Entertaining can be as fancy or as casual as you want it to be. Regardless of which route you go, making it easy on yourself is the most important part. Who wants to make things unnecessarily complicated? I sure don’t! I have too many other things to do to add ‘make things complicated’ to my to-do list. So, to keep things easy on myself, I follow 2 general (self enforced) rules when it comes to entertaining:
1. I always have ingredients on hand to make sangria. Just a bottle of cheap wine (after you mix it with the other stuff, no one will know you used 2 $$ chuck), some sort of flavored liquor (midori, triple sec, etc…), sparkling water (or a citrus soda, like sprite) and fruit (fresh or frozen). The flavor of sangria changes every time I make it, but I use a basic formula to ensure it tastes delicious every time.
1 bottle wine + 1/2 cup liquor + 2 cups sparkling beverage (water or soda) + fruit.
This formula isn’t science, it’s just one way to think of making sangria. Now, even though I use that basic formula most of the time, the recipe below is a bit different. I use a sparkling wine and a flat juice, but still the same ratio. Aren’t rule meant to be broken? Ya.
2. Cheese. My kitchen isn’t always stocked with everything I need to make a huge dinner, but I always have some sort of cheese that I can use to make SOMETHING with. Whether it’s just cheese and crackers, a cheese dip, or a pot of macaroni and cheese. Cheese is a secret weapon for entertaining. It’s so versatile and most people love it. So it’s a win win.
These simple ‘rules’ are in addition to the obvious parts about entertaining, like, sweeping up the sea of cheerios that have spread to every corner of the house or sandblasting yogurt/syrup/oatmeal crust off the windows, doorknobs and dining room table. Listen, when you have kids, try as you might, your house gets filled with dirt and grime you never knew existed. Really Tip # 1 should be: send the children to grandma’s house. Kidding. Not really.
So, as we’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, make sure you’re stocked up on sangria ingredients and some sort of cheese. In the event you have last minute guests come over, you’ll want to be prepared. You’ll also need something to distract them while you slyly kick toast crumbs, legos, hair bows and random socks into the hall closet. Oh, and sangria is also an awesome drink to bring to a party too. Pour the sangria into large 32 oz mason jars, screw the lid on, and voila! You have yourself a portable travel pitcher.