Healthy entertaining made easy and elegant.

13 Tips For Easy Entertaining

Make your next event enjoyable and fun!

I love inviting family and friends into my home for any occasion from a delicious dinner party to a backyard cook out. But, I didn’t always. The thought of hosting can be overwhelming: what should I serve? how should I decorate? What music should I play? Through time and experience, I’ve grown to love being a hostess. Here are thirteen tips that will help you prepare for your next gathering and (gasp!) maybe even enjoy it!

  1. Really think about your guest list. Do not invite all strangers and consider table dynamics and personalities. But do not rule out inviting an outlier!

  2. Take your guests’ dietary restrictions into consideration. Be sure and check in with them at invitation point, these issues can often change. Make sure they feel comfortable about your willingness to accommodate their needs.

  3. Review the ingredient list and make sure you have all you need well ahead of time.

  4. Be a relaxed host/hostess! How? Preparation! Plan to get the house cleaned days in advance, prep and make what food you can ahead of time. In all of my recipes and celebrations, I will always list options to make food ahead of time to assure a smoother, more relaxed event.

  5. Set your table in advance! This is your chance to get out the china, silver and crystal (or whatever you have that is not your everyday dinnerware). Include a centerpiece and light candles. Indulge… YOLO! as my 17-year-old would say.

  6. Nothing says a special evening like a cloth napkin in a fancy ring. A thoughtfully set table makes your guests feel special.

  7. For a sit down dinner party, plan your seating. If you have more then eight people use place cards.

  8. Put out salt and pepper regardless of your personal preferences.

  9. Consider offering a signature cocktail. This is a nice way to welcome your guests and establish a festive tone for the evening.

  10. Create a playlist that aligns with the ambiance you are hoping to achieve.

  11. Always serve dessert even if it’s something simple. For example, my clean and decadent chocolate soufflé only takes 30 minutes and is sure to impress your guests.

  12. A party memento is optional but a nice touch. If you’ve put together a memorable evening, it’s nice to give each guest (or couple) a token to salute the occasion.

  13. Entertain with abandon but remember that hospitality is subtle. Embrace and enjoy the evening and your guests will too!