Can you pull together a casual get-together in a few hours? Here’s how I do it.
I create a few trays of appetizers that focus on fresh produce; the bright colors are a feast for my guests’ eyes. Remember, any gathering becomes a party when you turn down the lights, turn up the music, light candles and welcome good friends into your home.
For a simple no-cook cocktail party, buy the best ingredients you can find and arrange on your prettiest trays.
- Combine colorful vegetables (baby carrots, green beans, white asparagus and purple Belgian endive) and serve with a simple dip.
- Wrap mango slices on baby greens and tie with green onion strips.
- Use skewers to combine cherry tomatoes with fresh mini mozzarella balls; serve with a good balsamic vinegar and oil for dipping.
Try an abundant Italian antipasto platter.
- A mix of imported olives
- Red and green grapes
- One soft, one semi-soft and one hard cheese, displayed on decorative cheese leaves
- Fresh figs
- Flavored mayonnaise and sweet mustard
Change up the traditional centerpiece
Try combining a variety of different vases in various shapes and sizes that you have around the house; add the same flowers to all to pull the look together. Massing together a group of similar objects (the vases) and accenting them with a single flower type, such as white alstromeria, makes a big style impact.
Of course, you can always order take-out food, display it on your good china and use your best flatware. Light every candle you have and bask in the glow of a simply lovely, spur-of-the-moment dinner party.
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