An Impromptu Dinner Party

A table setting for dinner.

Some of the best dinners I can remember were never planned—they just happened!

In the summer, we eat in the backyard where we can see our neighbors.  We are usually heating up the grill and chat about what we’re having. More often than not, we end up eating together.

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It starts with a conversation and turns into something more—a gathering that’s simple, warm and memorable. Since it’s a relaxed setting, everyone pitches in so I don’t have to monitor the table. Guests refill their own drinks and we have a sense of intimacy because we have done something comfortable. It’s more about sharing what you have vs. preparing anything formal.

After you have others over for a casual meal, a warm feeling comes over you. You think, “I’m really glad we did this”, My husband might say to me, “What a nice evening” and the neighbors call the next morning saying how much they enjoyed dinner.  It’s just a sense of fulfillment sharing an evening at the table with others.  

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Want to make sure you’re prepared for your own impromptu dinner party? A well-stocked pantry is always helpful, but here are a few other simple tips:

Keep it simple.

A dinner consists of three things—at the most, an appetizer, main course and dessert. The easier it is, the better.

Appetizer

It’s always nice to have salsa and chips in the pantry. Sometimes we can get a bit fancier with hummus or a cheese platter thrown together with the things we stock in the fridge. Creativity with vegetables, like slicing carrots in a fun way, celery curls, etc. make it so easy to throw together a great appetizer platter that can even suffice for dinner.

Dinner

I buy a pack of Chicken breasts, divide them in parcels of 4, pour in some marinade and throw them in the freezer.  If the need arises, I can thaw them in tepid water within an hour. A grilled chicken breast over a salad is an awesome summer dinner. 

Pasta is another essential to my summer impromptu dinners. With the produce from the garden, it’s so easy to throw together a dinner pasta that looks so casually elegant, no one would even suspect that you didn’t plan it.

Dessert

When I make cookies, I prepare a cookie sheet or two and instead of popping it into the oven, I put it into the freezer for an hour. Once the dough is frozen, I store it in plastic bags. It’s so easy to take out frozen cookies and bake them and it’s a delicious treat.IMG_5788IMG_6665

An Impromptu Dinner Party

8 Comments

  • Renz says:

    I love those types of dinners. Impromptu and just good times. Thanks for the tips. I usually do the chicken part. I always have portions of chickens in freezer seasoned already. The dessert I def need to do that. I usually have to run out or tell someone to grab something

  • I love spontaneous dinner parties. It is wild that sometimes you can come up with great recipes from what is in your pantry and fridge at the time.

  • Scott says:

    I’m never that prepared. Fortunately there are plenty of restaurants nearby in case it happens to us!

  • Tamara says:

    Impromptu dinner parties are always so special. And it’s nice to think that they’re possible at the drop of a hat with just a little prep.

  • Katie says:

    I agree! Those are the best kind of dinners! That is really great that you have neighbors that you enjoy spending your time with. Not all of us are that lucky.

  • I love unexpected dinner parties. It is awesome want you can come up with by just looking.

  • Milena says:

    I always make sure that I have something in the house to throw together a quick gathering. Those are the best types of meals- unplanned and comfortable!

  • Stacey says:

    Such a lovely time! I wish I was you neighbor. You are so right about how much fun, relaxed, and enjoyable an impromptu dinner party can be. The only expectation is that it is a shared time. Having a few staples on hand plus fresh produce is a must.

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