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For me when having friends over for a meal, I usually contemplate a lot on what to feed them. I don't want anyone to be allergic to anything I cook and I want to make sure that they like what's cooked for them.

To help with the stress of feeding people, I've got a few "strategies" that I use when having friends over.

1. Ask

Ask your friends what foods they don't like and if there are any allergies. I'm usually the one that has to be aware of eating dairy, so I always like to ask and not make people feel weird because they are allergic or don't like something I have served. I want people to feel comfortable and welcome in my home.

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2. Make a menu

I like to make a menu, then grocery shop off that one list. I typically have some sort of crostini with toppings that people can put on themselves, while the rest of dinner is being prepped/cooked. We have a small dining table, so we serve our meals buffet-style in the kitchen. I typically have two side dishes along with the main dish. Once dinner is finished, we end with dessert.

3. Shop the day before

After making the menu and shopping list, I usually try and shop for groceries the day before people come over just in case I forget something and have to end up running back to the store. I have a second day to go, and I end up with enough time to pick up that last minute item. Instead of scrambling at the last minute.

4. Let them help you

On more than one occasion, people have asked to bring something and I always say yes. People want to help and want to bring something to contribute. If they ask and they don't have anything in mind, I will ask them to bring dessert. Dessert is something easy they can bring and can be bought at the store in a pinch.

Below I have listed two menu plans that I have used in the past.

Dinner #1

Appetizer: Bruschetta

Side Dish: Avocado, Corn, Tomato Salad

Side Dish: Coleslaw

Main Dish: Crock Pot BBQ Ribs

Dessert: Root Beer Floats

Dinner #2

Appetizer: Oven Roasted Tomato with Ricotta Crostini

Side Dish: Fruit Salad

Side Dish: Potato Salad

Main Dish: BBQ Chicken

Dessert: Trader Joe's Apple Tarts with Ice Cream

I hope this is a helpful start to entertaining friends in your home! Next week, will be the last week of the Entertaining Friends Series and we'll talk about the extras.

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Posted in Cleaning Services Post Date 08/02/2016






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