Meal Planning for a Non-Potluck Dinner Party!

I am really excited about tomorrow’s dinner party for two reasons: one, it’s mostly people that haven’t been to my house (I’ve only seen them at public events around town, so now I’m really having ‘strangers’ into my home!). The other is that instead of making it potluck, I am making all the food – or at least enough food, with any things the guests bring as extra.

Planning a meal like this is delicate – I’m not a fancy person, and I cannot even pretend to be effectively, so I’m having to keep it simple. I think I might have a vegetarian or two, so I’m hoping to do some black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, black bean and shredded chicken enchiladas, and some tomato-and-onion rice as a side. We made some snack-y foods this week in preparation for the event, and I’ll throw together a salad with green peppers, mushrooms and carrots the day of… I might make a pound cake for dessert, just to top it all off! This way, we’ve got a dinner that is a little customizable (add sour cream? add avocado? Be my guest!) and hearty, but not fancy or overwhelming. It’s just having people over for Mexican food, pretty much.

The meal planning is only part of it, though, when I think about having total strangers over. Husband is certainly going to want to have a fire in the fireplace and maybe take folks on a tour of the house – I hope he can convince someone to play on our mostly-neglected foosball table. I hope that we can get folks talking about subjects that bring them joy rather than just talking about things they liked and disliked about the recent Presidential election; part of my mental planning is wondering how we’ll handle people getting heated on such subjects. I even have to plan for chairs – there are going to be about 10 of us (!!!) and that’s just slightly too much to fit around our table.

In all of this, I’m trying to remember that it is important to bring people into your home and make them feel welcome. It’s worth it even if I feel like my house is imperfect and the food will be simple and the conversation could get odd. It’ll be a good party, and I’ll have completed 4 this year!


11 comments on “Meal Planning for a Non-Potluck Dinner Party!

  1. That’s exciting! Your menu sounds delicious. My husband and I are hosting our first dinner party in a little over a week, and I am already nervous. I want everything to look and taste perfect, but realistically our house (which we just moved into a few months ago) is barely decorated, and I’m not a professional chef. I doubt my guests will care though – as long as we all have a good time, I’ll be happy. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christina Nifong says:

    Great plans! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tcriggs says:

    Good luck! I love to do things like this… but have to meditate a few days before. lol. I hope it goes well and as close to planned as possible! (The unplanned makes for good stories though) lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. vennagreen says:

    Good luck to you! I’m sure it will be a success!

    I’m old….lol and had many dinner parties, it’s one of my favorite things to do.

    you are right to keep the meal simple and have it ready ahead of time so you can enjoy your guests.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Steph says:

    Perhaps a joking-but-not-joking ban on election politics discussion could be in place in your home during the dinner party? I think a lot of guests would be relieved! Dinner parties are stressful beforehand, but it’s such a reward to see everyone talking, laughing, enjoying themselves, and making new friends. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CPT FOODIE says:

    I’m excited for you, sounds like it’s going to be on a fun day. Lots of prepping and work to do, I can only imaging. May you guys have a fabulous time.Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rob says:

    Good luck with everything! And yes, steering the conversation can get tricky. I just thought of an idea: What if you handed folks cards with topics on them and then they can share their topic, or pass and open up discussion that way? I dunno, just came to mind. Write On!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. polianthus says:

    HIya good luck with everything.

    Being non-US based and therefore not in the emotional thick of things I am going to quote you regarding bridging gaps: But I do think that talking to each other, knowing people whose experiences are different from our own, seems to be one of the only chances for getting out of this mess. Half of America is a stranger to the other half; they need to have each other over for dinner.

    So perhaps letting people discuss the election but putting down “fun” groundrules before the event would be easier than not letting people discuss, provided you have an equal distribution of Trump/Clinton supporters at the table..

    On the other hand maybe you don’t want to risk a riot zone in your house, understandably.

    Good luck either way, I am sure you will have an excellent and memorable dinner party. Look forward to reading about it on your blog

    And thanks for stopping by mine and following


    Liked by 1 person

  9. frandobagel says:

    I can’t wait to see how it goes!

    Liked by 1 person

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