easy entertaining ideas

I absolutely love entertaining, having and attending parties, and making appetizers. Eating the appetizers tops the list as well, of course!

I always go for cocktail parties because I love the idea of mingling and little bites of food. (I’m going to pretend that if we had a dining table that could fit a meal for four people I would still feel the same way). But whether you are serving a multi-course meal or wine with some simple snacks, here are small ways to make any get-together a little better.

 beverages

  • champagne (makes everything more festive)
  • signature cocktail (great signature cocktail ideas from Martha)
  • a variety of wine and craft beers
  • flavored water like cucumber slices or strawberry and orange slices (recently had this at a hotel and it was wonderful)
  • something non-alcoholic (iced tea, juice spritzer, sparkling water, etc.)
nibbles

  • goat cheese log + olive tapenade served with baguette slices and/or crackers
  • roasted & spiced nuts
  • cheese tray with a variety of crackers (how to build the perfect cheese tray)
  • crostini
  • cured meats
  • 10 best store-bought party appetizers

ambiance

  • cute cocktail napkins
  • lots of candles
  • fresh flowers
  • good music
  • fabulous outfit :)

What are your best entertaining “tricks”? 

st. patrick’s day food

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and you probably have your festivities planned. They might include corned beef. They probably include green beer, or at least a guinness. Hopefully they include some live Irish music, with corned beef AND green beer.

I’m not yet sure what Saturday will bring for me, but we celebrated a little early with some reubens the other night. Homemade reubens (sometimes even made with tofu) are a favorite of mine. Here are some great recipes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with!

 

(source)

 

Savory:

Corned Beef with Cabbage – via Epicurious

Ploughman’s Platter – via Vegetarian Times

Soda Bread Scones – via Vegetarian Times

Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with Root Vegetables – via Epicurious

Classic Reuben Sandwich – via Epicurious

Shepherd’s Pie – via FoodNetwork

Irish Stew – via Food Network

 

Sweet:

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes – via Will Cook for Friends

Guinness Brownies – via Heather Christo Cooks

Guinness Caramel Sauce – via Fresh Tart Steph

Chocolate Stout Cakes with Irish Cream Frosting – Avid Appetite

 

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? With beer, food or both? :)

champagne mojitos

After trying Victor’s 1959 Cafe Champagne Mojito, I knew I had to try and re-create it at home. Ok, I admit it, I picked up all of the ingredients the following weekend. I need to try to re-create it and I needed to do it asap.

Mojitos made with champagne are quite delicious. They are bubbly, bright and oh so refreshing. Perfect for these last days of summer but I’ll probably be drinking them year round.

Thankfully I had two tasters that evening (Mercedes was over) because it took a few tries to get the right proportions of simple syrup, lime and champagne. Really hard work I tell you but don’t worry, I’m here to help. ;)

It is really easy to make, in fact it reminded me a lot of the Basil, Cucumber  & Mint Vodka Spritzer I made earlier this summer with a basil and cucumber simple syrup. Simple Syrup is so easy to make and adds such a nice touch to cocktails.

Make it this weekend and enjoy your labor day holiday!

 

Champagne Mojitos

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 drinks

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp rum (optional)
  • 1/2 oz fresh mint
  • 1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
  • 2 limes

Instructions

  1. Prepare simple syrup.
  2. Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat and add a few sprigs of mint and rum. Let cool.
  4. Muddle 1/4 lime and some mint leaves in each glass.
  5. Add 2-3 Tbsp simple syrup to each glass.
  6. Fill with ice.
  7. Top with champagne and stir.
  8. Garnish with fresh mint.
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labor day weekend eats

Please tell me that summer isn’t over!

If it must come to an end, I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the long weekend than celebrating with friends; sitting by the pool and sipping cocktails. Oh and of course, eating amazing foods.

 

Labor Day Weekend Eats

Snacks & Starters: 

Main: 

Sides: 

Cocktails/Desserts: 

Add your favorite links/ideas below!