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Hosting Made Easy

Two simple but fabulous recipes, sure to please a crowd.

Hosting any type of party at your home usually means prepping for days, shopping, cooking, cleaning- all to impress your guests and ensure they have a great time. So whether you’re planning a dinner party, housewarming, or hosting your monthly book club, inviting your guests into an interactive food experience will not only ease the stress of chopping, simmering, and sauteing-  it’s also more fun! 

There are so many options when it comes to letting your guests build and create their own dish, one of my favorites has become a make-your-own bruschetta bar. It’s extremely easy to throw together (even last minute) and pairs perfectly with this ginger sangria recipe. 

Build-Your-Own Bruschetta Bar


Grilled/Toasted bread slices (baguette, sourdough, etc.)

Assorted meats (sliced salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, pancetta, etc.)

Soft cheeses (ricotta, cream cheese, bleu, brie, chevre, etc.)

Hard cheeses (Parmesan, gouda, cheddar, etc.)

Antipasto or veggies (olives, peppers, marinated artichokes, mushrooms, etc.)

Savory spreads (pesto, tapenade, etc.)

Sweet fruit or spreads (berries, figs, dates, honey, jam, etc.)

Fresh greens or herbs (arugula, rosemary, basil, thyme, etc.)

Charred corn  (you can take an extra shortcut and grab a bag of frozen charred corn at Trader Joe's) 


Heat a grill over medium-high heat.

Generously drizzle the bread with olive oil on both sides. Use tongs to transfer the slices of bread to the grill and grill for a few moments until grill marks are present. Flip and continue to grill the bread on the other side for a minute more. Remove and set aside.

Remove the garlic from it's paper and carefully rub the garlic on the toasted bread to give it an extra layer of flavor.

Arrange the toppings on a large platter or table and serve with the grilled bread. 

Ginger Sangria 

A refreshing twist with ginger ale. 


1 bottle red or white wine - (I've followed this recipe each way and both are delicious!) 

1 can ginger ale - (regular or diet) 

2 shots gin - (I've used Tanqueray or Hendrick's)

Splash orange juice

1 orange

1 lemon

1 lime

1/2 cup berries: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries, fresh or frozen (I've used frozen mixed berries)

1 small can diced pineapples with juice 

2 tablespoons sugar


Pour the wine into a large pitcher.

Cut lemon, lime and orange into wedges. Squeeze the juice into the wine and toss in the fruit.

Stir in sugar, pineapple, gin and orange juice. Chill overnight, if possible. 

Immediately before serving, stir in berries and ginger ale.

Serve over ice and enjoy!

Hosting Tips:

Tip #1

If your guest list is no match for your home’s square footage, throw an open house! Then people can drop in anytime during a span of several hours rather than everyone showing up at the time. 

Tip #2

Keep all of the food simple. Order bite-size foods that can be kept at room temperature, as well as pre-cut fruit, cheese and cookie platters.

Tip #3 

If anyone asks what they can bring, say “alcohol.” They’ll likely pick something they like, which makes it easier for everyone.