Simple Tips For Impromptu Entertaining
Contributed by: NAPSA
by Deborah Fabricant, Entertaining Expert
(NAPSA) - It happens...friends and their kids drop in for a visit, it gets to be late in the afternoon, everyone is hungry and you invite the whole gang to stay for dinner. What to serve? And how to do it simply and with style?
Hosting an impromptu gathering can be easy-and with a few tips, you can enjoy the party as much as your guests because you won't have to spend the whole time collecting place settings and deciding what food to prepare.
Keep all your entertaining items in one convenient location or cupboard. Make sure it is stocked with napkins, plates, flatware, glassware, votive candles and a tablecloth. Invest in two glass-bottomed hurricane lamps that can be used throughout the year-they are perfect for column candles, flowers or a collection of shells.
Tables for extra service and seating are imperative, so keep a couple of folding Lifetime Banquet tables on hand-they're lightweight and portable so you can move them around easily. Then, all you have to do is set up your tables, one for serving and one for seating, because all your entertaining items are conveniently stored in one location.
The food can also be simple to prepare if you keep the following items on hand for quick meals:
- Bottled marinades for chicken, beef or fish
- Individually wrapped, frozen, boneless chicken breasts, small steaks, seasoned hamburger patties
- Frozen hamburger buns
- Packaged pasta or rice
- Packaged green salads
- Salad dressings
- A loaf of garlic bread, frozen
- Parmesan cheese
- 2 quarts of your favorite ice cream
- Graham cracker pie shell (or chocolate pie shell)
- Chocolate and caramel sauce
- Frozen whipped topping
- "Emergency Munchies": pea-nuts, chili-lime chips, pretzels, salsa, etc.
For the kids, thaw the hamburgers and buns. In warm weather, grill outdoors-or prepare on the stove top. Serve with chips or pretzels, rice or pasta, and fresh fruit. For the adults, thaw chicken breasts, small steaks or fish in the microwave, then marinate for about 15 minutes. Grill or prepare in the broiler. Serve with a salad made from prepackaged greens, Parmesan cheese and veggies. Toss with your favorite dressing. Pop the garlic bread in the broiler.
For dessert, fill a graham cracker pie shell with ice cream and freeze. Serve with choice of toppings. As an added tip, prepare a couple of pies ahead of time and freeze for instant desserts.
Now sit back, linger around the table with family and friends, and enjoy.