I love to plan special meals and events, whether it’s a birthday or holiday. A few weeks ago, I finally found a new dining room table and a set of china off CraigsList. As I was unpacking the china to put it away, my 4 year wanted to use it RIGHT AWAY. Since I happened to be making a mini-turkey dinner that night, we used some of the china serving pieces and put the food on the table like it was a fancy holiday meal. I’m sure the fancy dishes made dinner much more special to her and I really need to do it more often.
So how can you make meals special every day?
-Make it Visually Appealing
I love tablecloths. Not only was it a great way to hide my old table, but it also made dinner feel much fancier. I purchased mine on clearance after the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter). You could add a beautiful centerpiece, some flowers from your yard, a handful of candles or even just some paper cut-outs or confetti. It doesn’t need to be expensive – I found some great glass beads and bowls from the dollar store. Pinterest is a great source for tablescape pictures and I love purusing Pier 1 for ideas, too.
-Take a deep breath!
If what you are making for dinner isn’t especially aromatic, try making a dessert that smells fabulous while cooking, like an apple pie, a cake or brownies. If you’re short on time, you could also try using a yummy smelling candle or some fragrant flowers like lilacs, hyacinths, or roses.
–Play with textures
You can play with textures at dinner in many different ways. You can make food with many different textures – creamy, crunchy, lump – or you can change texture up with the items on your table. You could use different textures of napkins or other table linens. You could also find different textures on your dishes, silverware or serving pieces.
We always start our dinner by giving thanks for the gifts we’ve been given, which I’m sure sounds good to God J. If we are having a nice dinner, we will play quiet jazz or classic music and just talk. If we are having my hubby’s family over, we will play Motown. For a kid’s birthday, it would be Disney music.
-Make their Mouths Water.
One of the best ways to make a meal special is to make something that everyone likes. Make mashed potatoes the way daddy likes them, your daughter’s favorite carrots, and make gravy for your son. You get the idea. You could also make a dessert, if you don’t normally.
While the majority of tips I have given are for more formal or fancy dinners, they can be a springboard to making meals special during anytime of the year. You can make a fancy table for an outdoor barbecue, have Beach Boys playing in the background during a summer in winter dinner, or make pumpkin pie to go with your peanut butter & jelly sandwiches in February. You are only limited by your time and imagination. Any meal can be kicked up a notch by simply paying attention to all 5 senses and doing something out of the ordinary.
This week, pick a day to try and do something different. I’d love to hear what you did and how it went!
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