Planning a dinner party can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re somewhere new, or inviting new friends, or if you’re new to cooking. Fortunately, for every level of dinner party planner, there are some tried and true dishes, treats and drinks to keep the party exciting and keep it going. Here are five tips for planning your next dinner party.
Space: the First Frontier
Food and drinks are critical, but you have to make sure you have the space for people to eat. Is your dining area going to cut it? Are you going to spread the party out into other parts of your home? Bringing the party outside? Make your plans and get your chairs early, because you want people to have seating, but you also want to avoid staining your furniture and carpets, should that be an issue. Also, if it’s going to be a potluck, make sure to set a dedicated buffet space.
Our Piri Piri Wings (or for seafood lovers, try Piri Piri Shrimp as an alternative to wings) are a great starter. Also, a dinner party is the perfect time to show off the new seasoning skills you’ve learned. Try our Kenyan Fried Plantains or Piri Piri Fries and maybe add a little Roasted Vegetable Seasoning to a dish or two.
Don’t Forget the Dips
You might not have chips or veggies to dip at every party, but if grazing will help before and after the meal, you can’t go wrong with our Spicy Mayo recipe. Mayo works as a base for all kinds of dips, but it’s best suited to being infused with our Moroccan All Purpose Seasoning. It will go with any kind of pretzel, chip or veggie you want to dip.
Even if your dinner party is a potluck, you’ll want to pull out all the stops in the meal that you present to your loved ones. This is when you’ll want to bring in a crowd pleaser, like our simple steak recipe, or – perfect for a barbecue or summer cookout – yummy pork ribs. Anything with a rich, savory flavor and one of our signature spice blends is going to be the “required seconds” of the party. Just make sure you make enough for everyone.
Drinks Are the Thing
Whether you’re serving cocktails, beers, soda, or juice, you need to have enough, and you should try and have enough options to pair with whatever you’re serving. Simple red and white wines and a selection of spirits will help set the mood, and have some caffeine and non-caffeinated drinks, as well.
A good dinner party is all about you – you are at the center of the social element, the food, the drinks – you are the reason people are at your dinner party, and you’re what they will respond to. Find a recipe and some spices that really tell people what you’re all about, and put those at the center of your cooking.