Just wanted to share what is probably our favorite dinner-party hosting idea. When planning your menu, limit yourself to 3 main dishes. Greatly simplifies every aspect of hosting - from planning, to buying, prepping, serving, and clean-up. May sound silly, but give it a try. And think of it when attending dinners others host.
Say you are cooking lasagna. Serve a salad, and garlic bread. No more.
Steak? Complement it with potatoes and veggies.
Or whatever combination works best for you and your guests. But you may be surprised at how much it simplifies things to just stop trying to accommodate every person’s possible preference. Making fewer dishes, it is easier to have each dish come out at the highest quality and at the same time. And it is easier to serve/pass a limited number of dishes. So long as there are 3 different dishes, and each is made well, everyone can find something they like and can fill up on.
I acknowledge, there may be exceptions for certain traditional “feasts” such as Thanksgiving. But you can even pare down on the options for Thanksgiving. If you are serving potatoes, stuffing, and some other veggie, why add corn and bread? Why serve mashed potatoes AND sweet potatoes AND 1 or more green veggies?
Simplify, enjoy, and evangelize! D