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.
You may start out with a Holly Golightly attitude…but then the ice begins to melt and the bugs begin to circle. This essential guide will help you stay cool (with a fabulous cocktail!) when hosting your next summer gathering.
Photo: Joyce Lee
Guests due in 20 minutes? That's plenty of time to throw together one of these company-worthy meals.
Photo: Marcus Nilsson
Clever new ideas for cake stands, drink stirrers, and more.
Photo: Photo: Erica McCartney; Styling: Kristine Trevino
The secret ingredients (that don’t involve the food) for hosting an unforgettable bash.
Photo: David Meredith
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.
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