If you are like me, you love to entertain but find it hard to do with all the hats you wear as a mom. We are all involved in so many activities, commitments, work, charities, church, etc. that it's hard to find time to relax and enjoy.
The other day I had about 6 friends over to sit under my gazebo for the evening. My girlfriends are extremely important to me. It is easy to get so "busy" with our lives that we forget to make time for those that we love the most.
I refuse to let that happen and am purposely making time to enjoy and nurture those friendships, despite my crazy, busy life these days.
I knew I wasn't going to have time to prepare homemade appetizers but wanted them to feel treated. I not only wanted the food to look good, I wanted it to taste yummy.
So I purchased some of my favorite appetizers. Some of great places to get yummy treats is Central Market, Trader Joes and I've even found some tasty favorites from Costco, if you can believe that :) This time around I chose guacamole, hot sauce, fresh veggies, grapes, chicken salad, corn salsa, chips, crakers and some tasty cookies. All easy "grab and go" snacks.
The key to making your appetizers look more "appetizing" is the way they are served. It's tempting to open up a store bought chicken salad or hot sauce and put the container out and call it done. There is nothing wrong with that and believe me I won't judge you if that is the way you do it :)
What I like to do is place my items in different kinds of bowls, dishes, jars, glass cups, etc. It takes a few more extra steps but it's easy to do and makes your guests feel a little more cared for. It shows them that you spent some time getting things ready.
I purposely look for different kinds of interesting plates and glass containers when I'm at estate sales, etc. Actually, most of you have these kinds of things in your kitchen cabinets. Some of the glass jars I use are actually candle holders. I love etched glass and glasses with colorful bases (as seen below).
Another thing I like to do, if we are eating outside, is serve the items inside on my kitchen island but have all the dishes on trays. This allows us to move all the appetizers easily to the table outside if we decide to do so.
So next time you feel like you miss your friends and want to have a time around the table chatting, catching up, encouraging one another and laughing until you cry, don't hesitate! Offer up your home and make it easy on yourself by purchasing your food and displaying it with some of the tips I just mentioned.
There is nothing better than being in a Home vs. a restaurant. You will find that there is deeper conversation and a more meaningful time when it's around a kitchen table or an outside patio.
Step out of your comfort zone, I promise you won't regret the memories you make with friends gathered around yummy food! Don't let "I'm too busy" be your excuse.