Dinner parties are important to keeping you sane. While hosting duties might seem daunting, it’s not an impossible task when you settle simple steps to creating an effortless party. When there is good friends, alcohol and finger-licking recipes you’ll be planning dinner parties more often. Indulge in a few timeless party accessories and modernize a few adult dinner recipes for a streamlined party that never disappoints.

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No adult dinner party is complete without some adult beverages. If you’ve left the kids at home, you know that the opportunity to indulge in a glass doesn’t come that often. Supply your friends, whom likely have babysitters on the clock, with an array of options.

Wolfgang Puck is creating his 19th menu for the 2013 Academy Awards. In a twitter chat about the highly-anticipated recipes, which is celebrated after each award’s show, he couldn’t praise mini-plates enough. Listen to the fellow – he knows what he’s talking about. Pick a few favorite dishes and turn them into appetizers to be passed around the room, or plated on a table for 4.

Martha Stewart grilled cheese recipe

A menu should ideally be previewed and sent to all attendees prior to the big reveal, to eliminate any concern over allergies or preferences. When planning for an evening entirely composed of adult conversation and interaction, your child’s favorite dish should not be present – but if you’re going to offer a grilled cheese, for example, spice it up with a mayo spread, contemporary cheeses and fresh sourdough bread {recipe via Martha Stewart}.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, ends trimmed, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1/4 cup store-bought fig jam
  • 3/4 pound fontina cheese, sliced
  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced Black Forest ham
  • 8 to 10 fresh figs, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon Rosemary Oil

Directions

  1. Heat a griddle over medium heat.
  2. Spread cut sides of bread with fig jam. On the bottom half of the bread, layer 1/2 the cheese, then the ham, the figs, and the remaining cheese. Enclose with the top half of the bread. Brush with rosemary oil. Place on griddle or in a nonstick skillet, and weight top of sandwich with a heavy skillet or a foil-lined brick. Cook until bottom is golden, about 4 minutes. Flip sandwich over, and repeat with opposite side. Cut crosswise into 6 to 8 pieces; serve immediately

 

Dinner parties need to have a theme to make shopping for party accessories easier. Go rustic with mason jars, simple with chevron or French with champagne. Whatever you decide, party supply stores – or even the Dollar Store – will likely help to inspire.

HGTV dinner party centerpiece

 

Most importantly, centerpieces will touch on both your theme and menu. When serving only adults, it’s important to remember that they aren’t (as) likely to throw temper-tantrums or become distracted by a boutique of ranunculus at a table center. So indulge in that Pottery Barn-inspired landscape for a tablescape that screams “I’m all grown up.”

 

Hosting gifts are still alive & well. We may not act like that traditional ‘50s housewife, but providing guests with a little reminder about their lovely evening is always well received. Whether it’s a simple DIY cork or wine wrap, it’s something to show guests you appreciate their arrival.

 

 

 

 

{header images via, centerpiece}