I love a casual dinner with friends. Especially friends we haven't seen in a while.
We took the opportunity last week to invite a couple over for dinner who we hadn't seen in several months.
Don't let the work of giving a dinner party keep you from it. We put our guests right to work!
The guys grilled the steaks while Sherry and I put together the salad, washed the fruit, cooked a skillet of onions, peppers and mushrooms and made the garlic bread.
Not only is it nice to have help with the meal it gave us time to catch up. I don't know what the guys talked about outside but Sherry and I discussed everything from work to kids and all things in between!
The only prep work I did to get ready for the dinner was to issue the invitation, make a casserole of cheesy potatoes and to set the table.
The food was served buffet style from the kitchen.
An empty dishwasher made clean up a breeze. After the kitchen was finished we finished the evening in the den with coffee and dessert courtesy of Sherry:-)
(BTW One of the reasons we live in Florida is so we can grill outside in January!)
Do you get your guest involved in the kitchen?
I'll leave you with the recipe for a yummy and super easy make ahead dish. Assemble it in the morning or even the night before. Cover and refridgerate until ready to bake.
Serves 4 or 5
4 large baking potatoes
1 large onion
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Peel and thinly slice the potato and the onion.
Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
Layer the potatoes and onion sprinkle with salt and pepper as you go.
Melt the butter in a saucepanEnjoy!
Add the flour cook and stir for 1 minute
Slowly pour in the milk - whisk to keep mixture from forming lumps.
Heat and whisk the white sauce over medium heat until it begins to gently boil. Add the cheese and cook until the cheese melts. Don't over cook or the cheese will be stringy.
Pour the sauce over the potatoes and onions.
Cover the casserole and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Uncover the casserole and continue to cook until the top is brown and the potatoes are tender.