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How to Entertain Simply!


Imagine this scenario: unexpected guests announce their arrival, and you want to treat them to a delightful experience without rushing to the store. After this podcast, you'll be equipped to do just that. No last-minute grocery store runs required. Here is the list for easy shopping/ Inventory!


Watch the full episode of my podcast here.


Now, let's talk entertaining. There are a few key elements to being a good host and entertaining:

  • decor

  • food

  • good company

  • entertainment (music etc)


Here I'll cover the first two, the others are up to you :) Having a clean, organized, clutter-free home is also key but don't worry we will get to those in another blog!





Decor

For decor, think timeless and both functional and versatile – like glass, brass, neutral colors, baskets, plates, and bowls work all year long! Then for the holidays or special occasions, you can add festive layers of color with fabrics like ribbon, pillowcases (rather than the whole pillow), throws, towels etc., and foraged greenery and fresh or dried flowers. Thrifted finds, natural elements, and handmade touches also elevate your space with character and personality. I love hand-me-downs especially at the holidays because they carry tradition and nostalgia rather than buying new ones.





Food

These are crowd-pleasing, and versatile dishes with ingredients you can keep on hand because they store well. If you always have them in the "holding pattern" as my Dad calls it, you'll be prepared to host anyone that might drop by from kids to Aunt Tilly.


Here are my favorite offerings that are incredibly simple, look beautiful and are quick to make. You can also change them up to your guest's liking so they are quite versatile. For example swap dairy for non or meat for another substitute.


  • Cheese ball: always is a show-stopper every, single time! It's SO easy to make and it stores well, you can even travel with it easily and simply re-roll it when you have leftovers. You just put all the ingredients in a bowl except the nuts or some of the nuts and a few of the colors you want to be on the outside. In this case, I left out the nuts, jalapeno, finely chopped parsley, and bacon or red pepper. I put these in an even layer on a plate. After you mix all the other ingredients into a ball you simply roll the ball into what is on the plate for a nice outer covering that looks gorgeous! You can serve it with veggies or crackers.

    • Cream cheese

    • Nuts

    • Parsley

    • Green onion/ onion

    • Bacon/ red pepper

    • Shredded cheese

    • Jalapeno

    • Garlic

    • Salt & Pepper

    • Woresechire sauce

    • Hot sauce

  • Chips & Salsa: you can never go wrong! It's healthy, it's as spicy as you like it, it's light and fresh, and looks very pretty in a nice contrasting color, glass or wooden bowl. Full recipe here.

    • Tortilla chips

    • Canned tomatoes with the green chillies: this is key!

    • Jalapenos: I always have these fresh

    • Red onion

    • Cilantro/ coriander

    • Garlic: fresh or not

    • Cumin

    • Paprika

    • Chili pepper

    • Lime juice: fresh or not

  • Potato wedges: great for any time but make amazing football apps, you can turn them into nachos, add cheese etc PRO TIP: cook them on 425 until done (depends on how many you are cooking) with a sprinkle of baking soda for extra crispyness! Simply cut the spuds and drizzle with oil and sprinkle the seasoning and soda

    • Potatoes

    • Garlic

    • Paprika

    • Onion powder

    • Rosemary

    • Ketchup

    • Yogurt/ sour cream: Serve with this on side

    • Green onion: garnish

  • Shrimp cocktail: looks fancy, takes 5 minutes to make just throw the shrimp in a bowl of warm water to dethaw, grab some ketchup and horseradish and make some cocktail sauce, serve on a nice dish and garnish with a lemon (don't buy it, trust me on this it's another thing to store and go bad and it's never ever as good as your own!)

    • Frozen Jumbo shrimp, deveined, tail-on

    • Old Bay: if you want or even hot sauce is good too

    • Ketchup

    • Horseradish

    • Parsley: garnish

    • Lemon: garnish and a fresh squeeze in sauce and on shrimp!

  • Charcuterie board: I literally just grab everything out of the pantry and fridge and pile it on a pretty charcuterie board or plate and it does the work on its own! Make sure you add little forks and things for people to serve it with. I like to put the runny things in smaller little bowls like honey and mustard to it's easier to clean up too! (and won't stain your board if you have a pretty one!)

    • Deli meat

    • Whatever meat you have (think variations of salty vs not, sweet vs savory)

    • A roll of summer sausage or whatever other meat

    • Pepperoni

    • Soft cheese like brie

    • Light hard cheese like chedder

    • Dark hard cheese

    • Spicey cheese or herb-flavored cheese

    • Honey

    • Mustard

    • Olives

    • Artichokes

    • Capers

    • Fruit: I like to add berries but whatever you have works!

    • Veggies

    • Ranch

    • Popcorn

    • Pickles

    • Nuts

    • Stuffed peppers

  • Popcorn: I love making this with kids, obviously perfect for movie night but I love it just on the table as a light anytime snack too! Making it at home on the stove is also a fun activity and I think the loud excitement of the pop just adds to that fun!

    • Popcorn kernels

    • Butter

    • Salt

    • Flavoring: Can be anything you want sweet or savory just add to oil and extra after

  • Nuts

    • any kind

    • Mixed nuts

    • Raw nuts for cracking are fun

  • Fruit is great for eating with dip or cut up in salad, garnish, or by itself in a bowl!

    • Apples

    • Strawberries

    • Blackberries

    • Blueberries

    • Oranges

    • Grapes

    • Lemons

    • Limes

    • Can be served with yogurt/ honey/ granola/ chia seeds

  • Crudité/ Veggies

    • Carrots

    • Multi-colored peppers

    • Cucumbers

    • Broccoli

    • Ranch Packet

    • Yogurt or Sourcream

  • Mac and cheese: a kids favorite you'll be sure to score no matter what

    • Instant or

    • Macaroni to make it yourself (really any short pasta works)

    • Cheese

    • Milk

    • Spices - if you want!

  • Frozen pizza

    • you can doctor it up with whatever toppings and seasonings you like and cut it up into small or regular sizes

  • Drinks: I like to have these on hand bc I think you make most things with just these few added to all the things above like fruit and herbs etc.

o   Metal Straws add a nice touch! I have gold and silver

o   Vodka

o   Beer Lite and a few craft

o   Wine

o   V8

o   Oj

o   Club soda or soda stream

o A few little cans of soda for mixers

o   Tea: no caffeine and regular

o   Serve with: Sugar/honey/lemon/

  • Herbs

o   Parsley

o   Basil

o   Rosemary




I hope you enjoy these simple hosting tips! I would love to see what you make! Tag me on Instagram @Simp.ly.b!




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