It’s the season for entertaining. Whether you are a bride-to-be or a newlywed still navigating the in-law waters your stress level can begin to to spike out of control if you’re not careful. Between the holidays, family gatherings and just needing an excuse to socialize during the long winter months, you’ll probably be organizing several fun parties and gatherings at your home.
If you’re dreading the season because it feels like entertaining is so much work, the following tips will help you make this holiday season and beyond a breeze.
* Make lists – If you’re a mobile device user, get a list started for everything you need. Any time you think of something, be sure to add it to the list immediately, or send yourself a reminder email so you can add it at a later time. These lists will help you keep everything organized and remind you of what you have left to achieve so you aren’t scrambling to make an appetizer or clean the bathroom at the last minute.
* Take short cuts – Of course you want to show off your cooking skills, but that doesn’t mean you need to slave for hours in the kitchen preparing foods. If breakfast is your specialty, opt for a holiday brunch to take some of the pressure of cooking an entire holiday dinner. Wow your guest with some homemade granola and make a little extra to give as parting gifts. Here is a recipe for Vegan Tropical Coconut Ginger Pecan Granola from Kathy Patalsky. If you are a butter lover, the virgin coconut oil can be replaced with organic butter from Horizon Organic.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, raw
1/4 cup cashews
1 1/2 cups Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1-5 dashes cayenne
3 Tbsp melted virgin coconut oil
1 Tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
1/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped (or substitute dried fruit + 1/2 tsp ginger powder)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup sugar (I used Florida Crystals. Organic brown sugar works too.)
1 large satsuma mandarin orange, squeezed for juice
1/4 tsp citrus zest (from satsuma peel)
1 banana, peeled/diced
3/4 tsp Simply Organic real vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and toss very well.
3. Line a baking sheet with foil or wax paper and spread the granola over top in a thin layer.
4. Bake at 300 degrees for about 35 minutes. Tossing the granola around every ten minutes. Let rest a few minutes to cool and crisp up before bagging.
* Ask for help – Just because you’re hosting the party doesn’t mean you need to do all the work. When issuing invitations, specify what kind of a party it is. A potluck is great for family gatherings and parties. Just provide a list of items people should bring on the invite. Once the party is underway, ask a friend to be in charge of keeping drinks filled, and have another friend monitor the music station, so you can enjoy the party as well.
* Keep it simple – Often the simplest food options are the healthiest – something your guests might appreciate during this season of indulgence. For example, a fresh fruit or veggie tray is extremely simple to put together, because you won’t have to spend time in front of the stove or mix ingredients to bake in the oven. Continue to keep it simple, but add trendy touch by trading out the ranch dressing for a Greek yogurt dip or homemade hummus made with Simply Organic seasoning packets for additional flavor for your fresh fruit and veggie spread.
No matter the type of party you are hosting this season, a few trendy touches and clever food shortcuts will wow guests and keep them raving long after it has ended. Above all else, have fun and enjoy these special moments with loves ones because the memories will last a lifetime.
List Maker Apps
1. Remember The Milk
2. Wunderlist – To-Do & Task List
3. Astrid Tasks/To-do List
1. Copelands of New Orleans Deep Fried Turkey
2. Piece of Cake German Chocolate Cake
3. Sister Shubert’s Dinner Rolls
Potluck Ideas & Invitations
The Kitchn -15 Holiday Potluck recipes
Real Simple 6 Holiday Potluck recipes
Evite Holiday Potluck Invitations
Zazzle Holiday Potluck Invitations
*For wedding ideas please visit S.N.O.B.B. Bride for more ideas and inspiration! Don’t forget to subscribe to receive more articles!