I’ve never been much of a party -hoster, (eh, minus that whole GOOD Fest thing that just happened), but I want to up my adult-ing game this spring and have more…soirees.
The two questions I always ask myself before entertaining are…
- Will my dog be annoying to my guests??? … followed by
- What do I feed them??
I believe practice makes perfect when it comes to having friends and family over. You learn the dishes you like to make, the things they like to eat, and everyone is a happy camper. It is about the company, after all. But I think hosting doesn’t always come effortlessly, so I put together a couple fool-proof ways to host this spring without the hassle.
Here’s what I suggest…
Dips, salsas and finger foods.
Why mess with a good thing? Who HASN’T hung by the familiar (and always delicious) salsa and chip station?
Learn a few dip/salsa staples that you enjoy making and can whip up while still holding a conversation with that one friend who ALWAYS shows up really, really, early.
For example, I know my guacamole and mango salsa are on point and it takes me no time to make them.
In the winter I love serving roasted garlic or beet hummus or rosemary white bean dip.
Find a couple snack foods that lessen the load.
No, I’m not talking cheese puffs or chex mix. Let’s keep things healthy and opt for gluten-free pretzels to pair with a great mustard (I love Quinn Pretzels) or some of the Betta Than Chedda Kale Chips from Made in Nature. These extra snacks are easy to throw in colorful bowls on tables, counters, or wherever kids are crowding.
The purpose of these finger foods are that they keep guests from getting HANGRY and allow you to put the finishing touches on the main event.
Build-your-own …except the guests do the building.
Build your own stations are the easiest way to make EVERYONE happy.
I have never met a taco or salad station I don’t love. Make sure you offer plenty of proteins, like quinoa, black beans, chickpeas and some meat or fish for anyone attending who’s a meat-eater.
This build your own style also take the pressure off. You don’t have to create a menu that pleases everyone, but rather everyone gets to have their say in the ingredients they choose. Use fresh colorful ingredients, and set the table with everything placed neatly (don’t forget plenty of spoons to serve!) and be sure it’s in a location that makes it easy for guests to line up and move through, like a buffet.
It’s possible that you’ll have more leftovers with this technique because you don’t know what ingredients will be a hit, but hey, you have lunch for the next couple days!
When all else fails, cheeseboards feel fancy, and always serve dessert.
Here’s another thing many guests can’t help but love…cheeseboards.
I love finding a few cashew or almond based cheese (Kite Hill makes great ones) – and adding them to a large wooden cutting board. If you’re not avoiding dairy, at least opt for the “fancy” cheeses and a goat cheese option as it’s enzymes are the easiest to digest.
Don’t forget dessert because, dessert. Berry tarts and crumbles are gorgeous to serve, full of fresh in season produce, and can be made lightened up by using coconut sugar in place of white sugar, and a crust made with Made in Nature Dates, rolled oats, and cashews. Or, if all else fails put a bunch of their Figgy Pops out (the chocolate flavor is bomb) and watch guests devour.
Woah, you did it.
You served a healthy meal to your guests and stayed sane. Spring and summer entertaining really doesn’t need to be that complicated.
Who’s hosting next weekend??
To check out Made In Nature Snacks – head here. And be sure to use promo code GOOD for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more!
** This post was sponsored by Made in Nature, however all opinions are my own.