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We’re slowly breaking in our new house. It’s so hard to believe that this is our house! Little by little the firsts keep rolling in: our first home project, our first repair, and our first guest! All of these “firsts” are so much fun. The weather here has been amazing, and last weekend we were able to do our first real cook out.
We learned in our tiny apartment that entertaining is a lot of fun, but – holy cow – there’s a lot that goes into it. With a bigger place, comes bigger get-togethers. It’s really exciting, but potentially a lot more work to entertain.
There are several things we do to make sure we are able to entertain others, but also have a great time ourselves. These are the best entertaining hacks!
Spring Cookout Hacks
Marinate Your Meat
Marinating the meat you plan to serve is a great way to save time because you won’t be creating a mess in the kitchen while the party is going on. Plus, marinated meat is so flavorful… and you avoid yet another hotdog cookout, which your guests will appreciate.
I think I’m the most clumsy person on Earth when it comes to maneuvering around people, kids, and pets. I can imagine myself carrying a dish full of marinated meat to the grill, tripping over something and buying my dinner a one way ticket to the concrete express. Truly. Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers totally put my mind at ease because they’re 100% leak proof and are stain and odor resistant. I can’t be the only one who gets super grossed out when I open a container and I can smell the last food that was stored in it, am I?
Prepare Ahead of Time
The best way I’ve found to save time and sanity is to prepare as much as you can ahead of time. The less time I’m in the kitchen when guests arrive, the happier I am.
Go ahead and do everything you can the day before – even the simple things. Those little things add up on the day of and you will be happy to have them off of your plate.
How to Serve a (Stuffed) Baked Potato Bar
Potato bars are my favorite things for parties because there’s endless combinations, they’re easy to prep in advance, and people LOVE them.
For the baked potato bar, here’s what you’ll do:
- Shred cheese, crumble bacon, add sliced green onion and sour cream to separate air tight Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers. I love the 10 pc BRILLIANCE™ set because it includes different sizes.
- Place in fridge overnight.
- Bake as many baked potatoes as required, wrap them in individually in foil.
- During party set up, simply take containers out of refrigerator and pop open the lids.
- Add serving utensils to eat container.
- Dig in! Everyone can put together their own baked potato, buffet style.
Bonus: When you grab the meat off the grill, cut it up and stick it in another container to add to the baked potato bar for stuffed baked potatoes! Bonus points if you’ve prepared several meat options.
Easiest party plan ever, right? I love serving the food straight out of the containers because it’s less to clean, and let’s face it… when people are in your home, the dishes are going to really rack up anyway. Why not try to streamline a little, right?
Err on the Side of Extras
Nothing is more embarrassing than throwing a party, and running short on food. It’s a good idea to estimate how much of each dish you will eat, multiply that by the number of people coming, and then add 25% more. This should insure you’ll have enough food, and probably leftovers.
Speaking of leftovers – those are a hosts best kept secret! There’s so much to do after entertaining, the very last thing on my list is cooking dinner for a couple of days. Making enough food for leftovers is a fantastic way to keep yourself out of the kitchen for a while. Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers are perfect for storing leftovers because they are crystal clear and they stack perfectly in the refrigerator! No more guessing what something is… this also helps me because I can remember when I should throw out old food this way.
I feel a lot like Monica Geller from Friends in that I LOVE being the hostess. It makes me feel so great to entertain people in our home for once! We spent years waiting for this opportunity and it is such a blessing to finally be able to entertain. It’s also a blessing to have learned the little things that make entertaining fun… because I’m all about that work smarter, not harder life.
Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ is available nationwide at Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Amazon and other fine retailers.