It’s been a long year and frankly I have been caught a little off guard by the speed and ferocity of the approach of the festive season. We’re staying in Doha this year, and on the weekend I had a mild panic about who, what, when, where and how.
I managed to find the tree in the back of the wardrobe, dust off the ornaments and tinsel and put the whole thing together with a minimum of curse words. Presents have been ordered online and are being delivered at breakneck speed.
We’re not heading to one of the huge hotel bashes this year, instead opting for an intimate lunch with friends. Fast, fresh and easy to prepare was my mantra.
Yeah sure, easier said than done, I hear you mutter.
What I found is that it’s pretty simple to come up with a stylish and tasty lunch/dinner for friends with a quick trip to the supermarket and some easily available ingredients.
Their advice was to keep it stress free and under QR400 for food. And yes, it is possible!
So here is a cheat sheet for you to entertain a hungry crowd:
- Pre-prepared is best
Head straight for the deli counter, scoop up olives, cheeses and a serving of smoked salmon (we used the Echo Falls smoked sockeye salmon). A quick detour by the hot food section and score two rotisserie chickens (QR10 a pop) which is always a crowd pleaser.
2. Light and bright
The proteins should be accompanied by individual green salads and mountains of vegetables plus a good olive oil or a squeeze of lemon for dressing. Think texture as well as color. You can also prepare a huge salad for the center of the table.
3. Cheese please!
I would also suggest crusty bread a colorful cheese plate with a variety of cheeses, dried fruits and a good honey. Let’s be honest, cheese goes with everything. For how to create the optimum cheese plate, check out my ultimate guide.
4. No baking required!
You can round off the dinner with fruit, ice cream and of course, cheese. We also found these Arabic style nut treats which work for people like me who prefer their desserts to be savory!
This food haul, cost around QR350, making it not only delicious but also pocket friendly (read – more money for
shoes presents for everyone).
I can’t claim credit for the styling in these gorgeous photos by Apple Snaps Doha, that lies with Rachel from Chocolate Fish Parties. Her advice to me was to keep it, simple, clean and uncluttered. you can find her personalized styling tips on her blog (where you can also drool over the glam parties she creates).
So, with less than a week to go, I’m ready to take on this festive entertaining business. Right after I finish my gift shopping (what to get the man who has everything?) and rewatch the Gilmore Girls.
*This post is a collaboration between Life on the Wedge, Lulu Qatar, Chocolate Fish Parties, taf3eel and AppleSnaps. All items are available at Lulu’s stores across Qatar. For special cheeses, their inaugural Cheese Fest is on until 21 December.