- About Us
- Contact Us
Affordable Hors d’oeuvres
While at the grocery store, pick up a small bunch of basil, one tomato and a fresh ball of mozzarella cheese for a lovely caprese salad. Slice the tomato and mozzarella up and arrange the slices in a circle on a platter, alternating tomato, mozzarella and a piece of basil. Once the platter is filled, drizzle with olive oil and just a bit of balsamic vinegar.
Your guests can eat the salad on plates alone or with crostini, which are thin slices of toasted or grilled bread. Stop by a bakery and pick up a fresh baguette. You can make the crostini by slicing the baguette, brushing one side of each piece with olive oil and arranging them on a baking sheet. Pop these into a 400 degree oven until they’re lightly browned, about four minutes.
Also great with caprese and crostini are assorted olives, or hummus and vegetables, easily purchased at the grocery store. If you buy prepackaged hummus, make sure to scoop it out of the container and put it into a pretty bowl.
Hosting a unique and memorable summer dinner party doesn’t have to break the bank. Turn up the heat on your next soiree by nailing the staples of any successful backyard bash (fireflies not included).
Bits and centerpieces. Step away from the standard vase of flowers. Why not try something a little more creative? Instead of shelling out for one big bouquet, arrange small bunches of blossoms from your grocery store or garden in water pitchers or mason jars (vary the sizes for a fun, laid-back look). Not into flowers? Lend your table a cheerfully rustic pop of color by filling a tall, cylindrical vase with citrus fruits. Bonus: If you use oranges, they can double as part of dessert!
Tricked-out tabletop. The last thing you'll want to do in the post-party afterglow is spend an evening scrubbing stains out of your best linens. Instead, pick up a roll of wrapping paper in a bright color or beachy print. Use it as you would a runner—secure at each end of the table using tape. When the meal is over, just rip it off and recycle!
Fruits of your labor. Instead of dealing with fussy place cards, bring a touch of whimsy to your table by using apples instead. Write each guest’s name on a blank index card, and pin one card to the stem of each apple. That's one less item you'll have to clean up and stow away after the party—and one more edible decoration for your guests to enjoy!
A menu for the masses. Apples and oranges aside, a great dinner party requires great food. CookingChannelTV.com and SmittenKitchen.com are terrific resources for fresh, flavorful recipes that will leave your guests begging for seconds. If you decide to go the potluck route, make sure you've got a balance of sweet and savory on the table, as well as an option or two for any guests with special dietary concerns.
Souvenir swag. Handing out party favors ensures that the memories linger long after the festivities end. A booklet filled with your favorite recipes (or those used for the dinner party) is easy to put together using an online template and a few sheets of colored paper. Adorable, affordable candles also come in all colors and scents (buy in bulk to save a few bucks). Use cellophane paper and a ribbon tied at the top to wrap each candle up beautifully (you can try these as placeholders as well!)