Easy Entertaining Food and Rules for Entertaining

Easy entertaining food deserves a lot of thought when you are thinking about having guests over. When we decide to have a party or other event, most of the time we do it because we enjoy this type of thing. It is important that the hostess have as much fun as the guests. All of this does not JUST happen. For a successful gathering, it must be planned for it to come off with ease.

There are times when we want to have a more formal dinner party or something more elaborate, but I want to focus on the more casual gatherings. Today, because we are going through such a rough economic time, many are trying to entertain at home more. We still want to socialize with our families and friends but many of us cannot afford to go out to restaurants to meet. By planning a little and making easy entertaining foods, it is so much better to meet around the kitchen table or in the family room.

Easy Entertaining FoodEasy Entertaining Food

The success of a party or gathering lies in the hands of the hostess or host. If the essence of your personality is that of a kind and thoughtful host, it will stay imbedded in the minds of your guests. This can be reflected by the surroundings in your home; make it squeaky clean and uncluttered. It is also reflected in the choices of easy entertaining foods and the presentation. As suggested by the name, the food does not need to be elaborate but tasty and easy to eat. Provide your guests with comfortable seating, shinning utensils, dishes, glasses and always some type of napkins.

This brings me to two things I DISLIKE about some gatherings I have been to; first is the beverage served at a lot of gatherings. Many choose to serve wine, even for brunch and lunch but nothing else. I drink coffee and tea through the day so I feel these hostesses are very inconsiderate. The other thing I do not like is when such little food is provided that it couldn’t possibly feed half the guests who are present. This also reflects a bad hostess. Plan on the high side how much food you need for each guest and always serve a variety of beverages.

For successful casual gatherings there are many great recipes for easy entertaining foods. These are ones which can be made in advance and finished at the last minute. This leaves the host rested and ready to greet the guests.

For special breakfast or brunch there are so many delicious breakfast casserole recipes which are perfect for easy entertaining. These are easy to prepare the day before and refrigerate overnight. These are some of my favorite recipes. Not only are they convenient but are so delicious. I feel every brunch buffet must contain some of these casseroles.

SOUTHWESTERN CASSEROLE (breakfast or brunch- will serve about 12)

  • 4 Cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies drained
  • 6 Corn tortillas cut in ½ inch strips
  • 1 Pound turkey sausage cook, crumble and drain
  • 2 Cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ Cup milk
  • 8 Eggs
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ Teaspoon onion salt
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 Large sliced tomatoes
  • Dash paprika
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa

Assemble casserole the day before serving.
Grease 9 X 13 inch baking dish.
Layer ½ of chilies, ½ of the tortilla strips, ½ of sausage and ½ of cheese.
Repeat layering remaining ingredients.
Combine milk, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, onion salt and cumin; beat with a fork.
Pour over layered ingredients; arrange tomato slices on top and sprinkle with paprika.
Cover and chill overnight; bake uncovered at 350F degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until firm in center.
Should be lightly browned around edges; serve with dollops of sour cream and salsa.
Sandwiches make great finger foods for brunch, lunch or a casual evening of playing cards or board games. The following fillings are all good on brown bread or your favorite white bread.

DEVILED EGG FILLING makes 4 sandwiches

  • 4 Hard cooked mashed eggs
  • 1 Can (2 ¼ ounces) deviled ham
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoon prepared mustard
  • ¼ Teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Medium green pepper thinly sliced
  • 8 Slices bread

Combine eggs, deviled ham, mayonnaise, lemon juice and onion powder in a medium bowl.
Spread each of 4 slices of bread with ¼ of the mixture.
Top each with green pepper slices and another piece of bread; cut in half to serve.


Ham Spread RecipeHam Spread Recipe

This easy entertaining food recipe is also good served on English muffin halves topped with grated Colby cheese; put in oven at 350F degrees until cheese melts

  • 1 Cup finely chopped cooked ham
  • 1 Cup shredded Colby cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped green pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ Cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ Cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • ¼ Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Bread or English muffins

Combine all ingredients except bread and mix well; refrigerate until ready to make sandwiches or muffins.


  • 1 Cup creamed cottage cheese
  • ½ Cup seeded and coarsely chopped cucumbers
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped radishes
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ Teaspoon dill weed
  • Bread

Combine all ingredients except bread; mix well and store in refrigerator until ready to make sandwiches.


This delicious easy entertaining food can be prepared the night before. Heat in the oven shortly before serving. The cherry topping can also be made ahead and warmed a few minutes before serving.

10 Basic crepes


  • 1 ½ Cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 Slightly beaten egg
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter


  • 1 Can (16 ounces) pitted sweet cherries (drain and reserve juice)
  • 2 Teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ Teaspoon almond extract

In small bowl combine cheese, egg, sugar and almond; blend well.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling into center of each crepe; fold sides overlapping the filling.
Fold in remaining edges forming a square pocket.
Place seam side down in a buttered baking dish; cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 F degrees; remove cover of blintzes and brush with melted butter.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
In a medium saucepan combine cornstarch and reserved cherry juice.
Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens about 4 minutes.
Stir in cherries and almond extract and heat thoroughly.
Spoon over blintzes to serve.


  • Plan Ahead: For casual gatherings or anytime you cook knowing someone will be coming to your home, it is a good idea to make notes.  Actually, every time I cook anything, I have a pencil and paper ready to make any notes. It is amazing how often these notes come in handy! For entertaining, write down the guests you will invite, the easy entertaining food ideas and all the details.
  • Know Your Guests: You might think, of course I know who I invite to my home. I am speaking about the more intimate details. If you invite two people who simply cannot get along with each other, your gathering could turn into a nightmare. What I am saying is not to mingle people from different areas of your life. For instance, you may have good friends at work, good friends at church, friends from other social groups and your family. Most of the time it is good to have separate parties for these friends from the different groups.
  • Know Special Diets of Guests: If there is one guest who attends your function and is not able to eat any of your easy entertaining foods because of a restricted diet, you will come across as an inconsiderate and poor host. Make it a point to find out if any person you invite is on a special diet. This will boost you up to the top of preferred hosts and they will want to come back again.
  • Know How Many to Invite: Invite only guests whom you can comfortably fit in your home and the room which you will be using. Do not push over the limit. If guest cannot sit comfortably, they will not relax and your gathering will not leave a good impression.
  • Serving Alcoholic Beverage: I feel it is totally unacceptable to serve alcoholic beverages at gatherings when children are invited guests. Some adults like good wine for brunches; that is OK if that is the pleasure of all adults. I personally prefer to save serving alcohol for evening dinners and gatherings; again adult only dinners.