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Hospitality and Entertaining

Patriotic Party Platter In Time For July 4th

Hospitality and Entertaining
fruit patriotic platter cheese board

Last week was the summer solstice, which across the Northern Hemisphere means the longest day of the year. Which technically means every day between now and December 21 has a littttle less sunlight. But it also means that the days we are having right now are some of the loooongest of the year. And yes, the days are probably kind of hot. But it’s that beginning of the summer hot that still feels novel. And we still have clothes in our closet that aren’t drenched in sweat.

Remember being a kid, when we were out of school for the summer and how much possibility and opportunity lay in those long days? We might build a tree fort. We might invent a whole new game and teach it to the other neighborhood kids. We might turn on the sprinkler and run through the spray for hours in our swimsuits, laughing and giggling with no regard for time. After all, there was no homework nor other responsibilities that required watching a clock.

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Hospitality 101: How to be a Fierce Host

Hospitality and Entertaining
hospitality 101

This blog is going to be on the short and sweet side because I’m a little busy today.

I’ve got to finish packing for my upcoming glamping trip with my mom (we’re leaving tomorrow morning), plant my porch pot flowers, answer the backlogged email, finish the laundry, run to the market, and make a batch of Fiesta Miracle Muffins for my husband to share with some of his old high school friends who are coming to visit while I’m away camping this weekend.

Oh, and when I ran into a couple of friends at my quilt guild meeting yesterday, I invited them to come over for dinner tonight. They’ll be here in 5 hours.

That’s right. Even though I knew I had a very busy day ahead of me, I went ahead and invited a couple of friends over on the spur of the moment.

Now, some of you completely get this but a lot of you are saying, “That’s crazy! Why would you suddenly invite people over on such short notice? And for dinner, no less. That just sounds so stressful!”

You have a point. Entertaining can be stressful – for you as well as your guests.  But it doesn’t have to be. Not if you keep a few simple principles that will make get togethers a pleasure for you as well as your guests.

Are you ready? Here’s my crash course on Hospitality 101.

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Go Pro with These Three Healthy Super Bowl Recipes

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
healthy super bowl recipe chicken chili
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It’s almost time for the Super Bowl (and the Puppy Bowl and Super Bowl commercials, take your pick of which one you’ll spend your time watching!)

No matter which you are watching it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be eating something. Because food and the Super Bowl go together like chips and salsa. (Or chips and guacamole, but more on that later!)

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My Son’s Wedding: The Dress! The Flowers! The Epic Mother Son Dance!

Celebrate Life, Family, Hospitality and Entertaining
mother son dance

It seems like yesterday when my youngest son thought every single animal, no matter what it was, was a cow. Moo! (it was a cat), Moo! (it was a dog). Moo! (It was an elephant for goodness sake).

Just to embarrass him, here’s a picture of him as a little ball of fluff. Adorable, right?

Oh, and here is one from those awkward middle school years with braces.

It’s my right as a mother to share these on the internet, yes? I think so. continue reading

The Art of Easy Entertaining and the Cutest Fall Baby “Sprinkle” Ever

Hospitality and Entertaining
easy entertaining
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I love to entertain.  Always have.  I’d go so far as to say that I enjoy throwing parties even more than attending them.

But for a lot of women, the idea of entertaining at home is an intimidating, even frightening prospect.

I think that’s because many people have the wrong idea about what it takes to entertain.  You don’t need to have buckets of money, a fancy house in a fancy neighborhood, or the culinary skills of Martha Stewart to throw a good party.

Showing hospitality is simply about sincerely welcoming others into your home with a warm and open heart. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or expensive. In fact, some of the best parties I’ve ever been to, or given, have been the simplest.

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Cool Down with Low Calorie Cocktails (4 points or less on Weight Watchers!)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
low calorie cocktails, weight watcher cocktail recipes
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I don’t know about you, but in Central Oregon, we’ve had quite a heat wave. My car said the temperature was 104 yesterday. My car can be a bit dramatic (we have that in common), but still, this part of the country just isn’t set up for three figure temperatures. Most houses around here don’t even have air conditioning.

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Perfect Make Ahead Summer Dinner Party Menu (Just 5 Weight Watchers Points!)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
summer dinner party menu weight watchers
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If you’re busy (and who isn’t?) hosting friends for dinner can be a real challenge.

Unless, of course, you’re prepared.

This summer, I’ve pulled together some gorgeous, favorite recipes into an easy summer dinner party menu that can mostly be made ahead.

You know what that means, don’t you? You can actually go to your dinner party instead of spending it in the kitchen. Doesn’t that sound like a nice change? continue reading

Proper Picnic Planning Guide: Picnic Recipes, Al Fresco Etiquette and the Best Gear

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
proper picnic guide, picnic recipes, picnic gear
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What do you get when you combine delicious food, the great outdoors, time with friends, and  a pretty quilt, all wrapped up into one adorable and portable party? It’s a picnic. And it’s my favorite.

Here’s how to throw the perfect picnic with the best food. continue reading

Fiesta Party Ideas and Recipes Perfect for Summer

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
Mexican fiesta strawberry margarita
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My new home in Central Oregon is pretty close to paradise. Beautiful scenery. Wildlife. Perfect weather. Lots of locally owned restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Fun outdoorsy things to do at every corner.

However, it lacks in one critical area. Shocking no one, there doesn’t seem to be any authentic Mexican or Tex Mex food where I can get a proper bowl of queso for at least 200 miles.

I used to live in Mexico. I also used to live in Texas. While both places were fun and exciting in their own right, there’s one thing I miss this most. The food. The sizzling smells. The vibrant colors. The cumin and garlic and oregano. I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.

Enjoying Mexican food and its somewhat less authentic but still delectable cousin, Tex Mex, is the perfect way to ring in summer. And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate reaching the finish line of a long, hard week, lift yourself out of a funk, or simply jolt yourself out of a food rut – my Tex-Mex party menu will definitely do the trick.

On the other hand, do you need a reason?  Any day is a good day to invite a few friends over, play some lively Spanish guitar music, and have a fiesta! Ole’!


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