This Sonoma Chicken Baked Pasta is my go-to entertaining dish. It’s impressive looking, insanely delicious, and doesn’t take hours to prep.
Can we take a minute and talk about entertaining? My husband LOVES to have people over. He loves to meet new people, have good conversations, and just have that warm, social energy in our home. I really do enjoy entertaining but, let’s be honest, the prep work can be daunting and exhausting. Having someone over for dinner requires so much more than just making dinner. Here are a few of the major things on my entertaining to do-list and how I attempt to get it done.
- Clean the house. This probably my number 1 time sucker. And with toddlers around I have to leave it until the very last minute. All my mammas with little ones can back me up when I say that cleaning the house the night before (or even the morning of) you have people over is absolutely worthless. Just one two year old can undo all of that work in 5 minutes flat. That’s why I try to prep all of my food the night before so that I can pop it in the oven and focus on cleaning in that critical hour before.
- Make the meal. To make life a little easier I always pick meals that require little to no prep work OR something that I can prep the beforehand. There is nothing worse than having to do all of the cooking 15 minutes before your guests arrive or while they are there. It leaves you with a messy kitchen and a sink full of dishes. I like to do everything but bake this pasta the night before or even in the morning. That way I can get my house tidied up, my table set, and my children rounded up while it’s in the oven. After that all I have to do is toss a salad and slice my bread.
- Get yourself ready. There have been too many times when I have spent so much time making dinner and sprucing up my house and family that I’m still in sweats and a ponytail when the guests arrive. I have been trying to just get ready first thing. This way, I’m more productive and there is one less thing I have to worry about last minute.
Do you have any tips for cutting down on entertaining stress? Please share! Now, go invite over some good friends, whip up a batch of this pasta, and throw an excellent little dinner party.