Here’s a dinner party menu with the cook’s convenience in mind: braised veal shanks and a dessert of simple sundaes with apple cider sauce and candied walnuts.
The veal shanks can be done ahead and frozen (thaw them overnight in the refrigerator). Even the candied walnuts freeze well, while the apple cider sauce can be made up to a week ahead and refrigerated. Serve with rice and a simple vegetable.
You can certainly make this menu the same day you serve it, but the veal shanks improve by being made at least two days ahead for the flavors to meld. This is a dinner that the cook can really enjoy.