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Lorraine Pascale shares her top preparation tips and favourite recipes for throwing a successful dinner party.
'Work clean, work fast and keep things simple,' she says.
'Keep your menu
. Don't make complicated dishes that have to be done at the last minute.
'Have lots of
everywhere and make the whole place look beautiful.
'Have a lovely
on in the background. Something peaceful and relaxing to make your guests feel at ease.
'Get people to
or a starter.'
'Puff pastry cheese sticks are a really easy starter. Roll ready-made puff pastry into a big rectangle then sprinkle some cheese like Parmesan over the top with a bit of black pepper. Slice them into sticks with a sharp knife and pop them in the oven.'
'Make mini filo
. Prep them all in advance and keep them in a container in the fridge, then, when your guests arrive, throw them in the oven. My favourite filling is bacon or pancetta, thyme and mushrooms.'
'I'd make something simple and easy that I can put in the centre of the table for people to share – a big risotto, a rack of lamb, or spatchcock chicken.'
Lorraine is a judge on My Kitchen Rules, which airs on Sky Living HD on Thursday 23 January at 9pm and is available On Demand.