We hosted a back to school fiesta for Kevin's students a few weeks ago. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed hosting them. It's an exciting milestone for us to be hosting students as the professor and his family. We spent 10 or so years being graduate students while Kevin was working on his PhD so it's fun to reach the point where he's doing the job he's always wanted to do.
We picked a date that worked for everyone, asked for any dietary preferences and then told his students to just show up. They were all friendly, sweet and seemed to appreciate a home cooked meal. A few of them had just moved to town and the others have been here for a bit. It was nice to get to meet everyone to kick off the school year.
Our fiesta menu worked out perfectly! Kevin and I both enjoy hosting so we divided up duties and everything came together really well. Here are my tips for making it easy on yourself to host a fiesta:
1. Chop many things ahead of time - lettuce, olives, carrots, peppers, onions, etc. - and put the items in the bowls you'll be serving them in. It'll be so easy to pull them out when the meal is ready.
2. Prepare your meat in advance. Marinate early and brown ground beef with seasoning so that you just have to do some last minute reheating. We did the beef the night before and Kevin grilled the chicken right before the party.
3. Provide Appetizers. Make them easy & set them out right before guests arrive. We served chips and salsa/guac and carrots sticks with hummus. Both were enjoyed.
4. Set your table before guests arrive. If you don't have pets or small children you could probably do this step the night before your party.
5. Make your dessert the day before. We served Monster Cookies. They are our favorite cookie and everyone loved them. It was so nice to to have to worry about whipping up a dessert at the last minute.
6. Set up a drink station. We put out everything our guests would need in one spot - ice, cups, straws, drinks, cokes, napkins, etc. Label alcohol options so that everything is crystal clear to your guests.
7. Fresh flowers. Pick up fresh flowers and assemble your own bouquets to save lots of money. I picked up a $4.97 bouquet of carnations at Wal-Mart and a $2 bouquet at Meijer.
8. Put away your pets. Few people will love your pets as much as you do so it's best to keep some distance especially for first time guests. We have two cats - one is uninterested in guests and the other makes a complete fool of himself when we have guests. So we made sure they were both put away when our guests arrived to avoid any awkward encounters or them jumping in the middle of our table during dinner.
The boys did the outside food prep and I did the inside stuff.
Kevin enjoys making mixed drinks so he prepared a mint mojito for everyone. It was really tasty so I asked him to share the recipe with y'all today.
1 bottle of Rose's Traditional Mojito Cocktail Mix
7oz White Rum
*add fresh mint leaves for fun
*splash of club soda for a bit of carbonation
The cookies were pretty and delicious!
Hope you get the chance to host a fiesta of your own sometime soon!!
Tell me your best party hosting tips :)