Foodie Friday: Entertaining Friends

I love entertaining and visiting with friends. However, with 2 kids and 2 dogs I find that those occasions seem to be fewer and more far between than I would prefer.  That being said, I thought I might share some of my tips and tricks when entertaining friends.  

Very important - have good friends! I'm serious!  Don't go overboard trying to impress someone you don't really know or like just to 'keep up with the Joneses'! Your real friends will love and appreciate your efforts regardless of how regal or casual they may be.

Keep things simple.  You don't want to be spending your night fussing over the stove.  You want to enjoy laughs and some quality social time with your friends.  After all, isn't that why you have them over?

Have a little something for everyone.  We have friends who are vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free, sugar-free, with kids, without kids, with pets and without pets.  So it's crucial to cater to your guests - within reason.  I always make sure to have a vegan option - this covers your vegetarians and vegans all at once.  I always have gluten-free and sugar-free choices as that's what we subscribe too.  But I make sure there is something sweet and glutinous for those who enjoy it.  Everything I serve is kid-friendly...well my kid friendly.  I don't believe in cooking a dinner for the kids and then having one for the grown-ups.  Another key is finding out ahead of time if there are any allergies or definite No's from your guests. 

I do like to expose my friends to something a little new or different.  Whether it's a unusual cheese or a desert I made, I try to expand their palate and or mind without coming off as pushy.  A lot of times I won't mention that something is gluten-free or sugar-free until after it's consumed.  At which point I will reveal my secret recipe.  I'm always surprised by peoples reactions when I tell them there's no wheat or no sugar in something. I like trying to show people that you can eat well and it can still taste good.

Lastly, entertaining friends is really a misnomer.  I don't want to put on a show for my friends and my friends don't expect me to.  I want them to come over and have a good time and leave with full bellies and  full spirits.

A little less entertaining and a lot more enjoying! 

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