Low-Stress Party Planning

Lemon Scallop Kebabs
Lemon Scallop Kebabs – 1 Guiding Stars

If you’re hosting a gathering this outdoor season, we’re here to party plan with you. First, choose nutritious dishes that feed a crowd and are easy to prepare. Next, round it out with Guiding Stars earning party favorites. Then use the tips below to follow a blueprint for a successful party. And enjoy some time for self-care along the way!

Party Plan with Guiding Stars

Build a buffet with simple, unexpected dishes that impress guests, but aren’t hard to prepare. Remember, we eat with our eyes first. So be sure to consider color, and present foods for easy eating (small, skewered items for example). Aim for a variety of textures as well. To save time, serve prepared dishes with Guiding Stars earning store-bought options. Guacamole, hummus, and pre-cut fruits and veggies are great choices. Fresh bruschetta or salsa paired with whole grain baguette, crackers, and tortilla chips are always popular too.

Check out this collection of grilled dishes and salads. Or try these simple recipes that can be prepared ahead or effortlessly prepared alongside guests:

A Blueprint for Low-Stress Party Planning Success

Warm-weather gatherings tend to be long days, which makes it even more tiring for the host. Prep ahead as much as possible. Plate salads, skewer kebabs, marinate proteins, and more. And don’t forget about the details—set aside serving pieces, set tables, and arrange self-serve stations. The more done ahead, the less needed when guests are present.

Speaking of self-serving stations, they’re highly recommended! It’s the perfect party when the work is already done and the host can enjoy the day along with guests. Organize things so your guests can serve themselves, easily locate drinks, and even quickly find the recycling or garbage cans. Then you’ll have less work both during and after the party.

Grill as much as possible to keep the kitchen clean. Use grilling tools like baskets, trays, and simple foil wraps if you want to avoid cooking directly on grill grates. These methods may also be helpful for guests with allergies or dietary needs. It can also be fun to grill foods that you don’t usually prepare on the grill, like fruit. Then you can wow your guests by adding it to an interesting salad, pizza, or dessert.

Affordable Options and Helpful Tips

Save money and time and make groceries go further by using similar ingredients in multiple dishes. This is especially helpful for perishable foods, herbs, and other ingredients that you may not typically purchase—and when you’re making dishes for a crowd. This recipe for Jalapeno Couscous salad pairs with this one for Black Bean and Bell Pepper Salsa. With similar ingredients, prep is made easier and you’re sure to use fresh ingredients.

Package and clearly label leftovers to freeze or enjoy the next day. Or turn dishes into something new with “nextover” strategies that recreate ingredients.

Self-Care for the Host

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re the party planner and host. Perhaps you’re hosting an event to celebrate an exciting time for you and your family. If so, you’ll definitely want to be present and enjoy it as much as possible. Here are some tips to ensure you can accomplish that:

Create a party that matches the help you’ll have. If you aren’t going to have additional help with serving and cleaning up, then minimize both.

Give yourself as much time as possible in the weeks ahead. Purchase non-perishable foods and other items and accomplish other tasks. This will mean more time for you in the days and hours before the event.

While the day may be busy, find at least 30 minutes before the party to relax and savor the moment.

This time of year often pulls us in many directions with celebrations and other events. Remember to take time for yourself as much as possible. This refresh for mental well-being has some great ideas for doing just that!