Humour

How to host a dinner party for 8 people

One of the things I’d been wanting to do before I turned 35 was to actually cook a meal for more than 6 people. Why 6? Well, because prior to starting hiking, I had a total of 6 friends here who would come over regularly. And even then, I never really cooked a full meal. I finally took the plunge and invited my hiking family over for dinner last Saturday.

Here’s my go-to guide to hosting a dinner party. Also known as ‘what I learnt’:

1. Take a day off work to clean the house, shop for groceries and well, prepare as much as you can.

2. Make sure you have enough chairs and plates for the number of people invited. If not, it’s a good idea to host a dinner around the time of end of financial year sales as you can get some good bargains!

3. When cooking for a group that includes a vegetarian and someone suffering from coeliac disease, cook food that caters to the minority. The majority can eat it, after all.

4. Preferably, cook dishes you have previously cooked. Unlike me.

5. Cook dishes that don’t require much time. Lasagna, while a supposedly easy choice, is still something that takes time, effort and can go horribly wrong. Thankfully, mine didn’t!

6. A three-course meal is usually appreciated. But not essential.

7. Remember to play music that caters to the majority. Which means, if you listen to alternative, rock or indie music like yours truly and your friends listen to RnB, find a middle ground or just settle for Smooth FM.

8. Cheese and crackers are a fail safe entrΓ©e. And bruschetta is great too except it doesn’t cater to said Coeliac friend!

9. Lasagna is a bitch to reheat!

10. When it’s your friends, they will appreciate everything. Just have a good time!

dinnerparty1. Cheese and crackers as one of the entrees | 2. Vegetarian Lasagna, Warm Tabouli and Haloumi salad (right), Sweet potato, pear and Macadamia salad (left) | 3. Same as 2 | 4. Baked ricotta pie with blueberry coulis for dessert |

And yes, I made all of these myself.

So that’s one more thing crossed off the list. Next dinner party, everyone brings a plate. πŸ˜›

How do you host your dinner parties?Β 

Do share some tips with me!

***Linking up with EmilyΒ and Vanessa for the Laugh Link Up and Alicia for Open Slather***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Deborah
    7 July 2014 at 9:35 am

    Wow! Great job! I’ve never hosted a dinner party for that many people. I enjoy cooking for me, but cooking for others really stresses me out.

    I’d be a big ‘prepare as much as possible beforehand’ kind of person. (Actually I’m a ‘buy-in as much as possible’ kind of person.)

    But you’re right – the last tip is the best… your friends really don’t care that much! It’s all about the company.

    Deb
    Deborah recently posted…School photos – the same but differentMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 July 2014 at 9:09 pm

      I’ll be honest that it’s going to be a while before I cook everything from scratch for such a large number of people! It was a bit stressful especially as it’s others eating your food! You want it to turn out well…

  • Deborah
    7 July 2014 at 9:35 am

    Wow! Great job! I’ve never hosted a dinner party for that many people. I enjoy cooking for me, but cooking for others really stresses me out.

    I’d be a big ‘prepare as much as possible beforehand’ kind of person. (Actually I’m a ‘buy-in as much as possible’ kind of person.)

    But you’re right – the last tip is the best… your friends really don’t care that much! It’s all about the company.

    Deb
    Deborah recently posted…School photos – the same but differentMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 July 2014 at 9:09 pm

      I’ll be honest that it’s going to be a while before I cook everything from scratch for such a large number of people! It was a bit stressful especially as it’s others eating your food! You want it to turn out well…

  • Surely Sarah
    7 July 2014 at 11:24 am

    I did Xmas one year and regretted it, who knew there was so much work in catering for multiple people and multiple courses??
    Yours looks amazing! I usually get takeaway if we’re having people over, or do a BBQ which I find is less work, and you can allocate some of the cooking to someone else if they’re keen to take over the tongs!
    And I always ask someone to bring dessert – I don’t care if it’s a packet of tim tams πŸ™‚

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 July 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Oh Christmas hosting would be stressful! I must admit in the past I’ve always had a bring a plate thing…this was one time I wanted to try making all three courses myself. My friends did offer to bring stuff but I declined…might not be the case next time! πŸ˜€

  • Surely Sarah
    7 July 2014 at 11:24 am

    I did Xmas one year and regretted it, who knew there was so much work in catering for multiple people and multiple courses??
    Yours looks amazing! I usually get takeaway if we’re having people over, or do a BBQ which I find is less work, and you can allocate some of the cooking to someone else if they’re keen to take over the tongs!
    And I always ask someone to bring dessert – I don’t care if it’s a packet of tim tams πŸ™‚

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 July 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Oh Christmas hosting would be stressful! I must admit in the past I’ve always had a bring a plate thing…this was one time I wanted to try making all three courses myself. My friends did offer to bring stuff but I declined…might not be the case next time! πŸ˜€

