Entertaining a houseful of guests is challenging enough, so when it comes to feeding those people in addition to your own family, it’s no surprise that some hosts and hostesses burn out easily during the summer. That’s why we’ve come to the rescue with a series of menus that are easy to prepare, featuring make-ahead dishes or sides that your guests can help make. While we’ve provided menus for each meal of the weekend, feel free to instead head to the club for lunch one day or go out for dinner Saturday night (your guests will likely be weary Friday). You can also supplement the meals with store-bought appetizers and desserts — nothing is wrong with picking up bagels and muffins from the shop around the corner for breakfast. Just keep it simple and remember to have fun — that’s why we entertain friends, right?
As soon as your guests arrive, offer them a glass of rosé or their choice of cocktails. Then sit down to a meal of poached salmon or roasted chicken, a side of vegetables like steamed garden-fresh beans or Swiss chard, and roasted sweet potato wedges. When shopping, pick up extra portions of salmon or a second chicken so you can make enough to serve for lunch the next day.
Saturday’s breakfast should be self-serve and grab-and-go friendly. Yes, you’re entertaining guests but you should feel free to get in your morning swim or tennis match, too. Setting up coffee in a carafe and a platter of muffins (that you made in advance) along with a selection of fresh berries and fruit is fine. If you have more than a couple guests, set out fresh yogurt and homemade granola for make-your-own parfaits, too. If you’ve got the day's paper on hand, set that out on the table, as well, in the event your guests prefer to lounge on the lawn, coffee and paper in hand.