Catching up with friends can be tricky nowadays. More often than not, people work long hours, which makes it difficult to organize anything during the week. And everybody knows that weekends are for relaxing, so it’s fair to say that dressing up and going to the restaurant for a catch-up meal is out of the question. But you can accommodate everybody by hosting a dinner at home.
First of all, if you’re not used to inviting people over, cooking for friends might be daunting. But don’t worry, there are plenty of easy and manageable recipes that will take the stress out of meal prep. Here are four brilliant and simple ideas to make the most of an evening together:
Pasta and meatballs
Can anything be more comforting than a pasta dish? Every family with Italian ancestry knows that the best way to make everybody feel welcome at the dinner table is to serve pasta. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own pasta and meatballs. But if you’re running short on time, fresh pasta bought in your local grocery store will do the trick. If you want some mind-blowing tomato sauce for your pasta, you can use a slow cooker to infuse your fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil leaves with a ton of authentic flavors. Besides, you can set the slow cooker to start during the day, so you don’t have to worry about your prep time.
Spicy laugh and chats
When you just want a casual chat with all your friends, you need to think of a meal that is easy to share and eat. While pasta is delicious, there’s a lot of slurpy sounds that come with it. But instead, you can opt for a sharing platter, using the hummus recipe from The Mediterranean Dish. The typical mezze platter is the Oriental take on the Spanish tapas. It’s a selection of small dishes that are super quick to prepare and easy to eat and share. Ideally, you want to choose pita bread, a few bowls of fresh vegetables and marinated vegetables, some grilled veggies, and bite-size falafels. Finally, don’t forget the spices to sprinkle on the veggies and the hummus.
A no-prep meal for a cold winter night
Nothing says fancy like a fondue pot. Fondues can be fun, even though they often require some practice. If you’re new to the world of fondues, you are likely to lose your bread in the sticky cheese pot – or your strawberry in hot lava of chocolate. Fondues always make an impression, and they require virtually no prep time.
Everybody’s welcome kind of dinner
If you want to keep things low-key and avoid overspending on dinner, you can serve your guests a delicious homemade soup following the Country Living recipes with seasonal vegetables. You can keep some chunky bits as you blend the soup to give it a rustic feel. And if you’re an enthusiastic baker, feel free to make your own sourdough bread to dunk in the soup. It’s a treat for the tastebuds.
Whether you’re a tomato sauce and pasta kind of cook or you want to take your guests through a Mediterranean journey, you can do a lot with only a handful of ingredients with these meal ideas. Besides, don’t let the dinner steal all the attention. After all, you want to make time to catch up with your friends!