This post could be 10 posts within itself. There are so many ways to come up with a menu for a dinner party (again, ideas and recipes explored in my book, The Reluctant Entertainer), but here are a few ideas – food for thought:

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– Copy ideas and recipes from someone who is a mentor to you (ask if they will share)

– Take your favorite cookbook and choose your whole menu from that one cookbook (to streamline)

– Buy Take-Out

– Make your “tried and true” recipes that you already have mastered

By chance did you read about my easy system using 3×5 recipes cards in my RE book? It saved me years ago when I started to entertain. You may want to try it …

I feared serving the same dish twice to my guests, so I came up with a simple system using 3×5 index cards. I write my guest’s name at the top of a card and record the date of the event and what I served. At a quick glance I can see what I’ve already served to whom. It also gives me ideas for new guests – reminders of full menus I’ve served successfully before, what dishes went well together, etc. – RE

Stick with your plan and don’t deviate.

Stress happens when you start getting wishy-washy and start second-guessing yourself.

Self-guessing usually comes with trying to impress.

How do you plan a stress-free dinner party menu? Do you have a pep-talk with yourself when you start second-guessing your entire plan, or do you have an organized system?

If you’ve missed my previous posts of the 31-Day to Stress-Free Entertaining, it’s not too late to join in:

Day 1. Why Entertain: The People
Day 2. Perfectionism: Learn More About Yourself
Day 3. Mistakes Happen: Think up Plan B
Day 4. Inviting: Is it Really an Art?
Day 5. Actual Invite: How Do You Do It?
Day 6. Help: They Won’t RSVP!
Day 7. The Dinner: Theme or No Theme?

Rhoda from Southern Hospitality is giving away 2 copies of RE today! Head over to visit Rhoda to enter. Thank you, Rhoda!

Coming soon will be a Hip Hostess apron GIVEAWAY and also a signed copy of The RE! Come back tomorrow for The Menu: What’s in Season and don’t forget to join my fabulous blogging friends for the rest of the 31-Day Series:
Chatting at the Sky, Nesting Place, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, My First Kitchen, Life With My 3 Boybarians, Remodeling This Life, The Inspired Room