I started having dinner parties as soon as I was out of college and had a kitchen to have people over. When you are in the military and always moving around or having your close friends move away you need a way to make new friends and there is no better way than with good food and drinks at home.
As if we haven’t been busy enough lately, I convinced Shai to let me have a mid-week dinner party. Throwing that together when you both work can be overwhelming at first but these tips will help you keep it easy and keep it on budget!
1. Use what you have
Would you believe that those chargers and the centerpieces are from our wedding?! I didn’t keep much of the wedding decor but I had left over chargers and kept just a couple candles and wine bottles just for the table! The napkins and napkin rings are always on the table. I use fake flowers in mason jars for extra color without the work.
2. Have drink options
When we moved in together, Shai and I bought this amazing bar that I am kind of obsessed with. You don’t need that though, just have a few options for people or ingredients for a signature cocktail. I normally make my Sangria but this time I opted to make a sugary concoction of Strawberry Shortcake Vodka + Whipped Cream Vodka + Strawberry juice poured over a cotton candy cloud. I may have had two.
3. Make it a pot-luck … but provide hors d’oeuvres
If you are having more than 2 people over, it can be too expensive and way too time consuming to make everything yourself. Having everyone bring a dish saves you time and money and lets everyone else show off their skills – or try new things! I made some baked meat/cabbage rolls and a farro & black bean salad.
I love doing charcuterie plates. The grocery store by our house always has a basket in the cheese section of the odds and ends of the cheeses they have. I love using this to create a sampler. I used three types of cheese, some prosciutto, salami, and cantaloupe.
I ordered this cheese tray and it came in the mail 2 hours before the party. I was SO excited! The little tray of knives slides right under the board.
Shai bought me that little owl tray for christmas. It was perfect for some strawberry preserves don’t you think?
I also made some candy-dipped pretzels with Seahawks color sprinkles…because…why not?!
4. Seasonal decorations
This is the only new “decorating” I did, and really it is for the season, nothing else. I bought those little pumpkins at the Dollar Store and they light up and change colors! All those candles were from our wedding too! Never underestimate the power of extra lighting in making things feel just a little more special.
This is the most important part! If nothing else, you need friends!! Nothing makes me happier than getting to catch up with all of my different friends at once and hoping that they make new friends while they are here!
6. Pups in bow ties optional.
But…aren’t they adorable??
Do you guys love throwing dinner parties too? What are your tricks?
- As the 14th anniversary of 9/11 and the attacks on our country, I hope you take the time today to bring your friends and loved ones a little closer, and take a moment to remember those who lost their loved ones. Though our everyday lives continue on, we must never forget what can and has happened.