Tips for Fall Entertaining

Whether you are new at entertaining or are an experienced host or hostess, parties and gatherings always go better when you prepare for them. Whether it’s combing recipe books and websites in an attempt to try out new dishes or carefully considering how much space you have for entertaining, thoughtful planning is the key to a successful event:

1.     Embrace Kitchen Challenges

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

During the summer heat, we find ourselves barbequing and preparing simple dishes so we can keep the stove off and the kitchen cool. But colder weather brings with it the chance to use our stoves to cook up some amazing meals for our guests. Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself, cooking-wise, during the fall season.   Dishes that feature pumpkin or sweet potato, like this amazing Sweet Potato and Quinoa salad from The Roasted Root, are a perfect way to usher in the cooler months.

 2.     Get Your Invitations Out Quickly

With so many holidays in fall and winter, people can easily become overbooked. If you plan to fall entertain, particularly during late fall, get your invitations out as soon as possible. Doing so will usually result in a better turn out.

3.     Develop a Menu that You can Prepare in Advance

Richer meats and heartier vegetables lend themselves to slow cooking methods and advance preparation. If you’re planning a multicourse meal, start prepping foods a day or two in advance so that you aren’t franticly chopping and dicing the day of your event.

4.     Hot, Spicy Beverages Do Double Duty

Hot Apple-Ginger Toddy

Heat up a pot of mulled wine or spiced cider on your stove and offer a mug to your guests as they arrive. The drink is a welcome warmer after a cold trip and the scent of spices permeates your home, setting a wonderful mood.  Here’s a great list of 14 delicious hot drinks from The Kitchn that are perfect for a blustery fall afternoon.

Tip: If you plan to have an alcoholic hot beverage, make another pot of a non-alcoholic brew. Kids and guests who don’t drink will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

5.     Monitor the Weather

Fall weather can be tricky, so keep your eye on it as the date of your event approaches. If you live in an area where the weather in late fall can range from warm to downright wintery, don’t plan on being able to use your yard or unenclosed patio (or your grill) for entertaining your guests.

If you have any of your own fall entertaining tips, we’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below or share an image on our Facebook page.