Entertaining (Made Simpler)

November 6, 2012 · 7 comments

The best things on tv are definitely: The Bachelor(ette), coverage of baseball locker rooms after the team has won some important playoff series (really. it’s a feel good thing.) and night-of election coverage. These are honestly the things I look forward to losing my brain in.

Really…this is all I want to say about politics. And because I’m done with baseball and the Bachelor season isn’t even happening, it’s best to talk about parties. Trust me…it just is.

I had a housewarming party last weekend. I figured out some things about hosting and entertaining that made me feel like a grown-up. Come along.

There were 25 people and one usually nervous, sometimes grumbly dog in my house. This had definite trouble potential…until I filled a dish with small, dog training treats and set it on the table in our entryway. This animal met so many new people, who magically had the same treat to offer. I win, dog. I win.

I sent a mass text message the night before the party reminding anyone who wanted to spend the night to bring their own blankets/air mattress. I’m not totally unpacked…or prepared for too many people thinking they have a spot on the couch.

(People) food for parties is equal parts my favorite and most stressful party planning job. I like control, but also help, and dishes to make sense together. It’s a delicate balance.

This party was BYOB (it’s simpler and cheaper), but I also asked friends who offered to bring an appetizer. Then, I made a main dish (chili) and dessert (pumpkin trifle, halloween bark). Also…I made cornbread muffins and sangria at the last minute. These things always happen.

When I entertain, I don’t test out new recipes, and I always use recipes from sources I trust. It’s just not the time for kitchen disasters. These things made the menu:

Taco Chili. This recipe comes from my friend Abby. I make it every year, for different people and it always gets positive reviews. This is important menu planning consideration.

Brown Butter Cornbread Muffins. This recipe comes from Joy the Baker. I make a lot of her recipes. And I adore brown butter. Enough said.

Pumpkin Trifle. I’m that lady who reads the comments on recipe posts…and when they’re positive from people who’ve actually tried the recipe, I’m way more likely to make it.

Halloween Candy Bark. Bon Appetit and chocolate. Nothing really can go wrong here. PS: I adapted this to fit the candy that was leftover in my Halloween bowl. It was a safe change.

Apple Cider Sangria. Everything at How Sweet Eats is this creative, and successful. I substituted honey bourbon for ginger brandy in this…because it’s my favorite of late.

This sangria (and a pre-party wine tasting with a smaller group of friends) calmed me the heck down…which is really, probably the best entertaining trick. This, and good lipstick. Also, maybe a new shirt from Target. These things always make me feel like the world is under control.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Hillary November 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I’m in charge of dessert this (and every!) Thanksgiving—I think this trifle is making its way on our table!

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Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust November 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Mmmm…apple cider sangria….

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Erica @ For the Sake of Cake November 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I have yet to host a house-warming party, or any kind of party for that matter. The most I’ve ever done was host a Mother’s Day brunch, but that was only for me, my husband, my parents, and my sister… low-pressure!

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Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. November 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I wanna come to one of your parties!

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts November 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I read comments too – gotta make sure it is good, right! What a great party!

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Jen @ Savory Simple November 8, 2012 at 7:44 am

I’m behind on my housewarming party. I love how your organized this!

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Rachel @ The Avid Appetite November 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Sounds like a great party and great dishes! I’m hosting a friends Thanksgiving on Saturday, but it is a pot luck – so much less stressful! I’m doing turkey and stuffing and made assignments for the rest of the delicious sides! So fun this way because everyone is excited to share their dishes :)

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