12 Entertaining Essentials

last minute entertaining
12 Entertaining Essentials
I always love having people over at my house. As long as my calendar is clear and my home is not embarrassingly messy I am always open to a little impromptu entertaining. I cook and bake a lot so my pantry and refrigerator is always stocked well enough that I can whip up a quick dinner or lunch such as an easy pasta dish. However, if all else fails and I have a little last minute entertaining I prepare a quick salad and order pizza. Everyone loves pizza and it is the company that matters the most anyway.

I have a few other entertaining essentials that I always keep one hand and that make entertaining stress free and easy.

Item One // Snacks. My favorite no prep items are cheese, a variety of crackers, olives, pickles, dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, chips, and dips. I also keep brownie and cookie mixes at home for when I don't have time to make a dessert from scratch.

Item Two // Sparkling Water. A great addition for cocktails but even if you are not serving alcohol sparkling water is a fun addition to lemonades and fruit juices for special drinks to offer your guests.

Item Three // Slower Cooker. Slow cookers are great. When having friends over for game or movie nights slower cookers keep food warm for snacking throughout the day. Easy crowd-pleasers are barbecue meatballs and this Beef Enchilada Dip. At our last book club meeting I made homemade hot chocolate that was warm and ready for our guests to sip on all afternoon.

Item Four // White Plate (and paper plates). Food looks best against white so I always love serving food on white dishes. Plus white is easy to use with any other color tablecloth, napkins, etc. However, if it is an absolutely last minute gathering or super causal I am not opposed to paper plates.

Item Five // Candles. I always keep these around in various heights, widths, and colors (but again white is my favorite color to use). There is simply no other way that is easier to make a dinner feel special than lighting a few (or a lot) of candles.

Item Six // Serving and Cutting Boards. You can never have too many cutting boards. They are necessary for prep work and are a great way to present food as well. They are rustic and beautiful. Use them to serve bread, to display cookies, or as a vehicle for a cheese platter.

Item Seven // Neutral Serving Utensils. You need plenty of serving utensils when entertaining and neutral utensils are easiest to incorporate with any other colors and dishes.

Item Eight // Chic Paper Cocktail and Dinner Napkins. Cloth napkins are nice but everyone also loves pretty paper goods. Paper napkins come in so many pretty colors and patterns that makes them fun additions to get-togethers.

Item Nine // Clear Glasses. Best for versatility and great for everyday use.

Item Ten // Serving Bowls. To keep entertaining easy I like serving food family or sometimes buffet style so serving bowls are a must.

Item Eleven // Board games. Board games are a great way to keep guests interacting and talking. It is best to choose games without complicated rules or complex set ups. This game is a new favorite of mine that is easy enough for everyone to play, only takes 10 minutes per game, and will have everyone laughing.

Item Twelve // Toiletries. A well stocked bathroom is an absolute must when entertaining guests. Keep a stash of plenty of toilet paper, a scented candle, clean towels, and pretty soaps that can be brought out before guests arrive.

photo by: Kate Quinn Davies What Katie Ate edited by Sunny Days and Starry Nights


  1. Happy New Year! I'm finally catching up on my blog reading now that I'm back from my frstive break. I enjoyed your previous post (I can't get enough of grey at the moment!) Great entertaining tips. I just don't think about using my slow cooker when entertaining and generally only use it for midweek family meals. I agree too that food always looks better on white plates.

  2. Great ideas! We loved hosting people at our new home over the holidays.

  3. great tips! have mixes for things like cookies and brownies is a great idea so you can always whip up a quick dessert.

  4. I need to get more serving bowls. I didn't use all my mixing bowl to serve food in


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