I love hosting and planning parties and get togethers’ at my place and literally grab any opportunity that comes my way for it. Planning party menus, cooking for people, serving them makes me really happy.
So when on Wednesday last week my girl friends at work were thinking of a girls night out, I offered to plan the party, host it at my place and put up some grub too! (Thankfully my flatmate works in the same organization because of which we have a common group of friends.)
We decided to have a BYOB Pajama Party on Friday evening and as always party till the wee hours of Saturday morning, by the way we work on Saturdays too. So the first thing I did was grabbed a piece of paper and decided to put together a really simple but delicious menu. Whenever I cook for such parties I only cook loads of heavy snacks with some munchies because nobody ever eats main course.
We were 6 girls in total, 5 non vegetarians and 1 egg-tarian. Since I was going to be in office till 6:00 pm on Friday I did not want something that would involve a lot of cooking once I reached home. I decide to make-
Cold Pasta Salad
Egg and Lettuce Sandwiches
Chips and Peanuts
Now, this may sound exhaustive but trust me- with the right amount of prep done on Thursday night it was really simple. On Wednesday I went to the mall straight from office and picked up everything that I needed, it was easy to make a list as I remembered what was available in my pantry. I picked up vegetables, pizza base, dressings, chips, peanuts, coke etc. For chicken I always rely on Big Basket, they are on time and deliver according to my timelines.
Thursday was the tricky day, I almost sprinted towards the kitchen the minute I reached home because the plan was to get as much work as done. I put the pot on to boil the pasta and got down to chopping the vegetables for the same. While it boiled away I managed to finish chopping red, yellow and green bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, sweet corn and olives. Once the pasta was cool after draining I mixed the vegetables, put it in an airtight container and stocked it in the fridge. The dressing for it was equally quick to make- mustard, mayonnaise, hung curd, sweet chili sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and some herbs.
I put the potatoes to boil in a pressure cooker while I moved to the next dish- Pizzas. I chopped onions, tomatoes and bell peppers, grated the cheese (a combination of mozzarella, parmesan and processed cheese) and mixed the condiments for the base sauce. In the meantime the potatoes were done and I made I made the spiced potato mix with chopped onion, coriander, chat masala, garam masala, amchur powder, salt, chili powder and a dash of lemon juice. All this was packed in respective boxes and put in the fridge.
Next came the chilly chicken, I started chopping the vegetables just when the door bell rang and the chicken delivery came. I finished chopping onions, bell peppers, garlic, ginger and green chilies and moved on to the chicken. The chicken was washed, cut into bite sized pieces and marinated with ginger garlic paste, salt, eggs and cornflour. With this my prep was finally over.
I knew no matter how much I try, I will be stressed for Friday evening. So well, I finally reached home and the mini marathon of sorts started. I put the eggs to boil for sandwiches, oil on heat for frying the chicken pieces and while the oil reached the desired temperatures, I pulled out the crockery and laid the table. My flatmate chipped in and put together sandwiches while I fried the chicken pieces and multi- tasked to mix the dressing with the pasta.
In about 45 minutes in the pasta salad was on the table, the sandwiches had been made and cling wrapped, the chilly chicken done, peanuts and chips put on the table. I beat the curd of the chat, put the imli chutney in a bowl and some crispy munchies too since the canapés would be assembled at the last moment.
It was 7:15 pm by now and decided to get dressed in my new pajamas , my flatmate and me got matching new night suits to wear for the party, well I know we are cute!! I got dressed, assembled the pizzas and started pre heating the oven. By this time, my flatmate had put the little fairy light lamps in place and the house was looking absolutely beautiful with soft colourful lights.
As the clock struck 8 I put the little cuties in the oven and waited for my friends to arrive. The doorbell rang around 8:30 pm and my gang was home. While the drinks were pulled out, the canapés were assembled and pizzas pulled out and rest is best kept under the wraps!
So don’t be scared to plan a party and host some friends at home… It’s exciting, easy and so much fun!!
If you need any recipes let me know, I’ll be happy to help!