I know, I know. The words “Easy Entertaining” can seem like an oxymoron, especially after you have kids but I assure you, if you stick to a few simple rules, throwing a fabulous fete is totally within reach. Parties don’t have to be overly complicated and fussy to be fantastic. The truth is, the less stressed you are, the better it will all turn out so just chillax and heed my advice.
-Semi-Homemade Is OK: Food and drinks should be the top of any party list and whether you are having a formal dinner or a simple appetizer/cocktail event remember, you do not have to make everything from scratch or not at all. Getting a little help from the store is always a good thing. Mixing store bought goodies with homemade noshes is a fabulous way to take some of the pressure off. Buy pre-cut veggies, fruit and cheeses. Many supermarkets also have great store-made soups and quiches which make great first and courses. And if you don’t like to cook, there is nothing wrong with catering. Knowing how to buy well is just as good as knowing how to cook well. Remember, this is your party, do what works for you, especially if you have small kids to worry about or it’s a last minute shin-dig.
-Themes Can Be Your Friend: It’s true, a theme can be fussy, but it totally doesn’t have to be. Having a theme for your event can actually help you keep your party in check in the organization department. A theme makes an event seem more special. Example: An All Dessert Party, A Comfort Food Party, A Latin Night etc…You don’t have to go all out crazy with the details but gearing your event towards one style of food or coarse is a great way to make it special. Themes take the guess work out of what to serve and how to get it to work together and in the end, it really makes parties so much easier to plan. See sample menu below…
Easy Italian Themed Soiree:
-This Ain’t Cheers: Forget stocking a bar. If you you don’t normally have a fully stocked bar (not many people do), there’s no reason to run out and buy tons of alcohol just for a one day event. A fully stocked bar can be expensive and it takes up precious space in your home. Stick with beer, wine, sparkling water, juice and a signature cocktail. If you select one cocktail ahead of time, you can buy only those ingredients and serve a fabulous beverage that your guests will go crazy over.
- On Your Mark, Get Set…: Ever feel like you are in a relay race moments before your guests arrive? Take that last minute pressure off by setting the table and decorating the night before. This tip is so, so, so, helpful. No one has the time or patience to do these things last minute and having them done the night before means one less thing to worry about in the AM, leaving you time to focus on last minute details, like, ummm, maybe putting make-up on or changing out of your sweats (I know this is not just me!).