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We never intend to throw a dinner party without actually planning a dinner party, but sometimes you invite a couple friends over for wine, then find out that your spouse invited his colleague for a cocktail, then bump into your neighbor on the way home, and before you know it, you have a house full of people, and it happens to be dinner time.

Domino editor-in-chief Jessica Romm-Perez knows the feeling all too well. “I’m always having friends over after work, and sometimes that group can grow by three or four or five at the last minute,” says Romm-Perez, who has perfected a few tricks over the years in order to be prepared for a spur-of-the-moment party.

 
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Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

The key to success? Simple recipes that are easy to multiply. Everyone always gathers in the kitchen, so she likes to set out colorful charcuterie and crudite plates for people to munch on while she prepares dinner. Her go-to menu includes a bright and lemony salad, a roasted spatchcock chicken with fingerling potatoes, and fun DIY ice cream sandwiches.

Romm-Perez recently shared her best tricks in Thomasville Studio 1904 Kitchen by Home Depot Kitchen at our New York pop-up shop. Watch the video to get all of her tips.