Entertaining is an intimidating word.
When I read it, I think of this:
But I’m not exactly wearing a blazer over here, nor do I have a hair stylist or a make-up artist or a mansion or an afternoon without a child in my arms.
In fact, the real truth is that I am usually scrambling at the last minute before guests arrive – hair up, flip flops on, a baby on my hip (or on my back), a preschooler “helping” me set the table with strawberry street dishes and sippy cups.
But you know what? That is okay.
I have been to pretty, pretty dinner parties before and the atmosphere has been cold despite all of the pomp and pageantry.
Likewise, I have eaten scrambled eggs on paper plates and felt totally at ease.
The heart matters more than anything. That warm smile. The glittering eyes. The encouraging words. The laughter. The life. The pulse of real friendship and genuine concern that throbs in a house where love is evident.
As such, I try not to stress too much about the details when guests come over. We plan simple meals – that usually involve the grill:
- Barbecue chicken
- Thai Curry chicken
- Soy & Brown Sugar Salmon
- Beef Kabobs with blue cheese dressing
And we use these excellent tools to make the process even easier…:
Thermapen ($74) by ThermoWorks
Available in 9 different colors, the Thermapen is a five-star rated meat thermometer. The fold-away probe reads temperatures in less than 4 seconds (instantly, really). We appreciate the fact that the device is compact and that the display screen is easy-to-read. With the Thermapen, we never worry about undercooked or overcooked meats.
Here’s a little temperature “cheat sheet” for your reference:
Super Skewers by Grill Time, LLC
Grill Time creates a variety of skewers for beef, poultry, veggies, and fruit. All of the skewers are non-stick and stainless steel. You can get short skewers or long ones, thicker ones or thinner ones. In fact, you can even have custom skewers designed to your specifications. Our favorite ones were the fruit skewers (even for beef kabobs!) because they are the perfect size for an individual serving and they’re super easy to “thread.”
I should close by saying that I do TRY to make my home cozy, clean, and pleasing to the eye – even if I can’t set out matchy-matchy placemats and place cards (aren’t place cards kind of old-fashioned anyway?). Apparently, I’m doing okay, though, because I just took the “What Kind of Hostess Are You?” quiz on marthastewart.com and…my “result” said: “You are undoubtedly a thoughtful hostess.” And we all know those quizzes are exceptionally accurate. Right?!?
YOUR TURN: How often do you entertain?
WIN IT! One winner will receive a Thermapen ($74) by ThermoWorks and four skewers of choice from Grill Time, LLC. A second winner will receive four skewers of choice from Grill Time, LLC. To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Sunday, September 27th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).
*UPDATE* The winner of the Thermapen and 4 skewers is #22 Kalani. The winner of the 4 skewers is #43 Pamela Callahan. Congratulations!