Have you ever heard of a menu diary? A menu diary makes planning for a party an easy task.
Every time you throw a party or a dinner, you just write the menu in your diary. Over the years it will help you to modify a popular menu, remember dishes that you forgot you used to make and stay away from the not so successful ones.
How to start making one? Get a sturdy notebook with hard cover. To begin with write the date of the party or dinner, the time and if there is any theme or special ocassion (birthday, holiday, etc.).
Make a list of your guests and make notes of any diet restrictions (allergies, no pork, no alcohol, etc.)
Then write down the menu you picked divided by starters, side dishes, main dishes and desserts. After the party or dinner make notes about the food (crowd pleasers, untouched food, etc.)
At the back of the notebook make individual category lists of the starters, side dishes, main dishes, and desserts that passed the test. Keep adding new items in each category every time you try a new recipe and soon enough you will have a good assortiment of dishes to pick from.