When you have a big family, it doesn’t take much for word to spread and a simple Sunday dinner to become a table for twenty. So whether your feast is carefully planned dinner party or spur of the moment affair, these simple tips will guarantee your big meal will be a big success!
Keeping Down the Cost
Don’t overextend your budget just to impress. Your guests are not there to nit-pick your menu! They came for a fun time and good food, so don’t feel like you have to serve a four-course meal. One pot wonders, casseroles, and even hearty salads are great for these occasions. A recipe like Paula’s Chicken and Rice Casserole includes all your major food groups. Add some dinner rolls and a pitcher of iced tea, and you’re all set!
If you are expecting a gaggle of guests, make sure not to trap yourself in the kitchen with recipes that need constant monitoring or have to be made-to-order. Pick dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and either combined or baked right before your meal. That way, you’ll spend more time with your guests than your recipes. Lady and Sons Lasagna can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, or made well ahead and frozen!
Not everyone understands the importance of an RSVP. When your guest list grows, make sure your dishes can grow with it! Stay away from individual dishes like crab cakes or cupcakes, and instead choose dishes that can be divided into more servings. While this Bacon Rubbed Beef Tenderloin would be perfect in thick slices for an elegant dinner, it can easily be sliced thin and even made into delicious sandwiches in a pinch! For dessert, Never Fail Pound Cake is rich enough for each guest to be satisfied with a thin slice. Spruce it up with some berries and whip cream if you have them!
Also look for recipes that are easy to double. Simple pastas and salads are great: the sauces and dressings are often for multiple dishes, or can be increased with just a few ingredients. This Caesar Salad can easily be doubled with just extra lettuce and tomatoes!
Above all, stay cool! No matter how big your crowd, the basics still apply. Have a plan, but be willing to move around some chairs and some serving sizes! And don’t forget to smile!