Have you noticed that when you throw a dinner party on a Friday night, the weekend feels longer and quite simply more festive. Don’t skip hosting a dinner for friends due to fear of prep time. And certainly, please don’t suffer from dinner party over-stress. This easy, yummy individual tomato tarts can be prepared ahead of time. Serve it with soup or salad, a few bottles of wines, and store-bought breadsticks. Voilà!


Here are four simple steps to effortless entertaining any night of the week:

Small Talk:

Keep gatherings small enough so that you can actually talk to all of your guests.
There is something very relaxing about being at the table and talking with friends.

TIP: Decant a few bottles of wine, everyone can help themselves.

Source Your Baked Goods:

Breads and desserts can take a lot of time.
When buying baked goods, it is important that they are made the morning of the purchase.
Any flaky pastry prepared with honey can get soggy if allowed to sit too long.

Tried-and-True Recipes:

Make dishes you have whipped up at least once or twice before.
And, don’t be afraid to buy pre-made foods. Being with friends is the point.

Quality Over Quantity:

Focus on quality ingredients and straightforward fare.
Simple food and beverages speak for themselves.

TIP: Invest in Champagne coupes. They can be used for cocktails too.

Photos by Matthew Mead
Excerpts from my book Entertaining at Home


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