The holidays are HARD! So many parties so little time. I’m the kind of person who has this elaborate vision for how things should look at my events. I used to end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and sometimes even angry when I would try to execute my vision for these perfectly staged get togethers. Several years ago I decided to let go of that perfect visual and find ways to actually have fun at my own parties while still making them special.
One of the ways I achieved this new Zen Like Tipsy was by incorporating the Buffet into my entertaining repertoire. Instead of elaborate sit down, plated dinners, I started having “serve yourself” food and beverage stations. This allowed my guests to enjoy great food and drinks and I could actually engage with them instead of being stuck in a kitchen.
Finding ways to make clean up and food storage easier was also a must. I started using Solo Products to make clean up a breeze. Plus their fun, colorful products just scream fun!
Let me walk you through my annual “Cousins Cookie Day Party” where it was “Buffet All The Way” !
Step One – Decide on a make ahead DIY food menu that not only tastes great but gets your guests engaged!
This year I revived an old favorite. The Grilled Cheese Bar. All you need is to purchase a variety of cheeses, some breads and some extras like bacon, ham, jams or whatever suits your fancy. I set up this buffet with my panini press and voila! My guests had fun creating their own delicious sandwiches! These large dinner plates from Solo were perfect because they were large enough to prep the sandwiches and sturdy enough to reuse over and over . (My guests couldn’t have just one grilled cheese)
Step 2 – Use your slow cooker or instant pot
Now what goes better with grilled cheese than tomato soup?! I can’t think of anything! I made a quick and easy tomato bisque recipe and set that up in my instant pot, alongside my grilled cheese bar. I added a variety of crackers and of course lots of black pepper. I used Small Solo Bowls so guests could enjoy just the right amount of soup or simply used a ladle full for grilled cheese dunking! Plus these smaller bowls were much easier to handle while eating soup and mingling.
Step 3 – Create a signature punch to save money on buying lots of booze.
For this year’s cookie day I came up with a Pinterest Inspired Punch called Frosty’s Punch. It was simply UV Blue Raspberry Vodka and a couple bottles of prossecco. I threw in lots of ice and used Solo Clear Cups rimmed with white sugar so that it was delicious to drink and pretty to look at!
Step 4 – Come up with a fun activity for kids.
My family outdoes themselves when it comes to cookie baking. We always have so many cookies. Couple that with the fact I hate to bake, I decided in lieu of baking I would set up a cookie dipping station using melted almond bark and different toppings so the kids could customize their cookie choices. This was a huge hit with the kids and the adults. The Solo bowls with lids were the perfect vessel for all the toppings. When the party ended I was able to pop the lids on and put them in my baking pantry for easy clean up and storage!
Step 5 – Have a coffee and hot beverage bar for those winter and holiday parties.
Everyone loves a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate. I added in some flavored creamers and some flavored Irish creams for my guests to enjoy at the party. I also used Solo To Go Hot Coffee Cups so my guests could take a Non Alcoholic Hot Bevy with them to go! This idea put some pep in everyone’s step!
My guests loved being able to graze all day and eat and drink when they wanted to. Even better, I was able to enjoy the party and not worry about lots of clean up. Solo made it so easy. I simply had to rinse all the plates, cups and bowls and toss them right into the recycle bin. I am pretty sure all my parties will be “Buffet All The Way” from now on!
***This post was sponsored by Solo but all opinions are all my own!