CARVEL® Ice Cream CakesParty Tips

No-Fail Entertaining Menu

When it’s time to entertain, the first step is deciding on the menu – what food, drinks, and sweets to serve. From holidays to birthdays to weekend parties, these no-fail entertaining tips will help you plan your menu and get the party started!

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  • – Never try a new recipe for the first time. Make something that is tried and true, and that you are comfortable making.

– Don’t make more than three things homemade. Anything more than that and things get stressful! A cheese/cracker platter and dessert are two easy, store-bought items.

No-Fail Menu Formula

  • – Dip
  • – Cheese and cracker platter
  • – Meat-based appetizer
  • – Bread-based appetizer or finger food
  • – Dessert (one main, one bite-sized)


No-Fail Party Planning dip

Pick either a hot or cold dip, depending on the crowd and occasion. Serve with tortilla chips, veggies, and/or potato chips. Everyone loves a good dip. It seems to be the place where everyone congregates! If you have a big crowd, choose one of each – one hot and one cold dip.

Cheese and Cracker Platter:

No-Fail Party Planning Cheese and Cracker Plate

Pick up 2 types of cheese and a variety of crackers. Try a gourmet cheese and then a classic, like a sharp white cheddar. Don’t forget the mustard! Add sprigs of rosemary and honey for fragrance and grapes for a pop of color. It instantly dresses up a cheese platter. Use a cutting board to display your food; it adds warmth and texture to your table.

Meat-Based Appetizer:

Farm Rich Apple Butter Crockpot Meatballs

To make sure everyone leaves full, serve at least one meat-based appetizer – like meatballs! People love food on a stick – plus, you save money and cleanup on plates and forks. These Apple Butter Crockpot Meatballs from Farm Rich are always a hit and take about 5 minutes to prep.

Bread-Based Appetizer or Finger Food:

No-Fail Party Planning Cheese and Cracker Plate

This is a good one to go homemade. Bruschetta and crostini – like this Herbed Ricotta Crostini with Marinated Tomatoes – look fancy but is so easy.  Cranberry feta pinwheels are also easy – but taste great and are easy to eat while mingling. Keep the food compact so folks can chat, and not super messy – people may be wearing their holiday best!


Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Dessert can be the easiest item(s) to serve. Include two sweets: one easy homemade and one storebought.  For the homemade, try something super easy – either a dip, like Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Dip or Christmas Cookie Dip, or cookies, bakery-fresh storebought or homemade. Make a few batches of cookie dough ahead of time and freeze them for easy prep later.

For the main dessert, go with a cake. Try the OREO Ice Cream Cake. When a store-bought cake tastes this good, there’s no reason to bake! Available in the bakery section or freezer aisle at your grocery store. A vanilla-flavored ice cream cake blended with OREO cookie pieces, plus whipped frosting topped with a large OREO cookie and even more cookie crumbles. This is a great go-to for a quick but impressive dessert that will be everyone’s favorite.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Inspiration courtesy of Old House to New Home , The Kentucky Gent and Gina Chong.

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