5 weeks till Christmas. Argh! I’m hosting Christmas this year, which should be relatively stress free given our family has an all-in approach to Christmas cooking. But I’m still thinking about how I can make the day special.
Recently I was asked to contribute to an article that featured great ideas for throwing a simple and elegant party. I brainstormed with myself when coming up with ideas for the article, and have shared these ideas with you below.
Hopefully this collection will spark something in you and help make your silly season a little easier.
- Place avocado halves on the BBQ to blacken slightly before making guacamole. The result is a delicious, smoky flavoured dip.
- Make store-bought dips look more appealing by adding chopped fresh herbs, olive oil and nuts to the top
- Grill vegetables like broccoli, corn and carrot on the BBQ before adding to salads to add extra flavour
- Use cheaper cuts of meat to make pulled pork, brisket or shredded chicken to fill bread rolls. Serve with salads
- Serve a simple pasta “family style” on a big platter with fresh crusty bread and a green salad on the side. Something about an overflowing platter makes even simple food seem special.
- Soak strawberries in white wine and caster sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream
- Add edible flowers to icy pole moulds before pouring in your favourite icy pole mix to make them beautiful
- Serve store-bought, good quality, vanilla ice cream with a glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Tres chic
- Keep good quality, store-bought biscotti or almond bread in the pantry ready to serve with coffee for a perfectly acceptable end to a meal.
- Add a teaspoon of jam to cocktails for flavour and colour. Try gin, lemon juice, a splash of simple syrup and a teaspoon of raspberry jam stirred then served over ice
- Keep your ice cubes festive by adding mint and tiny lemon wedges to the tray before filling with water. Use to make sparkling water or cocktails pretty
- A bowl of punch = instant party.
- Don’t serve anything in the packet it came in. Decanting condiments, chips and dips makes them seem far fancier
- Fairy lights make everything seem more festive
- Use brown craft paper as a table cloth or runner to add simple elegance which doubles as easy clean up
- Use a posy of fresh herbs from your garden as a simple and beautiful smelling centrepiece
- Use a collection of preserving or jam jars as single stem vases; no need for flower arranging and the decoration remains low, so everyone can see everyone else over the top. Also works with candles.
Do you have any ideas for making entertaining simpler?