Last Minute Entertaining Tips

What do you do when your husband calls you up on his way home from work, “Honey–I invited Bob and Judy over for dinner!  We’ll all be there in about an hour!”  Um, thanks for the advance warning!  Well don’t stress too much because throwing an impromptu dinner party is actually really easy! And here are some helpful last minute entertaining tips:

1. The Setup: There are two things that will impress your guests the most, and if either one falls short, the other can help make up the different. The two things are Setup and Food. If your food is sub-par, your guests will leave remembering the beautiful setup of your table. If your table is lackluster, make the food extra delicious and no one will notice.

It is VERY easy to come up with a beautiful table in just minutes. First step, start with a clean room and table. Sweep the floor and clean off the table and chairs. This should go without saying.

Step 2. Lay the Cloths. Start with a base tablecloth in a solid color. I used a white tablecloth in this setup. Then find some sort of tablecloth or fabric to layer over it, showing the base tablecloth and acting like a table runner. For this setup, I had a couple yards of burlap that I literally did nothing to but lay it over the top. It’s even still folded in half. Finally, find a contrasting bit of fabric to bunch up on the top in the middle.  Organza will produce a shimmery effect.

 Step 3.  Add the centerpiece.  Start with something with a bit of height.  It doesn’t need to be huge but the center point of the table should have the highest item.  I used a cake plate with a cloche over the top filled with glass balls.  Then I brought in some natural elements by flanking it with some plants (yes, artificial but you get the idea) and some pinecones.  These were all things I already had.

Step 4.  Set the table!  Nothing is more inviting to a dinner than a finely laid table.  Even if you decide to serve it buffet style, you can still set the table and people can grab their plates before heading to the food line.  If you don’t have pretty plates you can do a lot with paper and plastic.  You should always have some of that on hand for impromptu entertaining!  My white plates are so flexible for every event and I couldn’t live without them.


2.  The Food:  The food is the hardest part of last minute dinner parties.  More often than not we have a menu idea and then find we don’t have those ingredients.  So first search what foods you do have and think of creative ways to serve them.  Have a can of olives?  Pour them into a pretty serving dish or paired with cheese on toothpicks for a quick hors d’oeuvres.  Have some fruit?  Cut it up and arrange in a pretty dish.  Nuts work in a pinch as well.  If you have a block of cream cheese and a ranch packet you can mix them together for a cheese ball to serve with crackers.  If you have lettuce mix you can serve a side salad for another course.

Here are some links to quick and easy dinner ideas:

3 Ingredient Dinners in Under 10 Minutes

3 Ingredient Main Courses 

10 Minute Meals

Quick and Easy Suppers

2 Ingredient Dinners

3.  Fake a Fancy Drink:  One thing that is always easy to come up with quickly is a ‘fancy’ drink.  You don’t even need to include alcohol, and since we don’t drink in my family, we never do.  We usually have diet soda around today I happened to have diet 7-up pomegranate flavor.  I speared a couple of maraschino cherries and put them on the rim with a fun straw in a pretty glass.  Took me 1 minute.

So basically mix up any sort of drink mix you have and add some fizz with soda pop and you’ve got a fun drink.  And you can cool your drink in the LG’s 3 Door Super-Capacity French Door Refrigerator whose Blast Chiller feature chills 8 oz of liquid in 5 minutes…perfect for cooling down a beverage for guests!  This feature is so handy when you have to get something cold fast–such as your drinks for a last minute dinner party!

The LG Blast Chiller, available in the 3-Door Super Capacity French-Door refrigerator (LFX31935), can chill a room temperature, 12oz beverage in five minutes or a bottle of wine in just eight minutes. By comparison, a typical refrigerator takes about 40 minutes to accomplish this task – even in the freezer. This refrigerator is also among the largest capacity 36-inch refrigerators currently on the market, offering almost 20 percent more space and the ability to
store over 50 gallons of milk.

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Disclosure:  Compensation was provided by LG via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of LG.



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  1. These are all good tips!!! Pinning this one for that last minute get together! 😉

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