The holidays are long gone, the New Year has been rung-in, and Valentine’s Day was honored with chocolates and sweethearts, but we still have a few weeks of winter left, so how do we find ways to celebrate? We pulled together a few of our favorite ways to gather easily (as in not much decorating or prep work) during the remaining cold months, no holiday required!
Few things are better than a cozy winter morning spent inside with delicious warm drinks and friends. Host a comfy wintertime brunch by asking friends to come in their favorite winter pajamas. Break out the big coffee mugs and set up a make-your-own-coffee or hot chocolate bar, complete with flavored syrups, whipped cream, and sprinkles. Serving brunch can be stress free by making most of the food the night before, like French toast casserole, mini pancakes, quiches, and fruit salad. But we do like brewing fresh coffee and cooking crisp bacon, or sausages in the oven right before guests come to give your home the “Oh my, it smells sooo good, I am instantly hungry!” aroma.
Who is this party best for? Close neighbors (kid friendly), a few friends, or a day in with girl friends complete with chick-flicks into the afternoon.
Gather after you hit the slopes (or just look like you did) for a true après ski party. Easily turn your home into a cozy Swiss Alp Cabin by turning on the fireplace, and set out baskets of scarves, hats, and mittens for your guests, or ask them to come in their favorite ski attire. Serve champagne, and hearty local beers as drinks, as they are always satisfying right off the mountain. (If you’d like to take it uphill, serve hot cocktails like Hot Buttered Rum, or Spiked Hot Cider.) For classic après ski fare include fondue, grilled cheese with French Onion soup, and an amazing charcuterie plate— skiing foods at their best, and easy for a host to pull together.
Who is this party best for? Your favorite happy hour crew, guy’s night, couples get-together.
Winter foods are all about comfort, and serving food family style is an ideal way to go along with this familiar idea. Have your home open to your favorite people and cook foods that conjure up simple, yet satisfying elegance like baked pastas, stews, pork tenderloin, gratins, roasted winter vegetables, and warm cobblers for desserts. Go no-fuss with drinks, and simply leave bottles of a versatile red and white wine on the table for guests to pour at their leisure. It is also acceptable to ask your guests to bring their favorite winter dishes, or dishes reminiscent of their heritage if you’d like to cut down on the side work and keep the conversation about food going. A favorite Serendipity food question to ask is at the dinner table, “What is your favorite food memory.”
Who is this party best for? Your favorite friends, folks you haven’t seen in a while, just because.