Hosting for Lazy People
Sundays should be for sleeping in, mindless TV and waiting for that inevitable evening sadness to set in realising that yet another weekend is gone. Sometimes though, you have Sunday plans and for me this past Sunday meant hosting a couple of friends for lunch. I know hosting is one of those things that sends people into hyperventilation so they steer clear of it. Personally, hosting has always been a fun thing for me. I realise I am alone in this though! However, I guarantee you that hosting can be easy on the pocket and relatively stress free for you. Here are a couple of tips.
Keep it simple
Previously, I have done over the top menus before and while they’ve been a hit I ended up insanely exhausted at the end of those days. If you have a small group (i.e. less than 10), a starch, a protein and vegetables is enough. The less you do, the more you can do to make it brilliant. Here’s my super quick, super easy chicken.
Do your prep the night before
This should really be number 1 because it’s how I stay sane. I always make sure almost everything can be done the night before. For this lunch, I marinated the chicken the night before and left it in the fridge taking it out an hour before throwing it in the oven. A great tip for marinating chicken is to do it in a bag so all the juices stay in the chicken. If you do it in a dish, the marinade tends to settle at the bottom and you don’t want that. I paired the chicken with potatoes which I had peeled and left in water the night before as well. All I had to do the next day was make the salad which is really a salad for dummies! 🙂
Timing is everything
This is the most hectic thing about cooking for me. People are never on time and you don’t want to reheat food right? Also, you don’t want to keep your guests waiting all day for food! So how do you play it safe? Here’s what I usually do. My roast chicken takes about 35-45 mins to cook. So if I said lunch is at 2pm, I put it in the oven at 2pm. Because it only takes 35 minutes to cook, even if my guests arrive on time, they can have drinks while it cooks. If they’re a little late, they’ll get it just as it comes out of the oven. Potatoes (of any kind) I always do last because you want these piping hot. The salad has always been in the fridge since morning so that doesn’t need any work. Basically, try and time everything as close to arrival as you possibly can.
Any hosting tips that work for you? Drop a line in the comments below!