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10 Tips for Stress-Free Entertaining

By Patty Gardner

Having guests for dinner?  Sometimes having guests is more stressful than fun but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here are 10 ways you can entertain and have fun at the same time.

1. Choose a simple menu.  When you’re having guests is NOT the time to try new recipes and new techniques.  It only increases your stress level.  Simple menus don’t have to be boring or unimpressive.  There are plenty of simple dishes that will wow your guests.

2. When you’re planning your menu, try to have a variety of foods to choose from in case your guests don’t like something you serve.

3. Don’t clean your house before guests come.  Really.  Don’t do it.  Most people go on a cleaning marathon before they have company and then they’re too exhausted to enjoy their guests.  Tidy the house, sweep the floors, do the dishes, and clean the bathroom.  Let the rest go.

4. Don’t destroy your budget trying to provide a fancy, expensive meal.  I had a friend who always went all out for guests and then she and her husband had to skimp the rest of the week.  Don’t do that.  It’s not necessary.

5. If you’re not experienced at cooking for others, try to plan your dinner party for a time when you have plenty of time to prepare.

6. Do as much ahead as you possibly can.  One of my favorite meals to serve to guests is tacos.  Tacos provide so many options.  A person can eat healthy or not healthy.  If they don’t like something, there are plenty of other choices.  And tacos are really easy to do ahead of time.

7. If your guests ask if they can bring something, and it fits with your menu, let them!  It helps your budget, saves you time and effort and lets them contribute to the meal.

8. And if they want to help you clean up after dinner, let them!

9. When you invite your guests, you might want to ask them if there’s anything they don’t like or are allergic to.  People are usually more than willing to let you know.

10. And finally, remember that it’s not about the food but the fellowship.  You’re having people over to spend time with them not to dazzle them with your cooking skills.  So don’t stress if everything doesn’t turn out perfect.  Just have fun!


What do you do to keep yourself from getting stressed out when company’s coming?



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