We had a wonderful time at Pax's soiree last night, and we're planning a little do of our own for next weekend. It'll be a casual affair, with cocktails and good food. We'll be inside and outside, whatever the moment brings (not to mention the weather). I've planned the gathering to start in the late afternoon/early evening, because there will be plenty of shade on the back deck by then. We're not going to barbecue because we really like the people we've invited, and we want to spend time with them! I plan to have all of the food prepared before the guests arrive, so that we may enjoy the party too.
I've been shopping and preparing, and, true to my sorry nature, I'm beginning to panic just a little. Help me out, if you don't mind! What are the essential ingredients to a good party, in your opinion? Do you have any suggestions for easy entertaining and food preparation? Any secret recipes that drive your guests wild? Is there anything that I must not forget to do/serve/provide/prepare?
Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. If you're in the neighborhood, stop on by!