I survived hosting a dinner party

Yes, I survived! Last night was the fist time I’ve hosted a dinner party without any help from, well, anyone else. I had three families over (my aunt’s, and two cousins’ families) for a small housewarming dinner. Ten adults, and six kids (and one baby!).

I have been a nervous wreck for most of the weekend: I was sick for two days (Wednesday and Thursday) so I did not have enough time to get my shopping done at leisure. I went to the grocery thrice yesterday. (I need a new wire trolley.)

The menu

I’ve never really cooked for other people in my life. Okay, there were a few times that I did (Christmases, that sort of thing–but my mom was always around to ask/bug/wail to about why so-and-so isn’t happening in my dish). But I’ve never cooked, not really. I can feed myself, but that’s pretty much it. But I went and tried three dishes for tonight’s dinner:

  1. The Pioneer Woman’s favorite meatloaf
  2. The Pioneer Woman’s Shrimp Pasta in a Foil
  3. Baked mashed potatoes (topped with cheddar and bacon)

(Yes, you can tell I am a fan.)

They’re all relatively easy dishes, but I’ve never done either of them before. I’d say the runaway winner here was the meatloaf: no leftovers! I borked it up a little though, as I had “halved” the recipe but forgot about it midway and ended up putting the whole 1 cup of cheese, but then there is no such thing as too much cheese, isn’t it?

(That, and the sad fact that I can’t find a broiler pan. I compromised with a roasting pan with a roasting grill, with aluminum foil over the grill, cut with slits to let the oil drop through.)

(Oh, I also left out the white wine in the pasta. Not because I don’t have any–I actually bought white wine just for it–but because I have no corkscrews. How fail is that?!)

Five realizations

  1. Stick to your initial plans and gut feelings. I suddenly worried that the pasta would not be enough (I halved the recipe), and I added a quarter pound’s worth. That quarter pound ended up as leftovers.
  2. Five cups of rice is still too much rice. (I have enough for six more dinners!)
  3. Filipinos just aren’t mashed potato people. Everyone said it was good, but there was half left over (well…I should have known, really. I can’t eat so much either, even though I think it’s omgdelicious–because I feel too guilty).
  4. Stick a movie into the TV and that keeps most kids’ attentions. That, and prank donuts.
  5. You do NOT need five hours to cook two dishes.

This certainly isn’t something I’d love to do on a regular basis (omgsotired) but the sense of achievement after is rewarding :)

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