Meal Planning: Customizable Dishes Make Entertaining Easy
Most times when guests are coming over, I like to prepare something delicious. But also something fool-proof. Wondering if our guests really do like everything or if they are just saying that to be polite is already enough pressure. What if by “everything”, they really meant everything BUT what I’m serving? To avoid this, I stick with the meals that I know like the back of my hand, that I receive compliments on, and that are easy to prepare.
And that have lots of condiments and toppings. You see, giving people the option to “top”, “dress,” or add to their dish is a wonder. Having options gives them the ability to take a dish and really make it their own. Then, your guests will be more apt to eating all of it because they prepared it themselves. This leaves them with the freedom to add certain elements and leave out others, and takes the pressure off you for knowing if the Parmesan cheese on top was or was not a good idea. Because, if it wasn’t, well, it’s already made its way into the sauce. You catch my drift?
Brunch is also a good time to allow your guests to have an active part in the putting together of their meals. Last time I made cinnamon rolls, I placed the icing into a gravy boat so that the icing (and also toasted coconut for these particular cinnamon rolls) could be applied as liberally as the guest chose. And that, my friends, is where the trick is: a little dish goes a long way.
You see, our meals that are our go-to’s for guests may not seem special to us, and certainly having containers of cheese, sour cream, icing, gravy, dressing, or any other topping on the table may seem a bit casual for the occasion. But, if you place these ingredients into a special dish, you have the opportunity to make even the condiments not only presentable, but also inviting. People love to make meals with their own twist, and when you utilize, gravy boats, sugar bowls, bread plates, or even wine glasses for condiments and toppings, you stepup your presentation and add a factor of total unique creativity.
What are some of your favorite meals that require lots of assembly and creativity by your guests?
Bonnie Lewis blogs at Bonnie the Baker where she creates delicious dishes and discusses the journey of this thing called "parenthood". She is a professional writer and published author, as well as a social media expert. She has an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary where her studies of faith and culture help inform her writing, baking, and child rearing. She loves ice cream, coffee and a good book. She is married to her husband Cy and has a three month old baby boy named Chip.