Having guests in for dinner

I love entertaining and cooking for people! In fact, the more the merrier for me. Having guests over for dinner gives me a chance to pull out my antique china and pretty, pink, depression glass plates, and intricately etched stemware. I get to set the table with two forks and use my butter knife. Entertaining gives me a reason to press and fold cloth napkins and use my crystal salad bowl and water carafes. I get all gussied up and put on perfume in the middle of the week, and I imagine I’m Martha Stewart as I prepare to welcome my guests into my home. It all feels very domestic to me, and it sends goose bumps up my arms – “it’s a good thing”!

Tonight we will be sharing a meal with our pastor and his wife, and I’ve just finished up prepping all my dishes. I just love make ahead dinners like this one. They make preparing for my evening a snap, and all I have to do tonight is reheat the black beans, cut up my avocado, grill my chicken and flat breads and cut up some cucumbers from our garden for my salad. In 15 minutes time I’ll have a perfectly prepared dinner and I’ll be able to enjoy the conversation instead of running back and forth between the kitchen and the table.

So here’s tonight’s line up – simple and southwest inspired fare – cilantro marinated chicken with avocado salad, black beans with grilled corn and rice, steamed veggies, green salad, homemade flat bread, and creamy Mexican vanilla flan and sweet potato pie for dessert.

It all sounds yummy! But, would you like to know a secret about tonights dinner? Every dish is a Weight Watchers dish! That’s right, this is my first dinner for guests where every dish is healthy and low-calorie. Now, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous about it all. Fortunately, I’ve tried each of these recipes though, so I know they’ll be a hit.

This is a huge step forward for me, especially since my normal style of entertaining usually falls more on the decadent side of things – lots of comfort foods that have loads of butter, mayo, sour cream, whipping cream and tons of flavor and sweetness. Thankfully, there’s no time like the present to start making healthy changes in our lifestyle!

So here’s to fresh, home grown ingredients and flavorful herbs. To beautiful place settings and theme inspired dishes. To good conversations and great friends! Here’s to entertaining!

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