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”? 

7 Comments (Reply )

  1. Mellissa
    May 30, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    My go-to’s for entertaining are always a salad, a quinoa salad or two, cheese plate, nuts, veggies with a greek yogurt dip, iced tea, lemonade and sparkling water, and a variety of things to grill in the summer.

    Reply

  2. Megan (Braise The Roof)
    May 30, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    I’ve recently really started to love entertaining. I think the most important thing is for the host/hostess to stay relaxed and not sweat the small stuff- if you’re stressing over logistics and not having, what’s the point of having a party, right? That being said, I think having a mix of apps that can be made ahead of time and served cold/room temperature (for ease) and hot/fresh apps (to make it feel more special) is key!

    Reply

  3. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite
    May 30, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

    I love this post! I adore entertaining and it’s great to have some helpful tips :)

    Reply

  4. Anna Johnson
    May 30, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

    You do know how to throw a great party! Great tips – you always have such fun apps that I’ve picked up ideas along the years. Must have a signature cocktail along with good beer and wine. Along with the fabulous outfit you must have some fun party makeup! But my favorite – a great invite list! Good friends/family make the party! :) If I throw a cocktail party – will you and Richie fly in for the night?!

    Reply

    • Emily
      May 30, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

      You throw the best parties! Invite list is so very true.
      I was looking up flights earlier today… I don’t think I can wait until August!

      Reply

  5. Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth
    May 30, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

    I love to entertain too and this post has some great ideas Emily! I love the signature cocktail idea too!

    Reply

  6. luv what you do
    May 30, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    We love to have people over for a BBQ and then afterwards gather around the table to play games like Apples to Apples. If everyone is still hungry, I make popcorn!

    Reply

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