Not much can compare to catching up with friends and family over some great food, and even better company. However, if you’re the “hostess with the mostess” (and we bet you are), it’s likely the responsibility to entertain guests tends to ‘magically’ fall into your lap more often than most.
At times it can be a stressful experience; juggling lots of tasks at once, whilst organising everything – but it doesn’t have to be!
We share with you below our top tips from the Pudding Lady team that can make a big difference in helping things run as smoothly as possible for stress free entertaining with family and friends.
- Plan Ahead
One of our top entertaining tips is to make lists and check things off as you go for peace of mind planning. We recommend doing this for an up-to-date guestlist, overview of serving ware and clear food preparation.
Even something as simple as setting the table the night before can be a big time saver the next day; especially if you have an early start (we won’t say no to a little extra beauty sleep).
If you know you’re catering for a big group or are time poor, we suggest opting for easy, fail-safe dishes everyone will love (and that don’t take hours to prepare). If you’re a masterful cook you can still create that impressive Beef Wellington or Homemade Chicken Pie in advance, and then pair with some easy sides and a crowd-pleasing dessert.
A great go-to is of course pudding (since we know they are no longer just reserved for Christmas)! The rich, traditional spiced flavours carry broad appeal and work perfectly for any occasion thanks to their variety of sizes and shapes. Pudding Lady desserts are crafted from fresh ingredients that are masterfully preserved for quality and versatility.
- Make Time to Mingle
It’s no secret that when you’re the host of a celebration or get together you may inevitably spend a lot of time popping in and out of the kitchen replenishing drinks and plates. Don’t forget your guests are there to spend time with you too and want to see your face and have a chat!
Top tips for increasing time to mingle (and reducing stress) at parties and events:
- Set up a sideboard where you have plates, glasses and cutlery at the ready
- If you have the space available, use an area of the kitchen or dining room as a ‘help yourself’ drink station
- Bring as much food as possible to the table so people can share and engage with the group
- Top Tips for Stress Free Food When Entertaining Friends and Family
- Make Sure There Is Enough Food
Although nobody wants food wastage, thankfully there are lots of creative ways to freeze and store excess food, and you can even send some guests home with extra leftovers.
Another way to manage this is to be resourceful and have preserved food that is quick to prepare on hand if you need it (and that otherwise lives in the cupboard for the next occasion).
That’s why you can’t go past a beautiful, flavourful sticky date pudding cooked to perfection. They are ready to go when you are, and taste even better once warmed and served with lashings of double cream or rich vanilla ice cream.
- Embrace Last Minute Changes & Have a Backup Plan
You know how the old adage goes, even the best laid plans can go astray. Although it’s rare, there are occasions where you may have planned for 10, but some of the group is delayed, or a friend wants to know if they can bring a last-minute extra guest – c’est la vie!
Although it’s unlikely you’ll need to implement your backup plan, it’s a great stress-free idea to have in place. To tackle this, you may like to keep some fold up chairs stored away and keep a few frozen saviours (such as gourmet quiche or sausage rolls) and an extra pudding (or two) on hand if needed.
- Cater to everyone’s tastes
Once you have everyone’s dietary restrictions, consider how best to offer a variety of choices that are simple and easy for you to achieve. If there are several food intolerances, rather than stress about what to make, a good option is to ask each guest to bring their favourite dish they love to eat.
Oh, and to turn stress levels down another notch, we have you covered on the dessert front! The Pudding Lady 1kg traditional pudding is available in sugar free and gluten free varieties; and a 500g vegan version is available too, there really is something for (almost) everyone.
They are still “homemade” – just by us. Each pudding is hand-finished and crafted from the finest natural Australian and imported ingredients. Best of all? They can be enjoyed for any occasion and any day of the year! To take your entertaining to the next level, spoon some of our decadent caramel sauce over the top.
If this has your mouth-watering, why not take a moment to discover our full range of delectable sweet and savoury treats by clicking here!