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Dinner Party without stress

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

When society is beginning to open up again and as we begin to yearn to meet our friends, the nicest way to get together if you ask me, is over a meal. But it often gets stressful when you hosting a dinner party. Therefore today I offer my best tips to reduce stress at a dinner party.


Plan carefully

The first point is as always, planning. To plan well and think through what is important about the meal. Is the focus to show your skills in the kitchen or is it more important for you to hang out with your guests. If social time is most important, most things need to be fixed in advance and make sure you set aside time for that. I usually use set up an extra time margin that all preparation should be completed one hour before the guests arrive. If you want to be more in the kitchen during dinner, do so... but still make sure to prepare salad, dressing and other things that should be cold beforethe the guests arrive. Then there will not be more waiting times than is needed. Is you focus on socializeing and catching up on the time that has passed since you last met, there will probably be a lot of chating. Then I would recommend a cold main course that can be made in advance and that does not lose flavor if it is left out for a long time.


Thoughtful menu

Having a menu that is well thought through is crucial for a good dinner party. Many times we choose to serve a three-coarse dinner when we are having a dinner party, but that is not obliged and depends on the situation and context. If you serve several dishes, remember to compose a good balance. I usually think every other course"heavy feeling" and every other course "light feeling". Such as Creamy soup for starters (heavy), Pasta salad (light) with various accessories for main course and Rhubarb pie with vanilla sauce (heavy) for dessert. I would suggest this menu for an occasion with talkative friends who socialize on a lovely summer afternoon/evening when there is time between servings and the pie is served when it starts to cool in the evening. If you meet in the middle of the day, I might choose to end with a crisp fruit salad. But to get the dynamic towards the main course, add a serving of cheeses that gives a slightly heavier feeling before dessert. Both of these menus are also perfect for preparing everything in advance, so you can socialize with your guests when they arrive. If you just make one dish and feel that it becomes too heavy in itself, such as young roasted root vegetables, fried cutlet and Bearnaise sauce, you can actually lighten it up by adding and what you add then needs crisp, cold and / or acid. So by adding a fresh crisp salad, you often lighten up even the heaviest dishes.


Follow the season

Adapt your dinner party to the season, both in design and menu. In the winter, we often want a little warmer and heavier food. Since the day is short and we want to take advantage of it, we like to sit together and eat more efficiently. During the long days of summer, we can stay late and sit outside and grill and spend time with a large space, especially when we are free and on holiday. It does not matter if the food is delayed a little extra during those days. Using crops in season is second nature to me, but also to use cooking methods in season. It would be strange to offer a long-cooked stew in the middle of summer or grilled salmon cutlet in the middle of winter. So adapt the menu and serving to what suits the exact context you are planning.

I hope these tips have given you some value and inspiration to think about arranging your next dinner party.

If you have any thoughts or reflections, comment below!

You are always welcome to contact me with questions and thoughts about food, flavors and dinners to ann@42ann.se

Hope to see you next week!

/Ann





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