I love cooking just about as much as I love having other people cook for me (lol). Hosting BBQs, dinner parties, lunches, even just baking the odd cupcake or cookie to bring to a board game night or to have Mike bring in to his office, is something I’m always happy to do when I have or make time to do it!
Look, we’re all busy. Life is busy. Whatever is most convenient will likely win in whatever decision you’re trying to make. That’s why I love when cooking, hosting, entertaining, can be convenient!
This summer I partnered with the Italian Centre Shop to celebrate their 60th Anniversary by putting together a pretty quick, easy, and delicious celebration lunch of my own (I’m turning 30!!) using Italian Centre Recipes and ingredients!
I hope my al fresco outdoor backyard patio party inspires you to confidently host your own party and know that it does not have to be a long or inconvenient process to put together!
Easy Entertaining Tips with the Italian Centre Shop
1. Let the Italian Centre build a charcuterie board for you!
The first and probably best easy entertaining ‘hack’ I could ever share with you is that the Italian Centre offers a BYOB – Bring Your Own (charcuterie) Board service!! Bring in a board (or boards) of your choice for drop off, let them know if there are certain things you want or don’t want, what your budget is, and how many people you’ll be serving, and they’ll fill your board for you!
Get an impressive, professionally-created charcuterie board effortlessly. You just need to drop off at least two days before your intended pick-up date! This is essentially their custom party tray/platter service, but how neat that it can be done on your own boards for a more polished finished product (that hey, you can pretend you did yourself! lol)
The Italian Centre’s BYOB service starts at $40.
2. Pick Italian Centre recipes to easily shop specific ingredients
The Italian Centre website is a treasure trove of delicious recipes!
They have dozens of recipes, many quite simple to put together, and the best part is because it’s Italian Centre-specific recipes, all of the ingredients can be purchased right in-store!!
The three recipes I used for my party (in addition to the BYOBoard) that I’d definitely recommend as quick and easy dishes to put together are:
- Spaghetti Primavera with Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes
- Arancini in Tomato Sauce
- Gruyere, Bacon and Mushroom Dip
If you’re not sure where something is, don’t hesitate to ask one of the friendly staff too!
3. Take advantage of frozen or fresh to-go (heat and eat!) products
There’s definitely lots to be said about the quality, flavour and satisfaction you get cooking dishes entirely from scratch, but sometimes (especially if you’re short on time and looking for that convenience factor!) there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of the Italian Centre’s frozen, oven-ready items or Massimo’s in-store brand of meals, pasta sauces, soups, dips and salads made fresh in-house, daily! There’s lots of options in the store!!
4. Fancy drinks, dishware and table cloths can easily elevate a meal
The Italian Centre carries a great selection of European sodas, sparkling juices, and other tasty drinks. We found adding three bottles of Efferve sparkling pear, blood orange and pomegranate juices in champagne glasses to our spread instantly and easily classed up the meal!
5. Move the meal outside!
If possible, whenever possible, dine outside! I love any chance I get to use our backyard patio furniture. And dining outside is truly an Italian way of life—dining in the open air, outdoors.
Dining outdoors also guarantees (at least in the summer, and depending on what. lights you have set up in your yard) beautiful, natural light which equals just the loveliest photos of not only the delicious dishes, but your guests too! Capture these special moments!!
I had such an awesome patio party with just a few of my dear friends, thanks to the Italian Centre!
We clinked glasses for the Italian Centre’s 60th Anniversary (and my 30th birthday! eep).
And it was just a really easy meal to put together!! I hope you got some entertaining inspiration and put together your own patio parties using these phenomenal ingredients. And until July 28, 2019 you can enter to win an Italian Centre gift basket and gift card over on my Instagram account!
Thanks to the Italian Centre for partnering with me for these celebrations, and congratulations on your 60th year in business—what a gigantic milestone.
Disclaimer: I partnered with the Italian Centre Shop to help raise awareness of their 60th Anniversary and some ways you can celebrate using Italian Centre products! This does not impact opinions stated in this post. I love the Italian Centre, food (obviously) cooking and entertaining so this was a perfect partnership!!