Friday, June 17, 2011

Tip From The Hearth: Fuss-Free Dinner Parties

Have you always wanted to have friends and family over for dinner, but don't like cooking big, involved meals? I try to host weekly gatherings of friends in our homes, but some times I go through phases where I want nothing to do with long-winded prep work or standing over a stove.

So, what to do? You want the fun of a dinner without the same level of fuss. Ordering pizza and wings is fun, but can't happen on a regular basis. Instead of investing more time than you'd like in the kitchen, have a "Make Your Own (Insert Customizable Food Here) Night."

This week I'm having Make Your Own Quesadilla Night. Provided by me:
  • tortillas
  • shredded cheese
  • salsa
  • black beans
  • sautéed onions
  • sautéed bell peppers
Anyone coming has been asked to bring an additional fun filling, topping, or side of their choice. A few years ago, I plunked down $30 one of those unnecessary indispensable small appliances, a quesadilla maker, to make quesadilla nights even more fuss-free. Folks can personalize the meal to their hearts' content.

Not a fan of quesadillas? No problem! You can have your own "Make Your Own" dinner party with other foods including, but not limited to:
  • baked potatoes (just add sour cream, cheese, broccoli, bacon, etc.)
  • salad (you provide a base of greens and dressing, friends bring add-ins)
  • tacos
  • veggie burgers/burgers
Have fun, be creative, and let dinner take care of itself for a change!


  1. I love having make your own dinners for guests! I feel like they can actually have food they enjoy instead of me forcing my own tastes on them. Great idea.

  2. Glad to hear that this works for you too Anne!