As my blog approaches one year old, I want to chat about my own philosophy on home entertaining.
WHY I LOVE HOME ENTERTAINING
Certain people find hosting dinner and cocktail parties to be a hassle, but I find it to be an absolute joy. For me, it’s a treat to be able to host my friends and family over for cocktails, wine, and a good meal. It’s an excuse for us to take time out of our often overly busy schedules and spend time together. Cooking for my friends, sharing wine, or making them a cocktail is a way I show my care for them. It’s funny, I love to cook for others much more than I like to cook for myself. I will eat boring salads night after night; however, I always love to put effort into what I serve my guests – even if that means just creating a nice ambiance and ordering from a great takeout place.
MY TAKE ON THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT HOME ENTERTAINING
Many people have the idea that home entertaining has to be elaborate, fancy, and lots of work. This just doesn’t have to be the case. To me, even someone who doesn’t enjoy cooking full multi-course meals or let’s face it (in NYC) doesn’t have the kitchen space to do so, can host a beautiful get together. I find that people are usually there to spend time with you and their other friends in a comfortable environment. This can easily be achieved with a few lit candles, fresh flowers, and a fabulous playlist. Often, the food is secondary to people.
I used to live in an apartment with a teeny tiny kitchen and I would prep mostly appetizers and desserts. Easy things like a cheese board and savory tarts. Sometimes, I would even just order pizzas and we would have them with some wine and dessert later on in the evening. Everyone was perfectly happy. Over the years, I’ve started to enjoy cooking more (and moved out of the other apartment and into one with an upgraded kitchen), so now I make more labor intensive meals. For example, I cooked a full Friendsgiving dinner last year. However, I say, ditch the all or nothing attitude. I promise your friends will be just as happy with pizza and wine. Additionally, to be completely honest, even with my new found love of cooking – my holiday party every year is a pizza and cookie party. I have no intention of changing this. As Ina Garten says, sometimes “store bought is fine.”
My philosophy on home entertaining is that it should be all about fun, getting friends together, and making your guests feel comfortable and pampered for an evening. It doesn’t have to be fancy and I’m all for doing things that meet you at your level. No need for elaborate homemade dishes that take hours and complicated cocktails if that’s not for you.
SOME RESOURCES TO GET YOU STARTED
If I’ve inspired you enough that you want to host your own party soon, here are some great resources from earlier posts on my blog that could get you started.
- This riff on the classic Negroni is perfect for spring and summer entertaining – Easy Entertaining: The Negroni Sbagliato.
- If you ever had questions about home entertaining etiquette, head over to this post – Q&A: Home Entertaining Etiquette.
- I hosted a wine tasting at my apartment last year – see my tips on how I did it – How To: Host A Wine Tasting Party At Home.
- To me, a bar cart is a home entertaining essential. Learn my top styling tips here – How To: Style A Chic Bar Cart.
- Home made ice cream is the perfect way to impress your guests. This one requires no ice cream maker! Find the recipe here – Easy Entertaining: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream.
- Lastly, visit my Shop page for some of my kitchen and home entertaining essentials.
So what’s your philosophy on home entertaining – do you love it, hate it, what are your best tips? I’d love to hear from you.