parties & entertaining : seven steps to easy entertaining

I’ve had thrown a decent share of dinner parties. Growing up, my parents always hosted dinner and cocktail parties. My father mixed drinks and my mom woke up early enough to cook everything to have fresh, warm food on the tables. It may have been exhausting, but it was satisfying and exhilarating at the end of the day. I guess I got that little ounce of blood in me to enjoy hosting events like such. Today, I’ll share my seven steps to easy entertaining. Note that this post is exclusively for the planning stage. I will share tips for how to host at ease during your party in another post.
I usually like to have one signature drink that is pre-made. Have two servings for each person. Have the signature drinks poured into a glasses, placed on a tray, and offer it to your guests as they settle into your home. Then have a bottle of red wine, preferably a merlot. A light beer like Stella Artois, and two liquor options and appropriate mixers to go along. I would suggest your two liquors to be vodka and rum. You can have more alcohol, but this is an appropriate base.
{hors d’oeuvres}
Remember hors d’oeuvres should not be too spicy or too sweet because this will ruin a palate for dinner. It’s a general rule of thumb to have one warm appetizer option and one cold option. A simple cheese, cracker and fruit tray is appropriate for a cold option and gives your guests options. A simple bruschetta or artichoke-spinach dip are good examples of warm appetizers. Tip : If you’re considering having a large number of people, consider having food labels and/or menues.
Pick something simple for dinner. Don’t make multiple sides and multiple entree options, unless you have a guest with a dietary restriction. Have a salad, which can be made ahead of time. A one pot meal is always the best hosting dinner. It’s simple, little clean up, and one-pot dinners are the most flavorful. If you’re not serving pasta or rice, consider serving dinner rolls.
Pick a dessert that can be plated ahead of time and stored in either your refrigerator or freezer. The last thing you want to do is leave your guests for half an hour as you plate your desserts. Fruit trifles like here are some of my favorite as they are easy, healthy and pretty.
After choosing a menu is when I suggest you create your list. You will need a guest list, grocery list, a list of any utensils and/or tableware you may need to go out and rent or purchase.
{utensils & tableware}
Have your table set before your guests arrive. This will just leave more time for you to spend with your guests. Be sure to have extras or each thing just in case a plus one shows up or someone drops a fork or spoon. Keep it close enough so you don’t have to disrupt the flow. Be sure you plan out exactly where everything you’re having goes.
If you don’t want to keep any extra food at the end then I suggest having tupperware out for your friends to take some home with them. Also, have a few bags for them to place the tupperware in. Be sure to have tupperware that you don’t mind losing.


Any hidden tricks or tips for easier entertaining from you and your family?