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Food Ideas for Entertaining at Home

When you're hosting a party at home, you have to get everything ready. Make sure the new foosball table is beckoning in the game room, the conversation areas have been arranged to facilitate great discussions and the home bar is stocked and ready to pour cocktails, sodas and spritzers.

The only thing remaining is your menu. You want to choose the right mixture of tastes and textures to appeal to everyone on the guest list. Below are a few food ideas for entertaining at your house to use as springboards for your final food lineup.

Try a Buffet


Unless you’re serving a sit-down meal that’s all the same, such as lasagna, salad and bread, you’ll want to give guests options. A buffet is the perfect way to achieve this goal, and it’s not difficult to master. Most home party buffets include a combination of hot and cold items. This could mean you have a mess of BBQ chicken wings fresh off the grill along with some pinwheel sandwiches made with meats and cheeses. You could even serve hot hors d'oeuvres next to cut-up veggies with dip. Let your imagination guide you because every buffet is totally unique.

Offer a Theme


Are you holding a gathering to celebrate a special time of year, such as Labor Day? Pick food items that work with the theme. For instance, Fourth of July is a chance to create many patriotic-inspired recipes. Get innovative and choose ones people might not know about, such as a special dessert.

By sticking to a theme, you can narrow down your selection while still being innovative. A theme can also be a spectacular way to celebrate your own heritage. Whip up meals that might be unfamiliar to your guests but are traditional in the countries where your ancestors were born. Nothing’s more fulfilling than introducing people you know to tastes they may love.

Invite Guests to Contribute


Is your get-together going to be more laid-back? Ask guests to bring something to contribute to the party. For instance, tell them what you’ll supply, such as sandwiches, grilled pizzas and beverages. Then, let them decide on the other offerings by making their favorite foods. Most people are happy to share this type of potluck adventure, especially those that follow a more exacting type of diet, such as veganism or a gluten-free lifestyle. Make sure you know ahead of time what type of item they’ll bring and whether their dish will require electricity. For instance, if someone brings a slow cooker filled with a cheesy dip, they’ll need to plug it into an outlet.

Label Your Foods


You might think that labeling the foods you make is silly. However, it makes life much easier for guests, especially if you’re having a crowd or hosting an open house. You can’t necessarily be available to tell each person about every dish, but labels can do the talking for you.

Make sure to include the name of the dish and the ingredients in it. This allows people to quickly opt out because of food intolerances, allergies or restrictive diets. Some guests might even ask for full recipes if they love something.

Try a Few Different Dishes


Do you want to play it safe as a hostess, or are you willing to go a little wild? If you’re up for being inventive, select a couple of “wild-card” recipes for your party. These should contain unusual ingredients, such as deep-fried squid or a dessert featuring ugli fruit. Serve them with tried-and-true favorites for anyone who wants to be a little daring.

Prepare Your Home for the Ultimate Party


Are you eager to host another get-together or just hang out with close family members? Plan your menu with an eye to the little details and have plenty of fun activities for guests to enjoy, such as air hockey games from HB Home. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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