In the two years that Kimo and I have been together, I’ve gotten used to the impromptu dinner parties.

Oftentimes after networking events and dinners with clients Kimo will end up inviting friends old and new back to our place to end the evening. The first few times this happened, I was shocked. I didn’t grow up with a family that entertained a lot. I quickly realized that Kimo is a social butterfly (he will adamantly deny this). I’ve gotten used to last minute entertaining and have it down to a quick science.

In the five – ten minutes that we have before guests start arriving we

  • Light a couple of candles
  • Wipe the dining table
  • Stash any random things into a basket and put them in a closet
  • Wipe the bathroom mirror and hide our toiletries in the drawer
  • Put on Pandora, usually Michael Buble or Pentatonix

Once all that is under control, I can relax a little bit.

I put out a pitcher of water and Kimo picks a bottle of wine puts out the respective glasses. Then I work on the food. I always have meal fixings on hand. For late night meals, post networking events, my two go to dishes are Spaghetti Aglio e Olio or Grilled Cheese both served with a huge tossed salad. For post-dinner festivities I’ll make a cheese plate with some fruit, nuts, olives and crackers.

I use disposable plates because I am not doing dishes late at night. Paper plates aren’t that pretty, so I like these ones made from pressed leaves. They come in 9″ and 5″ — perfect for all occasions. I also love to use cloth napkins it classes up the table with little effort.

Clean up is minimal and everything goes into the dishwasher.

Do you have last minute parties? What are your go-to tips?