Entertaining for family and friends can bring much joy but without preparation and planning it can also be a stressful event. With a few simple tips and tricks from our Nutritionist and recipe creator Casey-Lee Lyons, you’ll feel inspired to get creating in your kitchen for your guests without any fuss.

Tips For Cooking For Your Guests + How to Make a No Fuss Healthy Grazing Platter

I love home cooking and entertaining, I particularly love cooking for loved ones as a great way to bring friends and family together, encourage connection and make memories.

As a mum, cooking at home is also a great way to bring the household together. Just like 82% of Australians* I love sharing cooking as a great way to bond with family and friends. Home cooked meals are also great to have your kids grow up with family and food tradition.

The kitchen has always been a significant part of the home and it is definitely the heart of ours and with my new Mitsubishi Electric French Door Fridge I am feeling inspired to entertain more and make memories over good food with family and friends.

One of the best ways to bring life back to your kitchen and bring your family and friends together is to host a dinner party or have guests over to enjoy a home cooked meal.

In today’s busy lifestyle, convenience is king so in this blog post, I am going to share with you some of my simple tips for entertaining to impress our guests without fuss.

How To Organise Your Fridge

Preparing for Your Successful Dinner Party

  1. One of the first things you want to do is set up your kitchen for success. First you want to start with a clean kitchen. Put all of your dishes away, clean down benches and empty your dishwasher, before you start. This will take away some cooking stress and help create your dish without clutter.
  2. Make space in your fridge for the food you’re about to prepare. This will keep things running smoothly and reduce last minute cleaning stress.
  3. Set the scene to create atmosphere. Things like playing music, lighting candles, burning scents or jazzing up your entertaining area will all make a difference to the feel of your dinner party. But don’t wait until guests arrive to do so, set this up whilst you are cooking and preparing well before. This will help relax you and lift your mood too.
  4. Make sure your fridge and pantry is well stocked in advance with the ingredients you’ll need. Try to separate shopping and cooking so it’s not one big task.
  5. I always make sure I have plenty of fresh produce in our fruit and vegetable crisper to inspire healthy creations. I’m lucky enough that my fridge has a separate draw for fruit and veggies that allows extra space and makes food easy to see. I have this Mitsubishi Electric model.
  6. Have something baking in the oven for when guests arrive. The smell of homemade baking will impress your guests in a very simple way and add a homely touch to your event. My favourites are baking healthy brownies or cookies which can be enjoyed with a tea or coffee after your main meal.

Once you’ve set up your kitchen and entertaining area you are ready to start cooking and preparing the delicious food you are soon to enjoy with your family and friends.

Healthy Platter Ideas

How To Impress Your Guests With These No Fuss Cooking Tips

When it comes to entertaining and cooking for guests, here are my tips that will help you impress your family and friends without fuss.

  1. Keep it simple. Try not to overcomplicate dishes and use too many ingredients.
  2. Celebrate fresh and in-season food and let the flavour-full produce shine.
  3. Choose a style of cooking or food theme to your dinner party in advance. This will help you have a clear focus on the end result, making the cooking process easier. Three of my favourite ways to cook for others include:
    1. Slow cooking. This is great for cooking in advance where you can “set and forget”.
    2. Meals that encourage a hands-on experience and get your guests involved. This is a great one for bringing the family together and especially fun for kids. Examples include taco night, make your own pizzas or roll your own rice paper rolls.
    3. Possibly my favourite for entertaining would be making grazing platters. These are a great way to provide a variety of food and flavours without going overboard in the kitchen. It helps to encourage guests to mingle, adds to a fun atmosphere and can easily be prepared in advance.

Healthy Platter Recipe Ideas

How to Make an Easy and Healthy Grazing Platter

  1. Prepare as much as you can in advance. Just before guests arrive all you’ll then need to do is assemble the platter. Have items such as dips, cut up vegetable sticks, homemade items and your favourite finger food made in advance and keep cool in your fridge.
  2. Make sure your platter has a good variety of colours and flavours.
  3. Ensure there is a good balance of savoury and sweet foods.
  4. Try to have a variety of textures such as crunchy, smooth and creamy.
  5. Some of my favourite items for a balanced & healthy grazing platter include:
  • Dips such as hummus, avocado and beetroot.
  • Marinated olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Nuts, such as chilli roasted almonds, spiced macadamia nuts or maple candied walnuts.
  • Meatballs, chicken drumsticks, shaved turkey, devilled eggs or a simple bite-size protein.
  • Vegetable sticks are great for adding colour and a healthy aspect. A mix of raw and blanched is good to create different textures.
  • Crackers are a simple way to add crunch and great for dips or using to create simple, build-your-own finger food. One or two different flavours will help fill up your platter without any fuss.
  • Seasonal fresh fruit is a simple and easy way to add sweetness and again a healthy aspect to your platter.
  • Have something homemade on your platter, such as a sweet or savoury loaf, bread or mini muffins you’ve baked. A touch of homemade helps to bring that homely feeling and warmth to your platter.
  • Finish with something sweet. One of my favourites to include is dark chocolate, healthier Ferrro Roches or chocolate coated macadamia nuts.

Watch The Video with Tips + How To Assemble a Healthy Grazing Platter


Time Saving Tip

Now, thanks to the prep you put in earlier in making space in your fridge, your assembled platter can now fit easily into your fridge whilst you wait for your guests to arrive. Freeing you up to make your special last minute touches around the home instead of juggling what’s in your fridge to find room.

In my fridge at home I have extra wide internal storage perfect for fitting platters. Just make sure you check the size of your platter and how it bests fits into your fridge first, before you start creating. Having the perfect size platter that fits well on your fridge shelves will also reduce extra cleaning later. Once guests have finished eating you can easily return the platter back to your fridge so you can continue to enjoy time with your guests instead of cleaning up.

More Fridge Organisation Tips

For more tips on keeping your fridge organised check out our blog How To Organise Your Fridge To Inspire Simple & Healthy Meal Times.

Let’s continue to inspire one another to make memories in the kitchen over in the Live Love Nourish Facebook community or please leave your ideas in the comments below.

I hope these tips inspire you to connect with friends and family through home cooking and to bring life back to your kitchen, the heart of your home.

This post is a proud collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric. My Mitsubishi Electric Fridge has the latest features providing solutions for simple entertaining including its large internal storage and dedicated areas for extra cooling and storing party food.

To find out more about my Mitsubishi Electric French Door Fridge or to have a sneak peak inside visit their website.

*Mitsubishi Electric Home Trends Report 2019

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