Monday, 23 March 2009

012. Guide to hosting a dinner for dummies

In an attempt to make myself look and feel more like a useful person and able woman. I decided quite a while ago actually that I should cook!
Not the usual "cooking" in Lisa´s term, meaning throwing some frozen food in the oven and wait 45 minutes, and ta-dah! "Dinner"

*in case you have yet to notice, cooking is not my forte. Eating is :)

Anyways, that was yesterday. So, guess who my poor victim was? 

I look horrifying! This is an example, of a picture taken from someone who doesnt know MY angles well enough.

Anyhow, here is my guide on making dinner. :)
  • Pick your guests.
I think this is key. Usually, pick guys. The boyf. if you must, as then you know your almost save with whatever you serve :). Moreover, dudes seem to eat almost anything. And because you put "so much effort" into it, even if you might have accidentally spilt way too much salt on your potatoes, you will not hear them complain and still see a happy face.

  • Prepare a menu plan.
Do not over achieve. Do not plan to make some fondant, or soufflé, or some lobster bisque. Leave that to professionals. Aim where you might achieve. For my level, frozen food or simply over a pot of boiling water. I was going to try and make some (insert hard to pronounce seafood dish) but after reading the recipe, I realized I do not know half of what goes into it. Make something you have made before. Never try to flambe! Lesson learnt a while ago. Fire in the kitchen and a totally sensitive fire alarm is definitely a no-no.

  • Buy ingredients
Buy some fresh ingredients, so you keep with the whole "being able to cook theory". Buy a little more then you need, as there might be a slight chance you would mess something up, like boiling carrots. 

  • Set the mood and atmosphere.
I believe table setting is almost as vital as the food, place loads of serviettes and arrange plates so they look good. Serve most food on a white plate, somehow everything taste a little better on white plates. Candles! candles! and more candles! Put on Jack Johnson for a nice slow and mellow feel too.

  • Prepare the ingredients before guest arrives
I found out that this was actually rather important, as when cooking with pungent items such as garlic and onions, you might want to take a shower after that. So, chop up all those things before hand and when guest arrives, you just need to throw it all in a pan and dinner is ready. This is also the perfect time to mess around and take "artistic" pictures of things. :) 

  • Prepare wine just to get the guest drunk and distracted if the food turns out bad
Wine and food, goes together like Chanel and her Little Black Dress. Find a wine with the right amount of alcohol content, in this case about 14% so the guest might get slightly tipsy, but not totally drunk and knocked out. Then all your effort would have just gone to the waste.

  • Make the food
It is important to remember not to assume that just because other people have salt shakers that only exerts a small amount of salt, that yours would happen to work the same way. Do not tilt half a box of salt into the potatoes!, also do not assume that just because your dried chillies are smaller then you think, you should put in 5 times the recipe. So, yesterday I made some "Salty" Roasted Potatoes :), Fettucini with Garlic, Chillies and Onions and Boiled Vegetable (which in my world, counts as cooking!)

Pretty good stuff, and dead easy to make!
  • Prepare back-ups
Incase your an utter hopeless at this, you might want to prepare back ups. In other words, bring out your defenses! In my case, frozen food from the box. :) In Norway, Findus. They actually make quite decent food if you ask me. 
  • Prepare conversation topics
If needed, I suppose one could prepare a conversation topics, but usually for me. I think the juices flow quite enough as it is. Preparing any more would be pretentious and unnecessary. 

  • Last but most definitely not least!
Put on your prettiest smile and the most cutest dress you can find, so if needed there are more ways to distract the guest from the food. Use your assets as they like calling it. Smile! ;)
There could be no way to resist that now.

Ultimately, it is all about having loads of fun. This is where the point #1 comes into play. So, have a great time, and everything would be smooth sailing. Until the guest leaves, and then the cleaning up ... Oh happy thoughts Lisa, happy thoughts. :) 

*I skipped school today. Wasnt in the mood at all. Instead I did 3 Physics labs. Oh the joy.

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