Entertaining Ideas
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Newlywed & first dinner party

Hi Ladies!

 I am new to the nest, just moved over from the knot actually. Hoping you might be able to help me a little. My husband and I just got married Saturday, and are hosting some of our bridal party for a thank you dinner party. The couple that is coming over are our closest couple friends, and I feel like I owe them a special dinner. We spent all summer getting together cookout style, or potluck style, and most times it was thrown together last minute and very casual. I was hoping for some ideas on menu options. I was thinking lasagna, but does someone have a special recipe? I can throw together anything, I was really just hoping for something a bit not every day.

Any suggestions for dinner or apps would be appreciated! Thank you! 

Wedding Countdown Ticker

Re: Newlywed & first dinner party

  • What do they enjoy? Are there any diet restrictions? Are you hosting just the meal or are you also looking for apps for beforehand?
  • Only restriction is no mushrooms. They aren't too picky, although they are having mexican the night before, so I don't want anything along those lines. I am also looking for apps. TIA!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'll be honest that lasagna doesn't scream "special" to me.  A seafood lasagna would be more special, but I'd probably find something else.  I usually say go with what you know and package it in a special way- pull out the china, use your silver and a nice table cloth, play some music.  You could also do it in several courses- soup, salad, main.

    It might help to know if there are likes/dislikes/restrictions.  Also what you are comfortable making. 

  • What a nice thing for you to do! :)

     For an app I think it would be fun to do a small antipasto platter and a grilled caesar salad (or caesar salad skewers are cute)

    Then make your favorite lasagna, serve with bread/wine and make a nice dessert.

    Sounds lovely to me. :)

  • I don't know if fish is something you'd consider. I make this amazing Halibut or Salmon with pea puree. It's sooooooo easy to make but feels very special.

    For an appetizer my onion cheese loaf is the bomb!! There is never, I repeat never a crumb left...

    Also if this is a "thank you" dinner you might light my favors that I make for special occasions. They're "breakfast in a box" for your guests to take home. If you make these, dinner won't matter. ;) Super easy and economical too.

    breakfast in a box 

  • Welcome :)  So happy to have you over here!

    I agree with 6 that lasagna doesn't seem particularly special...but that's probably because the only time I eat it is Stauffer's out of the microwave :P  For your first dinner party, the most important thing is to make recipes you're comfortable with, so if you're famous for your lasagna, by all means make it.

    If I were doing a special thank you meal for 4, I'd do a roast, scalloped potatoes, broccoli, carrots (one or two), and rolls.  For dessert, maybe a raspberry-almond-chocolate torte.

  • I did lasagna for a dinner party last fall. It's not the most "special" meal ever, but it's fancier than burgers on the grill. My H and I both really love lasagna, so even if it's not the most fancy meal ever, it's a favorite for us and we enjoy it every time. Plus it's super easy for a party because you make it ahead of time (I usually assemble the night before) and just stick it in the oven the day of the party.

    You can make it feel more "special" with appetizers, a fancy salad and some nice artisan bread.

    I tried this seafood lasagna recipe for my dinner party. It was really good. I also made a traditional lasagna with meat sauce since a couple of my guests were people who don't like seafood. I have a standard lasagna recipe that I make, but it's sort of a mix of several other recipes and I don't have it written down.

    I made cheesecake for dessert with my lasagna meal. My favorite cheesecake recipe is this one from Real Simple, it's so yummy and creamy. It's easy to make but looks really pretty. Sometimes I substitute raspberry preserves instead of the cherry for the topping. And a few times I've substituted graham cracker crumbs if I don't have gingersnaps on hand for the crust.

    Mr. Sammy Dog
  • One meal I saw on Semi-Homemade that I have been wanting to make for a dinner party is something along these lines.

    A piece of fish (tilapia or other light, white fish, I personally think salmon could taste good too) is spread with a store bought spinach artichoke dip on one side.  Then it is rolled up and set in a oven safe dish standing up (the hole at the top).  Then bake for like 15-20 in 350 oven.  Also, before baking she squeezed half a lemon and sprinkled with fresh herbs. You could make a rice pilaf and veggies for the side dishes. 

    Tha'ts not the exact recipe but I am pretty sure it is on food network.com.  I am also thinking you could do it with chicken too, if no one loves fish.

    For apps I always do a type of bruschetta.  It's really easy and you can even have the bread plain with a few different toppings and people make their own.  Good Luck and congrats newlywed!

  • I plan on preparing a dinner party for six next week ... I think I'm going to make this roast chicken with Dijon sauce for dinner, and possibly this chocolate overdose cake for dessert. Sides will probably be mashed potatoes and then roasted carrots and roasted green beans with garlic slices.

    I have stuffed mushrooms in mind for an appetizer, but you could easily swap in some zucchini for the mushrooms. Just cut it into little wheels like this, use a spoon to hollow out the middles, and use the scraps in the recipe just like it calls for with the mushroom stems.

    And hopefully I will be able to make fresh dinner rolls with garlic herb butter. I have some small rammekins and I'd like to pipe the butter into them for a nicer presentation. Like a PP said, tablecloths and nice china/flatware will make a big difference.

  • I agree with pps that you should definitely work with recipes that you are comfortable with--you don't want the added stress of new recipes that may not work the way you anticipate. If a lasagna is that, then go for it!  You could do a nice salad, some homemade bread, and a tiramisu for dessert.  I think it sounds wonderful!
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