As a pastor's wife, I find myself often inviting people from either our church or the community over for dinner. Not only do we like the time of conversation and getting to know others, but we also like the benefits of teaching our children to mind their manners and be polite to our dinner guests. (And having the house clean for company is definitely a benefit the day after, but it seems to add to my stress level the day of!)
Anyway, I thought I'd share a simple, fairly mess-free dinner menu. Be aware this will not win any awards for the cheapest or most home-style meal. But hopefully it will encourage you to invite your friends over to dinner, and reduce your stress level while doing so.
1. Barbeque Chicken--Use whatever marinade you like on your chicken. Plain old BBQ sauce will do fine, if you don't want to be creative. (Although as we just finished with maple syrup season up here, my husband made a marinade using sap water. It turned out really yummy!)
Here's a hint: boil your chicken until it's mostly cooked a couple of hours before throwing it on the grill. Then just grill it for fifteen minutes or so. This prevents your chicken from getting that dried-out, over-grilled toughness.
2. Cheesy Potato Casserole--As I can't claim authorship of this wonderful recipe, I'll give you the link here. This is a simple, tasteful recipe. You can make it several hours ahead of time and leave it in the fridge until ready to pop into the oven. And I dirty one bowl (plus the pan I put the potatoes in) while making it. I don't know about you, but I'm always game for a mess-free recipe.
3. Salad--Now this can be as elaborate or simple as you want. You could go all out with veggies from your own garden during the right time of year, and your own homemade dressing. As for me, I go for the bagged salad from the store. It's simple, and you don't have a mess.
4. Biscuits--Again, this can be as elaborate or simple as you want. Personally, I buy the Grands biscuits from the store and pop them in the oven. But if you want to make from scratch, feel free to do that as well.
5. Dessert--I try to keep this simple, too., and I usually opt for the Easy Peanut Butter Pie recipe I shared last month. Oftentimes my dinner guests will ask if I want them to bring anything to the meal, and when they ask, I usually suggest they bring a dessert. Then I don't have to worry about preparing something sweet, and I can coordinate the rest of the meal to fit together.
So there you have it: A simple dinner menu for entertaining guests. Now I'm curious to know if any of you have your own dinner-guest tricks you'd like to share. Or maybe someone has that perfect, simple recipe for homemade biscuits?