So, you've decided to put on a party. Congrats! You're about to have a whole lot of fun. Entertaining for friends and family is supposed to be fun, but too often it can turn into a stressful exercise that leaves the host stuck in the kitchen the whole night.
The key to actually enjoying yourself is cutting corners. Not everything needs to be a battle, and it doesn't have to be hard. So, in the spirit of making life easier, here are some genius hacks that will save you time and make hosting a stress-free exercise.
1. Prosecco Ice Cubes
Add a sparkle to your drinks with prosecco ice cubes! Fill an ice cube tray with sliced strawberries, pour bubbly over them, and freeze until solid.
2. Show-Stopping Centerpiece
Make an impressive ice platter for your seafood by cutting and arranging watercress, mint, dill, cucumber, sliced limes, and lemons in a large baking tray. Half fill with water and place in the freezer.
Once frozen, repeat layers, filling water up to rim of tray. Freeze overnight. Before serving, turn over and rub with a tea towel soaked in hot water until ice comes free. Top with fresh seafood.
3. Easy Citrus Slices
Thinly slice lemons and lime and freeze. Then, add to sparkling water and cocktails.
4. Mess-Free Corn Kernels
Cut corn over a bundt pan. It's easier to hold the corn and makes less of a mess!
5. Easy Cake Layers
Use unwaxed, unflavored dental floss to neatly cut a cake into layers. It usually works better than a knife!
6. Quick Hull
Push a straw through the bottom of a strawberry to quickly remove the leaves and stem.
7. Flash-Chilled Wine
Treat guests to chilled wine even when you haven't got any in the fridge. Fill a jug with half ice and half water, then add a generous amount of salt to help the water reach a lower temperature. Submerge your bottle and wait a few minutes for it to cool down.
8. Easy-Peasy Chocolate Swirls
Melt chocolate in a squeeze bottle. It's easier to use for decorating than the usual plastic ziplock bag.
9. Always Fresh Salad
Create more space in the fridge by transferring leftover salads into large ziplock bags for lunch the next day.
10. Wine Glass Labels
Keep guests' wine glasses easily identifiable by writing their names on gift tags and attaching them to the glass stem with a piece of string.
11. Fridge Fresh
Wrap dry, unwashed leafy greens in paper towel and place in a plastic bag. The paper towel will absorb any extra moisture, leaving your produce crisp and fresh.
12. Lump-Free Gravy
Pop it in the blender or food processor and give it a quick whiz to break up chunks. Then, return it to the pan until it's ready to serve.
13. Chocolate Curls for Cakes
Run a potato peeler along the edge of a block of chilled chocolate to decorate desserts.
14. Beer Can Chicken
Prop up a whole chicken on a beer can to roast for extra moisture. This method also allows for even heating all the way around the bird.
15. Handy Mint Hint
If your hands need a refresher after chopping too many onions, simply rub some mint leaves between them and they'll be fresh again.
16. Easy Clean Up
Large disposable foil trays are a dream for cleaning up after roasting meats.
17. Easy-Peel Potatoes
Boil unpeeled potatoes until tender then immediately transfer to ice water. The skins will easily come right off!
This article was originally written by Rebecca Sullivan. For more, check out our sister site, Now to Love.