My Six Favorite Dinner Party Themes

photo by: alicia lund

I am the biggest sucker for a good dinner party with friends or family. Having guests over for dinner is something that I enjoy more than anything, but I also know it's not everyone's favorite. I have friends that have a nervous breakdown at the thought of having to throw a dinner party at their house. So, hopefully these ideas will help inspire you for your next party! Sometimes the less extravagant, the better.

1. Around the World Potluck: Hate cooking? Go potluck style! This is such a fun way to let everyone bring their favorite dish (my go-to is Shepherd's Pie thanks to my English heritage). Just make sure to divy it up: salads, appetizers, entrees, dessert.

Playlist options: Jazz or bossa nova

2. Taco Bar: This is my go-to! It's affordable if you are the full host and EVERYONE can eat. I also love this idea because you have healthier options. I always chop extra lettuce for those that want to make a salad, and also do a side of tempeh and extra avo for those that are vegan or dairy-free.

Playlist options: Buena Vista Social Club or Stan Getz station 

3. Pizza Night (perfect for kids): This is another one we do often. I head to Trader Joes and load up on gluten-free flatbread, pizza dough and all other yummy toppings. We usually break the dough up in smaller rounds so everyone can make a personalized pizza. You can never go wrong with pizza, right?

Playlist options: My Good Times playlist


4. Finger Foods + Drinks: If you don't feel like doing a full meal, I love putting together mini bites and then making a fun, signature drink. Think stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, veggie plate, turkey meatballs (I've even bought the chicken meatballs from Ikea before and served them with gourmet mustard- shhhhhhh- they are actually REALLY good).

Playlist options: The Jazz Vibes playlist 

5. Grilled Cheese + Soup: This is a favorite of mine in the wintertime. You can set up a full bar of topping options, including dairy-free and gluten-free options. I also like to make a large pot of a dairy-free, vegan soup (usually roasted tomato) to go along with the grilled cheeses.

Playlist options: Matt Duncan station or Andersen East

6. Backyard Farm to Table: Perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy summer is a backyard celebration. Put together seasonal, locally sourced salads, maybe some grilled fish, and a great cheese plate.

Playlist options: Fleet Foxes station 

Enjoy some happy times with these ideas, friends! Just don't forget to add some great music in the mix. x

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