Three ways to make entertaining a cinch

This time of year is all about entertaining and barbeques are my absolute go-to. I love nothing more than throwing open the French doors on a warm summer evening, throwing some food on the BBQ and catching up with friends and family.

It sounds pretty good right? The only trouble is the planning – before you know it even the simplest get-together can become a complicated web of planning, cooking and shopping. Suddenly it’s not simple the easy summer evening you envisaged.

Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve that help making hosting summer get-togethers a total cinch – no more complicated drinks to prepare, mounds of dishes to wash and dry in the morning or time consuming desserts to whip up (woohoo!)

Hands up if that sounds amazing… yip, I thought so. Here are three ways to help make summer entertaining an absolute breeze.


Keep the drinks casual

Let’s be honest – no one needs a fancy cocktail at a summer BBQ! Instead, keep the drinks casual and pick up your favourite ready-to-go drinks instead – then all you need to do is pop them in the fridge.

My current favourite is Long White Vodka which is a delish pre-mixed vodka drink made with naturally flavoured sparkling water and no added sugar – it’s sweetened with a dash of apple juice. With three awesome flavours available – passionfruit, lemon & lime and (my personal favourite) raspberry – there’s something to suit even the fussiest guest.

While they’re totally delicious served straight from the bottle, you can easily make them even tastier by serving along with a few lemon wedges and fresh mint leaves for a refreshingly easy yet totally delish summer drink.

long-white-vodka_servewareImage sourced from Not on High Street.

Embrace the paper plates

Gone are the days when paper plates meant flimsy, style-less white plates you couldn’t wait to get rid of – paper plates are now officially gorgeous! No matter what your style, theme or budget there’s a paper plate to suit any event.

Check out Kiwi-based party websites like The Pretty Baker, Pop Roc Parties and Dots N Spots for some truly gorgeous options, or whip down to your local supermarket or dollar store and see what bargains you can find. While it will add a bit of cost to your get together, you’re hands (and head!) will thank you in the morning when cleaning up is an absolute breeze.


Make dessert a quick crowd-pleaser

It might just be me, but I can’t have people over for even the most casual BBQ without making something special for dessert. The trouble is you don’t always have time – and let’s be honest, in the long-run it’s not worth stressing about. Luckily there’s a classic Kiwi dessert you can whip up in a flash that’s sure to go down a treat with your guests – jelly whip!

Never heard of it? Then you’re missing out! It’s an incredibly light chilled dessert made using just two ingredients – evaporated milk and jelly. The finished dessert is even lighter on the tongue than mousse and much, much easier to make – it’ll take you less than 10 minutes.


  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 packets jelly
  • 1 punnet fresh berries


  1. Place can of evaporated milk in the freezer for one hour. Meanwhile, mix up a batch of strong jelly by placing two packets of jelly crystals in 2 cups of boiling water. Place in the fridge to cool.
  2. Pour chilled evaporated milk into a bowl and beat until stiff and doubled in size. Add the cooled jelly (it will still be liquid) and beat until totally combined and stiff.
  3. Pour jelly mixture into a large serving bowl and chill in fridge until set. Top with fresh berries before serving.

This post was made possible with thanks to Long White Vodka.

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