Hubby and I don’t host dinner parties as such. I had always thought a dinner party was something that “older” people did. Never mind that I am getting “older” of course as I still think I’m 21 in my head. Despite not holding dinner parties, we do like to have friends over for dinner and drinks, so it’s the same thing right? We just refer to it differently.
I love cooking, and am always experimenting in the kitchen, but when friends come round, I don’t want to spend all evening in the kitchen, I want to be enjoying my time with everyone, so I try to cook dishes that can be prepared in advance so I can spend time with my friends.
When our guests arrive, I always like to have something on the table for them to nibble on. We’ve been trying out some snacks from Ardens recently, and they are the perfect addition to my dinner party table.
There is something to suit everyone, with flavours such as garlic and parsley swirls, tomato and basil twists, spinach and gruyere twists, green and black olive twists, cream cheese and spring onion melts, goats cheese and black pepper bites, and pesto bakes.
Perfect with dips, soups or on their own, the layers of all butter puff pastry make these snacks not the healthiest, but they are definitely very tasty with a hint of luxury to them.
My personal favourites from the range have been the spinach and gruyere twists and the goats cheese and black pepper bites. A box doesn’t stay full for long when they have been opened.
I wondered whether to serve soup as my dinner party starter to accompany the snacks, but I decided to leave them to be nibbled on through the evening, and went with salmon fishcakes for my starter. I was able to prepare them in advance and they only needed warming through before serving.
For my main dish, I chose a curry because I could prepare it in advance and it just needed to be heated up and served with rice.
Dessert is always something we all wish we wanted, but often we’re full from the two courses, so I usually make a cake, or brownies that can be served with ice cream if anyone wants them. It also makes for a good “doggy bag” for my friends to take away with them for another time.
Having good company is the key to a great night with friends. Food doesn’t have to be too complicated or fancy to make the night a success.
Occasionally we will all pick a course each to bring to the table. This is fun as we don’t know what we’re going to end up eating so it can cause giggles when we eat a variety of different flavours, but it’s half the fun of getting everyone together.
Do you spend time eating with friends?
Disclosure – we received the snacks free of charge but all opinions are our own