Thursday, December 12

Small Bites For Easy Holiday Entertaining

Holiday entertaining is all about lots of food, drink and jubilation! It's a time to gather family, friends and even good neighbors and acquaintances. Hosting an appetizer buffet with no set seating is easy on the host. Parties don't have to be formal affairs with sit-down dinners and prim & proper manners. They can be fun, simple and completely casual. Ugliest Christmas sweater party anyone? A number of small bites, dips or spreads and a few drinks are all you need. 

Keep the conversation flowing and the appetizer plates full with these easy appetizer party ideas. 
  • Think about guests who might have trouble standing for any length of time. Arrange a few groupings of two to three chairs where several people can converse. Position extra end tables throughout the house so guests are able to set down their beverages.
  • When planning the menu, look for make-ahead recipes to cut down on last-minute fuss. Have a variety of tastes, textures and colors to please your guests' palates.
  • Choose a selection of snacks that can be picked up and eaten without a plate, such as cubed sausage and cheese, skewered meatballs, fruit kabobs and cut-up vegetables. Avoid foods that require a lot of cutting. Set out bowls of nuts and snack mixes in other rooms. Make extra napkins readily available.
  • Offer guests small, sturdy plates that are easy to handle. Consider making simple-to-carry bundles of cutlery and napkins.
  • Think about the traffic flow and place plates, napkins and utensils on the buffet table near the doorway where folks will walk into the room. Make sure guests can reach all of the serving platters on the table.
  • To discourage lingering and congestion around the buffet, remove chairs and other tables from the room. Set up the beverage station in a different area. 
  • People are more inclined to eat something when they know exactly what it is. So consider labeling the appetizers on your buffet table with place cards.
  • It's tempting to hide trash receptacles for a party, but all of the used plates, napkins, utensils and toothpicks from an appetizer buffet can look a little unsightly when they start piling up. So make wastebaskets visible in various rooms. 
  • If you have teenagers, or know of a few, consider paying them to keep plates and cups picked up, appetizer trays and beverages full and help with clean up. No uniform is necessary - have everyone wear black pants and a white shirt and they will not only add a touch of class to your party but help things to run smoother and free up your time as the hostess. 
  • You can find lots of recipes for appetizer here at The Domestic Curator, Martha Stewart Living, Southern Living and The Nest. Happy Hunting and Merry Christmas!
Preparing ahead of time makes it so much easier to entertain flawlessly, allowing you, personally, to have a more relaxed time at your own party.  Getting you out of the kitchen and spending time with your guests instead! Appetizer parties are a great and easy way to entertain. Invite your friends, make a batch of goodies and have a wonderful holiday'll be glad ya did!



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