Dinner parties are the best thing in the whole entire world. My heart actually craves time with my family and friends. The best way to connect with them, in my opinion, is over a shared meal. Everyone piled into the kitchen, and talking over one another, is my love language. The sound of easy laughter and the clink of dishes is the perfect background for a relaxing evening. In fact, recently, I had my “friends that are family” over for a brunch. That brunch stretched into dinner and beyond, lol. We just didn’t want to stop the fun!
I know for some people, the hardest part about a dinner party is the menu and meal prep. My response to people when they voice these concerns is to keep it simple! Your family and friends won’t actually care about the meal as much as they do the company. For example, in the aforementioned all day brunch, I actually starting pulling things out of my freezer and warming them up as the day went on. We had some shrimp cocktail, chili, cheese and avocado quesadillas, chips and salsa and some cheese and crackers. Believe me, it was RANDOM. (And now my freezer is cleaned out! Win-Win)
My go-to meal for an impromptu dinner party is always steaks and salad. Steaks are easy to pick up and throw on a grill and I always have stuff for my seasoning blend on hand. Pair them with a simple green salad dressed with parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper and some toasty bread and you have an easy meal to make, and to clean up! Doing the cooking outside prevents the house from heating up, and there are no messy pans to scrub! Steaks don’t take long to cook, there are plenty pre-bagged salad mixes to choose from, and it seems every grocery store has fresh loaves of French bread ready to go, so this menu can go from groceries to table in 30 minutes or so. Even for a crowd.
Here is my All-purpose seasoning blend. I keep it in a bowl on my counter next to my salt, pepper and olive oil. (I use it for most of my seasoning needs.) I encourage you to plan a dinner party soon! None of us is promised tomorrow, so make today count. And don’t sweat the small stuff. Your friends and family only care about the invitation
½ Cup seasoned salt (I like Lawrys)
¼ Cup course sea salt or kosher salt
¼ Cup granulated garlic
¼ Cup ground black pepper
2T ground white pepper
1 T ground jalapeno pepper (or you can use cayenne)
1 T smoked paprika
Mix all together well. Use to season steaks, chicken or even fish