Yesterday, my plans for the evening solidified into hosting a get together for a dozen people about 3 hours before people would be arriving. Of course, the house was a wreck and there was almost nothing in the fridge. I knew that since it was fairly nice outside, the hubby would want to grill out, but that it was cold enough that we couldn't have an entire party on the porch.
In a moment of brilliance, I came up with the perfect food theme: Taco Night! I quickly ran to the store for charcoal, fish, chicken, and various taco toppings (tomatoes, cheese, onion, etc...). When I got home, I marinated the chicken in some salsa, marinated the fish in olive oil and lime juice, and chopped up my toppings. I also made a quick batch of cabbage slaw and a fruit salad with chopped strawberries, pineapple, lime juice and honey. I spent the next two hours *quickly* cleaning my house (while listening to the Shakira Pandora station to be festive) then put a pot of black beans on the stove right before people came over.
Set up was a breeze- I put chips and salsa in the front room for people to much while the hubby grilled, then just set out bowls of taco toppers, microwaved some tortillas, and let everyone assemble their dinner once we brought in the chicken and fish.
It was super easy and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I think a variation on this theme that would work equally well would be to do a baked potato party with chili and other toppings.
Do you entertain on a whim or prefer time to plan?