In the age of Pinterest, and DIY, it’s not just enough to be the hostess with the mostess anymore. It’s not enough to put out gourmet cheeses, or even cool chalkboard cheese slates for your party, and then call it a day. Food can’t just be served, it has to be creatively displayed. And for many of us, the party becomes a palette with which they create their masterpiece. However, for others, the love of throwing a party doesn’t quite match their Martha Stewart inspired skills. There is an entire group of people who fall into this category; which can best be defined under the coined phrase ‘Pinterest Fail’. And I, like so many, fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. Love to helm a little get together, love to whip up food, and festivities, but usually wind up somewhere between scrambling Sally and put-together head of the house. I rely mostly on creative yet easy entertaining ideas, and fun but simple food. If you’re throwing a New Years Eve get together, or even a post holiday friends gathering, you’ll want to rely on a few basic go-to tips. Here are some edible, drinkable and easy entertaining ideas for your party. They can be applied no matter what level your hostess game is on Pinterest.
1. Turn food into decoration. The opportunities are endless once you hit Pinterest on the screen, but they can go from easy to difficult on the production scale. I turned this Easy Fiesta Christmas Tree into a little Brie holiday tree. Mine feels somewhere between success and fail, but no matter how good yours can get, it’s a fun little way to treat your guests to offerings.
2. Hit up Trader Joes for all your party appetizers. The Mega supermarket is known for certain specialties, and while overall their prices are tops, certain picks are better known for their appeal than others. A few ubiquitous ringing endorsements? The Pastry Bites feta cheese and carmelized onion tarts, tapenade spread, and cheddar cheese with carmalized onions just to name a few.
3. Add champagne to accompany your bites. Taittinger Champagne is the perfect party drink to to ring in the new year with on this 2015. This year, add a bottle to your table setting or cheese spread to create a simple, but strong difference in your guest’s palette. In the mood for something else? Use them to make champagne jello shots to pop at midnight.
4. Create cocktails with easy mixers from Bungalow 23. While no one can deny the appeal of champagne and cheese, not everyone has the same palette. Add necessary variety to your bar by adding only 2 ingredients with Bungalow 23 mixers. They come in a variety of flavors like prickly pear, but my favorite is the blueberry lemonade, mixed with Skinnygirl Vodka, and a handful of real blueberries. Delish!! More on the mixer here.
5. Spend a little extra on a special cheese spread from Murrays. As awesome as that Trader Joes carmelized onion cheddar cheese truly is, sometimes the key to a successful party spread is actually spending a little more on the details. At a cheese shop you would spend on one cheddar or goat cheese alone what you would for 3 at Trader Joes, but that slight difference could mean the world to your guests. During the holidays, treat yourself and them to something a little extra. Go the extra mile and hit up a specialty store, ideally Murrays, and spend $25 on a small cheese spread. It’s a small price to pay for a taste of party perfection.
6. Easy Appetizers with healthier snacks like New York Style pita chips. We are in the days of gluten free, vegan central, and holiday treats and snacks aren’t always what they used to be. I love entertaining, even when it’s just my monthly book club, but sometimes its hard not to fall into the same cheese, cracker patterns. New York Style pita chips are crispy, light, and the perfect accompaniment to any dip on your table. It’s thickness, made from Mediterranean style pita bread makes it perfect for dipping but its light enough to produce zero guilt. Available in six flavors, including Ancient Grains, Chia seeds and Quinoa, Parmesan garlic, and red hot chili pepper chips, they pair splendidly with everything from cheddar cheese, to tapenade, and homemade french onion dip. This New Years Eve, make less mess, and more crunch on your table. It’s a top notch snack for any city spread celebrating the new year. This 2016, show your true city grit with New York Style. More to come on this tasty treat, including a fun giveaway. Stay Tuned!
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