Entertaining shouldn’t seem a chore. If hosts are having fun, guests have a ticket to relax. Simple catering puts emphasis on friendships; not elaborate food.
It’s great to make a sweet slice ahead of time; even better if it’s flourless for gluten-free or low-carb guests. Chocolate-based recipes that use ground almonds are fab. Next, a trip to the supermarket will do almost all of the food-and-drink prep for you. That’s because a few luxe ingredients are often all it takes to make an occasion feel special and taste delicious. A range of different craft beers and wines to different tastes will cater to everyone.
Good-quality breads and crackers are ideal. Ciabatta can be fried up in quality olive oil with a little lemon, garlic or chilli seasoning to become the basis for a dipping-platter to accompany drinks. It’s a good idea to research which relishes and salad dressings are your favourites, then simply add sour cream and make dressing bowls to accompany freshly chopped vegetables.
Good quality nuts, olives and cheeses, partially dried fruits, naan breads, guacamole, plus pastry nibbles from the supermarket’s freezers are all good investments for the outdoor entertaining season. Cream, full-fat yoghurt, sodas, tonics, limes, lemons and fresh herbs will all be useful when presenting platters and drinks.
Creatively concoct mocktails using drink concentrates as the base flavour. If the colour’s gorgeous, all the better. Add napkins and jugs of iced water to your table, and voila!