Monday, April 5, 2010

Tips For Last Minute Entertaining

My poor Aunt got the flu and my parents are remodeling their bathroom so, at the last minute Easter was moved to our house.  I am always worried that the house is too small but yesterday I was reminded that sometimes the layout is more important than the size.  Even with 20 people it didn't feel cramped.  Here are some tips, musings and recipes that can help to get you through any last minute soiree.
Create spaces that are comfortable not just beautiful.  I pull the chairs out from my dining room table and scatter them about my house to create conversation areas.  For more sitting room I put floor pillows on my fireplace hearth and a tray on the ottoman for drinks.  Thrift stores are an excellent place to find folding chairs and tables.  We keep ours under the house and are always surprised at how often we end up getting them out. After I have defined the space, I fill in the room with flower arrangements, candles, and decorations.


In our family Easter brunch is a potluck.  If you are having people over last minute you should never be afraid to ask them to bring something.  This has been a hard thing for me to learn in that I come from a family of master entertainers who can easily pull of the whole show solo.  Create separate spaces for food and drinks.  I like to use a metal tub for beverages and put all my glasses, desserts, coffee and tea on a table next to it.  For the buffet table I stack plates, put silverware in a vase, and clear the runway for all the yummy food.

I can't tell you how many beautiful bouquets of flowers that were brought as hostess gifts. My mother-in-law gave me the cutest small potted daffodils.  I took a cloth napkin and secured it around the pot with a rubber band, then I tied a bow around the whole thing with twine.  The best part is that I can plant them in my yard and enjoy them again next year.

Make ahead desserts.  Because I has a days notice I was able to make these two fabulous desserts; Bacardi Rum Cake and Lemon Shortbread Cheesecake.  I love going to bed knowing that I won't have to bake in the morning.  After we came home from church, all I had to do was slice the strawberries for the garnish on my cheesecake.
**A tip for the rum cake.  Before you take the cake out of the pan and glaze it, I like to poke it with a chopstick on the underside and pour about half of the glaze on.  I let it soak for about 1/2 hour before I turn it back over and brush on the glaze.  So good for breakfast the next morning.

The best part about entertaining is that I get to enjoy all the beautiful flowers long after the guests have left!

1 comment:

Kristi @ Creative Kristi said...

That Lemon Shortbread Cheesecake looks absolutely yummy!! Great tips! I Came over from Tip Junkie's "Tip Me Tuesday" :)

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