Several months ago we started up what we call Friday Night Dinners-FND for short. Every Friday we get together with our close friends (besties-really) and take turns hosting. Three of us work near each other and work the same hours, so we go the grocery store to pick up ingredients and start dinner. The ones who work later do the dishes. We try out different themes-such as Greek, Italian, India, Vietnamese. Sometimes we don't feel like cooking and we order takeout.
At first, I was hesitant to host dinner parties on a Friday worried that I wouldn't have time to clean the house and get everything ready. But it's worked out really well. I just tidy up Thursday night and don't stress. As long as the bathroom is clean and the living room/dining room is tidy-who cares about the rest. By now, these friends are close enough we don't really care anyway. Nice to have those kinds of friends. The best part about FND is that it gives us a chance to de-stress after a busy week, and it sure makes the weekend seem longer. We keep it casual and fun. Sometimes we watch a movie, play a game or go for a walk. Sometimes we just sit and talk. Whatever we feel like doing. We keep it casual.
For me, the added bonus is the incentive to try out new foods. I am a terribly picky eater, and this way I can test new recipes and cuisines.
By the way, if you are wondering-tonight's theme is Mexican.