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The How-To Lounge: Hosting a Last Minute Dinner Party

Have you ever had company over for cocktails and one drink lead to two, which lead to an impromptu dinner party? Well, if not, it's bound to happen sooner than later so there are some tips to keep in mind so you can always be the hostess with the mostess!

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  • The next time you go grocery shopping, keep a list similar to this in mind: Nuts, pretzels, cheese, crackers, veggies, dips, cured meat, pasta, pasta sauces, and dried spices. You also want to keep your freezer stocked with some meat, pre-cooked apps, sorbet or ice cream, even veggies so you can quickly whip up something that your guests can nosh while you are preparing dinner
  • The fastest way to kill any kind of party is not having enough, or any alcohol. Always keep a bottle of vodka in the freezer, a few bottles of white wine in the fridge, and some red wine in your pantry
  • Keep extra candles on hand. Mood lighting is important, especially when your guests might not have had time to touch up their make-up!
  • I think it's fair to say that everyone has their own fail proof recipe, whether it be your famous pasta sauce (pasta is a no-brainier since it's easy and filling) or mustard chicken, so stick with what you know - you can't go wrong
  • Staying calm is the key to pulling off a last minute get together. If you were gracious enough to extend the invitation last minute, chances are your guests will be very understanding of the limitations you have

If you have an extra 5 minutes before your friends walk through the door, I advise you to quickly vacuum. For some reason, seeing those lines on the carpet makes my apartment feel instantly clean. Good luck, and most importantly, have fun!

Join The Conversation
partysugar partysugar 10 years
Another great thing about impromptu dinner parties is that you can ask your friends to help you in the kitchen.
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 10 years
Thanks for these tips!
almost-famous almost-famous 10 years
Watching the food network always comes in handy.... shows like Semi-homemade, Everyday Italian and great Entertianment with Micheal Ciorelo is great with the dinner party ideas.
Marci Marci 10 years
I'm the queen of this kind of thing. I love to cook so I always have a well stocked pantry and freezer. I can whip up hors d'ouevres like nobody's business while I get a dinner rolling. We're not big drinkers so a run downstairs to the liquor store is always in order, but that's easy enough. It's really fun to do the impromptu party. People are always up for anything.
almost-famous almost-famous 10 years
I've always dreamed of hosting a fabulous dinner party. my family and friends are used to "get-togethers". It's all the same thing, but dinner parties are a little formal. The only downside to dinner parties is the clean up..... Paper plates anyone?
slh3883 slh3883 10 years
i love those vacuum lines on the carpet! I thought it was just me.
starofsorrow starofsorrow 10 years
Nice tips! I'll have to keep that in mind for future reference. =)
c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
great tips :D
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