Hosting A Dinner Party- Menu #3

Here is the final menu for my Hosting A Dinner Party series. In case you haven’t been following along I have been sharing tips on how to host a dinner party. I gave you 3 tips and a printable PDF, tips for decorating on a budget, Menu #1, and Menu #2.Dinner Party Menu | Glitter It Gold

This meal is so easy, almost every part can either be made in advance or is put in a crock pot/ oven and then not touched for a few hours. And it looks and tastes fancy. I recommend you take the sirloin out of the oven just before it is done and cover in foil for 10 minutes to continue cooking while the oven tempt gets bumped up to 400F for the asparagus. Also, although the recipe for the asparagus says 15-20 minutes I always check after 12 minutes so they don’t overcook as I like my veggies on the crisp side. Serve the cake with fresh berries, you could also add in 1/2 tsp of instant coffee to really enhance the chocolate flavor, but that is optional.


Sirloin Tip Roast | BS' In The Kitchen
Sirloin Tip Roast | BS’ In The Kitchen
Wild Mushroom Gravy | Oh My Veggies
Wild Mushroom Gravy | Oh My Veggies
Parmesan and Garlic Roasted Asparagus | Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
Parmesan and Garlic Roasted Asparagus | Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes | Gimme Some Oven
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes | Gimme Some Oven
Balsamic Beet Salad with arugula, goat cheese, and walnuts | A Dish Of Daily Life
Balsamic Beet Salad with arugula, goat cheese, and walnuts | A Dish Of Daily Life
Evelyn Sharpe's Chocolate Cake | The Tart Tart
Evelyn Sharpe’s Chocolate Cake | The Tart Tart

The Day Before:

  • Make the cake (don’t sprinkle with powdered sugar until tomorrow)
  • Make the gravy, simply reheat it when you are ready (the flavors just get better over night)
  • Trim the sirloin, rub evenly with salt, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate

A Few Hours Before Dinner

  • Remove the sirloin from the fridge to come to room temp
  • Assemble the salad, leaving the dressing to be added just before serving
  • Start the potatoes (remember they take 4 hours, but once you get it all in the crock pot you’re practically done)
  • Wash and season the asparagus so it is ready to put in the oven


Hosting A Dinner Party- Menu #2

Last week I gave you 3 tips to hosting a dinner party, a printable party planning PDF, and the first of three full dinner menus with recipes and prep notes as a part of the How To Rock The Holidays On A Budget mini series I have been working on. Here is the second menu option.

Dinner Party Menu | Glitter It Gold
This one would work very well for Thanksgiving for someone who wants poultry but is intimidated by the idea of cooking and carving a full turkey or for a Friendsgiving dinner or secondary Thanksgiving party so no one gets burned out on eating the same meal over and over. It has juicy roasted chicken, potatoes, and green beans, but with a twist making it versatile enough for any occasion. My favorite part of this menu is the cake. If you make nothing else, make the cake. I have served it on many occasions and it is ALWAYS a hit. I top it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. The best part is that it tastes even better the next day making this a fantastic make ahead option. (If you can keep your hands off of it that long).

Menu 2

Roasted Chicken and Herbs
Roasted Chicken and Herbs | Cake’n’Knife
Scalloped Potatoes | Gimme Some Oven
Scalloped Potatoes | Gimme Some Oven
Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles | How Sweet Eats
Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles | How Sweet Eats
Baby Arugula Salad with Lemon, Balsamic Vinegar, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts | Kalyn's Kitchen
Baby Arugula Salad with Lemon, Balsamic Vinegar, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts | Kalyn’s Kitchen
Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake | Brown Eyed Baker
Kentucky Bourbon Butter Cake | Brown Eyed Baker

The Day Before:

  • Make the cake the day before, if you are serving with homemade whipped cream go ahead and make that too and refrigerate it.
  • Prep the potatoes up to just before baking, layer them in the baking dish and cover.
  • Prep the chicken (if you are breaking down a whole chicken do this in advance, if using chicken pieces that are pre-cut then skip this step). Mix together the liquid for baking the chicken and put in the fridge.
  • Make the salad dressing and refrigerate
  • Prep your green beans, wrap in bacon. Make the glaze in a separate container and refrigerate separately.

Just Before Dinner:

  • Slice up the fruit for the cake, cover and set aside
  • 1 hour before cooking take the potatoes out of the fridge and let them come to room temp.
  • Put the green beans on your baking sheet and brush with glaze.
  • Put chicken in baking dish and cover in white wine and herb mixture.

Bon Appetit!

Hosting A Dinner Party- Menu #1

Just as I promised in my last post Hosting a Dinner Party- 3 Tips And A Download, over the next few days I am going to give you three fully planned menus that will work for pretty much any holiday.  I am doing all the leg work in researching recipes that have flavors that compliment each other and are easily prepared for a dinner party scenario. I warn you, these are not traditional holiday meals- these are meant to be menus that you can keep in your arsenal for any type of dinner party any time of the year- perfect these three and you can’t go wrong. Whether in-laws are in town, your bestie just got engaged, or you got volunteered to host the holiday party any of these menus should do the trick. Who says you have to serve traditional turkey and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving anyways? How about cheesy scalloped potatoes! And green bean casserole is great, but why not mix it up with bacon wrapped green bean bundles.Dinner Menu Plan | Glitter It Gold

I have chosen these recipes from many other wonderful bloggers out there, if you love them, show the creators some love for me. Here’s the first menu. Click each image to open the recipe in a new tab.

