No matter what the economy is doing, it doesn’t really change your urge to entertain. If you love the idea of feeding and entertaining your friends, you will discover that the current state of your wallet might be making you a little more reluctant.
However, the truth of the matter is that it is perfectly possible to entertain while you are a budget. Check out these menu ideas that work even when you are feeling a little nervous about how much you have in the bank.
- Appetizers: While very nice appetizers can be surprisingly expensive, you’ll find that whipping up a small batch is no problem at all. Start with a good foundation buy choosing a good cracker. Soften a package of cream cheese and spoon a small amount onto the cracker. Top the appetizers off by sprinkling a little bit of parsley or Italian herb seasoning onto the cheese. If you want the cheese to have a little more variety, choose a salmon cream cheese or add a small amount of powdered garlic to the softened cheese and mix it in.
- Main Meal: Even serving meat as a main dish does not have to be too expensive. Roast chickens tend to be fairly inexpensive and in many cases, they are even less expensive than the raw chicken on its own. Plate the chicken nicely and surround it with roasted carrots and potatoes for a finished look. For a side, put together a large serving of mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are a perennial favorite and they are very cheap to put together. You only need potatoes, butter and milk. If you want to get a little fancier, you can add dried herbs or crushed garlic. You can make your own gravy or simply serve the potatoes plain. If you have vegetarians coming over, think about doing a root bake. A root bake features chunks of carrots, beets and sweet potatoes drizzled in olive oil, sprinkled with garlic and then roasted until tender. This is a basic but delicious recipe that works well as a main dish or a side. Serve it with a side of sour cream or offer some shredded cheese as a topping.
- Desserts: Remember that you do not have to get too fancy with the desserts. If you have access to an Asian grocery, simply stop for a frozen pack of mochi ice cream. Mochi ice cream is ice cream covered with a sweet glutinous rice wrapper, and it is a fast favorite. If you prefer the do-it-yourself method, consider making up a quick batch of crepes which can then be filled with in-season fruit.
When you want to make sure that you can entertain your friends no matter what the occasion, consider a basic menu that you can dress up as you need to. This is a great time to be frugal, but that does not mean that it is time to stop entertaining. Choose delicious recipes that suit your friends and your budget.
Isaac is an aspring chef who has a zest for cooking. When not practising as an ameteur chef she likes to eat food, write about food, visit quirky food markets and dream of ways to redesign her kitchen! She is looking at wholesale cabinets and in particular maple kitchen cabinets and is trying to find the cheapest ways for how she can redecorate her farmhouse kitchen.
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