Charles and I like to throw a party each summer. We love getting friends together over food and drinks while enjoying the skyline views from the roof. We have traveled so much this summer that the party got pushed to the end of summer, but we managed to pull things together before the temperature drops.
We invited a bunch of friends over, and I cooked up a storm. We greeted guests with Rose Slushies and a jug of Cucumber Lime Gin and Tonics. I made several appetizers – a mild roasted tomato guacamole, a spicy poblano and jalapeno guacamole, whipped feta, and roasted red pepper hummus. I made pulled barbecue chicken in the crockpot so that our guests could build their own sandwiches if they needed something more substantial to eat. For dessert, I made the most decadent Caramel Cheesecake Brownies (the recipe is coming your way soon).
Whenever to host a party my goal is to have lots of food, but to serve food that is ready ahead of time, so that I can enjoy the party instead of spending the night cooking. Chilled dips always work well, and by using my slow cooker I was able to make enough pulled chicken for everyone, in just a few minutes of preparation time. That recipe is super simple, place 3 pounds of chicken in your slow cooker, and pour 2 jars of your favorite barbecue sauce over. Cook on low for 6 hours and then use forks to shred the chicken.
The jug of Gin and Tonics meant that people could easily refill their drinks without needing to go into the kitchen. Another thing that we do when we host parties is that we fill a cooler with ice and beer. Again, this keeps people out of the kitchen, and it makes it easier for everyone to grab their own drinks.
My friends at Paris312 hooked me up with decorations. Paris312 is a local Chicago company and they have the absolute cutest party supplies! I picked items from their Luxe collection. I love that their rose gold forks don’t even look like they are plastic!
I also love Paris312’s giant balloons with tassels, and they have a concierge service that delivers the balloons throughout Chicago.
Do you have any go-to party planning advice? I would love to hear about it in the comments!