Menu 1

Arugula Salad with Pear, Candied Walnuts and Gorgonzola- TangoMango
Arugula Salad with Pear, Candied Walnuts and Gorgonzola- Tango Mango
Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin- LaughingSpatula
Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin- Laughing Spatula
Roasted Carrots with Parsley and Garlic Butter- InspiredTaste
Roasted Carrots with Parsley and Garlic Butter- Inspired Taste
Crispy Roasted Fingerling Potatoes- SeasonsAndSuppers
Crispy Roasted Fingerling Potatoes- Seasons And Suppers
Hasselback Apples- Tango Mango
Hasselback Apples- Tango Mango

How to prep:

  1. The day before
    1. Prep the pork tenderloin up to just before actually cooking it, put it in the baking dish you will use, cover with foil
    2. Make the candied walnuts (if you don’t plan to buy them)
    3. Cut the carrots, toss in
    4. Make the Parsley garlic butter (don’t add them to the carrots yet, you will do this after reheating them)
    5. Cut the potatoes, toss them in the olive oil and salt and pepper and put them in a baggy
    6. Make your salad dressing
  2. Just before guests arrive
    1. Put all salad ingredients together except the dressing
    2. Put the carrots in the oven
    3. Dump the potatoes onto a sheet pan to roast and continue to make as directed
    4. Roast the pork tenderloin.

Why this is a good menu: All the baked/roasted items are at 400/425F. You won’t need to work in batches or worry about one item getting cold while you cook another at a different temp. I would start the oven at 400F for the first 30 minutes, at which point you will toss the potatoes in Parmesan and put them back in the oven, remove the carrots and toss with the garlic parsley butter and check on the tenderloin. Then bump the temp up to 425 to finish the potatoes for another 10 min or so. In that last ten minutes go ahead and toss your salad, plate you carrots and your tenderloin and gather the guests. Easy peasy.

Hosting A Dinner Party- 3 Tips And A Download

So you got volunteered to host this year’s holiday party. Before you go hide in the closet and drown yourself in tears worrying about how to get it all done without looking like a chicken running around with it’s head cut off;take a deep breath, and let me help you plan your menu. I LOVE entertaining, it’s easy for me, but I know that is not the case for many people. I am going to share a few things with you that I always do when hosting a dinner that will make your night much more enjoyable. Over the next few posts I will share fully planned menus with you. I even made you a printable (which took forever because it was my first time) to track everything- you can download it by clicking the link above image and then save the PDF that opens in a new tab. (You have no idea how long this took/how excited I am to share it with you- yay for small victories!)

3 Tips for Successful Dinner Party Hosting

  1. Plan ahead as much as possible, put it in writing
  2. Pre-make as much as possible in advance
  3. Have a wing man, and let them help you

Downloadable Party Planning PDF

Let's Have a Party- Party Planning Printable

Plan Ahead

Planning is so important. And from my experience the best way to execute a dinner party without any road bumps is to put your plan into writing, or even drawing. List out all the items you will have on the menu including beverages and desserts. Then make a grocery shopping list based on that list. Also think about what you will be serving each item on or in. I like to set up the table like I would on that night and in each dish put a post-it note with what is going in the dish. Put whatever serving utensil will be used in each dish so that you are not scrambling to find another serving utensil while people are standing in front of the potatoes waiting for you to get something to serve with before the food gets cold. If guests are bringing a dish always assume/plan that you will need to re-plate it and provide serving utensils for it. Put aside all the dishes and utensils you will want to use so they don’t get misplaced. If you are going to use disposable dinnerware and cups you will need to add those to your list. If you are not using disposable, make sure you have enough for all your guests plus a few extra- forks get dropped and glasses get left in odd places. I highly recommend setting out a way to mark cups/glasses right by the beverages.

When you have your whole plan laid out it relieves you from having to rely on your memory, immediately reducing your stress. Try to plan for as much as you can, even things like the centerpieces, beverage dispensers, ice buckets, trashcans and extra seating where people may tend to congregate can make it easier to enjoy the night. Planning ahead (especially the menu) will also allow you to save some money- use the weekly mailers from your local grocery store to help plan your menu utilizing items on special.


It’s important when hosting a party that you get to spend time enjoying your company and have fun too, not just cook and clean and worry about whether you just burned the dinner. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make as much as you can ahead of time. Many items can be made 1-3 days in advance and simply reheated in the oven before serving. This spreads out the work over a few days and keeps you from having to clean up so many dishes on the night of the party. And if you do accidentally mess anything up, no problem, you have time to re-do it or fix it. For each menu option I give I will also give you hints on what you can make ahead or how to prep to make cooking a breeze. Make sure you let anything that will be reheated come to room temperature before reheating so that the center will get warm without overcooking the edges or the top.

