To the reluctant entertainer, the thought of deviating from the menu could be pretty scary. But one thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay!

I don’t usually stray too far, but here’s an example of my dinner party last weekend. After sharing some yummy appetizers – and putting meat and veggies on the grill – I had planned to serve salad and bread first.

I thought to myself, how much food do we really need? Especially when you fill up on appetizers, my experience is that guests are not coming to the table starving! So this is what I keep in mind:

If I don’t serve appetizers, I always start my dinner with a dinner salad and bread.
If I serve healthy veggies for dinner, I don’t always need a salad.
I rarely serve a starch along with dinner anymore, unless I know the guests who are coming are “steak and potato” kind of people!
I always serve dessert! How can you end a fun dinner party without a yummy dessert?

Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away in planning too much food. Most of our friends are trying to practice self-control and actually watch their weight. And not only that – do we really need to be gorging ourselves? Because if the food is served – we will eat it!

I cut out the salad last night. I knew we were cooking up delicious veggies – so I quickly put everything for salad back into the fridge. I sliced up the tangerine tomatoes from our garden and served them with dinner (thank you Terri for filling up our garden with your incredible tomato starts!)

The guests didn’t even know. They didn’t even miss it. And our bellies had a little more room for the real stuff. The meat, veggies, and dessert!

How about you – do you feel like you can deviate from your menu if you need to? Do you ever find yourself wasting food because you’ve served too much?

Who were my guests last weekend? Fellow-blogger Julia, and her friend Cris, came to visit and surround our family with California LOVE! We had a lovely visit with food, shopping, swimming, and just being together. Here are some FUN pictures of the girls! And my new outdoor patio set that I picked up the day they arrived, at a garage sale down the street for $15!

Don’t you just love it?

Bye-Bye girls, thanks for the memories and for blessing our family!

(Very top photo – First tomatoes of the season. Tomatoes are easy to grow and one of the best plants to grow at home because the taste is unrivaled when compared to store-bought tomatoes. Dessert – my daughter’s delicious raspberry individual pies! YUM! Oh, and of course our kitty, Hobbes, on my new birthday tablecloth!)