Over the festive season, there is nothing better than catching up with family and friends at home. But, our lives are just too busy to spend weeks preparing for a gathering. We need quick and easy entertaining ideas to whip up in no time.


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Here are my tips for making sure you don’t spend all day and night in the kitchen:

  1. Choose recipes you can prepare ahead of time. That way you spend more time with your guests and less time in the kitchen.
  2. A stand up affair with loads of finger food is so much more fun and enjoyable.
  3. Depending on how many people you are catering for, choose 4 or 5 different items and make enough for each person to have a couple of pieces each. Much easier than making 10 different things.
  4. There is nothing worse than spending hours preparing food just to watch it sit on the platter all night and then throw it out after the guests leave. Choose recipes which are healthy and fresh. Most people around this time of year are trying to watch what they eat, so cater accordingly. Besides, who wants greasy hot food on a warm summer’s night, when you can enjoy beautiful fresh ingredients just as easily?
  5. Have a platter of cheese, antipasto and dips available so people can nibble all night.
  6. Serve a special welcome drink when guests arrive, a Mimosa or Mojito and then advise guests it is ‘help yourself’ for the rest of the night. Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic options as well.
  7. Freeze fruit like grapes and cherries to place in drinks, or freeze mint leaves or limes wedges in ice cubes to keep those cocktails cool.
  8. Remember your guests who have special dietary requirements, especially gluten free which is so prevalent these days.
  9. Don’t forget ‘that something sweet’ at the end of the night. You don’t need much but it is always nice to finish with a little sweet treat.

Here is a selection of healthy and delicious ideas based on recipes from Summer TABLE. Any one of these tasty morsels can be prepared ahead of time and in less than 15 minutes.


Do you have any tips for easy entertaining? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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  • This is so clever, thanks for sharing!


  • Love these. I’m going to do the watermelon bites


  • We had a finger food dinner as we had a big lunch at my partners parents place, i made most of it and froze it beforehand


  • I made the watermelon bites, using feta cheese instead of halloumi. So good! Next time I try with the halloumi cheese.


  • The recipes look beautiful but they are fiddly and I find those are the most complex . I helped my brother make spring rolls today which was easy similar to the Vietnamese prawn rolls. Just be careful with soaking the paper rolls for too long otherwise they will sogg badly .


  • i just realised that i own a copy the “Summer table”! i just got it lol. great tips!


  • Like ju


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