Published on April 11, 2015

Pin It
Photography by DITTE ISAGER

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

see how-to ▸

Pin It
Photography by Martha Stewart Living

or

A delicious herbal soda that won’t disappoint!

see recipe ▸

Pin It
Photography by halfbakedharvest.com

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

see recipe ▸

Pin It
Photography by none

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.

Pin It
Photography by BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

dress the table

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

Pin It
Photography by JANISCH FRANCES

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 ▸

Pin It
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:

see recipe ▸

Pin It
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

see recipe ▸

Pin It
Photography by pinchofyum.com

30-Minute Sesame Roasted Sweet Potatoes

see recipe ▸

Pin It
Photography by MARCUS NILSSON

what’s for dessert?

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

see recipe ▸

Pin It
Photography by bonappetit.com

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