I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for InnovAsian Cuisine. I received coupons for Lemon Grass Kitchen frozen meals to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Chris and I love to host our friends and family for dinner. We try to make it a point to get together once a month, set out a few bottles of wine and enjoy each other’s company. Many times, though, this can get stressful. Normally, we have kids running around, food going in the oven too soon or too late or a number of other issues that seem to pop up out of no where…like the A/C being broken!! Since I am close to 8 months pregnant, there is no way that I want to stress out over every detail of throwing a dinner party, but I don’t want to turn into a hermit, either! I have enough stress in my life, so I made Chris promise me that from here on out, we would be throwing stress free dinner parties. But what exactly is a stress free dinner party?
1o Tips To Throw A Stress Free Dinner Party
- Pick Good Company: Your company is the most important part of a great and stress free dinner party. Choose friends who have dined together in the past, and who have chemistry. It may not be a good idea to “test out” new friends during a dinner party. The intimacy may be a bit awkward for some. Save that for the bowling alley!
- Ask For Help: Since you’ve already picked great company, ask them to help out! Dinner parties can be team efforts. Ask your guests to bring a side dish, dessert or a bottle of wine to enjoy together. If you have enough guests joining, you may only be responsible for the main dish!
- Stick With Simple: Don’t go out on a limb trying to cook something crazy that you’ve never attempted. If your dish doesn’t turn out the way you expected, you will only stress more. Stick with a dish that you have tried in the past, one that doesn’t require many steps and one that you can rely on.
- Cook Smart: Do you have an item that can be made ahead of time? Even the day before? Foods like mashed potatoes or even most desserts can be made and stored ahead of time. Cut yourself some slack and spread the food prep over time.
- Be Ready For Anything: And I mean anything! Like someone dropping in unexpectedly because they were in the area. It has happened! Always have a back up plan. Power outage? Make sure you have propane, fire up the grill and light some candles! Unexpected guest? Make sure you have enough food from the get go!
- Clean As You Go: This is the most stressful part for me! I love a clean kitchen and I can hardly breathe if it’s in disarray. Start with an empty dishwasher and empty sink. Have cleaning supplies ready to go on the counter top. Put cookware and dishes straight in the dishwasher and be ready to clean spills and crumbs as they happen.
- Take Shortcuts: While it might be nice to hand make everything, it’s just not practical. Cut corners where you can. Purchase pastries and other desserts ahead of time. There are many side dishes and even meals that are prepackaged that are just as wonderful as homemade. Take advantage of the shortcuts where you can!
- Set The Mood: Turn off the TV (unless it’s football season!), turn on some light music and light some candles. A calm mood will help with your stress level and will create a sense of peace in your home. Even if the kids are running around making noise, the atmosphere will be much calmer with the right mood set.
- Limit Appetizers: Don’t let your guests eat too much ahead of time. Serve light appetizers like cheese and crackers and shrimp cocktail. If your guests eat too much before the main meal is served, whatever time you put in to the dinner course will be wasted due to their already full stomachs!
- Be Able To Laugh At Yourself: Don’t take yourself so seriously! Things happen! Food burns, wine spills and dessert gets dropped. Learn to laugh at yourself. Chances are, your guests don’t mind…especially since you just proved that you are human, after all!
Going back to the fact that I am 8 months pregnant, these tips are my guideline to follow any time we have guests. Since Chris was a sous’ chef, it’s hard to get him in the same stress free mindset. I love to take shortcuts in the kitchen, where he definitely doesn’t. Since it’s football season, I just turn on our big screen and tell him to get him out of my way! While preparing for our next dinner party, Chris and I tried out the InnovAsian Lemon Grass Kitchen Meals. Let me just tell you, they are really good! I am totally confident in their ability to present as both a side dish and a main course during our next party. Lemon Grass Kitchen is one of the first Thai style frozen food lines, created by renowned chef Mai Pham. The Thai-Style Chicken Fried Rice is excellent and makes the perfect side dish. The Chicken Pad Thai is the perfect main course. Not only are the Lemon Grass Kitchen Meals incredibly easy, they can also be customized by adding additional fresh ingredients and other flavor boosters. Your guests will never know it came from the freezer, and you can literally rest easy!
InnovAsian Lemon Grass Kitchen Meals are so simple to prepare, the suggested cooking method is in the microwave! All you need to do is place the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, cover with vented plastic wrap and press the start button. In about 6 minutes you will have perfect Chicken Fried Rice and Chicken Pad Thai! The meals are made with high quality ingredients and no MSG or transfat! Get stocked up for your next dinner party by visiting your local Walmart or Safeway and using this coupons.com coupon for $1.50 off your InnovAsian Lemon Grass Kitchen Meals purchase! Be sure that you are following them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest product news and information!
What tips do you have for throwing a stress free dinner party?