Over the Summer we had visitors often and did quite a bit of entertaining. One of the best things I learned was that you can spend less time prepping a whole meal and spend more time with friends by prepping a quick snack tray like this one. Often we’d have visitors at odd times of the day, but after visiting and snacking we wouldn’t feel hungry enough for dinner afterward. Today I’ve partnered with Brit + Co. and Gather to share my best tips to put together your own five minute friendsgiving.
Keep the decor modest and house clean.
There is nothing more stressful than trying to set up for an event, so why not keep it simple? Add a basic table runner (I used a tea towel for mine!), and add some seasonal fresh flowers and you’re good to go. I find that if you make the food table your focal point, people don’t care much about anything else. Clean the other areas of the house well and if you’re short on time give everything a quick wipedown using Clorox cleaning wipes.
Simple finger foods are best.
I love nothing more than to create an elevated snack tray when entertaining guests. On the tray above I have bread, cheese, crackers, dips, dried fruits, meats, nuts, and veggies. To the side I always keep my olive jar (super easy since I store them this way!). I’ve made an easy list for you to use if you’d like:
Bread – I love to buy a fresh baguette from the market. Slice it diagonally and mist with olive oil. Broil in the oven until golden.
Cheese – On the lower tier I have triple cream brie decorated with my homemade cranberry sauce and fresh cranberries (reserved from making sauce), and on the upper tier I have a soft herbed goat cheese.
Crackers – I add any crackers I may have on hand, in case I run out of bread or if someone wants crackers instead. I prefer to use wheat crackers because they have a heartier flavor.
Dips – I try no to include more than 2 varieties so it isn’t crowded up. Ranch is always a classic, and the Hidden Valley Ranch packets make it easy to make as much as you need. I also include plain or garlic hummus that I add olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, and a sprinkling of chives to dress it up a bit.
Dried Fruits – I always have raisins or dried cranberries on hand, but for fall I like to include dried figs too.
Meats – Salami is always a go-to for me. It’s easy to eat, doesn’t need to be cooked, and can be purchased pre-sliced. I love to find varieties that look different. The one I used on this tray was extra large with peppered edges, so it adds some interest to the tray.
Nuts – Roasted almonds and pistachios are our favorites. The flavors are mild and they pair well with almost anything.
Veggies – Last, but not least, veggies. Carrots, sugar snap peas, and small tomatoes are my favorites to add. They’re easy to dip and eat, and they’re high on the favorites list for most people.
Offer a few drink options.
I like to cover all my bases when it comes to drinks. I usually offer wine (I love Raymond Vineyard’s 2013 Napa Valley Chardonnay. It’s well-balanced and not too dry.) and also have sparkling water on hand. It feels fancier if you add a slice of lime to it. For guests who prefer still water, a Brita pitcher is perfect to keep water cool and clean in the refrigerator.
Little details go a long way.
Sometimes it’s not throwing a huge lavish party that impresses your guests, but rather the smaller details that make a difference. In the bathroom I like to keep a small dish with extras that guests may need; Burts Bee’s chapsticks, hand creme, and little mints are perfect. After the party is over, invite guests to make themselves some take-home snacks so you’re not left with tons of leftovers. We like to keep some but too many can be overwhelming and spoil before you can finish them. Glad to-go containers are a perfect single serving size and don’t break the bank if your guests don’t return them later on.
I hope these tips help you spend more time with ones you love, and less time in the kitchen. I know I plan to spend some time with loved ones this season.
Do you plan to do any fall entertaining? Have you attended a friendsgiving before?
This post was sponsored by Brit + Co. and Gather. For more ideas and friendsgiving inspiration, visit Gather’s blog. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that make life here at Hej Doll a little sweeter.