I love to entertain and have people over and the easier I can make it the better! I’ve learned the hard way that nothing kills my mood (or my party) quicker than being a stressed out host rushing around and not enjoying my guests. A fun and much easier way to relax and chat with your friends is to have food stations or what I like to call party bars! Set up a single station/table or multiple around your yard and home each with all the ingredients for different themes of food and drinks. Party bars are perfect for any gathering from graduation parties, showers, BBQs, to a dinner party with friends! Try some of these fun ideas:
1. Yogurt bar
Think of all the fresh fruit, granola, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles and all sorts of yummy toppings you could include!
2. Waffle or pancake bar
I absolutely love this idea! Include fresh fruit toppings, whipped cream, nutella and chocolate chips, different fruit syrups, honey, and real maple syrup. You can have this next to a yogurt bar and share toppings!
3. Fruit salad bar
I am always trying to scoop around cantaloupe, so why not offer a make-your-own fruit salad? Have a variety of bowls of cut fresh fruit to choose from for your guests to make their own mixed bowl.
4. Beverage bar
Think fruit or veggie infused waters, punches, lemonades, cocktail mixes (labeled appropriately) and complete with fun straws and swizzle sticks!
5. Veggie/pickle bar
No more sad veggie trays allowed! Layer all of one kind of cut veggie in a clear glass bowl or vase, have a variety of dips to choose from or have ready to go cups with dip in the bottom and an assortment of veggies standing up in the cup. Add a variety of pickled veggies (think carrots, cucumber, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers) and fruits (yes - picked grapes are amazing!)
6. BBQ bar
Include a variety of grilled and smoked meats, a range of sauces from hot to mild, KC style to Southern.
7. Mashed potatoes bar
This goes great with a BBQ bar. Include all your favorite toppings - bacon, cheeses, scallions, broccoli, sour cream, ranch, chili…so many ideas!
8. Taco/burrito bar
Offer hard shell, tortillas and nacho chips with a load of different topping and lettuce for those who want to make a taco salad. Can’t go wrong with this one!
9. Cupcake topping bar
Several different flavored cakes, multiple frosting flavors, lots of little candies and sprinkles, coconut and nuts, the possibilities and combinations are endless!
10. Donuts and coffee/hot cocoa bar
This is one of the easiest since you can buy a great assortment of donuts, donut holes, even mini muffins and then have coffee and hot chocolate varieties (regular, dark, blond, decaf, milk and dark chocolate) then have fun stir-ins like whipped cream, flavored creams, caramel and salt, chocolate covered spoons, peppermint pieces, and sprinkles.