Winter entertaining made easy
Gretchen is a food writer, stylist and blogger passionate about throwing dinner parties and feeding people who love to be fed. She believes the act of cooking and entertaining needn’t involve hours in the kitchen - it’s about being clever (and yes taking short-cuts here and there if needed!), prepared and always using seasonal, real ingredients.
I’ve always loved entertaining, even in my school days I’d host dinner parties for friend’s birthdays. I know many people are intimidated by the idea of entertaining at home which is a pity as opening your home to family and friends and creating a simple meal can be one of the most satisfying things you’ll do.
With everyone leading busy lives, catch ups seem to be less frequent these days so I don’t have time to stress about a complicated meal plan. Here are a few simple tricks I (mostly) follow when entertaining at home.
An oldie but a goodie, there’s nothing like a little smart planning and I tend to choose meals I can make before my guests arrive. All recipes here can be made ahead, the olive, fig and walnut pate can be whipped together at least a week beforehand and stored in the fridge. Curries are always more flavourful the next day - this chicken tamarillo curry can be made the day before allowing the flavours to infuse. The filling and topping for the crumbles can be ready to go in the fridge and popped in the oven while your curry is being devoured.
Keep it simple:
If I’m cooking for a crowd, I prefer to choose a simple, yet delicious menu and (try) to not let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of our meaningful time together. Each recipe here uses everyday ingredients using just one pot - or food processor.
Go heavy on the tealights:
To create a relaxed yet cosy atmosphere I wouldn’t fuss about a formal setting, keep it rustic with platters served to the table, knives and forks in jars and lots (and lots) of tealight candles, on the table, window sills, bathroom and hallway.