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Easy Entertaining:: Tips to Stow and Go!

Sun, July 13, 2014


Let’s face it… Hosting guests can be intimidating, especially when it’s a last minute affair. But impromptu gatherings are often some of the best. You’re able to forego the stress of a perfectly planned party and embrace the casual attitude of a spontaneous get-together. While it’s nearly impossible to host family or friends without any effort, there are some easy ways to make entertaining a snap when unexpected visitors arrive. Simply stock, stow and be ready to go! Here’s how:

Prep a Playlist
Music is an essential part of setting the mood, so keep a few playlists at the ready. Anything from disco and popular 80’s tunes to jazz and blues ballads will strike up the band and the conversation.

TIP: It can also be a great way break awkward silence.

Stock Up on Serveware
Add instant style to any get together with stylish pieces from the cupboard. Mix, match and marvel at how easy entertaining gets with these time-saving selections. Collect them over time, and let each addition become part of the entertaining story.

  • Cheese Knives and Spreaders
  • Bowls and Platters {various sizes}
  • Breadboards and Baskets
  • Various Glasses
  • Decanters and Pitchers
  • Dinner Plates and Bowls
  • Appetizer/Dipping Bowls
  • Serving Utensils

Although there are many other fun and functional additions, these pieces will get you through most occasions.

Layer on the Linens
At a minimum, keeping a cache of cocktail napkins is a must. Numerous retailers, from gourmet grocers to dapper department stores, carry a diverse offering of patterns and colors. Stock up with a few favorites on an upcoming shopping outing and always be ready to serve cocktails, appetizers and light bites.

Another great way to be effortlessly chic in minutes… Simply style the scene with tablecloths, placemats and runners. They instantly dress the table with sophistication and add flair to buffets and coffee tables.

TIP: Iron tablecloths and runners after laundering. Place on a hanger in the closet and be ready to entertain anytime… Wrinkle free!

Light it Up
Nothing adds ambiance like tea lights. Place them around the room or table to add instant sparkle and sophistication to any setting. If six seems like enough, add six more. You almost can’t have too many.

Keep Essentials on Hand
Almost anything can become a simple appetizer. Pair enough simple small plates together, and guests can enjoy an appetizing assortment that eliminates the need for a true meal. Try this quick but effective hit list.

  • Olives and Pickles {Keep sweet and savory varieties}
  • Jams or Jellies {Try fig jam, tomato jam or pepper jelly for gourmet goodness}
  • Honey {Organic varieties pack a big flavor punch}
  • Crackers or Crostini {Simple water crackers pair with almost anything}
  • Sauces {Standbys: mustard, mayo, ketchup, BBQ, marinara, pesto, soy or teriyaki}
  • Mixed Nuts {The standard mix: peanuts, almonds, pecans and cashews}
  • Cheeses {Keep a spreadable version and a block or wedge version}
  • Wine and Beer {This is personal preference, but a selection of red and a white is usually just right}
  • Cured Meats {Sure bets: salami, proshuitto, seranno}
  • Toothpicks {Not enough forks? No problem}


Finish Strong
Don’t linger over leftovers. Store inexpensive, reusable plastic {or glass} containers to send seconds home with guests. It keeps the refrigerator clean, they appreciate the good grub, and many will repay the favor. Minimize the mess by selecting microwave and dishwasher safe serveware. Nothing kills a post-party festive feeling like clean up. Plus, our Tapas pieces look great even in the dishwasher!

Here’s to entertaining without the stress! Got more great tips? Share, please.


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