Had to tell a little lie the other day… but I can explain. You see, my wonderful mom-in-law and dad-in-law were celebrating 55 years of wedded bliss, so we decided to have a little surprise dinner at our house in their honor. Not a major event, just a small gathering of family to help them celebrate. In the end, I think there were almost twenty of us gathered together, and it was an evening full of laughter, love and a lot of wine!
Now everyone has their secret tips for making events, like this, successful… and I would love to know your secrets!! Here are just a couple of mine. #1 Delegate! Let everyone contribute. For those who don’t like to cook; no problem. Assign them a store bought item or wine! #2 Not everything has to be homemade! If you are a baker and love to make desserts; Go for it – But then purchase a store bought appetizer! #3 Prioritize and keep it simple! This is a big one, and totally varies from person to person!! Personally, I love the detail stuff - ”themes” and table decorations, homemade tags on the dipping oil… But to take the time to dust before the party…? Ya – Probably not gonna happen. Like I said; this is an individual thing. Everyone has a different set of priorities. Maybe dusting is your #1 priority!! Just make sure that you make time to do the things that are important to you!!
We went with an Italian bistro theme… complete with a little Frank Sinatra (of course!), red & white checked paper placemats (super easy clean up!) and some Chianti wine! An Italian platter as an appetizer also made it super simple (no cooking!) - cheese, salami, Rosemary almonds, stuffed olives, crostini with goat cheese and bruschetta… Our main course consisted of home-made lasagna, meatballs, oven roasted Italian green beans, Italian salad and warm, crusty bread with homemade Italian dipping oil. (Dipping oil recipe was posted on my Facebook page; “Tasty Tuesday” Sept 3 - Click here) For dessert we served Italian gelato with homemade biscotti, which I served in assorted hand-painted martini glasses (Biscotti recipe coming… tomorrow!!) And that, friends, is my final “tip of the day” - fun and super simple… I love using martini glasses for serving dessert! I especially love that everyone’s glass was different (I did this on purpose – Not a matchy-matchy kinda gal!), but you can certainly use whatever martini glasses you have on hand!! I have a huge advantage in the fact that I paint and sell cocktail glasses, so my “inventory” is probably a bit more extensive… Ha!
So there we go. My suggestions, in a nutshell, for hosting a little gathering of your own. I realize now that I already gave you my “final tip”, but I just thought of one more… and it’s a BIGGIE, actually! Chances are good that you will not complete your “things to do before the party” list. Just sayin. However, once the party starts… let it go. Pour a glass of wine and join in the fun. Whatever didn’t get done isn’t gonna get done… so never mind. If you are having a good time at your party, so will your friends!! And at the end of the day, isn’t that all that really matters…? Bon Appetit!!