  • Me-er
    7 July 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I too want to host one. But I don’t have that many friends and I am not such a good cook πŸ™
    All those dishes look so delish.. πŸ™‚
    Me-er recently posted…One wish.My Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 July 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks Me-er! I only made these friends in the past year…who would have thought? πŸ™‚ And in terms of cooking, I have only learnt that after moving out of home…I couldn’t cook to save my life prior to that! πŸ˜€

  • Me-er
    7 July 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I too want to host one. But I don’t have that many friends and I am not such a good cook πŸ™
    All those dishes look so delish.. πŸ™‚
    Me-er recently posted…One wish.My Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 July 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks Me-er! I only made these friends in the past year…who would have thought? πŸ™‚ And in terms of cooking, I have only learnt that after moving out of home…I couldn’t cook to save my life prior to that! πŸ˜€

  • Mark
    7 July 2014 at 5:29 pm

    First things first. Always start with lots of grog.

    If things go well the booze will just increase the fun

    If one or two of the courses are quite as you may have wished the alcohol will make up for it

    and … at the end of the night always use your neighbours bin for the empties

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 July 2014 at 9:31 pm

      I cannot believe I forgot to mention that Mark! The grog was served with the cheese at the start and continued through the night! Definitely an essential! πŸ˜€

  • Mark
    7 July 2014 at 5:29 pm

    First things first. Always start with lots of grog.

    If things go well the booze will just increase the fun

    If one or two of the courses are quite as you may have wished the alcohol will make up for it

    and … at the end of the night always use your neighbours bin for the empties

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 July 2014 at 9:31 pm

      I cannot believe I forgot to mention that Mark! The grog was served with the cheese at the start and continued through the night! Definitely an essential! πŸ˜€

  • Vanessa
    7 July 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Cheese is ALWAYS a good idea!

  • Vanessa
    7 July 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Cheese is ALWAYS a good idea!

  • Alicia
    7 July 2014 at 9:32 pm

    You put on a great spread. Everything looks awesome. Lasagne is good because it is filling too. You don’t want anyone to leave hungry.
    I would add – Don’t be stressed, because if the host is stressed, then no one has a good time πŸ™‚
    Alicia recently posted…A sign of old and some MaccasMy Profile

  • Alicia
    7 July 2014 at 9:32 pm

    You put on a great spread. Everything looks awesome. Lasagne is good because it is filling too. You don’t want anyone to leave hungry.
    I would add – Don’t be stressed, because if the host is stressed, then no one has a good time πŸ™‚
    Alicia recently posted…A sign of old and some MaccasMy Profile

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    8 July 2014 at 11:19 am

    NAILED it lovely – some great tips there. It’s been forever since I’ve hosted a dinner party, about 5 years. So much harder now with kids but it can be done. Lasagne is a pain as it only heats up on outside you have to cut open a bit! Loving the new look BTW, and the colour! Thanks for linking xx
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted…Sharing an embarrassing video I filmed for SheKnows Australia!My Profile

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    8 July 2014 at 11:19 am

    NAILED it lovely – some great tips there. It’s been forever since I’ve hosted a dinner party, about 5 years. So much harder now with kids but it can be done. Lasagne is a pain as it only heats up on outside you have to cut open a bit! Loving the new look BTW, and the colour! Thanks for linking xx
    Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me recently posted…Sharing an embarrassing video I filmed for SheKnows Australia!My Profile

  • R's Mom
    9 July 2014 at 8:05 pm

    You cooked all that!!! *faints and then gets up and falls at feet* Can you put up the recipe to the veg lasange..looks awesome πŸ™‚

    For 8 people! Goodness, you sure are enthused eh?

    • R's Mom
      9 July 2014 at 8:05 pm

      *Lasagna (sorry type)

  • R's Mom
    9 July 2014 at 8:05 pm

    You cooked all that!!! *faints and then gets up and falls at feet* Can you put up the recipe to the veg lasange..looks awesome πŸ™‚

    For 8 people! Goodness, you sure are enthused eh?

    • R's Mom
      9 July 2014 at 8:05 pm

      *Lasagna (sorry type)

  • Foodie Fanatic: Vegetarian Lasagne | Living my Imperfect Life
    17 July 2014 at 10:20 pm

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  • Foodie Fanatic: Vegetarian Lasagne | Living my Imperfect Life
    17 July 2014 at 10:20 pm

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  • Seeya
    22 April 2016 at 2:02 am

    It must have been very stressful. Yea hosting a dinner/lunch party for me involves cleaning the house first and checking for cups and plates n stuff. cooking on own? Have done once alone for 8-9 people
    Seeya recently posted…Ode To PappaMy Profile

  • Seeya
    22 April 2016 at 2:02 am

    It must have been very stressful. Yea hosting a dinner/lunch party for me involves cleaning the house first and checking for cups and plates n stuff. cooking on own? Have done once alone for 8-9 people
    Seeya recently posted…Ode To PappaMy Profile