Staying on Course with the Menu and Easy Tossed Green Salad

Easy Tossed Salad |
Have you ever attempted to have friends over for dinner for what you thought would be a nice, mellow time – full of good food, laughs, and an overall special time of being together?

You’re probably thinking that I’m writing about “bad” guests, but I’m not.

I’m writing about me and you, as hostesses, and how we start off with the best intentions when we invite people to our houses, but then we change the rules on ourselves.

We start off with a simple menu, and then we put pressure on ourselves, and the menu grows and gets complicated.

Sound familiar?

I say, learn to stick with your menu. Stay on course. Write it down, if that helps, and try to remember to delegate.

The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out as the hostess, and ruin all hospitable moments. It’s really sad when that happens, because hospitality should be a continuous ebb and flow in life. You give, and others give back to you, you give and …

You invite, you get invited back, you invite and … your circle of friends continues to grow!

At least that is how it works for our family. We are surrounded by beautiful moments with food, family and friends.

And I never want it to stop.

4 Tips for Staying on Course with the Entertaining Menu

1. Invite your guests. Figure in your mind how much food you will need when planning the menu.
2. Write the menu down. Make your grocery list on the next page.
3. Delegate part of the meal so you don’t have the burden of making the whole meal.
4. Determine when you’ll prepare the food, like prep work the day before or the day of.

When you find yourself delegating part of the meal, do you purposely give certain people the same food items to bring time after time?

I do, especially when they are really good at making that one dish.

Easy Tossed Salad |

My friend Syndi makes the best super salads! She brings a gigantic bowl of fresh greens and yummy surprises every time – enough to feed extra stragglers, too. (Those would be our kids’ friends.)

This particular salad today includes some fantastic ingredients … one being cups and cups of fresh cilantro. Total yumminess.

Easy Tossed Salad |

Super Easy Tossed Green Salad

Spinach/mixed greens
Chopped up dried baby pineapple from Trader Joe’s
Chopped spicy pecans from Trader Joe’s
Sesame honey cashews from Trader Joe’s
Diced Avocado
Chopped Cilantro – lots!
Crumbled goat cheese
Paul Newman’s low fat Asian dressing

There wasn’t a lick of salad left in the bow. Let me just say, we all loved it.

I wanted to share an Instagram photo I took this week of our garden and lettuce beds. Only a few short weeks until we’ll have a bounty of lettuce and salads will be our main dish 3x a day! :)

growing lettuce |

Do you have a hard time sticking with your menu or delegating part of the menu to your guests? And do you look forward to salad season ahead?


  1. I usually delegate only dessert or wine, the rest I like to do myself. Our garden is just in the planting stage and I’m anxious for the time it starts producing.


  2. Wow your greens garden bed is beautiful!

    Also, love the advise. Many times when having friends over for dinner, I stress myself out by going that extra mile to where I’m running around crazily, cooking and cleaning and planning. This is just a nice fresh simple dinner that everyone will be in love with.

  3. I usually ask for guests to bring dessert – because I am not good at making it at all! :)

    This salad looks amazing Sandy!! And I’m so excited about all your garden lettuce, beautiful and it’s going to be delicious.

  4. Great entertaining tips, Sandy! And the salad is beautiful!

  5. That is a great tip, Sandy. Just stick to the menu! It’s so easy to “just add this or that” to the plan, and then all of a sudden, it’s stressful. I LOVE that big bowl of salad with all the cilantro!!!!

  6. That salad looks so refreshing! Salad is always on my dinner party menu, so easy and everyone loves it.

  7. This looks amazing! Just the thing I was looking for our son’s high school graduation party! That, and pizza for all his friends! :-)

  8. I am so guilty of this – I start out with something simple in mind and then it grows and grows until it’s out of control. I think it’s because I want to make these uber-delicious dishes to make my guests feel special. This is great advice you’ve provided and I will definitely be heading back here before my next dinner party!

  9. Funny. This is totally how I roll. I swear up and down that it’s going to be “simple”, “no big deal” then I add in a bunch of things that are super hard to make to try to impress my guests and then get overwhelmed! I love how you preach to simplify. Guests are there to spend time with you not be knocked off their socks with fancy pants food. Great post Sandy!

  10. Outstanding web page. A lot of helpful information and facts in this article. I am just mailing the idea to 3 associates ans furthermore giving within delicious. And of course, thanks a lot on your energy!

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