Like most people, food is what brings everyone together. Being Middle Eastern, the Four F’s are everything: Family, Friends, Food and Fun. We hardly ever get together without something on the table or some sort of drink and a side of jokes to get a giggle going. But when you don’t have time to make a full 3-course meal for your guests, some finger foods (and some alcohol of course) are an awesome way to get the party started without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. I’ve learned that the trick isn’t really what your serving, but HOW you serve it!
PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING
When my girlfriends come over, all we usually need is a glass of wine (or cocktail depending on the mood), a great charcuterie board, and lots of girl-chat. I’m known for making a variety of spreads, chips and dips, yummy munchables, and pretty set ups that make it feel a little bit more like an experience then just another get-together.
Some simple ideas that are sure to impress:
- Charcuterie Board: Deli Meats, Cheeses & Crackers, Jams/Spreads, Fresh/Dried Fruit, Olives & Pickles, Variety of Nuts and Crackers
- Sweet Treats: Bite-Sized Cookies, Cakes, Ice Cream, and Pies for desserts.
- Chips & Dips: Guacamole and Tortilla Chips, Cheese Dips, Artichoke-Spinach Dip, Ranch or Aioli
- Fruits & Veggies: Healthy Munchables are sure to be eaten for the healthier bunch.
- Something Spicy: For those few who love the heat, a spicy hummus dip, or jalapeno poppers
Depending on the occasion, and whether we are sitting indoors or out, I like to put together some sort of theme to set the mood. A great way to add ambiance to your get-together is by creating centerpieces with what you might have right in your backyard! Trimming away some of your bushes and cascading them down the center of your table along with a few floral arrangements and dimly lit candles makes for a sexy upscale night right at home.
SERVING PIECES MATTER
Unless you are throwing a casual backyard barbecue that involves an easy paper-plate-clean-up situation, your serving dishes and trays play a major part in the presentation! It’s the little things that make a huge difference. And no, you don’t have to drop next month’s rent on a new set of dishware…but maybe a set of some simple clean (shape optional) white ceramic dishware and wooden serving trays is versatile for any occasion anytime.
HOB Tip: You can buy affordable sets like these examples above from places such as: Amazon, TJ Max, HomeGoods, Crate & Barrel or Macy’s.
I lastly want to include music. You don’t always have to put on your dancing shoes and blast the stereo. Sometimes, a little bit of music in the background is all you need to build some comfort and ambiance. Plus, a good track can sometimes bring back memories and spark up conversations or stories, along with a little wiggle in their seat!
Time with our loved ones is very special. Moments come and go, but some can last a lifetime…so be the part that people will talk about for years to come.
Hostess with the Mostess