Menus for dummies is for anyone who likes to cook and have people over but struggles with what to make and what food pairs well together. Through trial and error I have some great menus that just work. I will save you from the error menus I’ve made in the past, and only post the good ones. I promise! If JB reads this, and you know who you are, I will also try and post how many people each menu would feed. Not having enough food for a party is my worst nightmare that actually came true a few years ago at a birthday party I helped throw. I was so low on food, I was running around telling all my family members they weren’t allowed to eat so the guests would have enough!
I recently hosted a dinner party with my parents and a few of their good friends. Here is the menu, pictures, and links to the recipes. At the bottom you will find a few hints on making it seamless and easy. My next menu needed? A good super bowl menu!
Menu for Dummies: An Italian Dinner Party (serves about 8)
Antipasto platter served with crostini (I purchased the meat, cheese, and olives from an Italian deli)
Bucatini ‘All Amatriciana (I doubled this recipe but only used 1.5 pounds pasta instead of 2 pounds. I like serving extra tomato sauce on the side. To make your own tomato sauce, click here for the recipe on my blog.)
Chocolate Cassis Cake with berries served with vanilla bean gelato
Lemoncello (buy at a liquor store or grocery store)
*Don’t make every single thing. Use specialty stores for great pre-made options.
*Be organized. Plan the menu in advance and write out a list of what to do ahead of time so you stay on track.
*Do as much cooking as you can before guests arrive.
*Don’t worry about mistakes. I added WAY too much red pepper flakes to my dish. It was so spicy. All my guests were gracious and it was still fun!
*Mix new recipes with tried and true recipes you are comfortable with. Entertaining a group is not the best time to test out 5 recipes.
*Don’t offer too many appetizers. Then no one will want to eat your wonderful dinner.