Entertaining around the holiday season can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! In fact, these and tips and hacks will make you shine as the entertainer of the season 🌟 Don’t sweat the small stuff — in fact, find ways to simplify your next party. Here’s a pro-tip that will help: buy store bought, quality items while supporting your local restaurant or bakery, and outsource from them whenever you can. In fact, your guests will love that you’re enjoying yourself and visiting with them, rather than the opposite — laboring in the kitchen and feeling stressed!
Follow these steps and your next holiday gathering will be not only festive and memorable, but FUN for everyone … including you. Remember, the party is a party because of you and the guests that gather to enjoy one another!
CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: Let’s be honest: good cocktails are a MUST. We like to squeeze all our fresh juices ahead of time, and store them in mason jars in the fridge. This way you have mixers on hand when party is in full swing! Other things for the bar: fresh garnishes! Prep herbs, berries on toothpicks, olives, etc. that may be needed for your recipe and store in ziploc bags in the fridge.
As I mentioned, supporting your local restaurant for appetizers or desserts is where you can save yourself some time and energy. Invest in good quality catering and it will be worth every penny! Things we’ve bought for parties in the past include thai lettuce wraps with peanut sauce, kobe beef sliders, and fondue ready to be reheated (pre-cut veggies and bread for an easy app). We’ve also picked up crostini with different toppings such as goat cheese and prosciutto or bruschetta, and mini cupcakes or pies for dessert.
Then, supplement the store bought items with some of your tried-and-true recipes to make it feel a little more personal. For instance, it’s a rare occasion that Derrick doesn’t make candied bacon (see recipe below) for every holiday gathering. Our kids love it, our guests love it — I mean, what’s not to love? Salty bacon with a sticky sweet, crunchy topping?!!?
1/2 CUP LIGHT BROWN SUGAR, lightly packed
1/2 CUP CHOPPED OR WHOLE PECANS
2 TEASPOONS OF KOSHER SALT
1 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
1/8 TEASPOON GROUND CAYENNE PEPPER
2 TABLESPOONS OF MAPLE SYRUP
1/2 POUND OF THICK-SLICED APPLEWOOD-SMOKED BACON
Here is the recipe for this delicious and easy appetizer — it’s perfect for nibbling during cocktail hour!
Our list of entertaining essentials is below … these are our Clouz Houz favorites! ♥️ They keep us from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted during this busy time of year. There are also pretty things keep the holiday vibes festive and fun!