Since starting this blog in April, I’ve hosted a few parties and have gotten in the grove with thinking of party themes, what food to serve and how to decorate. So I am sharing some tips with you to help make your party planning just a little smoother.
I always start with a theme. This can be the decor or the food or even how the food is served! With New Years around the corner with little time to plan I find that doing an open house during the day for a couple of hours is ideal. When you do an open house there needs to be cocktail food on had that will last out on the table for a long time.
The perfect solution to that is a cheese board with a variety of food. An end to end cheese board with many options creates a way for your guests to get involved in creating their own food and for you as the host you can use the day before to prep (or even buy) the food you will be serving.
A great thing about a huge cheese platter like this is that it makes your guests be creative and create their own cocktail bite. For example I had eggs, smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese so that they could create their own version of a smoked salmon canape.
Don’t forget to add in some color to your platter by providing some roasted seasonal vegetables and salad greens for guests that would prefer a lighter bite.
I also made an easy vegan cheesy dip where you throw everything in a bowl, microwave and pour in a serving dish. It’s called bread dip, as originally you are supposed to hollow out a big loaf of bread and pour the dip inside and use the left over bread to scoop the dip.
An easy vegan cheese dip that will fool even the most hard core cheese heads.
Place all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and mix until fully incorporated. Place in the microwave in one minute increments stiring in between each minute until the cheese is fully melted.
Pour into a serving dish and lay out some crackers and bread.
A variety of fresh seasonal fruit is always a good idea to add some freshness with all the cheese options. With the jam I served some red wine caramel sauce that just goes so well with funky cheese.
For the table I kept it simple and kept the focus on the abundance of food. I just used a some rustic white plates with black napkins and used mixed metal flatware to bring in some metallic touches. Keeping it beautifully simple is key to stress free hosting.
A nice touch were these inspirational cards I found at Target. Each guest received a different one to give them little reminders of how the right words at the right time can mean so much.
Drinks are so important at a party and to cater for guests arriving at different times during an open house is to fill a bar cart booze and condiments. A Mimosa Cart filled with bottles of Champagne on ice and different juices, fruits and herbs to mix in is a great way to do that.
A great way to get your guest to contribute and to take a load off your shoulders is to ask them to bring a dessert. Just clear a space for a few chocolates, cakes and cookies and everyone can just mingle in between all the different food areas and with each other.
Once you have all the food and drinks laid out it’s time for you to enjoy the party. That is the beauty of having a platter and a drink cart… Your guests just serve themselves and keeps you out of the kitchen! Enjoy what you have put together and celebrate with friends and family!
Mariel Villaluz Henry
April Baytan Designs
Just Bake Because
One Hope Wines
Kite Hill Foods
Big Island Organics
Love + Chocolate Shop
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