The Imperfect Entertainer!

Meet my Guest:
The Nester from Nesting Place

Nester was my roommate in Nashville at Blissdom '09 and it was such a delight to meet her and her sister Emily, along with Melissa - in real life and for the first time (I think we were all snoring roommates = lack of sleep!) She is as darling and funny as she is in her posts. 

She's the real-deal and her message is perfect for 4RE! (Below, roommies in Nashville)

I'd just like to figure out how I can get to her home, to try some of her delicious Friday night pizza!

Here's what Nester has to share about entertaining ...

When I have people over I have three goals.  As you can see, I keep myself at the top of the list because we all know if momma ain't happy, aint no one coming over for dinner.

1. Make sure I'm not stressed
2. Make sure guests feel welcome and loved
3. Make sure the food is really good

I've finally figured out a fool proof way to make sure all three goals are met.  My secret, I serve the exact same thing whenever we have people over.  Yep, you heard right, the same thing. 

A few years ago we visited some friends for dinner on a Friday night.  Pizza Friday at their house.  She made the dough right in front of me, it smelled glorious, she was content to sit and talk as it was cooking, the kids were happy, it was delish and I knew I had to learn to make pizza dough.

So now, when we invite people over it's on Pizza Friday.  I make pizza because I've made it so many times I could do it in my sleep, it always turns out yummy and the kids love it.  Since it's so simple I don't have to fret over grocery shopping and cooking ahead of time and stuff like that.  I'm free to get to know our guests and focus on what really matters.  I buy a bag salad, cut up some veggies and ask the guest to bring the dessert.

Maybe we eat on paper plates, maybe we are out of napkins.  No one seems to notice that part.  Sometimes, showing some imperfections allows people to feel more at ease.

I'm so glad that It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to Be Beautiful or Meaningful or Delicious!

(Fellow bloggers Tim and Kim at dinner at Nester's house!  Yummy pizza!)

Thank you Nester, for always being so authentic with your readers!  I can't wait to announce some very exciting news here on May 4th - and it has to do with Nesting Place!

Check out this refreshing 4RE post from last summer with beautiful photography (thank you, hubs!), about my dessert imperfection!

COME BACK TOMORROW for a KRAFT Giveaway!  5 people will win!!


susan said...

Nester is on to something! I have several menus that I have gotten down to an art. I also keep a notebook with menus I've served with notes on what worked and what didn't!

The Real Me! said...

I love making homemade pizza but most of our friends have anywhere from 5 to 8 children so I'm afraid I'd be making 4 different batches to feed everyone! LOL. I usually end up making a casserole or burgers on the grill for such a crowd. It's stretching me, learning how to entertain for such big families but it's been fun.

The Nester said...

Thanks Sandy for inviting me over! Why do we have to live on different coasts?

emily said...

This is great. And I've had the pizza...it's great, too. I think I've just made a new tradition. Thanks Sandy and Nester for encouraging imperfect beauty in entertaining.

Colleen said...

Loving the homemade pizza!!
Sandy-I have been following your blog for a while now and want you to know how much you inspire me!!! I always thought I needed to have "house Perfect" in order to entertain-and you have shown me time and time again that this is not the case,

Thanks for reminding so many of us-that its what in our hearts that makes a special night successful!!
Keep up the good work-and Thank you for sharing your love/life with us!!

Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home said...

I got to read something from two of my favorite gals today, Sandy and Nester! :-)

Sandy Toes said...

Great idea! I love pizza nights too...they are casual and relaxed.
sandy toe

momtoomany said...

We have 5 children, and any guests usually have a passel as well, pizza was a difficult entree fo us as well... Until we started grilling it! We'll make pizzas in the oven for the children, and then grill the adult's pizza. YUMMY! Plus if we serve a great salad and veggies, the kids don't gorge themselves on the pizza! Oh-who am I kidding? Those kids eat like they have bottomless stomachs!

Marci @OvercomingBusy said...

Making sure you are not stressed is huge! I have noticed that if I spend the whole day making sure everything is just perfect, I am so stressed by the time the guests arrive and I don't enjoy myself. When I let it go and don't worry about little details, I have a great time - and so do the guests!

paperjunk-lc said...

Did I miss the recipe. I would love to know how to make a good pizza. When I first got my kitchenaid I tried to make a batch of dough and the pizza's were terrible. Please share your secret.

Remodeling Guy said...

Hi Sandy and Nester!

Let me start with an AMEN! That pizza was incredible! And you didn't tell them about the Chicken Enchiladas you made! Those were awesome too and BOTH the pizza and the enchiladas are part of our normal menu's over here at our house now!

You didn't do yourself justice! You are an excellent hostess and both you and your rockin husband know how to entertain and make guests feel at home!

Sandy - I offer my sincere apologies that Nester put my face on your blog! Hopefully people will only notice my beautiful wife and the pizza in the picture!

Y'all have a great day!


southerninspiration said...

Some great thoughts here! Thanks for sharing. I like to make homemade pizza or calzones, too........thanks!


