Find yourself entertaining and always wondering if there’s an easier way. I know, I know! Me too. In this blog, I’ve compiled some quick tips and ideas to help you enjoy hosting and provide a nice guest experience with ease. Follow these 3 easy steps for entertaining ease.
Grab Your MBA in “Entertaining with Ease” in 3 Steps
- Menu Simplicity
- Make it simple… a balanced meal OR appetizer offering
- Select items that can be made or prepped in advance
- Prep ahead of time all that you can and select your serving dishes
- Beverage Options
- Don’t go over stocking the bar and mixes. Already have everything? You are set!
- Choose a featured beverage and offer that, water, two soda options… keep it simple
- Try punches that go well with or without liquor for guest options (allowing them to add the amount of alcohol if desired or none at all) #nojudgment
- A Self-Serve Set-Up
- Go buffet style
- It’s easier to set up, maintain, clean up, and best of all the guests know where to find the food
- Make sure you don’t forget the condiments, eating utensils, and napkins
If your guests are going to be sticking around for any amount of time or they’ll be hanging with you over meal hours, you’ve gotta feed them.
Growing up in Minnesota with a hardworking father that stood 6’3” tall and tipped the scales at 220 lbs + and with a Mom that created an entourage of great meals always included one thing for certain, a gathering time for a family of 6 most evenings of the week. A truly fond memory of my father was how he was always talking about what was for lunch before he took his last bite of breakfast or what was for dinner before consuming the last bite of his hearty lunch. He truly showed us all how to love food, appreciate it, and celebrate by looking forward to it.
With that bit of background laid, it’s time to get one thing down. Unless you are hosting an all-vegan or vegetarian group, you need to have at least one meat option on the appetizer list. Whether it’s cold cuts, cheese and crackers, or some wings, meatballs, or little smokies… make sure to include the meat. Folks like my Dad might go home a bit grumbly if you don’t.
Always include a healthy option that pairs nicely with your meat selection and round it out with one salty and one sweet option.
Healthy options can be as simple as veggies and dip or a bowl of mixed fruit. These options can be prepped and ready to set on the buffet table well in advance,
Appetizer Poll, What Guests Want to See
I did an informal poll on my Facebook page to see what appetizers my followers liked best. Results showed that 54% of respondents said chips and dip. Of those respondents, 71% said chips and queso or some kind of taco dip. Here are 90 Party Dip Recipes from The Pioneer Woman to give you some inspiration and ideas. You’re welcome! Select the ones that you can prep ahead for entertaining ease during your gathering. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that 40%, not asking for chips and dip, wanted MEAT. Still got your back, Dad:)
Here are some non-alcoholic punch recipes options that you might find of interest from Southern Living. I believe several would pair nicely with a liquor that you could have off to the side as an optional add-on. After all, who doesn’t love choices?
If a punch isn’t your thing, no worries. Offer a white and red wine, a few beer options, water, or soda and you are set!
In the end, it’s all about making your guests feel comfortable and making the most of special times when you come together to laugh, catch up, and create memorable experiences.