Casual food equals casual conversation. I love to serve big casseroles, taco bars, chili and soups…you know…easy and relaxing food. My friend Lori is the total inspiration for this. Whenever I go to her house, she serves the best and yummiest food without fussing over it too much (soups and sandwiches, pasta salads, dips and chips…yummy food without the fuss). If you’re fussing over Beef Wellington or Filet Mignon with Lobster Sauce…your guests will feel like it’s formal and thus, they’ll act formal. I want them eating Sloppy Joes and feeling at ease at my house. Just because the mama cooks, doesn’t mean the mama needs to show off. A good old Tostada Bar with a festive dessert and some fun music will create the perfect party.
8. It’s the experience, not the food
The sign of a good party? When I leave and don’t really recall what I ate but remember the people, the easy conversation, and the warm feeling the home gave me. If I leave remembering every course I ate but didn’t really engage with anyone, it wasn’t a successful party. Cooking and entertaining are not the same thing. Focus on entertaining your guests and keep the food simple (order out if you need to!). Entertaining your guests and making sure they have the best time starts with you being relaxed…and if you’re slaving over your stove, you aren’t relaxed.
9. Use white plates
When you can, use white plates and serving platters. Food just always looks better when served on white dishes. Mix and match them! They don’t have to match. I like an eclectic table with an assortment of dishes. It makes everything seem more comfy and like home.
10. Serve white drinks
I love this tip! When you’re hosting a party…serve white beverages. Whether it’s a cocktail or mocktail…make it white. White beverages don’t leave nasty stains like a punch or red cocktails. White drinks are a hostess life-saver. Get creative…there are a lot of white drinks you can serve. I’ve served white-chocolate hot chocolate, punches and mixed drinks with white bases and then white, fruity mixers (like lemonades, limeades, sherbets, etc.). Just do yourself a favor and make it white.
I hope you find a tip or two here that will make your next holiday party easier and more fun!