5 ways to quick and easy entertaining

The no fuss way to enjoy friends dropping in

One of the best things in life is spending time with friends and family. When kids are happy, friends want to stay and move from a casual get together into an easy evening with shared food, drinks and lots of laughter. Here’s how to bring it all together in a jiffy.

1. Clear the decks

Top tips for quick and easy entertaining
Set the scene (Credit: Nicky Ryan)

A quick tidy up is all that’s needed to create some bench space to lay out the perfect cheese platter. Don’t fuss too much, just create a few welcoming surfaces to serve from and work around the rest.

Flick on the fairy lights, put flame to a few candles and switch on your favourite playlist to set the mood for fun.

2. Have nibbles at the ready

Top tips for quick and easy entertaining
Keep them snacking (Credit: Cath Muscat)
Top tips for quick and easy entertaining
What’s in the fridge? (Credit: John Paul Urizar)

Always keep a stock of non-perishable nibbles in your pantry for when friends drop in. Putting something in front of them to graze on whilst you talk them into staying is a sure-fire way to keep the good times rolling. Good staples include:

  • nuts – keep sealed in airtight containers
  • olives – jars are great to store for emergencies
  • stuffed vine leaves
  • popcorn for the kids
  • chick peas for a quick homus
  • bacon (keep in the freezer for a quick burst of flavour)

3. Ice is your friend

Top tips for quick and easy entertaining
Simple but special (Credit: Nicky Ryan)

A little bubbly water goes a long way and plenty of ice cubes makes for a dash of decadence. Always keep citrus on hand in the fruit bowl – a wedge of lemon, lime or orange ups the ante with mood-shifting cocktails and citrus-garnished soft drinks. 

4. Keep it simple

Top tips for quick and easy entertaining
Roughly chopped and baked in 20 minutes, pumpkin add a burst of colour and flavour

Order in, or cook the first thing that comes to mind and use a favourite recipe you wont have to concentrate on too much. Use the ingredients you have on hand to create a shared meal, open a bottle of wine to share as you cook and pump up the music to enhance the mood.

Top tips for quick and easy entertaining
A simple bruschetta feeds a mob and can be assembled quickly (Credit: Cath Muscat)

Recipe suggestion: Sauteed mushroom & camembert bruschetta

5. Share the load

It’s all about staying together in the moment so accept all offers of help and enlist many hands to make light work of entertaining at home – kids, friends and family can all pitch in to enjoy the cooking process.

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