Have a wing man

Pick someone who is attending the dinner, it could be your husband, your BFF, or another guest who you know loves to entertain and let them in on your plans for the evening and show them where everything is. Ask them to be your backup in case you need help refilling the cheese plate or stack of napkins, or trying to complete the finishing touches on what seems like a million dishes of food. If you can have a few things that you already know you will need them to do, explain it to them in advance and your night will flow seamlessly. Even if they don’t do much, just knowing they have your back can be huge help in reducing your stress levels.

Check back on Friday for the first of 3 fully planned menus along with notes on how to prep and save some time and energy when preparing them.

How To Rock The Holiday Season On A Budget- Volume 1

November and December are two of my favorite months of the year as they each have one of my two favorite holidays- Thanksgiving and Christmas. The decorations, the food, the parties, dressing up, decorating the tree, baking, the smells, the colors, I love ALL of it. But, let’s face it, the holidays can be pretty hard on us financially. All the things we love about the holidays can add up to a pretty hefty bill by the end of the year, and there is nothing worse to dampen the holiday spirit than to be worried about how to pay for it all. That’s why I have put together this special series on how to get through the holidays without breaking the bank.

First let’s talk about decorations. If you are anything like me you imagine that the Pottery Barn catalog should just come to life in my living room and every single thing in the house would be themed for whatever holiday you are currently celebrating. However beautiful that would be, it is also extremely unrealistic unless you have $10,000 to spend on holiday decorations this year. My budget, for Thanksgiving and Christmas combined is about $300. Here are some tips and ideas I will be using this Holiday season to decorate our house along with photos of how it came out.

  1. Utilize items found in your own backyard (or outdoors in general)
    1. Frame Pressed Leaves
    2. Make a vase with twigs and an empty can or jar
    3. Collect fallen pine cones and make a guilded pine cone garland, this would also work with leaves and you could easily just use glitter or paint instead of gold leaf.
    4. Add fall or Christmas themed items to a large vase, lantern, or hurricane bowl such as mini pumpkins, pine cones, leaves, twigs, cinnamon sticks, etc around a candle.
  2. Get to couponing
    1. Download the Michael’s app for daily and weekly coupons such as 40% off any one regular priced item. Sign up for their mailing list and get a coupon for 20% off your entire purchase including already discounted items.
    2. Go to and buy a Michael’s gift card at a discount (Some are up to 20% off). Once it comes in the mail, print our your coupons and you have some major savings. I was able to add a lot of extra detail to my wedding using this method. For example, I bought a $200 gift card for $160. I then used the 20% entire purchase including sale items. This made my $160 go a very long way towards decorations.
  3. Things will go on sale after the holiday is over, so even though it won’t help you this season, it will be a huge help for next year- especially if you use the methods above for extra savings.
  4. Buy items that can be used for multiple seasons. For example I chose mixed metallics as my color theme for decorating because items such as vases, deer statues, the guilded pine cones above, charger plates and platters, and candle holders can easily be used for both fall and Christmas decor. Some of those silver items can even be used for Easter in the spring. A change of ribbon from burnt orange to red is all that is needed to take your wreath from fall to winter.
  5. Think of ways to creatively use everyday items you already own.
    1. Use your cake stand and some candles to create this center piece
    2. Place pine cones and leaves in an upside down wine glass and put a candle on top, swap the leaves for ornaments for Christmas
    3. Wrap a ribbon and tie a bow around your vase to transform it.
    4. Make a garland out of paper snowflakes, cover them in white glitter to really make a statement.
  6. Lay out all the things you already have first, see where you can fill in with small make shift items like I’ve mentioned above and try to save your money to use on bigger attention grabbing statement pieces like a Christmas tree or lights, a large wreath, or a Santa Claus.

We hosted the annual Friendsgiving dinner this year and I really wanted to make our place look festive and nice for when everyone came over. This is easier said than done though when you have a budget of $100 and you don’t even have all the furniture you want in the house yet. But I made it work, and not only did it turn out awesome, but I can also use several of the items for Christmas too like the deer pillows and the fur pillow, the pinecones and deer antler, and the ivy can be placed in a different pot. The fall “flowers” that I got were all dried so if I am gentle with them and store them right I may be able to use them again next year. I went ahead and bought real instead of fake because I hated how fake the fake ones looked. Duh, right? I just got a bundle of wheat, a bundle of cattails, and a bundle of oak leaves and made my own arrangement. The centerpiece is a wooden box, a candle, and cuttings from my olive tree, plum and some flowering bush in the backyard- that’s utilizing what you already have and bringing the outdoors in (along with a little spider that tried to join us for dessert, oops). Check out my decorating skills on a budget below. Full list of purchased items: 2 deer pillows, 1 fur pillow, fall flowers, a pumpkin, an acorn squash, silver deer antlers, 1 bronze colored fake pumpkin, and 10 silver charger plates. Total on decorations (excluding the edible items). $112.67. A little over budget but I am totally okay with that because the pillows, the antler, and the charger plates can be used for Christmas too. IMG_7830

IMG_7827 IMG_7828 IMG_7829IMG_7826 Fall Flowers

If you have any ideas or tips you have tried comment below so I can share with others.