T. Edit | Lifestyle
6 Tips for Effortless Entertaining
This is Crumb's Devin Connell shares her secrets
Photography by Adam Moco
Just like the name of her cookbook Conveniently Delicious conveys, This is Crumb's food expert Devin Connell is all about preparing meals that are easy to whip up and delicious to devour. And her knack for all things fuss-free extends beyond the kitchen too: Devin is also an expert in effortless entertaining. Read on for her top tips to make hosting a breeze, her can’t-live-without picks, and go-to labneh recipe.
Prep, prep, prep.
At all costs, avoid making your meal at the last minute. Opt for dishes that are just as good at room temperature as they are hot. This way, you can make most of the meal before your guests arrive. (Dips are a great starter that you can have ready in the fridge—see the recipe below!)
Set up a self-serve bar.
Open the wine bottles before your guests come and premix a cocktail that you can put in a pitcher or decanter on ice. Encourage guests to refill their own drinks so you don't have to always keep an eye on them.
Keep your pantry ready.
Have a good stock of shelf-stable elevated snack items that can be put out at a moment's notice. Think: good nut mixes, truffle chips, marinated olives, gourmet popcorn. Serve them separately in small, pretty bowls.
"Rather than styling and serving each person’s plate, place shareable platters on the table that your guests can pass around."
Embrace family-style serving.
Rather than styling and serving each person’s plate, place shareable platters on the table that your guests can pass around. It creates a warm and friendly vibe while also leaving you more time to enjoy the party.
Pre-set your table.
Having your guests arrive to the sight of an already-set table sets the tone for a great time to follow—plus, it saves you a last-minute scramble. If it’s a family affair, this is a great task to get the kids involved in, too.
Lock in your playlist.
Pick a playlist beforehand so you don’t have to worry about changing the music throughout the night. Thank you, Spotify.
Make Devin’s Lemon, Dill and Garlic Labneh Dip
This crowd-pleasing snack offers restaurant-worthy taste—and with very minimal prep.
1 1/2 cups labneh (or thick plain Greek yogurt)
3 Tbs olive oil1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 cup loosely packed dill fronds, roughly chopped
Flaky salt and black pepper to taste
With the back of a spoon, spread the labneh into a small dish.
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic, lemon zest and caraway seeds to the oil while it is still cool and gradually warm the ingredients with the oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, swirl the ingredients around the pan for a further 30 seconds, being careful that the garlic doesn't brown. Remove from the heat immediately if it does.
Spoon the hot oil over the labneh and sprinkle with the dill fronds and a generous pinch of flaky salt and black pepper.
Serve with crusty bread and fresh crunchy veggies for dipping.