Thursday, August 18, 2011

Favorite Dinner Party Recipes

Since we're getting ready to host a little gathering for Peter's 30th birthday, I started thinking about the dinner party recipes that I return to again and again. I really like to experiment and try new recipes, but it's nice to have a few good ole standbys up your sleeve that always turn out great! And if they look and taste like you slaved all day in the kitchen but actually were a snap to put together then so much the better :)

1. Chicken Marbella from The Silver Palate Cookbook:

(image from Simply Recipes)

This recipe calls for prunes which you might think sounds weird and a little disgusting (I did too when I first saw the recipe!), but trust me (a prune-hater), this dish is delicious. It looks very elegant in a serving dish and always gets rave reviews from guests (most of whom also usually hate prunes).

2. Creamy Slow-Cooker Chicken from Southern Living:

(image from Southern Living)

My husband, who thought he hated mushrooms when we first were married, is now a mushroom convert because of this dish :) So, so easy (it uses cream of mushroom soup and a slow-cooker) and so, so yummy. It's especially nice in the winter - pure comfort food! Pair it with Roasted Vegetables and Rice as seen in the picture and you have instant dinner party fare :)

3. Shrimp Casserole from Southern Living:

(image from Southern Living)

There is also a chicken version of this recipe if you don't like shrimp (which I have also tried), but I think that the shrimp version is a little tastier. What's super great about this recipe is that you can make it ahead and freeze it if you won't have much time to prepare before company comes, and it's just as delicious as if you made it right then! People also tend to get very excited when you serve them shrimp :) I'm not sure why (except that it's very tasty!), but shrimp seems to be a sure winner at dinner parties!

(image from Google)
This is hands-down my husband's favorite dish :) This is the dish that he requests for every birthday (in fact, this is what I'll be making for his party in a few weeks!). You do have to make it right before guests arrive because the asparagus tends to become very wilted if you make it ahead, but it's a crowd pleaser and simple to make. Pair with a salad, garlic green beans, garlic bread (we like garlic in my house!), and white wine and life is good :)

5. World's Best Lasagna from AllRecipes:

(image from AllRecipes)

Who doesn't like lasagna? And this is the best lasagna recipe I've ever tried (and I've tried many, my friends!). This does require making your own sauce which takes a couple of hours to simmer, but it's worth it. This also feeds about a thousand people so it's great if you're having a big shindig :)

Peter and I love hosting friends and family for dinner so I'm always on the lookout for the next, great dinner party recipe. What are your fave recipes to serve to company?