by Meredith Maitrejean

Some people find immense joy in hosting friends and family for a nice meal and time together. Whether it is three people or 30, planning a gathering for loved ones is gratifying. Organizing and preparing each portion of the night is uniquely challenging and fun. Although life’s pace and scheduling conflicts sometimes restrict time with friends and family, it isn’t necessary to have guests over to have a special weekend meal at home.

Start by planning the meal. Weekends are for relaxing and winding down after a busy week. It’s nice to kick off the weekend with a refreshing and comforting meal. Those who enjoy cooking can count on a tried-and-true recipe of theirs. It may also be nice to have a favorite meal that isn’t served often or a completely new dish. Another option is cooking a meal that the family associates with good memories, such as a grandparent’s recipe. Those who don’t want to spend a lot of time and effort on the meal may simply enjoy a cheese board. The dinner can be as low-key or as extravagant as the chef chooses.

If cooking does not sound appealing, pick up a to-go order from a favorite restaurant. A weekend dinner is a great time to revisit an old favorite spot or try a trendy new restaurant. Many grocery stores also have ready-to-cook items for those who want a home-cooked meal without all the work. Regardless of the entrée, this night is also a great time to indulge in a dessert.

In addition to a good meal, it is a nice touch to clean the house as it would if guests were arriving soon. A clutter-free home helps the atmosphere feel much more peaceful. To relax and unwind even further, light a favorite candle and turn on music or a movie to set the ambiance. Use the dishes, glasses, napkins and utensils that are typically only used on special occasions. One of the most fun aspects of a weekend dinner at home is picking the perfect thing to wear. The dress code can be fancy or casual. Once the scene is perfectly set, plate the meal and enjoy.

A weekend at home doesn’t have to be bland. Make the most of the weekend with a delightful and intentional evening at home.