Big holiday parties are easy to plan. In fact, planning is always the easiest part. We often host Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve dinner. And next month I’m hosting our book club/holiday party in the the neighborhood. I can plan with the best of them.
Here are my tips for hosting a casual get-together:
Plan the food: Sometimes heavy, sometimes light. Perhaps one item in the slow cooker so you have hot food that’s easy to prepare and ready to serve. Lots of finger food to minimize utensil use. Some salty stuff and sweet stuff.
Plan the layout: Food always looks better on pretty platters and serving dishes.
Plan the drinks: No solo cups in my house. We drink real drinks out of real glassware.
Yes, planning is the easy part. Actually making it all happen is the hard part. There’s cooking and cleaning and timing — oh, the timing! I usually manage to pull it off but not without frantically running around with a very large piles of pots, pans, and dishes in the sink.
My better specialty is the casual get-together.
It’s a Friday night and you’ve got some wine chilling and you’re in the mood to share. You want to invite some friends over for a last minute get-together and they accept. But a glass of wine is just a glass of wine unless you put out a little spread that looks delicious and tastes great with very minimal effort. Here’s how it’s done.
1. Buy a Hickory Farms Party Planner.
The Party Planner happens to be my favorite. You’ll see why in a minute.
2. Open the box.
I’m sure you knew to do that but you might not know if this is the gift basket for you until you open it. For me, I knew this one was mine when I saw three kinds of sausages (Signature Beef Summer Sausage, Spicy & Savory Beef Summer Sausage, and Turkey Summer Sausage), four kinds of cheeses (Smoked Gouda Blend, Farmhouse Cheddar, Creamy Swiss Blend, and Smoked Cheddar Blend), two specialty mustards (Cranberry Mustard and Sweet Hot Mustard), along with two bags of mixed nuts.
3. Set out the food.
In this case, I used a marble cheese board (that I made myself) and added a little tray of crackers.
That’s it. Just like that, you’ve got yummy meats and cheeses that will satisfy most. Including me.
My favorite combo was a gluten-free cracker, a slice of turkey sausage, creamy swiss, and a dollop of cranberry mustard.
But I’m going to take it a few steps further and give you a few secrets to making your food spread more appealing to the masses.
And I have one last tip for you. To find the Party Planner and other delicious gift baskets, you can go to HickoryFarms.com, visit one of their nearly 600 Holiday Market stores and kiosks across North America, as well as in select retailers.
Disclaimer: Compensation and products for review were provided by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms.