Easy Home Entertaining

Whether you’re hosting a girls’ night in or a casual get-together (game night, perhaps?), try these crowd-pleasing appetizers, fun party ideas, and easy cocktails.

  • Choose a theme, if you want one.Decide whether it will be an elegant soiree or a cozy supper, then think about a theme in terms of season, occasion, and guest list. Make, buy, or borrow any related decorations you might need.
  • Extend invitations.Mail, phone, and e-mail invites are all acceptable; the more formal the dinner, the more appropriate a written invitation, perhaps tied into the theme. Include such details as the date and time (typically 7 p.m., which allows an hour for cocktails, appetizers, and mingling), the deadline to RSVP (a week before party day), your address, and suggested attire if formal.
  • Plan the menu.Keep it fairly simple, including make-ahead dishes if possible (so you don’t spend too much time running in and out of the kitchen), and take the weather into consideration.
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