Girls’ Night In! (Host a Weekend Party)

Saturday night I hosted a fun Girls’ Night In party for a small group of good friends.  I asked each friend to bring a bottle of Pinot Grigio to share and I provided the food:  appetizer, four soups, cornbread, and cupcakes.

Hummus, carrots, and crackers makes an easy appetizer.

It isn’t easy to host a party when you work full-time but with some planning it is possible.  What works for me is to plan the menu ahead of time, shop on Friday night and start some of the cooking, and then get the house ready and prep the rest of the food the day of the party.  Planning is key.  I have made each of the soups many times and knew exactly how long it would take to prep and cook each one.  I had everything ready when the first guest arrived making it easy for me to socialize while a did a few last minute things like make the cornbread.

I got completely ready for the party before I started cooking.  In the past I’ve not judged my time properly and ended up with just a few minutes to throw myself together before my guests arrived.  To avoid that stress, I got ready first!

Fiesta Chowder from Southern Living is a Favorite.  My friends really liked this!

Ina’s Beef stew was also a hit.  Check this post for the recipe.

Potato and corn chowder from Cooking Light is an old favorite.  The original recipe calls for crab but I always leave it out.  I blogged about this soup a few years ago here.

The fourth soup was homemade turkey noode.  I cooked a turkey last weekend and used the carcass to make stock early on Saturday morning. Just before the party began, I added carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper, and herbs. After simmering the broth until the veggies were tender, noodles were added. I don’t have a picture of this yummy soup.  I also don’t have a link or picture of my cornbread, but let me tell you, if you have a cast iron skillet, use it for cornbread.  I could have eaten half a pan by myself!

Cupcakes made a great dessert and a pretty centerpiece. 

The recipe for the cupcakes is from Southern Living.  Their version makes mini cupcakes but I made mine full sized.  The cream cheese buttercream frosting is particularly good.

I didn’t have ten placemats and napkins that matched but found enough to coordinate to set a pretty table.

The ladies arrived, the wine was poured, and a good time was had by all – so good that I didn’t take a single picture of my guests! 


My favorite of the Pinot Grigios was Big Fire. I already knew that I like Cupcake and the Rex-Goliath. I really liked The Naked Grape, too. I didn’t think that the wine with the heart label and the Cielo were so good but a few of the ladies liked these.

While the ladies socialized at my house, four of the husbands including Mr. SP played tennis and socialized afterwards over a beer.  Everyone ended up having a fun night!

It wasn’t easy to pull this party off after a long and stressful work week, but I’m so glad that I did and look forward to the next time that I entertain.  If you need a fun party idea, a wine and soup tasting works very well!


  1. I admire you for hosting this after a week at school. I’m sure everyone had a great time. The soups all sound delicious.

  2. Hi Paula! What a party! The food looks and sounds delicious and you look so pretty cooking up in your gorgeous kitchen! Thanks for popping in to see me.
    e a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  3. Great job on everything. I have to admit I hesitate to invite friends over because of how much time the prep takes. I agree that when you work it seems doubly hard. Afterwards I’m always glad I did it though…hope you have a wonderful week!

  4. What a fun party idea! I have noticed since I went back to work full time, we entertain less. Love your idea to get ready first! I wrote down your wine favorties, going to give them a try this weekend! Hope you had a good Monday…bring on Friday 🙂

  5. What a great idea! That Fiesta Chowder stuff looks WONDERFUL! Speaking of wine, can you suggest something that isn’t dry? I hate dry wine. I would like to try something different than my same old White Zin. I’m not very adventurous.

    By the way, there is an award for you on my blog today if you get a chance to stop by.

  6. Looks like such fun. I know what you mean about entertaining after a long work week. I’m usually so glad that I did, though. Everything looks delicious!

  7. I love this post! Can’t wait to try some of your yummy soups! And I had to laugh because as I’ve been moving some old blog posts over to the new blog, I came across one I wrote mentioning my number one trick to NOT feel rushed… get myself ready first!!

  8. How fun! Your turkey soup sounded the best, wish you had taken a picture. I love pinot grigio! It’s my favorite. I’ve tried Cupcake and it’s pretty good but you should try the Mirassou brand if you can find it. Let me know what you think of that one.

    Your table looks lovely! I love those lace placemats!

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