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.
Creative Party Ideas
The Best and Worst Appetizer Choices
Registered dietitian Jean Harvey-Berino ranks the healthiness of 10 popular appetizers.
Stock Your Cocktail Bar
Entertaining expert A.J. Rathbun picks the liquors and mixers to splurge (or save) on.
10 Fun Party Cocktails
Bottoms up! Quench guests’ thirsts and please their palates with these lively drinks.
Follow this step-by-step guide to plan a party that’s as much fun to host as it is to attend.
- 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.