From Cathy Henning - Petaluma, CA
I make a game plan for the dinner before I finalize the menu, and I tend to make one thing in the oven, one thing on top of the stove, and one thing at room temp that I can make in advance. I either make the main course earlier in the day and reheat it, or I have the dish assembled and it goes into the oven before guests arrive. I try not to do any cooking while the guests are there. It takes a lot of planning, but I am so much more relaxed when everyone arrives. I hope that helps!