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Party idea submitted by BizGirl Feb 2nd, 2008
Dinner Party in Less Than an Hour
Being as busy as I am, I’ve mastered dinner parties in less than an hour. Here’s the secret- a great grocery list, a beautiful table, and pre-dinner beverages.
I’ve been to my grocery store numerous times so I know how to map out the route I plan to take with the most efficiency.
First, I head to the butcher’s area and request the meat I wish to prepare. Many places have pre-made kabobs, steak pinwheels, chicken florentine, chicken kiev, and numerous other tasty options. A lot of these items take about 30min in the oven. Then I determine the sides I’d like to serve. I usually go with a vegetable and a starch. So cous-cous, rice, potato, bread, broccoli, salad, spinach, carrots, and corn are great sides. Next, I’m off to the bakery to find dessert. And last, I choose the beverage. I usually go with a complimentary wine and another option such as ginger ale. This takes me about 15-20 minutes.
As soon as I walk into my home, I chill the wine in a fancy bucket and place wine glasses next to the bucket. I turn on the outside front lights to my home and create mood lighting inside. Then I preheat the oven and place the meat in a baking dish. While I’m waiting for the oven, I set the table in the dining room and then place the meat in the oven. At this time, I usually have 15mins before the guests arrive and the meat takes about 30mins. So in the remaining 15mins, I begin preparation for the sides such as taking out utensils, pre-measuring water, and getting spices ready. Now, I’ve got 5-10mins to freshen up and relax.
Since the meat takes 30mins, it gives me 15-20mins to greet the guests, pour them a glass of wine, and have my husband give them a tour if they haven’t seen our home before. While they’re getting the tour or being entertained, I’m preparing the sides and lighting the candles in the dining room.
Next, I place the food on the plates and join the guests in the dining room for dinner.
After dinner, we converse and about 20-30mins later I start to serve dessert. I prefer to serve dessert in our kitchen or outside because it’s not as formal and it let’s our guests see how we normally live. It’s like an invitation into our family.
Photo by: Zesmerelda on Flickr
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