get good quality beef mince & make homemade meatballs. This not only fills people up but if you serve it with a warm roasted vegetable salad & spiced quinoa, it also is a great gluten free option for guests who may have dietary requirements.
Chicken breasts are always a good option as they’re usually not too expensive especially if you’re only needing to use 3-4 breasts. Dicing the chicken into small chunks and using them in a ragu, an Asian noodle stir fry or a wholefood stronganoff will feed more people than other dishes that may require each person to have one breast each.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, you have an abundance of recipes available to make your dinner party a budget success. You could buy some beautiful root vegetables & make a slow cooker korma curry or lentil or barley stew!
Invest in a slow cooker
My biggest helper in entertaining is by far having a slow cooker! They are $25 AUD in Kmart and I have had mine for years. I can feed 8-10 people using my slow cooker and if I’m really on a budget, I usually buy the casserole beef or ‘chuck steak’ it can sometimes be called as this is about $7 per KG! Add some spices, stock and root vegetables and you have a delicious stew that takes barely any effort.
The best thing about using your slow cooker for a dinner party is that you can put it on at midday and not have to touch it again until you’re serving up. If it is ready earlier than you expected, change the dial to ‘warm’ and leave it until you are ready to eat. This means you can stay with your guests and enjoy their company 100% of the time they are with you.
A few dinner party dishes I love to make using my slow cooker are usually slow cooked rolled lamb [Canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, 2 cups stock, rosemary, 1 tsp paprika & lamb for 8 hours on low], slow cooked beef stew using casserole beef [beef, 2 cups stock, thyme, 1 TBS mustard, 1 TBS soy for 6 hours on low], or a slow cooked rolled pork [1/4 cup organic teriyaki sauce, juice of a lemon, fennel seeds for 8 hours on low], I usually will serve this with tortillas, pita breads or corn tacos and just let people make their own with chopped tomatoes, avocado and salads or top the pulled pork onto pizza bases and throw them in the weber for 15 minutes or oven for 25!
A wholefood platter consists of nuts, dried fruits, crackers, wholefood dips, pita breads, olives & berries. These ingredients are usually inexpensive and when you’re not offering expenses cheeses, will usually cost you around $15 especially if you shop at the markets or ALDI store. Often when breads, pate’s & cheese are on the platter menu, people are exceeding their daily calorie intake in this one seating before dinner has even begun. This way, you are still nourishing your body guilt free, and your guests have plenty of room for dinner.
A platter that I would serve would normally have wholemeal or GF pita bread, a serving of olives [not cheese stuffed], 2 different flavoured wholefood dips, strawberries, dried apricots, dried figs or dates, pistachio nuts or walnuts for a cheaper option, carrot sticks & brown rice crackers.
Be clever with how you decide to go about serving dessert. Choose either to
- Make a dessert the day before
- Buy dark chocolate after dinner mints
- Dip strawberries in melted organic dark chocolate the morning of and easily serve after dinner
I go between making an easy quick cake the day before or serving chocolate dipped strawberries! The strawberry option is super easy to prepare & can even get the kids involved for some chocolate fun.
Always be prepared – PREP PREP PREP
The biggest tip to a stress free dinner party is to spend 1 hour in the morning prepping it all ready to go! It usually takes me about 15 minutes to put all the slow cooker ingredients in the crockpot ready to go or 20 minutes if I am rolling meatballs and putting them in the refrigerator for a later oven bake. If I am serving roasted vegetables, I always chop them up and plate them in a dish ready to be thrown into the oven an hour before dinner or if I am serving a salad, I definitely would make this the morning of. Something as simple as roasting some pumpkin and mixing this with spinach leaves & cous cous will suffice and satisfy.
You can prepare the platter earlier as well if you wish, or 30 minutes before you guests arrive, you can throw together nuts and dips onto a wooden board ready to go.
No more do you have to be worried about hosting a dinner party or worrying it will cost you more than your budget allows! I can easily host 6-8 people for $40 or less depending what I have in my pantry and what I choose to make from specials I see around the markets / stores.
Try these tips & invite your next guests over ASAP & share some photos of your creations by using the hashtag #humblewholefoods
I can’t WAIT to see what you create!
Humble Wholefoods x.