My sister and I were brainstorming some recipes for my Captain Morgan party and she came up with this milkshake. She is genius. Since Spike is the judge and he is the king of milkshakes around here in DC, it was a given that I had to do a milkshake. We debated whether or not a milkshake is a dessert or a drink, and I am going with dessert. This is dessert in a glass – but with a little (okay a lot) of kick. Instead of thinning the ice cream with milk, I used rum. It is a holiday party after all. I used coconut sorbet, ice cream, and topped it with homemade whipped cream and a fresh grating of nutmeg. That is my favorite part. I adore nutmeg. Serving a milkshake for dessert is whimsical and playful and your guests will remember it long after the party ends. And for a party, this is a really easy dessert. Set up the glasses and straws before the party gets started, give it a whirl in the blender and pour.
Like most people, this time of the year often goes by in a blur for me. Holiday parties, school concerts, cookie exchanges, so much goes on. I don’t want to miss out on it, and I also don’t want to be so busy that I don’t have time to have friends over to celebrate the holidays. Instead of avoiding entertaining all together, I just make it easy on myself. I keep it simple and fuss-free. It is not my nature to have elaborate tablescapes and decorations. I don’t have room to store it all and really, I am a simple girl. No one ever told me that they didn’t have a great time at my house because I didn’t have a huge flower arrangement in the middle of the table or all of my plates didn’t match a theme. I keep them well fed and a drink in their hand and we are all good.
Here are a few tips to make your holiday entertaining fun and fuss-free:
I use the term “theme” loosely, but create a menu that makes sense. For instance, if your theme is a holiday luau, then serve tropical food, like a pork slider and Coconut Rum Shakes for dessert. Buy a couple of packages of paper umbrellas for drinks and some colorful leis. Everyone gets the idea that it is festive, but you don’t need to go crazy.
One of the best tips that I have picked up through the years is to use all white plates and platters. The food stands out and looks gorgeous and it matches everything. Use flowers to decorate and garnishes to add color.
Make a few things and buy a few things. It is a crazy busy time of year, I don’t always have time to make everything myself or from scratch. Buy dessert. Or buy some dips and add a cheese tray. I promise your party will still be amazing.
Make whatever you can ahead of time. I try my hardest to not make anything during my party. I want to enjoy my guests, not run around the kitchen like a lunatic. I don’t mean just food either – I set the table, label platters, set up the bar, whatever I can do beforehand, I do.
What are your best entertaining tips? Feel free to share in the comments section.