Six Secrets for Stress-Free Entertaining
We’re excited to announce Cabot Creamery as a sponsor for our 2013 Wine Sisterhood Gathering this March! Cabot Creamery is a 1,200+ farm family dairy cooperative with members in New England and upstate NY producing all natural, award-winning cheeses, including the “World’s Best Cheddar,” as well as a tasty variety of flavored cheddars.
Representatives from Cabot will help lead an interactive wine and cheese workshop exploring how two of our favorite treats compliment each other during our Second Annual Gathering. Read all about this workshop and more on the full Gathering schedule here.
Before we head to Napa, our friends at Cabot shared these six tips on keeping your entertaining stress free:
1. K.I.S.S – Keep it simple, sister! Parties and gatherings don’t have to be extravagant to be successful. Whether you’re having friends over for the football playoffs or hosting a sit-down dinner for 12, simplicity always works in your favor. Unless you’re a seasoned party planner, keeping the food and drink choices well within your comfort zone will make for a happier hostess and guests. No one ever went wrong inviting people over for wine and cheese – the world’s easiest party to throw, and one that almost everyone loves.
2. Plan (and Prepare) Ahead – Try to avoid racing around and dogging the details minutes before your guests arrive. Take a day or two to get ready at a more leisurely pace, so when the doorbell rings, you’ll be ready to have fun and enjoy the festivities. Serving food that can be made ahead of time is definitely the way to go. These Mini Pork Cheddar Meatballs with Guacamole are super easy to make the day before. Pop them in the oven minutes before your party and you’re ready to get the party started.
3. Map the Fun – No matter how beautifully I prepare my living room before a party, my guests always seem to end up crowded into the kitchen. I’ve found that creating a drinks station away from the kitchen gets people circulating. Wondering what to include for your bar set up? LearnVest breaks down the details of stocking a party bar here. Also try positioning trays of hors d’oeuvres throughout the room, so your guests can graze as they mingle.
4. Party Play List – As much as good food and drink, the perfect play list, can set the tone for your party. Apps like Pandora can practically read your mind when it comes to choosing music you’ll like based on songs you already love. Join Spotify and borrow music inspiration from your friends. Premium TV channels offer all-music stations by genre. Or you can go old school and make an MP3 version of a mix tape and be your own DJ. Warning: a project like this can turn out to be way too much fun and a huge time suck. Trust me on this one.
5. Breaking the Ice- If you’re inviting guests who don’t know each other, be sure to make time for proper introductions. As you introduce people, mention something they might have in common – “I hear you both have rescue dogs.” – or an interesting fact about them – “Did you know that Elizabeth was a performer in Cirque de Soleil?” If you’re party is casual and the crowd is amenable, games like Charades or Pictionary are a great way to rev up the fun. You can find party games for all occasions here.
6. And Most Important – Relax, have fun, and make sure there are designated drivers or taxis available.
This is a guest post by Candace Karu, Lifestyle Commentator + Favorite Foodie at Cabot Creamery Cooperative. Representatives from Cabot will help lead an interactive wine and cheese pairing workshop at our 2013 Wine Sisterhood Gathering. Learn more about our Second Annual Gathering and how you can buy tickets here.