I have been reading several low-stress dinner party articles and I felt something missing….you know, that “oh I’ve read that before” and yet…
I am a Stressee.
I stress over chocolate milk. I stress over what to wear. I sit awake at night planning meals. Yes, I am a Type A Stress Machine.
So I HAVE to make certain plans when I make breakfast, much less a dinner party. Here are 12 tips for The Stress People like me!
1. Don’t plan an expensive tip roast or salmon mousse dinner. Plan something you can put together quickly and easily and take that time that you would be spending flipping through Recipe.com to relax. Figure on something that is easy to prepare and good to make in a crock pot. Chile Verde is a great meal, or pot roast in the crock. Have wine and Worcester sauce on hand to bump up the taste to gourmet. Act as if this is just another meal. Keep the spices reasonable.
2. Clean the bathroom and the kitchen and don’t worry about the rest.
3. Make sure you invite people you like who have a good sense of humor and have good appetites.
4. Plastic wine glasses are just fine.
5. If you do plan a recipe laden dinner, make sure you have all the ingredients on hand the day before and buy a dessert to keep the workload doable. You are having a party to enjoy your guests, not wait on them all night.
6. Keep large garbage bags on hand to throw trash away.
7. Don’t buy too much wine. Two glasses and your guests will be drivable still. Then serve a punch or something nonalcoholic, just to be on the safe side.
8. Keep to your budget. If you are a low budget for the month, stick to a pasta dish that will be terrific but doable. Spaghetti Bolognese is a wonderful meal! Breadsticks and a salad and you have a great dinner for eight.
9. Keep the guest list small – 8 at the most. This way everyone can talk and chat without stepping on each other.
10. Stay cool and calm. Wear an outfit you feel comfy in. If it is jeans and a tee, throw on a scarf. Don’t stress over the dress!
11. Let everyone know the hours – 8 pm to 10 pm ….I have an early engagement tomorrow! Whatever the hours are, be honest about your time!