How to Entertain in a Small Kitchen (and on a Budget)

The ladies behind Big Girls Small Kitchen share their secrets with us

What about entertaining when you’re on a budget?

BYOB is key! We discuss some of the best BYOB strategies both for hosts and appreciative guests in our book. Honestly, if you can calculate what you'd be comfortable spending in a restaurant when out with friends and stay under that, you should be fine. So, say that's $40 (at least in NYC). You can easily make dinner for six on that budget, so long as guests are bringing the booze. 

To keep it really cheap, though, we definitely advocate potlucking. Now that it's summer, no one even has to host — just go to the park! We even have a guide on our site about how to be a potluck all-star to get you started. Make sure someone volunteers to bring paper plates and disposable silverware — that even makes clean up a group effort!


As seasoned hostesses cooking in small kitchen, do you find yourself relying on one signature recipe?

Tartlettes (aka mini pizzettes) for sure. We've made tons of variations just by switching out the toppings, incorporating ricotta or smoked mozzarella. They're just pizza toppings on rounds of puff pastry, and they're so simple to make. They come out of the oven flaky and rich, and everyone is obsessed with them — including us. We’ll serve them as hors d'oeuvres at dinner parties and feature them in cocktail party menus.


Okay, now spill the juicy stuff. Worst dinner party disaster?

Phoebe once broke the glass dish she was making her aunt's brisket in. It shattered when she poured cold broth onto the hot pan, scaring her completely. She was able to save some large wedges of meat that remained free of glass shards, but overall it was pretty traumatic. [Yikes.]

To read more tips on the art of setting the coffee table, rounding out one-pot meals, and how to host a brunch while sleeping in 'til noon, check out In The Small Kitchen, on sale May 24th.

Click here for the Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Golden Raisins recipe.

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