Most hosts get a bit stressed when guests are coming for dinner and they have been at work all day or just busy with the kids. I want to teach your viewers my trick: I incorporate store bought with fresh/homemade so that guests are impressed and think you’ve done it all!
For example, I make a simple, elegant pasta sauce with the fewest of ingredients, based on my Italian grandmother’s recipe, but here’s the trick: I buy frozen mushroom (or lobster) stuffed ravioli. I buy fresh basil. Because the sauce and basil (as the finishing touch) are fresh and homemade, the guests are impressed and assume the ravioli is, too! I can demonstrate making the sauce and putting it all together, quickly and beautifully.
Another one is having guests for the weekend when there are kids, adults… and a vegan! Buy the small prepared pizza dough round, one for every guest. Have several toppings ready to cook, for example: shrimp, veggies, store bought pepperoni, can of artichokes. Cook them all at once on the grill or in the oven and then let people create their own personal pizza based on their likes. Such a serious time savor and everyone is satisfied.
I have a lot of these so let me know if you have an interest and I would be happy to share!
Author, The Art of the Visit: Being the Perfect Host; Becoming the Perfect Guest