Sometimes, in the midst of adulthood, you decide to have this thing called a ‘dinner party’. Only adults have dinner party’s, not children, so an adult dinner party must include things that actual adults like.
You know, things like vegetables.
And actual plates.
And an actually decorated table.
Or a real table.
And that’s why I’m here.
(Disclaimer- I’m not an actual adult yet, I still live in a dorm and steal from dining halls. I’m just really good at pretending to be a real adult)
And here is what you need to do.
First, you should start planning your dinner party well in advance, not three days before. I’m not saying plan it year in advance, but I feel like three weeks to a month is good because it allows you to get a proper headcount. Give your friends and family a deadline on when they should RSVP by, so you can plan accordingly. Don’t allow for last minute plus ones or anything like that. It’s stressful to have things change last minute, so try and cover your ass as well as you can in that department.
Think about a menu as far in advance as you dare, and also try and figure out who can you help you make everything. Since you’re most likely well acquainted with everyone coming, it’s easy to be aware of dietary restrictions, beliefs, and allergies. Try and abide by those, but also make it easy for yourself. If you know that only one person that you’re inviting doesn’t eat red meat, but everyone else eats it and loves it, make steak the main protein for everyone, and then chicken or fish for the one anomaly.
Make it easy. Have one protein, and then allow for multiple, easy sides. Make the protein the most work, but also not that difficult. Steak is way easier than it seems, and it’s usually a crowd pleaser. When in doubt, chicken or fish with some vegetables and wrapped in parchment paper makes you seem a lot more culinarily inclined than you might actually by, and are easy to prep ahead of time.
If your friends offer to bring anything, ask them to bring drinks. That way, it’s something that you don’t have to think about. If they don’t offer, just make it easy for yourself and pick a wine to match the protein, or just make a big batch Sangria or some punch or something just because being stuck making drinks is the worst thing in the world.
Make lots of sides but not like single-serve sides, make big batch sides. Have someone help you make them. Make like five different types of vegetables and then some potatoes because potatoes change the world and make everything better. Make things that are easy, and one day (one day) I will post recipes of these easy things to make. However, I do know that you can grill anything, saute anything, and roast anything. Olive oil is all that you need.
Buy dessert. It’s too much work to bake. If your best friends insist on baking the best brownies in the world, let them. It’s too much work to bake and if you are making appetizers and the main course AND cleaning your house. Your friends are lucky if you put pants on when they get there.
Through reading this back, I don’t know what my point was. I have no idea what kind of advice I was trying to give you. Look, everyone, I tried. Give me a point for trying, and have a great dinner party if someone decides I contributed something interesting to the world.