I’m hosting a dinner party in a few weeks time and let me tell you, this isn’t something I take lightly. I’m a massive foodie, and because of that, I want my friends to love everything as much as I do.
With this in mind, I’ve been trying to work out how I combine some of my all-time favorite meals with a bit of tender loving care to make sure they’re up to dinner party standards. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. I’m a big fan of dinner parties requiring minimal time away from guests, and therefore meals that can be prepared before and in the main, just need popping in the oven.
So, it’s a tricky decision, but I’ve been doing my research; traipsing through tonnes of recipe sites and magazines hoping that something would scream out in deliciousness to me. The good news is, I have now narrowed down some ideas. The interesting part of these winning choices is that I’m taking the idea of adding a new twist to an old favorite of mine. I got the idea from some of the Kraft recipes which have somehow combined some of the most recognised and tasty recipes handed down for generations, with a fresh look and taste. Let me give you an example… I mean, have you heard of a shepherds pie with sour cream and ketchup? You have now, and it’s going to knock your socks off!
Another I found recently was an old recipe with a twist, but more in the low-fat sense – a fettuccine carbonara with a face-lift in the form of calorie-cutting (which let’s face it, is never a bad thing). This adapted version of a much loved Italian classic now contains fat-free milk, ham instead of bacon and Philadelphia as an alternative to the painfully-rich cheese sauce… yes I know it’s delicious, but honestly, this is pretty darn tasty too.
Apparently, this can save a whopping 80 calories and 16 grams of fat per serving – all thanks to a bit of ham and Philadelphia! Come on… it’s a pretty impressive swap. But if low fat isn’t what you’re going for, then perhaps you could try playing around with your favorite recipes to see what works. You know, break them down, mix up ingredients and see what you come up with.
A great source of new twists on old favorites is Pinterest, which has a veritable smorgasbord of awesome ideas. Mashed sweet potato casserole (with marshmallow gravy and pecans) looks like a real corker, while the Lasagna Cups from Lauren’s Latest are perfect dinner party treats; mini dishes the size of cupcakes. An ingenious take on a classic.
Another brilliant twist on lasagna is a chicken and broccoli version. You got it… no mince, no tomato sauce… just cheese sauce goodness, chicken, onion and broccoli layered up exactly the same as a classic lasagna. It’s beyond delicious and I can’t recommend it enough. I’m not sure this has helped me decide which dinner party recipe to vote for because now I just fancy them all… but one thing is for sure, all this chat has certainly made me hungry. Have you got any other out-of-this-world suggestions you think I should try?