(BPT) - The party is at your place, but no need to panic! These expert entertaining tips from the Chinet brand will help you plan, prep and enjoy a casual summer gathering - without the stress.
1. Be smart during set-up
Arrange two tables, one for dining and the other for food and drinks. Stack sturdy plates and cutlery at each end of the food table to keep the buffet from getting backed up.
2. Go potluck on the sides
Lessen the stress of hosting a backyard BBQ by making it a potluck. Assign each guest a dish - appetizer, salad, side dish or dessert - to contribute, leaving you to make the main course.
3. Ditch dirty dishes for disposables
A flimsy paper plate is no picnic. When hosting a backyard BBQ, choose biodegradable Chinet Classic White paper plates. Not only are they sleek and stylish, but they're made from 100 percent pre-consumer recycled paper and made in the USA.
4. Make time with make-ahead recipes
Cooking for a crowd can turn into a hassle as you're prepping for a party. Appear cool, calm and collected when your guests arrive by preparing food in advance. Kabobs are a perfect make-ahead recipe for cookouts and are easy for your guests to eat outside.
5. Helping hands
When feasible, choose simple, seasonal recipes that can be served as handhelds or in individual cups. This not only makes it easy for guests to mingle and move about, but also helps cut down on cleanup.
6. Serve pitcher-perfect drinks
Stage a bar area where guests can make their own drinks. Serve a big-batch beverage, like a summer sangria. Keep a non-alcoholic drink as an option as well. You can't go wrong with lemonade or iced tea - both are always refreshing, light and just right for the season.
7. Let the yard games begin
Have pre-planned yard games like bocce ball, cornhole or ladder golf available for early arrivals or to combat the post-lunch slump. If you're feeling extra crafty, create a DIY word jumble game using square paper plates and large gold sticker letters.
8. Light up the night
Supplement the stars with this Glittered Cup Garland using Chinet Cut Crystal 14 oz. cups. Use a gold string of lights for a more classic look, or if you're feeling bold, opt for a colored strand. Once finished, string along your veranda, fence, patio or deck for a memorable ambience.
9. No campfire, no problem
S'mores aren't just for the campfire. Get your fix on this traditional summertime snack with this easy dessert recipe.
A happy, stress-free host means a fun time for your guests and a successful get-together!