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A few weeks ago my friends, Holly and Jason, threw an end of summer party, and I was so excited to help out with it. The timing of the party overlapped with a “must-see” college football game so we had fun adding a few small tailgate-like touches to the mix. These included rolling up the cutlery in napkins, tied with ribbon in the school colors; self-serve popcorn in bags; and veggie cups with the dip in the bottom. The self-serve yet contained snacks also helped eliminate having food on coffee tables while the guests’ tykes roamed about – and if you have small tykes, you know how handy it is to have certain things out of reach.

To keep the food duties simple and care-free, we had Greg Bye of Streetzeria pull-up next to the house so guests could enjoy stromboli, made-to-order pizzas, and salads. Seriously good stuff and let hosts enjoy the time with their guests. (BTW – If you’re looking for a cost-effective and really fun party meal, I highly recommened Streetzeria. Greg was incredible to work with on this party.)

Holly wanted an Italian dessert and I mentioned an easy recipe for cannolis (check it out here). The key in keeping it easy was buying ricotta and shells, which saves a ton of time. The other benefit of such a dessert: they can be prepped before guests arrive. Simply fill the shells a few hours before party, arranged on platters and keep them in fridge until you’re ready to serve dessert. They turned out beautifully and really wowed the guests.

Since guests included kids, we thought it might be best to have a little something to help entertain them aside from playing in the yard or in the playroom. With Holly’s help, I set up a paint area and used various vegetables and loofahs as “stamps” and set out sponges to be paint pads (similar to ink pads) for those who wished to decorate cardboard crowns.

It seemed like everyone had a fantastic time and enjoyed the great food. Keeping the the party simple and easy allowed Holly and Jason the time catching up with their guests.

Until next time…

Cin Cin!

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