I am participating in BlogHer’s Life Will Lived Campaign. I was asked to answer the following question:
What is your best tip for hosting a gathering, get-together or party that is enjoyable and stress-free for both the host and guests?
I can answer that simply and easily. Cook in advance.
We have friends over at least once or twice a month. My college kids come home a couple times a month. I also cater all of my own graduation and confirmation parties. When we first started hosting get togethers, I would totally stress out. Not anymore. I learned to look for recipes that can be made in advance and to keep those recipes handy. There are a whole host of meals that taste best if they have been in the refrigerator overnight… Soups, stews, chili…even pie tastes better after a day. Use those recipes to your advantage.
When you have overnight guests and need breakfast for the morning, these Mexican Tortilla Omelets can be made in advance…
I have also learned to make items the day before. Meatballs, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole…all of these are great options of foods that can be made up one to two days before the event and just popped into the oven a bit before guests arrive. You can find a host of recipes in my recipe section that are all filled with great homemade taste yet won’t break the time constraints or budgets to prepare.
In the summer I always keep all the goodies around to make smores…that’s an instant dessert. For a quick appetizer, I pop open a jar of my pumpkin bread or make a platter of pepper jelly and cream cheese. Both of these are great for entertaining and looking like you were busy all day…but actually weren’t.
Other bloggers are getting together and sharing their ideas on stress free entertaining here. You can enter to win BlogHer’s sweepstakes too. Whatever you do, remember that the people are the most important thing at any event…not the food.