Dropping in on your neighbors for a slice of homemade cake and cup of coffee or cold glass of sweet tea is traditional here in the south, but sometimes we’d just like to make it a little more formal, a little more interesting. When you’d like to invite a few friends over for an evening of card playing or movie watching, but don’t want to serve them dinner, give these evening entertainment ideas a try.
Coffee and Dessert Bar
This is an updated twist on the old traditional entertainment food offerings; create a self-service bar. Instead of just one type of coffee and one cake, set up a coffee bar that has several hot beverage offerings that range from plain caffeinated and decafe coffee to a variety of flavored coffees. Then add a few flavored coffee creamers and spices to the bar, along with cups and spoons and guests can serve themselves at will.
To satisfy the sweet tooth that usually comes along with a cup of evening coffee, try cookies instead of cake or make a simple bread pudding in individual ramekins.
A casual way to feed evening guests without cooking them diner is with an offering of cheese, served up with fruits and crackers. Allow two ounces of cheese per guest and serve cheeses of varying textures and flavors so everyone can indulge in a favorite. Serve the cheese at room temperature and arrange the slices or wedges on a large platter or wooden cutting board along with a separate knife for each cheese variety. Label each cheese so guests will know what they’re tasting. Set up the cheese and other goodies buffet-style so guests can serve themselves. Add fresh and dried fruit, nuts, crackers or crusty bread to the buffet. Serve a beverage of choice to accompany the evening cheese buffet.
Invite some lucky friends over for an evening at the chocolate bar. Set up a variety of good chocolates, buffet-style, along with a melted chocolate fountain and fresh fruits, marshmallows and wooden skewers so guest can create their own dessert flavor and dip it in melted chocolate before consuming. Brew up a pot of hot coffee and stash some bottled sodas on ice to wash down the chocolate delights.