For me, the key to giving a dinner party, and being able to enjoy it, is to make as much ahead as possible. It makes for a relaxing, stress free evening and then I also get to enjoy the process of cooking as I can do it at my own pace, with no time pressure. Also, as mentioned on a previous blog there are things that have a better taste and texture when allowed to sit in marinades, gravies and sauces.
Today, I've made a hazelnut tiramisu from a Nigella recipe. I'm not a huge fan of tiramisu when it's too bitter so the sweet, hazelnut liqueur that I bought on my last trip to Calais should be perfect. I'm also substituting the cocoa powder dusting on the top with toasted chopped nuts and grated chocolate. It'll get it's topping tomorrow before I serve so for now it doesn't look that impressive but should taste blooming gorgeous.
Next up is the lasagne. The bolognese is chilled, the cheese sauce is cooling. If you're making this ahead you want everything to be at the same temperature when you put it together. As you also shouldn't reheat things more than once, everything is going to be cold. This way a hot cheese sauce won't warm up the meat sauce, risking bacterial growth. Food poisoning, never a good look at a get together.
Oops, it would help if I'd actually posted this blog.