I've had lots of family dinners in my new house but not many for friends. An occasion presented itself recently. I go to Met at the Movies (a real bargain) with a group of opera-loving friends. Normally, we go to a movie theater in Pennsylvania, but for a performance of Capriccio we decided to go to a theater very near my home. Clearly, I needed to serve dinner.
It's a little more complicated when you're going somewhere with a group of friends and need to come home and get dinner on the table, so I relied on things that could be cooked ahead and eaten (mainly) at room temperature. The menu was:
Hummus and Pita
Lettuces with Oranges, Cherries, and Pine Nuts
French Potato Salad
Everything was made in advance and I got the main course out on the table while my guests ate the shrimp and hummus with wine.
I'm saving this menu -- a fine time was had by all and the prep time before the dinner wasn't too bad -- less than 2 hours.