Parties that Wont Mess Up Your House

Parties that Wont Mess Up Your House

Let’s face it, most of us would entertain more if it weren’t so much work.  Some of the keys are:

  1. Keep the food simple

  2. Make it a potluck (Have everyone bring a dish and you do only the main dish

    AND, have you ever considered

  3. Having the party in your driveway or front yard?

Randy and I have done this, more than once, and it is really fun!

We started this tradition one Halloween when our kids were still small.  I made a big pot of chili and during the evening, we set up a table in the front yard, took the chili along with our candy out there, and as and our neighbors brought their children by to trick-or-treat, we asked them if they wanted a bowl of chili. (It’s a great excuse to use paper plates!) Most of the neighbors stopped for a bowl of chili and lingered a few minutes, and then moved on.  We met almost all of our neighbors that night and started making it an annual event. In Chicago and now in Kansas, we pull out our fire pit and set up chairs for those who wanted to stay and linger a bit longer.

…as and our neighbors brought their children by to trick-or-treat, we asked them if they wanted a bowl of chili… Most of the neighbors stopped for a bowl of chili and lingered a few minutes, and then moved on.

This kind of party was so simple that after that first Halloween, Randy and I decided that we would not only do this on Halloween, but we would have this kind of party a couple of times a year. If it wasn’t Halloween, we would take the pot of chili out to our driveway and set up a bags (or some call it corn hole) game.  We have inexpensive folding chairs and created a tournament. We like bags because almost any age can play this from about 4 years old to 90+. After the party, all I had to do was clean the pot the chili and put the table and chairs away.  The house stayed clean!

If it isn’t fall or spring and the weather is too warm for chili (perhaps 4th of July), you can grill hot dogs, hamburgers or make taco salad meat and have people bring the “fix-ins.” Just bring it out to the front yard! 

Just FYI women, men appreciate this kind of party a little more than a formal dinner party.  Think about it.  Men visit most of the time while they are doing something else – hunting, fishing, golfing or watching football.  It has been said, that women get about 4 hours of conversation in over a 30-minute coffee date, while men get 30 minutes of conversation in over 4 hours (like when golfing).  Men also engage more when there is competition. (You might want to keep this in mind when if you want your husband to chat more with you – go do something he likes to do. No extra charge for the marital advice.)

Below I am sharing my simplest chili recipe. FYI, this recipe can be made in a crockpot and cooked on high for 3 hours or on low for 5. Make sure you brown the ground meat and onions before you put it in the crockpot. Make it, take it out in the front of your house, and invite some family, friends or neighbors over.  I pray you enjoy sharing it as much as we have!


Hearty Chili

Ingredients

1 med. green pepper, chopped

2 med. onions, chopped

1 clove garlic crushed

1 TBSP vegetable oil

1 lb. gr. beef or turkey

2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes

1 can (16 oz.) Kidney Beans

1 can (8 oz.) Tomato sauce

1-2 TBSP Chili Powder

2 tsp. salt

Toppings:

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Raw onions or green onions

Sour cream

Avocados

Cook and stir green pepper, onion and garlic in 1 TBSP oil in Dutch oven over media heat until onions are tender.  Brown ground meat in oil (2 TBSP and sprinkle with flour.

  • Stir in tomatoes, beans (w/liquid), tomato sauce, chili powder and salt. Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer stirring occasionally about 2 hours.

  • Uncover and simmer for 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally.