Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Easy Peasy Dinner Party Menus

I'm planning a dinner party for one of my dearest friends, as a birthday celebration. I've been thinking of this for quite some time, and have finally started the ball rolling by picking a day and sending invites. 

Now it's time to plan the menu!

I started thinking of some of the meals I've made for past dinner parties - you know the ones, the tried and true. This is a perfect time of year to share that list with you!

We're all so busy at this time of year, getting ready for the holidays. Yet it's a perfect time to entertain - people are in a festive mood, the house is decorated beautifully, there's celebration in the air....why not invite a few friends over to share that?  

The trick is to keep it simple. I have some great tricks for hosting an easy peasy dinner party....you can check out my tips in this post. 

Now...let's plan that menu, shall we?


First up is my Lasagna Bolognese. The great thing about Lasagna is you make it in advance, and then just pop it in the oven for the dinner party. What could be easier than that? Serve it with a nice Barbera wine and some good crusty bread - perfection!


There's also my non traditional and ever-so-amazing Pumpkin Lasagna - I haven't made this in a while but I have a lovely Sunshine Squash from the garden that's just begging to be used, so this might just be a good time to slow roast that squash and get this lasagna ready!


But then again I might decide to just go with my Deconstructed Lasagna. It's always, always a big crowd pleaser, and really easy to prep in advance.  The sausage can be browned the day before, and the sauce made in advance, so all that's required on the evening of the dinner party is to cook the pasta, warm the sausage and sauce, and assemble!

Oh, and pour the wine and warm the bread, of course. Can't forget those!

Can you tell I love pasta? 

But there are a few other recipes I have been thinking of as well.

 

What about my creamy garlic chicken?  I could prep the chicken and mince the garlic in advance, which would make it fairly easy to prepare on the evening of the dinner party.  

Served with either rice pilaf or mashed potatoes and a vegetable, this would be a warm and cozy dinner on a chilly mountain night. 


Then again, I could go with The Most Amazing Chicken Ever.  Using my favorite cooking toy makes this a foolproof recipe, and the chicken pretty much cooks itself other than the need to sear it when it's done. 

This would also go nicely with either mashed potatoes or a rice pilaf, and a veg. 

Chardonnay, anyone?


Or perhaps my favorite cooking toy will be used to prepare to perfect a couple of marinated pork tenderloins?  They would also cook themselves and just need to be browned at the end. 

Hmmmmm so many choices!

What would you choose? Do you have a go-to dinner party menu that you return to time and time again?

24 comments:

  1. Debbie, all of those choices look so delicious! I'm a huge pasta lover so anything pasta related is a good "go-to" for me. You just can't beat the aroma of the sauce cooking and the bread baking...always a perfect combo! Love and hugs!

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    1. So true, Benita - I've pretty much perfected my marinara at this point, I just wish I still had fresh basil to pick in the herb beds! I tried keeping one plant alive inside for the winter but it gave up the fight last week....sad! xo

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    1. And yet I think I've decided on something completely different, Penny!

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  3. Looks delicious! I know you love to cook but I don't see where you find the time.
    Brenda

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    1. I try to keep it fairly simple during the week, Brenda - I reserve the more time consuming meals for the weekends.

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  4. I'll have to check out your lasagna recipes as well as the garlic chicken one! I rarely do any entertaining, especially dinner parties, but last time we had friends over for dinner, I made enchiladas.

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    1. Oooh enchiladas, yummm! I think I've made up my mind, Melanie, and I'll share the recipe with you all at some point!

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  5. These all look so delicious! Hard to make a decision :) That garlic chicken sure got my mouth watering!

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    1. It's easy to make, too, Marilyn! I must put that on my dinner rotation soon!

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  6. They all sound great. I go to lasagna often and I love pasta too. I often make baked shrimp scampi which is big hit or pork loin.

    Having a relaxed afternoon gathering this weekend and I'm making homemade stew, great for a cold night.

    Cindy

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    1. My sweetie asked me recently to make him shrimp scampi, Cindy....the problem is that I'm allergic to shellfish so I'd rather not even have it in my kitchen! I figure it's safer if he orders it when we're out!

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  7. All your dinner choices look lovely and delicious! I have not entertained for quite awhile CFS and having to eat gluten free sure makes it challenging Enjoy and have a great time! Nancy

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    1. Well perhaps you'll try one of these recipes just for you and your hubby!

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  8. Hi there Debbie, the FIRST LASAGNA, the one in the square dish, THAT ONE has my stomach literally growling!! Looks so delicious. You are one heck of a good cook. I love your posts showing your cooking, recipes, the things you've grown in your garden and putting it up for winter, etc. Whoever the lucky guest of honor is for this dinner party is very very lucky!! Have a great time!

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    1. That's my pumpkin lasagna, Debbi!! Sounds like a weird combo, doesn't it? It was FABULOUS!!

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  9. These look so good! I could use a good lasagna! I havent had one in months. My husband makes a good one too. I had a pot luck to bake something for this coming weekend but it was cancelled due to the weather we are suppose to be getting. I guess Illl make cookies. Haha
    LIsa

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    1. I heard you are going to get some serious weather, Lisa - stay safe!!

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  10. Oh, the descontructed lasagna looks amazing!I may have to check out that toy - anything that will help me be a good cook should be added to my kitchen tools!

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    1. I use my sous vide at least once a week, Amy. It's the best for chicken, pork tenderloin, steak....anything you don't want to overcook. You will LOVE it!! It's even great for a spiral ham - I hate when they are overcooked and dry. With a sous vide that doesn't happen! I would just finish it off under the broiler with a little glaze to brown the top - easy peasy, and that might just be Christmas dinner this year!

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  11. Forget the dinner party! I want to eat this during the week with my family!

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    1. Do it, AnnMarie!!! Whenever I make a lasagna I always make an extra for the freezer. Same with meatloaf - I usually make 3 or 4 of them. And when I make pasta sauce I make at least double what I need, so I have some for the freezer. Makes for great and easy weeknight meals!

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  12. While I tend to be a silent reader of many blogs, just thought I’d jump in and let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your last several posts. Especially the one about some of your favorite clothing choices, as I’m in the same boat; your inexpensive gift suggestions, which I loved the “in memory of” chimes, and this one with these delicious sounding recipes that I just may have to try! Keep up the good work, and enjoy your beautiful and cozy mountain top home! ~ Kimberly @ https://padlet.com/kimmarie69/between_friends

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    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly - I love 'meeting' new blog friends so I'm delighted you took the time to leave such a sweet comment!

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I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment...I truly love reading your comments and I try to respond to each and every one of your sweet comments right here on my blog page!

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