It’s time to break out your serving wear and champagne flutes because New Years is just around the corner! I absolutely love entertaining and spending time with close friends and family, but hosting a get together can easily turn into a stressful chore if the proper preparations aren’t made. The kitchen, the heart of the home, is typically where a lot of the action takes place. Whether you are hosting a casual cocktail party or a sit down meal in the dining room, the kitchen should be an inviting place for guests to mingle and socialize. Creating a warm environment in the kitchen allows you to interact with the guests while you place the finishing touches on a round of cocktails or main course.
Proper preparation can eliminate the stress that is associated with entertaining. Keep your menu simple and prepare one or two dishes yourself. The rest can be store bought! Buying pre- prepared side dishes or appetizers keeps you from over extending yourself, and allows you to focus on the main dish. A selection of spreads, cheeses, and meats can be used to create a lavish cheese board. Other finger foods like toasted nuts, olives, and kettle chips are easy appetizer options as well. If you are serving your meal buffet style, label each serving dish the night before with post its for easy serving the day of. Anything that you can plan out ahead of time will shorten your to do list the day of, thus reducing your stress level.
Whether you are working with a tiny apartment kitchen like me, or a state of the art kitchen that can hold twenty five, the same principles and guidelines apply. Create a warm environment that is both aesthetically pleasing, and functional. Light several votive candles and turn on some music! Optimize your kitchen! Place finger foods and small appetizers on the kitchen island or side table for guests to nibble on while everyone is arriving. Keep it simple! A cheese board with a fruit, a bread and several spreads is a great appetizer that can be prepared the night before and laid out as guests are arriving. If there is room in the kitchen, dining area, or living room, create a cocktail station where guests can serve themselves while you are placing the finishing touches on the meal! Stick to one cocktail recipe for the night and have a wine and champagne selection additionally available to guests. Make sure that your bar or bar cart is fully stocked the night before, and pre cut any garnishes that will be used for cocktails.
The most important part of entertaining is that you have fun. I mean after all isn’t that the purpose? Your guests will be able to tell if you are stressed out and aren’t enjoying yourself! Do the prep work and sit back and enjoy the party and the loved ones around you! I hope that these simple entertaining tips help you make your event spectacular!