It’s funny, when you’re younger the ‘thing’ to do is going out. Whether to a bar, restaurant or even an activity like bowling, who wants to stay home and have a night in? Once you get older, staying in becomes more and more desirable. You don’t have to deal with the loud music or the high prices of food and drinks. You can actually hear each other talk and enjoy quality, meaningful time with your friends and family.
In summer, it’s easy. You grab some burgers or steaks and light the grill. You get some of your closest friends together and enjoy some tasty food, without the high price tag. The best way to finish off the night is to sit around the fire, with some good music of course. Nice, easy, and enjoyable.
Winter is a different story, at least if you live in a place that REALLY experiences winter. Here in Saskatoon, we do. It’s not even December and we have already had quite a bit of snow, and some -30C days with the windchill. Needless to say, we will not be grilling anytime soon and the only fire will be the Yule Log on TV.
Winter doesn’t mean that your fun get-togethers have to end. In fact, the holidays are a great time to connect with those who mean most to you. Here are five tips to make sure that your next night-in is a total success!
You likely have those friends that are basically like family, and you wouldn’t think twice if they stopped by and your place wasn’t the tidiest. Who cares if there are dishes in the sink or some clutter on the table? They certainly don’t. When you’re having people over for a more formal get-together, the game changes. Clean up that clutter, sweep or vacuum those floors and make sure your kitchen is clean. Double check that there is no garbage lying around or dirty socks on the floor. Details like this can make all the difference in your guests comfort level, especially since they will be spending their time inside rather than outside by the fire pit.
The worst thing is having to run out while you’re in the middle of entertaining because you underestimated the food and drinks, or have to suddenly wash dishes because you didn’t have enough plates or cutlery. Take stock of what you have beforehand. Make sure you have enough clean dishes, and even that you have room in your dishwasher for an easier cleanup after the meal. It also helps to do as much food prep as you can before your guests arrive. Get the appetizers ready, have the meat marinating, make it so that all you have to do it cook the actual meal and can spend the rest of the time relaxing.
Ensure you have an idea for an activity. Is there anything more awkward than going somewhere and just sitting there, looking at each other? Plan your get-together around a big sporting event that’s on TV or have some background music going. Also, don’t forget about games! Interactive games like Apples to Apples, Cards of Humanity, or even Uno, can be a ton of fun. The nice thing is that not one of those games are too time-consuming or take too much thought. You can still visit and relax while going through each round.
Have a selection of food available when your guests show up. Chips, veggies & dips, meat & cheese are all great options that don’t take much time to put together. In fact, save some money and skip the pre-made trays at the grocery store. It’s generally more cost-effective to buy all of the items separate and prepare them yourself, at home. You can even pick up some hot appetizers like Pigs in a Blanket or wings. Don’t forget step number one though, be prepared with small plates and napkins so that it’s easy for your guests to enjoy the appetizers.
Let’s face it, the food is the real star at any get-together. Plan out your menu and get all of your supplies ahead of time. Remember, prepareation is key.
We had a recent dinner party with our friends, and at the centre of it was skinnypasta. This pasta company reach out to me a couple of months ago about becoming a brand ambassador for their product. I love food, and I love pasta. The best part about skinnypasta is that it is a healthier alternative to regular pasta, and it tastes good! They asked if I wanted to host a party and serve some of our friends their pasta, and I jumped at that chance. Our guests even got to take home swag bags!
All of their pasta is fresh and takes two minutes to cook. Seriously, two minutes! That totally helps cut down on your cooking time and gives you more of an opportunity to relax with your guests.
skinnypasta has four different types of pasta, with a variety of options within that.
High Protein – Fresh pasta & prepared meals
Superfood Teff – Fresh pasta & prepared meals
Gluten Free – Prepared meals
Kids – Prepared meals
Our guests got to taste the Superfood Teff Penne and they were quite impressed with the taste. It seemed to be greeted with a bit of a surprised enjoyment. The bar seems to be set fairly low for healthy pasta and skinnypasta far exceeds that.
To find out where to purchase skinnypasta you can use their store locator.
So, there you have it. 5 tips to make sure that you have a successful get-together this winter, plus a bonus tip on some guilt-free pasta!