My Top Entertaining Tips

My husband and I love entertaining and throwing parties. We have finally gotten into our groove and came up with some of our best entertaining tips.  Hopefully there are some unique ones here that you haven’t heard before!

entertaining tips

  1. Make it easy for your guests to serve themselves drinks or appetizers.  Consider these ideas: a signature drink in a dispenser, a beverage bin with ice, water, sodas, wine, & beer,  or a bar tray with the supplies they need to shake up their own cocktail.
  2. Have a couple tasks in mind that you would be willing to relinquish for the generous guest who insists on helping. No matter how much you prepare for a gathering in advance, there will always be a few things that need to be done after your guests arrive. I am guilty of being a control freak and wanting things a certain way, so I try to have jobs in mind for those who want to help such as filling water glasses, offering guests drink refills, lighting candles, etc.
  3. My mother taught me that if you have someone who only drinks something like Coors Light or Coca-Cola (or some other drink) then be sure to have that on hand. Same goes with wine. I don’t think you need to get the exact brand of wine they like, but try to get to know your close friends’ and family’s taste.   We always have both red and white wines, some Coors Light, and an assortment of sodas in our bar.
  4. Set up the party at least 1 day in advance. I usually try to set the table a couple of days in advance so I can make changes. I also will lay out the platters I plan to use so I can figure out how to arrange them and what food will go on what platter.  If you are extra ambitious, you can write what food item you plan to use each platter for on a notecard or sticky note. I always buy and arrange the flowers the day before because they will usually have opened up perfectly by the time of the party!
  5. Have a slide show of photos able to be streamed through your tv ready with some festive music playing when your guests walk through the door. I usually start the slideshow and music at least 15 minutes before they arrive (in case we have any early arrivals!)
  6. If you are stressed and overwhelmed, do your best not to show it!

Please feel free to share your best entertaining tips in the comments!

Blood Orange and Lime Martini

Blood Oranges are my favorite seasonal fruit and I have taken full advantage of it this year. For Christmas, I tested out a recipe for a Blood Orange Martini that was potent and delicious. With it’s pinkish red color and raspberry-orange flavor, I have decided it is the perfect cocktail for Valentine’s Day. I rim the majority of my fruit based martinis with sprinkles. Besides the obvious festive factor, I also love the sweet crunch you get with each sip.

Blood Orange and Lime Martini

So without further adieu…

Blood Orange and Lime Martini

Makes 1 Cocktail

Ingredients
1 ounce blood orange juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 ounces vodka
1 1/2 ounces Cointreau

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients with ice in a shaker. Shake for approximately 30 seconds. Strain into glass and enjoy!

*Don’t skimp on the liquor in this cocktail! The drink will taste bitter if there isn’t enough liquor to cut through the lime juice.

Check back for 2 more blood orange and lime recipes!

25 Days of Christmas Cookies: Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

25 Days of Christmas Cookies is winding down with only a few more days! It has been fun baking every day and sharing the recipes I have enjoyed this season.  I have to admit that I have never had a real whoopie pie before.  I have seen that there are special pans sold at kitchen stores, but this recipe didn’t call for one.  They were easy and delicious! The hint of lemon in the frosting was unexpected, but I truly enjoyed it.

Gingerbread Whoopie Pie

This recipe comes from Damn Delicious! : Gingerbread Whoopie Pie