Christy said...

I'm so glad to find your blog via The Nester! She, along with Tim and Kim are my favorite bloggers. I'm jealous (but happy for them =) ) that they all got together for some Friday night fun. I hope The Nester is going to post her pizza dough recipe too. ;)

I have people over to my home often, and although I don't serve the same thing every time, I think her advice is good. Better to serve something you know will turn out yummy b/c it won't stress you out and you'll have more energy and time to enjoy your guests!

Mod Girl said...

So.... would Nester be interested in sharing the pizza dough recipe?????

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Nester is right - showing our imperfections definitely allows others to feel more at ease! As a matter of fact, we just talked about this at a small group leader meeting at church - being transparent and honest, even about our less-than-perfect stuff, lets others feel like they can open up, too.

Kim @ Everything Etsy said...

Hi Sandy! It's great to see The Nester visiting your beauitul blog!

It's not all about the food when it comes to entertaining. Nester and her sweet family made all of us feel welcomed and relaxed.

The pizza is so good and perfect for entertaining! I've started to make it when we have company over on the weekends. I think we'll start doing it every Friday though. Thanks for passing your recipe on to me! :-) {I'm sure she'll share it with everyone--she's like that, ya know!?}

Nester is a great cook! You all see her decorating skills, but miss out on the cooking going on over there.

At our house we cook out on the grill when we have parties. Most of the preparing is done ahead of time, so it's easy {because Tim's in charge of the grill, which he loves} and relaxing for us. I prefer paper plates to china. Washing tons of dishes stresses me out!


Donnie and Kristi said...

So how are you going to post about delicious pizza dough and not share the recipe?

Courtney said...

I just read in gourmet (I think it was gourmet) about pizza as the perfect entertainment food. trade joe's has yummy crust that you can grill (I can never make dough), so I am going to try it out!

Jill said...

I agree, I'd love to know the recipe! Thanks for sharing over here, nester!

Betsy said...

Sandy, your blog is such a joy!

The Nester said...

If Sandy will dare have me back some time I'd be glad to share the recepie. recipie. res e pee.

hate me.

GiBee said...

Having a simple menu that you are comfortable with certainly does cut down on stress!!! For both you and your guests! Good thoughts, Nester!

The Scooper said...

We must have the dough recipe! Loved the post.

the irish librarian said...

A wonderful idea, but ...where's the pizza dough recipe?

Terri said...

I love to make home made pizza!!! And I also look forward to seeing the recipe!! I make a whole-grain dough. I also love to make pizza when we have a bunch of kids over. I have collected a bunch of little aluminum pie plates, and use them so that each kid can make his or her own! I put a bit of oil in the pan, have them get it on their hands, and then give each child a ball of dough. I have little bowls of toppings set out so they can craft their own pizza. I use regular spaghetti sauce as the sauce (homemade or jarred). For a quick pizza without making dough, I use the "pocketless pitas" or flatbreads I get at Costco. Sometimes for sauce, I will literally spread tomato paste from the can onto the pita. I might or might not sprinkle with some italian seasoning and garlic! Pizza is fun and easy, and delicious at home!! blessings!

Lynne in NC said...

Two of my favorite people together in one post!
Woo hoo!
would like the pizza dough recipe, too.
love ya!

Bahama Shores Mama said...

pizza and salad, a taco bar, a chili dog bar or grilled items are our entertaining standbys. We usually do big groups (25-40) at least once a month so these help keep the stress to a minimum. Would also love the recipe for your pizza dough.

Little Lovables said...

Great advice! I love how you cook the same thing. I do that too, but only b/c it's the only thing that tastes good :(

Holly said...

Love the idea of serving a tried and true recipe in order to cut down on the freak out factor!

We hosted an "imperfect but good enough" gathering recently thanks to some of your posts and encourgement. I'm learning the time together is most important and the other stuff doesn't matter. Thanks!

cottagejoy_com said...

I'm relieved to hear that others fix the same meal for guests. I always felt bad about making the same old lasagna!

Love the blog!

Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Oh yes...nothing better than homemade pizza. It's personal, fun, and always a crowd pleaser. Both of you sweet friend - Thanks for sharing your encouragement with all of us. :)

Marci said...

Pizza is always a winner, I think!

Samantha said...

I have a chicken tortilla soup that is my standard entertaining dish. It's great to have something waiting in the wings for the sudden entertaining invite.

An aside, I want to say a heartfelt THANKS! to those of you who extend hospitality to families with lots of kids. We only have 3 kids, but I noticed that once we had the 3rd child, dinner invitations became rare. So, from the families with more than a kid or two, thanks for your hospitality! And for those of you who aren't sure what to do with families with "all those kids," :-) go for it! There might be an overwhelmed mom who would love a night off from cooking duty.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Love this idea. I've never made homemade pizza, but maybe I should give it a try! :-)

The Stylish House said...

Hi Sandy,
Thank you for the visit to my blog, company is always warmly welcomed! What a lovely, fun site you have. ~Cathy~