As much as I love going out to dinner with my girlfriends, sometimes I just want to stay in. Whether it's because you don't feel like changing out of your yoga pants or just want to catch your favorite must-see TV with your friends, girl's night in can be just as fun as girl's night out.
So what should you make for your friends? Think simple but delicious. You want to spend time enjoying your friends, not cooking. A few ideas:
- Hummus: It's packed with protein and good fats, plus it's easy to dip and munch while you talk with your friends. Use canned garbanzo beans for a traditional Mediterranean experience, or you can mix it up by using Great Northern Beans instead. Serve the hummus with pita chips or sliced veggies like carrots, peppers, jicama and celery.
- Quesadillas: These are easy to put together and easy to serve as an appetizer. Fill them with more traditional black beans or try something different and stuff them with sweet and savory baked beans.
- Bruschetta: These appetizers are bite-size, plus you can customize them with almost any combination of toppings. Go beyond the typical tomatos and olive oil by topping French bread with cannellini beans and Parmesan cheese.
- Cheese and Accompaniments: Cheese plates have evolved since the pepperoni and cheddar squares with buttery crackers I grew up with. Head to a store with a good cheese selection and try a few different cheeses to make a plate. Then, get some crusty French bread, herbed crackers and dried fruit. Arrange it on a platter and dig in.
You could prepare all this in less than an hour and put it on the coffee table for your friends to nibble on, leaving you able to enjoy the evening as much as your friends do. These dishes also travel well, for the nights that your friends are hosting. With delicious, easy food like this and good friends, you may find yourself staying in a little more and going out a little less.