This post is brought to you by Bertolli. Don’t just eat, Mangia!
Mangia is my new favorite word!
It is Italian for “so eat!” but it is so more than that.
Mangia is a way of life!
Mangia moments are often spontaneous and lively, like when you have an impromptu party for your friends and it ends up being the gathering you talk about for years afterwards.
The problem arises when you want to have people over for a meal but you catch yourself before you dash off a group text because the idea of decorating your home and then making a meal becomes overwhelming!
As someone who has been throwing dinner parties almost every weekend for years, I can assure you that the only thing people care about when coming over to someone’s house is the simple action of connecting with other people. It simply doesn’t matter if your home is messy, or you don’t have a gorgeous bouquet in the middle of your dining room table, or that your food isn’t gourmet.
The only thing that matters to people is enjoying one another’s company. Good friends and great conversation are the only things you need to have a fabulous party! And that is really what mangia is all about.
Of course knowing that in your head is different from feeling it in your heart.
So if you are dying to have a gathering of your friends over but you are scared that it will be too much work, then these four tips will give you the comfort of knowing exactly how to effortlessly throw a dinner party for your chums!
Get The Word Out
Begin by sending a text out to your friends to join you for dinner at your house with a time they should arrive. Be prepared for people to ask what they can bring to the shindig and have an answer for them so you aren’t caught off guard; I usually have my guests bring a dessert or alcohol.
At first I felt bad for telling people what they should bring, but then I realized that people genuinely want to participate in the party and it makes them feel good to bring something for everyone to share.
Purchase Your Supplies
Next it is time to run to the grocery store.
When it comes to impromptu dinner parties, I have three words for you: Bertolli skillet meal.
These are by far the easiest way to cook dinner without the stress of wondering if people will like it because Bertolli has taken all of the guesswork out of making a meal! All you have to do is pour the contents out of the bag into a large skillet and warm it up.
It is just that easy!
My favorite part, besides eating it, is the garlicky savory aroma that wafts through your house and hits your guests noses as they walk through the door! Talk about a perfect way to get their mouth watering!
Grab a few bags of Bertolli Chicken Florentine and Farfalle along with a bag of salad, a round of brie cheese, and a French baguette. I also suggest picking up a few bottles of wine and some beer, but that is up to you.
Meanwhile, snag a few things to decorate your table.
I am a big fan of using fresh fruit in my tablescapes, and lemons are almost always easy to find and fairly inexpensive. So grab a bunch of lemons and throw them into your grocery cart.
Create Your Tablescape
Once you have unloaded and put away your groceries, it is time to set the table.
I like using branches from my garden as a base for my decor, but you can also use any of the plain greenery found in the flower department of your supermarket. Then I add a few candles and scatter the lemons amongst the branches. I find this to be the easiest but gorgeously elegant way to add beauty to my dining room table.
Once the tablescape is finished, go ahead and set your table. I like to have each guest have a setting already on the table, but you could just as easily stack your dinner plates, napkins, and silverware at the beginning of a buffet for a more casual get-together.
Time To Prepare The Feast
An hour before your guests arrive, pull the brie out of the oven. Cheese tastes much better at room temperature, therefore now is the perfect time to let it warm up.
Thirty minutes before the party starts, you can cut the baguette into slices and toast them with a little olive oil in the oven. If that is too much work, simply leave the bread untoasted, or simply use crackers.
Next, make your salad, but don’t add the dressing quite yet.
Finish by pouring yourself a drink and wait for the doorbell to ring!
After a few of your guests have been greeted, set them to work in the kitchen. That’s right, put your guests to work! I am a big believer in getting everyone working in the kitchen because it creates a camaraderie and instantly relaxes everyone because it gives them something to do instead of standing around watching you work!
Have one person stir the Bertolli Chicken Florentine and Farfalle and let another person toss the salad with the dressing. The rest can pour drinks and begin to tuck into the brie!
When dinner is ready, you can either serve family style or buffet style, it simply depends on how much room you have at your table.
As you can see, by utilizing a few items from your grocery store and letting Bertolli do the hard work of creating a main course, you can easily throw together an effortless dinner party for your friends in only a few hours!
Now don’t just eat! Mangia!