Keep it Simple

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Posted by Kristen - Dine & Dish


My motto for 2009 is going to be "Keep it Simple". I don't know what this phrase means to you, but I know to me it means to not stress about the big stuff and to simplify every aspect of life as much as possible.

I want to continue entertaining my friends and family in 2009, but I know that with infringing time restraints and tighter wallets, it is going to take some creativity to be able to host parties like we are used to.

Many of my friends refuse to entertain, although they have a great desire to. They feel like having friends over means having an immaculate house, a grand dinner on the table, and lots of activities to keep everyone busy. I know for us, when we entertain, we truly try to keep things as low key and simple as possible. Some tips for low key entertaining are:

  • Share the responsibility - pick a theme and have each of your guests bring something. Have an appetizer / dessert party foregoing the need to create a huge meal for your guests.
  • Invite people who are compatible with each other and who simply get joy out of being together. This will decrease the stress you may have on providing entertainment for your guests.
  • Make things ahead of time. Many side dishes, main courses and appetizers can be made several days ahead of time, leaving you the day of your get together free to spend time with your guests.
  • Create a relaxing atmosphere. You have to remember that the people at your party are there to visit you, not judge your cooking and entertaining. Keep the atmosphere relaxed and those around you will catch that vibe and be the same way.
Don't let time and money woes get in the way of entertaining. Keep it simple and I am sure your friends will be inspired.

Here's a great, low stress, make ahead appetizer to inspire you to keep it simple!

Sweet Asian Meatballs
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup dry bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. oil
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey

1 Tbs brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (sodium reduced)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Put meat in a bowl and break up. With your hands, blend the meat, bread crumbs, onion, milk, eggs and salt.

3. Shape meat mixture into one inch balls. Place in single layer on a jelly roll pan and bake about 10-12 minutes. Drain any extra grease off the meatballs.

4. Add oil to saucepan and sauté garlic until soft. Add the ketchup, honey, brown sugar and soy sauce. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about ten minutes. Add the meatballs to your sauce, bring back to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, until sauce glazes meatballs. Stir sauce and meatballs occasionally so they don't stick.



This post was Kristen


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3 comments:

I met you on Joan's blog.
Thanks for your tips on how to entertain guests.I invite friends to have luncheons at my place quite often. The tips are very helpful for me.

BTW, we have a custom here in Australia. People who are invited would bring a plate, with food on it, of course, sharing a big load with the host. :P

Your Sweet Asian Meatballs are very tempting.

Happy New Year!

Christine said...
January 1, 2009 at 1:52:00 PM GMT+1  

What a super idea...could well be my resoltuion for the year! KISS...is just what I need in my life! The meatballs look scrumptious. Have a great year!

January 4, 2009 at 12:28:00 PM GMT+1  

I totally agree on keeping things simple from now on. I love entertaining but it's just a lot of work from cleaning to cooking and a whole lot more. I have learned to deal with it by coming up with dishes that are tasty but easy to make. I used to cook recipes before that took up a lot of my time. Thanks for sharing your recipe, I will try to prepare it the next time we have friends over.

January 5, 2009 at 1:25:00 AM GMT+1  

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