Throw it on a Stick
Whether you’re barbecuing on the grill or keeping it simple with just appetizers, putting food on a stick makes it easier for you and your guests. For appetizers, put cheese cubes, apple slices and olives alternating on a skewer paired with crackers. When grilling meat or seafood, use two sticks to ensure even cooking and keep the meat from falling into the charcoal. For dessert, go traditional with your favorite fruit kabobs or indulge your guests with a decadent dessert skewer with brownie cubes, marshmallows and strawberries.
Order Gift Baskets
Throwing a party always sounds like such a good idea, until the realization of how much work it takes settles in. Don’t feel guilty about seeking assistance, especially when it comes to appetizers and desserts. FTD has a great selection of pre-made gift baskets that are gourmet, healthy and loved by both kids and adults. The Birthday Surprise Gourmet Gift Tower is the perfect party treat with white chocolate confetti caramel popcorn, peanut brittle, white confection pretzels and much more.
Use blank price tags tied around glassware or blank labels on your plastic cups so guests can label their drinks and keep track of their cups. Use laundry hampers lined with trash bags and labeled “trash” or “recycling” for easy clean-up. Paint your serving plates withchalkboard paint and label the different cheeses, salads or main dishes you’re serving. For safety reasons, it’s always a good idea to label all dishes with potential allergens especially when there are children around.
Have a Go-To Party Box
Use a plastic storage container (or two) as a designated go-to party box filled with all your hosting essentials. This is a great idea for last-minute parties you didn’t know about (when your kids entire soccer team comes over after a game or when your extended family surprises you with a visit). Your go-to party box should include things like reusable plastic plates, napkins, utensils, plastic cups and serving utensils. Not only does it make set up really easy, it’s portable for parties or picnics at the park and it’s environmentally friendly since you won’t need to reach for disposable plates, cups and cutlery.
Clean up is arguably the worst part of throwing a party but edible (or at least biodegradable) bowls make life so much easier! Instead of making one big bread bowl dip, make individual bread bowls using baguette ends and throw a few carrot and celery sticks inside for dipping. No party is complete without watermelon and what better way to serve your fruit salad then in a watermelon bowl. Instead of cutting the watermelon conventionally, cut a large watermelon in half and keep the halves whole while dicing out the insides. Combine with other fruit such as pineapple, grapes and strawberries. For serving ice cream, preparebrownie bowls in advance and let your guests enjoy the perfect duo.
Get Your Kids Involved
When it comes to decorating, let your kids take charge. Not only will you be saving time and money on store-bought decorations, guests will love that all the decorations were handmade with love. For any occasion, garlands are easy and cover a lot of space. For a birthday party, tie small water balloons filled with air along the garland, for a graduation party hang paper diplomas and graduation caps and finally, for a Halloween party, hang bats, pumpkins and ghosts made of construction paper. Balloons are go-to party decoration. Stake to them your lawn or in your backyard using golf tees or fill them with confetti before blowing them up and pop them while candles are blown out.