Thoughts and recipes for easier socialising. If you are anything like me, you feel a bit overwhelmed and stressed by the pure thought of having 4 or more people over to your home and “having to” cater for them. Yes – no?
If “no”, I admire you but still invite you to keep reading for some easy recipe ideas for your next get- together.
If “yes” fear no more. I share some thoughts and quick recipes to make it all easier and less stressful.
This week I take you away from a general Wellness topic. Instead, I share a practical hands-on approach relating to Social Wellness. As mentioned in the previous blog, the main part of Social Wellness means to be connected with others and at times that may include invites for a coffee & cake, brunches, picnics, lunches or dinners.
Socialising is about having a good time with friends
In the past, I often thought I need to have it all together; plate a big “buffet style” to have something for everybody. Over the years all this simplified.
Partly because I realised how stressed I got and partly – or perhaps that is the main reason – because I realised it’s simply not needed. I attended other brunches/lunches/dinners and loved and admired how easy and simple they often kept it.
They had it worked out – it was more about the company than plating a lot of dishes.
And simplicity often goes a long way there. If the thought of having to cater for a larger group overwhelms you it helps as well to share the preparation. Yes, lunches, picnics, dinners are often hosted by one person but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Others are always happy to jump in to help. Nobody seems to hesitate to bring starters, mains or desserts if you ask.
I’m loving that, whether I attend or hold a get-together at my place! Not only does the sharing relieve the stress of having to organise it all, but over the years I came across some great dishes that inspired me to cook something else – or to buy (yet another) cooking book.
And just recently I have been at a dinner get-together with around 14 adults and even more kids. My nightmare of entertaining, believe me! But it was such a lovely evening where everybody brought something. And the host had prepped a few ingredients for recipes but we then all jumped in to cut, bake, fry and finish it all up. It was such a great vibe and while it was busy and crowded in the kitchen it was simply lovely.
Why I am sharing this? Just to let you know that you do not always have to have it all together and plan and prepare it all by yourself. Sharing is caring after all, isn’t it?
Let me finish this up by sharing a few quick dishes. I found them helpful when either hosting or being invited. Just in case you are looking for inspiration.
- Rice Salad – great for any kind of get-together. I like the one I found in Jamie Oliver’s Book The Ministry of Food.
- Pasta Salad – how about keeping this one really simple and make a Pesto Pasta salad. In a hurry, go with a jar bought pesto, tune it up with some small sliced dried tomatoes and fresh parmesan cheese on top. Or make your own pesto. Here is a great recipe. You can as well play around with different pesto varieties, like Kale Lemon Pesto.
- Tabbouleh salad or Greek Salad or a great go-to too. Or simply toss salads leaves together with chopped peppers, cucumber, onions, snow peas topped with oil and balsamic and perhaps some sunflower seed? And you are ready to go.
- Now and then I come across red bean or mixed green salads. They are always so tasty and since the main ingredients, the beans, come out of tins it must be rather easy and quick to toss it all together. I still have to try a recipe myself though. So no recipe link for this one.
Warm and cold recipes
Most of the following recipes work well warm and cold, making them easy for home and outside entertainment.
- I don’t know anybody who will say no to pizza. And the variations are endless. Just think of margarita with just tomato sauce and cheese as a base and very kids friendly. Or a variation of other toppings like salami, ham, olives, feta cheese, jalapeño, chilli, spinach, peppers and so on. Oh, I am getting hungry here!
- Meatballs often can come in handy, too as they work well warm and cold. The recipe I share is Chicken meatballs with Teriyaki Sauce.
- Chili Con Carne. Serve it together with salad and some garlic bread. And you are set. It’s a cold and rainy day here today and Chili Con Carne will be on our table tonight.
- I recently got into Sheet Pan dishes. They are often easy to prep and then they can nicely cook away while you have time to have a chat with your visitors. A great book for those is Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert. And if you cook in colder weather you have the benefit of getting a warm kitchen on top!
No time to cook, think you can’t cook? Then don’t fret, a platter with some cold-cuts, cheese, veggy sticks and a dip, served with crackers and bread will do the trick, too!
Cake and Muffins
Oh desserts, my big weakness. While I’m happy to just eat some chocolate I barely say no to anything sweet that is being served. Having said that, I am not the most creative person when it comes to dessert and often stick to cakes or muffins. Let me quickly share some of my favourites:
But even a platter of fruits, fruit salads or fruit sticks makes great desserts. Oh, and did I mention chocolate?
I hope this post helps you to stress-less when you think about entertaining friends at home or being invited to a pot-luck lunch or -dinner.
Remember, you don’t have to do it all alone, and recipes don’t have to be complicated to be tasty! Keep it as simple as possible and focus on having a good time!
I always love to see what others are doing and bringing. So, if you have an easy recipe that works well for you for any socializing then please post it in the comments! Thank you!
I will be back next week where I will look into the Physical Wellness, will you join me? You can as well follow me here on the page to not miss out on any new upcoming blogs. Simply sign up on the left.
See you back here soon,