We recently had a party for this little lady!

How to Throw a Stress Free Shindig

This is Mari and just in case you can’t tell she is expecting a baby…our third grand baby to be specific. And we couldn’t be more thrilled! But as most of you know throwing a party can bring on the stress, even when the event is such a happy one. Here are some tips for making a party for quite a few people as easy and stress free as possible.

Tip #1: Keep The Menu Simple

For this baby shower I decided on a simple vegetarian pasta, a salad, crostini, two cakes and cookies.

Linguini with Bell Peppers

Tip #2: Make Large Amounts of Only a Few Items

Making larger amounts of a few items is much less time consuming, less expensive and less stressful than making smaller amounts of many different recipes.

Spinach Salad from The Organic Kitchen Yes, the little guy’s name is Will!

How to Throw a Stress Free Shindig

Tip #3: Prepare What You Can Ahead of Time

I can’t emphasize this enough. Preparation makes the ‘day of’ run smoothly! I roasted the pine nuts and made the salad dressing the day before so all I had to do was assemble the salad and dress it the day of the shower.

I chopped all the veggies and shredded the fresh parmesan for the pasta early in the day, so I just boiled pasta (7 minutes) and assembled the ingredients right before serving.

Linguini with Bell Peppers I made the cookies (<–link) and cakes the day before and glazed them just before our guests arrived.

How to Throw a Stress Free ShindigThis amazing cake is in my  Spring Cookbook! (

…and these amazing cookies are in the Fall/Winter cookbook!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies I prepared the crostini topping an hour before the party and recruited helpers to slice and toast the baguette… which brings me to my next tip…

Tip #4: Delegate!

You do not have to do it all…you little control freak (oh sorry, I may have been talking to myself there). Give people a few jobs, but keep those jobs simple and be specific (if you ask someone to bring drinks, tell them how many and what kind you prefer). If you delegate five simple jobs that is five things you don’t have to think about and your guests will be happy to contribute!

So ask someone to bring drinks and ice…

and take care of simple center pieces…

…and bring the adorable party favors…

 Tip #5: Have a Great Time!

Part of being a good hostess is visiting with friends and family. I know this is easier said than done. I have had many parties where I felt I didn’t get to visit with my guests because I was too busy putting on the party. That pretty much defeats the purpose of a party. So leave the dishes for later, let the counter be messy and sit and enjoy your guests and the festivities!

Now as promised… the pasta recipe!

Linguini with Bell Peppers


Post tags: vegetarian, entertaining