Lets face it, fact is I've not been the hostess with the mostest. Though I love reading and watching shows about home entertaining. I never invite people over. In fact I've not hosted a gathering outside of birthdays and holiday celebrations since my mid 20's. I thought I was quite chic offering up pasta and artichoke dip with friends over for the latest flick or pizza bites and pbj for mommy and me playdates.
One of the merit badges in the "You Did It" book is to entertain, so this is one of my goals is to make a few friends and have them over for an evening in chatting,casual dining, and watch movies or play a game.
Keys to the unplanned soiree is to have things on hand but what do you serve that gentleman caller or the lady for that matter?
Budget conscieous as we ever are these days some great pieces to serve from will enhance any impromtu gathering. Even if the foods all brought in you will still want to serve it on something lovely. I eat with my eyes as much with my mouth. White ceramic bowls,platters, and trays are good because its a nuetral and food stands out on a white back drop. You can get white from the dollar store all the way to high end stores, is easy to mix and match styles with. Brushed metal bar items like an ice bucket or wine chiller are great, they offer a menswear aspect to a table scape whether a buffet or seated dining affair these items make dining in easy and fun. Who wants to grab a handful of ice for every guest needing a refill this way they can serve themselves or the bucket can be passed.Wooden pieces are earth and substantial they are great salad bowls and platters.Glass cylinders and vases are the easiest cheapest way to display flowers or to create center pieces with. Choose a nuetral table cloth like white,taupe,beige,or cream. Used potted herbs or flowers from a farmers market to create cheap and easy center piece. Alternatively you can make flower balls using styrofoam flowers and a glue gun to create a stunning center piece.
What does a modern girl need on hand to throw together a shindig? A well stocked pantry of course!
Balsmic Vinegar,Canned beans like garbanzo or cannelli for hummus or spreads,crackers and chips-when ever your out and about pick up crackers and chips, from the Dollar General to more upscale stores they all have their version of a fancy cracker and pick up chips. Chocolate-every pantry and girl needs this if not for emergencies certainly to grate over desserts or keep a block of chocolate on hand and cut into bites to serve with Port. Nuts,olives and olive oil,pasta and sauce,roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes. Tampenade, Salsa, and dips are great to have on hand also for quick grab and go items.
You will need to stock your fridge and freezer always buy cream cheese,sour cream, and a selection of cheese, cured meats, bacon is cheap,easy and yummy on potatoes or a salad. Even easier they're a little more but worth the investment especially if your like me and these items will grow legs and walk out of the fridge themselve. For me and my house it makes sense to grab a small party tray the day of the affair. Frozen meatballs,shrimp,and pre-made appetizers like potstickers or cheese sticks.
Contemporary gals should offer beverage service during her do, depending on what your poison is or if your celebrating you may want to stock an inexpensive champagne like Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve Particuliar for $40.00, also in the 40.00 price range champagne Duete Brut Classic,Jacquert Brut Mosaique,Champagne Bonnaire Brut Blanc de Blancs, Champagne pierre Jouet Grand Brut are all a modest $30. Port is a wonderful Portuguese fortified wine. Port wine is typically richer, sweeter, heavier, and possesses a higher alcohol content than most other wines. So Sip! Prices range there are some very good selections in the 20.00 and under price range like Taylor Port,Becker Vintage Port(Texas winery),NV Jonesy Port. The well appointed bar would have Vodka,Gin,Rum,Tequila,Whiskey,Triple Sec,Vermouth, Cointreu. As far as beer thats personal choice I like Lone Star as my cheap beer I use this to cook with, mix up a shandy or to drink like beer flavored soda since the alcohol content is fairly low. Shiner also a local beer brwed here in Texas Shiner has several selections 101 is a limited time offering in honor if 101 years of brewing. 101 is a Czech style pilsner. Blonde is the direct descendant of Spoetzl's earliest brew virtually unchanged since it was first brewed in 1909.King Fischer, Stella, and Guiness represent my favorite imports. A great dessert pairing is Chocolate Stout. For your guy friends or gentlemen callers you may want to offer cigars after dinner or during the game whether poker or football. Cigars for the beginner to try are Casa Torano,Cao Criollo,Macanado hyde park,Gi sport,Helix blue tubular, all medium to mild blends.
These are mere suggestions you may find smoothies are better than offering adult beverages. These ideas are from my entertaining journal. I often find myself reading and tearing out articles and printing off ideas from the net. Planning parties and get togethers that I never get around to having. I've got my shopping list I will invite a few friends over for a spontaeous fete.
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