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Planning a dinner party in advance (even just mentally) makes the end of your week as relaxing as it should be. Carve out this Spanish-inspired meal ahead and all you'll have to worry about is where to market and whom to invite.
Sparkly and refreshing.
Who doesn't love melon balls?
These colors scream "fiesta!"
Smoky, bright and full of crunch.
Churros con Chocolate!
Things you can do in advance:
• Make the lemon syrup for the cocktails and store in the fridge.
• Whip up the gazpacho the day before the party and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Might as well get the melon balls out of the way, too.
• Slice, dice, and chop the paella ingredients the night before and store them in the fridge -- any prep done early saves you time on party day.
Things to do the day of:
• To the market for anything you haven't prepped ahead!
• Get the churro dough into a piping bag so you can fry them up after dinner. (Make sure you have a designated fryer.)
• Roast the broccoli and mix up the vinaigrette that goes with it. Fire up the grill, assemble and cook the paella. Take the gazpacho and melon out of the fridge to serve.
• Fill glasses with ice, add some sherry, lemon syrup, and top off with seltzer. Salud!
• When it's time for churros, melt some chocolate to serve with them (the microwave is your friend here).
With a little labor knocked out in advance, you will, no doubt, enjoy your own dinner. It shouldn't be hard to be festive -- you just need a plan!