last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by DITTE ISAGER

A simple hack for party-ready florals, in 5 minutes!

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last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by Martha Stewart Living illustration by Amber Vittoria, imagery by madeline montoya

or

A delicious herbal soda that won’t disappoint!

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last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by halfbakedharvest.com

One-Pot 45 Minute Coq au Vin with Brown Butter Sage Mashed Potatoes.

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last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by none Photography by CHEVALLIER PASCAL

set the tone



Light a candle to set the mood (and get rid of any lingering odors).

A little background music never hurt, and crowd-pleasing tunes are always a must! Setup a playlist or opt for an online player for a continuous stream.

White and Wood Dining room
Photography by BRITTANY AMBRIDGE Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

dress the table



Do a quick de-cluttering and keep the decor light. Create a comfortable ambience with fresh flowers and a clean space.

last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by JANISCH FRANCES Photography by MICK HALES

keep ‘em fed


Easy apps for guests to munch on, leaving time to get the main course on the table.

a cheese board – sans the cheese:
Sweet

  • charcuterie, jam, fresh bread, a delicious spread (cream cheese), grapes, fresh seasonal fruit, candied walnuts, mustard, sprigs of thyme

Savory

  • olives, hummus or dip, pita chips, crudites, crackers, salted and roasted nuts, sprigs of rosemary

Or, opt for this foolproof guide to creating ultimate cheese plate:

see recipe ▸


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last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by Ingalls Photography

keep the spirits high


basic mixers for cocktails

Keep fresh fruit, citrus, and sparkling water on hand for last-minute mixers. Garden herbs such as rosemary and thyme can give a drink powerful flavor. try this recipe:

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last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by Penny De Los Santos

food for thought


think ahead

If last-minute drop-ins are a regular thing, a little planning ahead can help take the stress out of finding something to serve. Keep the freezer stocked with dishes you can easily reheat.Think: biscuits, soup, or a marinated meat dish. A well-stocked pantry filled with goodies, doesn’t hurt either!

3 dishes you can whip up in 45 minutes and under!

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon

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last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by pinchofyum.com

30-Minute Sesame Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by MARCUS NILSSON

what’s for dessert?


A deliciously decadent sundae you can whip up in 10 minutes flat!

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last-minute entertaining essentials
Photography by bonappetit.com

This simple roasted pear crumble that bakes while you dine.
see recipe ▸