I love hosting a dinner, people over, or a full blown party. I typically get the “Whoa, Kallie you went all out!” comments. Probably because I have a theme, pull out coordinating serving ware, always have an appetizer and finish with dessert. It’s pretty much an affair when you come to my house. Oh and I forgot, if it’s a smaller group, I’m huge on plating! I mean who doesn’t like to have a pretty plated meal! So, with the holiday season here I want share some of my entertaining tips and tricks to making even the biggest party go smoothly and help you feel a little less stressed. After all, you’re hosting people, don’t you want to enjoy it as much as they do?!?
To start, if it’s not a holiday, then finding a theme will help you create a plan and get organized. A theme can be as basic as Italian Night and serve chicken parmigiana, salad and garlic bread. Or as complex as creating and entire Paleo meal, which I did for Aria’s Baptism party because I had decided I wanted to go Paleo for a while. Another party I did was a carnival theme so I made homemade pretzel bites, corn dogs and sliders. There are so many fun things you can so for a dinner party or event. Pinterest has become my best friend when looking for ideas. I have created several different food and holiday boards (be sure to follow me to continue to get ideas) . Also, you can check out this post for ideas on where to shop for tablescape and entertaining decor.
I know entertaining is not for everyone, but it really can be fun, easy and relatively stress free. Here are a few of my entertaining tips and tricks I use before every get together, regardless of the event size.
Holiday Entertaining Tips + Tricks
- Have a plan. Ok, so this is the most important, and probably most time consuming part of planning a dinner party or event. The planning phase includes choosing your theme, menu and grocery list. Also included here is figuring out what decor, platters and drink you plan to have. Will you serve wine, beer, or have a themed cocktail?
- Cook as much as you can ahead of time. This is something I learned from my Mom. She always says “I’d rather be talking and mingling with everyone than be stuck in the kitchen still doing the cooking and cleaning.” This is huge you guys!!! If you can prep things the day before it helps keeps your kitchen a little cleaner on the day of your party. I mean prepping and cooking uses a lot of dishes, pots, pans and utensils. Some things that can be prepped ahead are side dishes, salad without the dressing, a cheese or vegetable plate and depending on your actual meal that might be able to be prepped too. Examples of main dishes that can be made ahead are lasagna and chicken parmigiana, enchiladas, or you can marinade your protein and have it ready to bake or grill. For dessert, I made it in the morning/early afternoon so it cools over the day it’s perfect and ready to serve.
- Have an activity. We always have some kind of activity when my mom hosts our family get together’s and it’s so fun. I have to admit, I was the first to moan and groan at the idea. But, as I have gotten older I’ve learned to love this idea. One of the favorites is BINGO. She always has a few prizes, some good and some funny, but it makes playing really fun. If this isn’t your thing, maybe your guests are into wine. My mother-in-law is famous for her blind wine tastings. She creates a theme around the wine and puts together a sheet for everyone to make guesses.
- Have Fun! Yes, sometimes you’ve got a million things on your mind to ensure everything is going well that you forget to enjoy your own party. So, follow the tips above to be as prepared ahead of time of time so there is less stressing about food and more enjoying the food and company!
I hope this is helpful and that you learned a few entertaining tips. Be sure to check out my Hostess Gift and Wine Lovers Gift Guides for those entertainers in your life. Also, for that wine lover you have to check out this Ullo filter and carafe. Any wine lover is going to love it. Here’s the details: it’s a revolutionary wine purifier that restores the natural taste of wine with Selective Sulfite Capture™ filter technology. This seriously makes the best gift or hostess gift!
If you want to have a signature cocktail to serve for your holiday parties I’ve got you covered. You can serve this Sipp Sparkling Organics on its own, add a little lime juice + an extra splash of soda water for a great Mocktail or below is my holiday Margarita recipe!
1.5 oz tequila
1 oz lime juice
4 oz Sipp Mojo Berry
Mix together and pour over ice in a salt rimmed glass. Garnish with fresh blackberries .
I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
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