A couple weeks ago I hosted a “farm-to-table dinner” with my ladies and it was one of the best nights I think I’ve had in my home. I’m not a chef by any means and my husband does most of our cooking… but I am a hostess! I love to make people feel welcome in my home, I love making memories with friends in my home, and I love feeding people in my home. So with my limited knowledge of cooking I successfully nourished 12 ladies without stressing. The menu consisted of frozen pizzas for dinner and macaroons from Trader Joes for dessert but when you add fresh veggies to the mix, wild flowers, wine and good music, no one cares if you slaved in the kitchen all day. Here is my guide to hosting an inexpensive Farm to table dinner party.
- Send out a stylish evite and ask friends to bring a bottle of their favorite beverage, side dish or appetizer. This cut the costs of my dinner party in half and if was fun to try all the different dishes that my friends brought. I bought 5 medium sized frozen pizzas and added fresh vegetables bought from a local farm. If you don’t have a local farm then look for a farmers market or splurge on organic veggies at your local market. Add a dash of pesto and some freshly grated mozzarella and your main dish is done. I also provided the salads which I’m not ashamed to admit were also mixes from Trader Joes that I just had to shake and mix all together. It’s probably the most stress-free meal you can make.
- Set up your dining room outside under white cafe lights and don’t worry about everything looking perfect. I used chairs from our home and mixed in folding chairs and even a sewing machine seat from the 40’s as seating.
- Find cute, original, and funky plates at a thrift store or garage sale. I scored with these plates when I found them at a garage sale and only paid $1.00 each. I love that each person had a unique plate too.
- Decorate with flowers: They can be from your own garden or bunches of cheap filler flowers from a store or florist.
- Make a unique place card. Each person had a spot designated with a mason jar filled with black rocks and their name on a card around the jar. This was actually a craft where each guest got to decorate their rocks with white paint pens. It ended up being an unexpected ice-breaker and a fun way to do assigned seating. Oh and to make the place-cards with each guest’s name on it I used paint sample cards from Lowes which are totally free!
- Serve an easy dessert like dark chocolate and cookies that can be easily passed around the table.
- Oh and don’t forget the music….Iron & Wine, The Lumineers, Bon Iver and Van Morison were just a few artists on the playlist for this night.