Hosting can be intimidating.
We started having friends for dinner regularly almost by accident but it has become times that we cherish especially as friends move on. We are all in this wonderful time of life where we are trying to figure out what we want from life and decide what we want for dinner. It’s weird but we love it.
We have learned a lot about feeding our friends through trial by fire but we have found a fairly simple system, that if we find ourselves in a rut can provide some inspiration. I wouldn’t say it would help during a fancy dinner party that you hope will impress your boss but one of the pros of being in that mid twenties age range is our friends standard of food is still pretty low, or maybe our friends are just really nice.
If you have to serve dinner and have no where to start, build a menu consisting of
Stovetop vegetable or starch
Fresh Fruits or Veggies or Salad
Having something in the crockpot takes some of the stress off and when it’s the protein it can really convince you have most of the dinner done already. Some of our favorite crowd pleasers are
Crockpot Meatballs Either serve with rolls for sandwiches are by themselves
Crockpot Chicken Tacos When I make these the starches and vegetables are things like beans and taco toppings
Pulled Pork This isn’t a crockpot recipe but it has to cook at a low temp for seven hours so I figure it fits the idea. I have heard you can put pork butt in the crockpot I just haven’t tried yet. You can serve this with buns or we recently tried it with grits and it was fantastic.
Coming up with one solid side dish can go along way. People always like things like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese but corn in any form or green beans are also great options.
Fresh fruits and veggies pulls your meal together but also gives options if you have people watching what they eat. It’s probably one of the simplest ways to make it look like you really tried.
My favorite easy dessert is to make cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it into balls that I can pull out when needed. If you aren’t worried about calories and want to involve your guests in the desert making you make one of these and by the time it’s done your friends will be waiting around the oven.
Once you are confident cooking for your crowd you can swap pieces out and build your own basic formula. People often assume it’s so expensive to have people over but as you learn to cook with sales and seasons, you’ll find it can be cheaper than two people going to a nice dinner with friends.