With large portions of New Zealand having spent the winter months locked down and away from friends and family, there’s going to be something very special about this summer. Restrictions are easing, the weather is warming up, and socialising is back on the agenda in a big way.
If it’s been a hot minute since you last entertained and you’re feeling overwhelmed at the idea of a calendar full of hosting dinner parties and barbecues, you’re not alone. We’ve got you covered though, with some genius cooking and hosting hacks that will have you spending less time over the stove and more time catching up with the people in your life who make it shine.
It’s all about the last-minute party prep
The concept of meal-prepping for a busy week ahead is well-documented; just search the hashtag on Instagram for endless ideas of cook-ahead meals. But what if we apply the same forward planning to the unexpected drop-in?
Summer is all about drinks that turn into dinners, and backyard barbecues that last all afternoon. Pre-prepping a crowd-pleasing tray of lasagne or chicken wings and then freezing it ahead of time means you get to be the ultimate unflappable host - without having to miss out on socialising.
The FlexSpace Fully Convertible Drawer in our 609L French Door Refrigerator makes prepping for entertaining a breeze, with a temperature range of -23 to 7 degrees celsius. This means you can store your antipasto platter fixings or, with the touch of a button, switch to the Quick Freeze function to store those pre-prepped dinners.
Mason jar cocktails are here to stay
There aren’t many things to love about extended lockdowns, but the proliferation of cocktails in jars, as bars and restaurants pivoted to pandemic-service, is one of them. Nothing elevates a get-together like some delicious cocktails, but instead of being chained to the blender or shaker for half the night, why not have a few batches in jars ready to go?
A hefty jar filled with sangria or Margarita chilled to perfection in the fridge means hassle-free entertaining without the annoying clean-up. Plus, when you’re done, the height-adjustable upper basket in our Freestanding Dishwasher Dark Stainless means you can pop the jugs straight in the dishwasher, saving the need for handwashing.
Even when you’re not entertaining guests, summer nights are for time spent relaxing in the backyard - not chained to the kitchen bench. Enter: the one-pot wonder. In recent years the concept of tray bakes and one-pot meals has exploded, with endless options for delicious, healthy recipes that come with only a fraction of the cleanup. We’re obsessed with this one-tray ham & cheese slider recipe cooked in the 60cm Multi-Function 10 Pyrolytic Oven with AirFry, as well as this mouthwatering Crispy Roast Pork with Pumpkin tray bake.
Cooking and hosting friends and family is one of the true joys in life. If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that time spent together can never be taken for granted - so get out from behind the kitchen bench and dive into freedom summer with the people who matter most.