No matter what the season, it is always the perfect time to have a party or gathering with your family and friends. It is fun and a happy place to be the hostess and at the center of all the laughter, food and smiling faces around. What you don’t want to do is end up in the kitchen where you are cooking and prepping all evening and missing out on the fun. We’ve put together a list of suggestions to make entertaining easier so that you can enjoy the party along with your guests. There is a lot less fun in knowing what a good time everyone had by looking at the pictures afterwards or hearing about the stories and good times that occurred at your own home.
The Top Ideas & Suggestions to Make Entertaining Easier
- Cook Outside – Using Grills and Smokers
If you’re planning to invite family and friends over for a party, you need to plan it all out properly. Of course, one of the best parts about the party is the food. No matter what the occasion, it seems we all tend to gather in the kitchen. It could be the biggest room in the house or the smallest, and inevitably, you will find a gathering going on. To accommodate a smaller kitchen, or larger group, or warmer weather – take your pick – we think that cooking outside is the ideal alternative to crowding everyone inside.
BBQ islands are an excellent place to set up as the center of the party. Create a pop up the outdoor kitchen with all the tools and utensils that you will need to prep and chat at the same time. From grills to smokers, and even including equipment for creating an outdoor kitchen, BBQ islands have got you covered to bring the kitchen outside.
This way you can be engaged with your guests while preparing the food. They will even be able to help with the cutting, peeling, and basting. You can get a variety of quality smokers and grills, depending on what type of food you would more regularly prepare. Smokers tend to take less tending to
When it comes to barbeque parties, grills form an integral part of the cooking equipment. Before you buy a grill, it is necessary that you look at the performance and the quality of food you get with cooking on the grills.
- Use Electric Skillets, Warming Plates, and Slow Cookers
These versatile cooking tools are great for home and office parties and provide you with a complete meal, and very little tending to. You can prep hours ahead of time – even days with some recipes, and put all your ingredients combined into one piece of cookery.
The one stop shop that the electric skillet and slow cooker provide will make for less cleanup as well.Using a warming plate will give you the option to prep ahead or have guests bring dishes. You can keep them warm without having to crowd everything into one oven, or stay in the kitchen holding watch over each dish.
- Designate a Start and Finish Time
Most people do better with structure, and giving your guests, a start and finish time allows you to relax, knowing that at a specific time, you’ll have your house back and be able to start the cleanup.
This may not sound great at the onset, to be planning the end before it even starts, but you’ll eliminate the stragglers and give yourself a window to relax while knowing there will be time for clean up later. You should also indicate a RSVP requirement for the party guests. If someone doesn’t respond, reach out to them. Having enough food and drink for your guests is a huge relief, and will allow you to relax knowing that you won’t run out of anything.
- Make a Playlist
You do not want to play deejay during your party, so get a list together of your favorite songs and have them ready to play on the Bluetooth speaker at party time. You can hit repeat if you need the party to last longer than the list you have compiled.
Your musical selection sets the vibe of the evening and being in control of that from the start allows you to control the mood too. You can also have more influence on the timing of your party with the music. Easy listening as everyone arrives, followed by something more upbeat while things are in full swing, and then have it wind down after a few hours so that you can allow people to mellow out and think about heading home when you are ready to clean up and go to sleep!
- Have Car Services Ready
Prep your phone ahead of time with the necessary apps and information so that if you need to send a guest home who has had a bit too much bubbly, you can rest easy knowing they have been taken care of. You can also write down the name of local taxi and driver services should you want to make it available to your guests without having to be responsible for the payment of their ride. It is not out of the question to also have a basket for keys for when people arrive. This way you are in control of knowing when someone has had too much to drink and may need alternative options to get home safely.
- Have Water & Coffee Prepped
Speaking of too much bubbly, having water and coffee ready for those who will be driving is another way to take the burden of worry off your shoulders.
Doing all of this ahead of time gives you the chance to sit and relax with guests. Buy to-go cups and lids and allow people to their drink when they leave (no drinking and driving) and have chilled bottles of water ready as well.
Cheers to planning, being prepared, and enjoying yourself!
Andrew Ellis is the ‘hands-on’ webmaster, content curator and Captain of the good ship Poshh Living. Father of one and master of none. Fitness, health and of course home improvement are Andrew’s key areas of expertise. Andrew has worked in many roles, from product designer to purchaser, for spa products, garden furniture and tech. Andrew is a really well-respected voice within these business circles