Eggs: The Creative Ingredient

Easy Entertaining: 5 Ways To Avoid The Last-Minute Rush

by Ethan Stone

Entertaining can be a tremendous amount of work. It is easy to get caught up in planning and preparing for your company to come, and to forget to stop and enjoy your guests. Here are some easy things you can do to eliminate last-minute rushing and make your dinner or cocktail party more enjoyable.

Ask a friend to come early: Having one of your guests come early as a designated helper is the best way to be sure you won't be rushing at the last minute. Your guest will be flattered to be asked, and having extra hands will make last-minute tasks go twice as fast. Not only that, you will have fun working with a friend.

Have a guest bring ice: Polite party guests often ask if there is anything they can do or bring to help you. Asking them to bring ice is the perfect way to let them help. Most parties need ice, and ice is inexpensive, readily available, and best purchased at the last minute. By asking a guest to bring it, you eliminate a last-minute task so you can relax and enjoy the party.

Have foods delivered: Plan around foods that you can have delivered. Depending on your locale, you likely have other options available for delivery. If you think outside the box and look at foods in a new way, you can adapt them to any setting. Something as simple as pizza from a restaurant like Chicago Deep Dish Pizza can be served as-is, or dressed up to suit a fancier atmosphere. Use a small round cookie cutter to create bite-sized pizza circles, add your own fresh vegetables, or have them sliced into smaller pieces.  Ordering food to be delivered eliminates the last-minute task of running to pick something up, or warming up food.

Plan a gathering activity: Be sure there is something for your guests to do as soon as they arrive. This will ease the pressure on you to have everything perfectly ready as soon as they arrive. The gathering activity can be something as small as serving themselves drinks or nibbling on appetizers. As long as that first activity is prepared, you needn't worry about everything else being done before your guests arrive.

Relax: The most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy your guests. There is no need to feel nervous or frazzled when entertaining. Be sure to take the time to enjoy your guests, and everything else will fall into place.