It was my first time hosting dinner and because my space is small (and I didn't yet have a dining table) I decided the best thing to do was to set up a buffet table (I bought a 6-ft fold out table on sale from a big box store). I didn't have a lot of "accessories" to dress up the table (and still don't) so to keep the table as simple and fresh as possible I used all glass and white dishes & serving platters and tried to create different levels and various heights to keep things interesting. I picked up some inexpensive gourds and pumpkins at the groccery store, and a bouquet of inexpensive flowers (I believe $7.99) to give a bit of a Fall feel to the table and borrowed a white cloth tablecloth from my mom to further dress up the table.
I was ecstatic to finally use some of my bigger china pieces that I began collecting last year.
I also separated a few stems from the main bouquet and put it in clear vases around the apartment. It was simple but I couldn't have been happier with the way it turned out.
For seating, there was my sofa, my club chair and I added some big floor cushions around the coffee table for the kiddies and I. Sorry, no pics! If I had to give some tips on hosting a big dinner or something like Thanksgiving dinner, it would be to: keep it simple (decor/table setting wise), opt for buffet style, play up the fact that it's a small space with things like fun floor pillows.
I also really want to share THE BEST ROAST CHICKEN RECIPE I've tasted/created with all of you. My family aren't really big turkey eaters (well, my mom isn't) so usually a roast chicken with one or two other meat choices usually does the trick. The recipe is for Jamie Oliver's Roast Chicken with Lemon & Rosemary Roast Potatoes. It was the most delicious, moist, flavourful roast chicken I've ever ate and will definitely be my go-to recipe from now on. I basically followed the directions step-by-step EXCEPT for one thing. If you can, season your chicken AT LEAST 24-48 hours in advance and keep it covered in plastic wrap in your fridge. I truly believe this is what makes the chicken extra moist. I also kept it in the oven for about an extra 30-45 minutes until it was a nice brown colour and crisp. Sorry, I just can't eat pale chicken lol. (Oh yeah, I also used thyme...I didn't have rosemary). Trust me - this recipe is THE BEST and even my brother was picking bits of chicken and potato out of the empty pan. It was the only thing that didn't leave leftovers!
Curious as to what was on my table?
1. Lemon Poppy Seed Brussel Sprouts
2. Potato Salad (Mom's recipe)
3. Green Beans
5. Dinner Rolls
6. Macaroni Pie
7. Roast Chicken with Lemon & Rosemary Roast Potatoes
9. Stuffed Turkey Breast
10. Strawberry Cheesecake
11. Cake Pops
12. Sliced Smoked Turkey
Hope you all get some table setting ideas or at the very least a good chicken recipe out of this post! If you end up making the roast chicken PLEASE leave a comment letting me know how it is for you!