We knew it was coming because death comes to us all, but the blow and the loss is what has left my heart staggering and also lifted up to the Lord in thanks today. A dear church member, friend and “almost-family member,” Hope Carter, went home to heaven this week, leaving a great void, and my heart lifted in grateful praise for a life well lived.
Crispy, char-grilled pizza crust, savory sauce, melted cheese and toppings of choice were part of our menu for Apples of Gold this week! We added an Olive Garden Salad, and we finished with Brown Sugar Glazed Pineapple slices topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly. I love this menu because most of it can be done ahead of time, so that dinner can be ready in minutes!!
If you’re saying, “Grilled Pizza?” you’ve missed my former posts about this grilled delight! It sounds intimidating to grill a pizza, but it’s SO simple!! As I told the ladies at our Apples of Gold meeting, you can have this finished before Pizza Hut could deliver to your door! This recipe makes 8 individual pizzas that are hearty in size!
Cares are lifted as we talk, share and pray. The burdens that were brought in are eased by the joy of coming together for a few hours, and it all happens around good food. Hmmm, I think that is often the part that makes people afraid to host others – all the work and prep of the food. Am I right?
I want to help with that and share with you my Five Best Tipsfor hosting a dinner party so you can enjoy your gathering as much as your guests!
Prepare ahead as much as possible. In the menu I served this weekend, everything but the corn cakes were made ahead of time!
Find a dessert you can make and freeze – Cake layers, cookies, brownies, pie crusts, biscotti – all freeze well and you’ll have one whole course of the meal done a week or more before the party!
I made Beef and Chicken Enchiladas at my recent party. I roasted the chicken and browned the hamburger several days beforehand and froze it in freezer bags. I made the Enchilada sauce the day before. The day of the party, all I had to do was layer the tortilla shells, meat sauce and cheese.
Set the table the day before or early in the day.
Get the coffee maker ready to perk. The smell of coffee brewing as guests arrive is so welcoming.
Keep it simpler by serving the food buffet style. I let my guests choose where they would sit. Their napkins and glass were at the table, but their silverware was at the end of the buffet line, ready to pick up.
Let guests bring an item for the meal, if they offer. At my recent party, I made the main dish, a couple sides and the dessert. My guests brought a salad, chips and salsa, ice and beverages and ice cream. That was a great help!
Make your home cozy with candlelight. Don’t burn the overhead lights – use lamps, high and low, strands of twinkly lights, and add jar candles around the rooms.
Don’t strive for a perfect home in which to entertain, just make sure it’s straightened up and the bathrooms are clean. Having guests over is a good motivator to clear away clutter. If need be, get a friend to come over and help you put things away.
Good food, a casual setting, and some good fun are all ingredients for a great time! When you prepare these things early, you’ll enjoy the time with your guests, and that alone will make them feel truly welcome and glad you invited them over!
What keeps you from hosting friends for dinner?
Why not refresh yourself and others by putting a dinner party on your upcoming calendar?
This has been a full summer, and I’m not necessarily talking about how busy it’s been. I’m referring to the fullness in my home and my heart. You see, we have had the joy of hosting many people here. We have had our church family here in small and large groups. We hosted prayer meeting, after service fellowship, children’s Bible Club and women’s Bible study. I’ll share the events via some pictures and explanations.