Monday, August 11, 2014

Throwing a Fab Dinner Party.

Last weekend, I decided to throw a dinner party for my girlfriends at my house. I've watch tons and tons of Barefoot Contessa episodes...enough that I've learned a few tips and created some of my own for creating the perfect dinner party. I really love cooking and I love entertaining, so this was a fun experience for me. Here's what it takes to throw a great dinner party...

Table Setting:

Use a fun tablecloth and pair with napkins in a similar a color palette. The color blue is psychologically an appetite opener, so its helpful to use. Serving food in white serving dishes are classy and a good way to make your food the star of the table rather than a fancy plate.

Flowers are a great centerpiece to bring the table together. It's great to use bright colored flowers that pop in contrast with the tablecloth, napkins, and plates. Make sure the flowers aren't too tall. I like to test this by sitting in front of the flowers and making sure the flowers are not in my field of vision when I look across the table.

Candles are also a great addition to your table. Make sure, again that they are not too tall. Most importantly, make sure they are NOT scented! You don't want a candle scent to overpower the smell of your delicious food.

I used a blue color palette and added a pop of color with bright yellow sunflowers. 


I like to have both red and white wine available for my guests. Have enough bottles for the amount of guests you will have...about 1 bottle per 4 people.

I also have some hard liquor and a couple juices or sodas to mix it with.

Finally, I fill a pitcher with water and add some lemons to place on the table.

Toasting to my girls. 


Start with a good appetizers. Depending on the amount of guests, have a couple of options. Since I only had 3 guests, I made a cheese plate. I placed brie, gouda, and gruyere cheese on lemon leaves and added some toasted french bread with red grapes and almonds.

Everyone's tastes are different, but what I like to do is have 5 parts to a meal:

  1. Start with a salad with a light dressing. 
  2. I like to include some type of bread like rolls or garlic bread. 
  3. Then for the main course, I like to make 1 protein dish like marinated chicken, steak, or fish. 
  4. Then I have 1 carbohydrate side dish like mashed potatoes or a simple pasta. 
  5. Then I have a MUST of a vegetable(s) like brussel sprouts or broccolini. 

For my dinner party, I began with a light Greek salad with lemon and olive oil and made some garlic Parmesan bread. I made grilled chicken marinated in lemon, garlic, rosemary, sage, and olive oil. I paired it with roasted rosemary potatoes and roasted asparagus.


When the meal is done, I like to serve dessert with tea and coffee.

I like to have fresh fruit as a dessert option for those who prefer healthy alternatives.

Desserts are what guests bring as a gift to a dinner party most of the time, so serving their gifted dessert is a must.

Depending on the amount of work you do to prepare for dinner, I like to keep this part light and simple. I cheat and just arrange store bought cookies or buy a pie or cake. If the rest of the dinner I make is easy and less time consuming, I'll try to bake a dessert.

And that's it! A fun and easy way to entertain and throw a great dinner party. Getting compliments about it all is the best part ;)

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