Monday, May 11, 2015

Pizza Party for Grown Ups
They say the dinner party is dead, and really when was the last time you had friends over for coq au vin? But, for parents with young children, having friends over is the easiest ways to socialize.  
We've hosted brunch at our place an average of once a month since Catherine was born.  Now that the days are getting longer and she is getting bigger, I thought I might be ready to a dinner party.  The problem is, I don’t really have the time or energy to cook, clean, and do the dinner party shopping expedition?  So this weekend, we invited two other families over for pizza.  Not homemade pizza, but delicious Pete’s Pizza that was delivered to our home. 
Here are some tips for a grown-up pizza party.
  • Make the invitation. Invite friends with children roughly the same ages as yours.  Let them know you are inviting them over for takeout pizza. It’s not about the food it’s the company right?  It’s still nice to dispel any illusion that you are going to make them pizza out of a the wood burning oven in your back yard.
  • Timing: If you have toddlers, earlier is better.  They can play, you can have cocktails.  If you start too late, they will be crying by the end of dinner.  On the other hand, maybe they will all be crying anyway. . .
A table setting so easy, that even my 1.5 year old could help set the table.
  • Set the table ahead of time. Make it easy.  Set the table with a simple centerpiece, placemats, and dishwasher safe plates and flatware.  If you want to go super easy, then serve everything on nice paper plates.
If only things were this civilized
  • Set a kids’ table. If you your young guests are old enough, set them a separate table with an ample supply of toys nearby. 
  • Order the pizza from your favorite pizzeria!  If you can get the pizza delivered, make sure to order it in time so that it arrives a half-hour after start time.  If you need to pick it up, then make sure the pizza is at your house before your guests arrive. For a time saver, write our your order ahead of time making sure you are conscious of your guests dietary restrictions and food aversions ahead of time.  We ordered one basic pizza with meat and a more elaborate vegetarian pizza.  Estimate 3-4 slices for adults.  Serve it with a green salad. 
  • Have drinks and age appropriate snacks ready to go.  Lord knows what tantrums your guests they endured getting over to your place.  Not to mention, little ones don't usually wait for dinnertime to eat. 
  • Dessert: Sorbet and cookies.  If you like, you can ask your friends to pick up these things on their way over.
Voila, you have a relatively easy Saturday night planned.  I hope that you can head off to bed without doing very many dishes.

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