Tips for Entertaining Essentials

The season for giving and gathering is upon us. This post will contain entertaining essentials for every gathering this season!

From what to cook, mix and gift this Entertaining Essentials Guide has you covered. 

a woman in a brown dress stands smiling over a table in which she is entertaining with a spread of food

Planning the Meal

Food brings people together and no summary of Entertaining Essentials is complete without some decadent menu options. When you’re entertaining, decide if you’ll cook or cater. 

If you decide to cook, make one showstopper with the rest of the menu easy apps and sides. Take every short cut you can as you’ll be making multiple dishes. When you’re cooking for a crowd prep is key! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Here are some of my entertaining essentials in recipes, cookware and meal prep. 

a spread of food with brightly colored dishes and candles

Top Recipes for Entertaining

Sweet and Spicy Jalapeño Salsa

How to make a Charcuterie Board

Burrata Caprese Salad

Melon and Prosciutto Salad

Easy Slow Cooker Chili

Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Oven Turkey Breast

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Marinated Steak and Brussels

Grab 31 of my favorite recipes inside the E-cookbook! Grab the E-cookbook now. 

a table is set for thanksgiving with brightly colored foods and drinks

Top Catering for Entertaining

If you decide to cater or pick up remade  here are some of my top picks:

DiBruno Brothers

I love their charcuterie items, spreads and lemon rosemary chicken is delish!


What’s not to love? Their fresh pasta and seafood selection is second to none. 

Stew Leonard’s

Baked goods and fresh produce can’t be beat. 

Trader Joe’s 

There is nothing at TJ’s I don’t love especially their pre-made appetizers. I love their spinach and artichoke dip, puff pastries, pre-made pie crust and flatbreads to serve as appetizers. 

Whole Foods

Such a good selection of already made dishes. I love their olive and herb couscous! 

a woman in a brown dress stands smiling over a table in which she is entertaining with a spread of food

Beverages and Cocktails

Keep it simple by offering canned or glassed beverages, one signature drink, one cocktail or sparkling juice and your favorite wine. Extra points for fancy garnishes. 

Here are a few of my favorite cocktails or wines. 

Festive Sangria (you can make in a large batch or punch bowl!)

Aperol Spritz

The Golden Hour Bourbon Cocktail 

Lamarca Prosecco 

Rose Imperial

For Mocktails I love starting with a lime or lemon base and building on that. This Limemade makes for a great mocktail starter. Speciality Lemonades are also great choices. Always try to offer a mocktail or non-alcoholic option for those who still want to be festive but do not drink. 

Serving Coffee, Tea and Hot Cocoa with dessert always warms guests up when entertaining. 

a brightly colored orange cocktail with a bottle of Bourbon in the background.

Setting the Table

Table, linens and seating are the basics of creating the perfect tablescape when entertaining. 

Here are some of my favorite items including linens, plates, flatware, serving dishes and more to create the perfect tablescape. 

Old Fashioned Glasses

Coupe Glasses

Wood Serving Board

Marble Large Cutting Board

Rectangle Platter

a tablescape with linens and black chairs

Creating an Ambience

To create the perfect ambience use the senses! Lighting, scents and the perfect playlist helps you to entertain with the best vibes. 

Some of my favorite scents include scents from Capri Blue. You also can’t go wrong with the scent of a roaring fire! Nothing sets the mood more. 

If you don’t want to light a flame incense also is a great addition or make your own cinnamon and cranberry punch or bake apple chips to get the house smelling perfectly festive. 

I hope you enjoy the holiday season with these tips and tricks for entertaining. I’d love to hear how you love to entertain in the comments below!



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