I have become the event planner of my friends' lives. Not that I mind really, as I am a meeting planner in the "real world". However, most people may not know that the two are VERY different. I never would have thought of myself as good at throwing parties, but I have found that they only way to survive 25 people coming over your house is preparation.
This weekend I held a surprise birthday party for one of my very dear friends on a Friday night. Of course I nominated myself to fix some appetizers and a dessert, not expecting myself to catch a cold the day before the party, or considering that I had to work all day right before the party. For Saturday events it is very easy to cook before the party; however on a Friday you have work all day, last minute cleaning of your apartment AND cooking! So I knew the only way I could truly have the energy to facilitate a party on a Friday night was to prepare most of the food the night before.
Of course, I scoured the internet in search of aps that I could prepare the day before. I usually take a few ideas and then mix it up to make my own dishes. What I finally decided on was a fruit tray with Romanoff Sauce, spinach and artichoke dip, Italian turkey meatballs, and Paula Dean's Pumpkin Ooey-Gooey Butter Bars. [recipes for the first three to come!] I loved all of these recipes because I could mix them up and have them ready for reheating the next day. For example, I sauteed the meatballs, put them in a Tupperware container with a paper towel to sop up the grease, and refrigerated overnight. The next day I just had to put them in a crock pot for reheating and I was good to go! The same was true for the dip. I mixed up the ingredients, covered with aluminum foil, and wrote on the foil the time and temp for cooking. This made the prep before the party very fast and easy; which was nice since I needed a quick nap after work to fend off my head cold.
Thus, anyone can throw a weeknight party!...Even with a cold. Be on the look out because I'll put some of my recipes up in the next few days.