Chanukah? It’s the best excuse to get the family together, around one (beautifully set) table. And it doesn’t have to be a lot of work to prep either.
By Leah Schapira and Renee Muller
Sure, donuts are enticing. But that’s not why you’re looking forward to Chanukah.
Think harder. What is it about Chanukah that makes us feel all cozy and warm inside? Is it the lights?
Partly. But Chanukah also brings the promise of good ol’ family time. Also known as that time spent together with the people we love, with no particular agenda but fun and food. And because it’s really about the memories and not the decor, we planned a party for you that would be chic, yet effortless and super achievable. Because you shouldn’t push off an opportunity to get together. And when that opportunity arises, you will know you can handle it.
First, about this table setting.
All items shown on this table were pulled from our cabinets (it helps to have a few cabinets to shop from).
Start with a basic solid tablecloth. Don’t have the color tablecloth you want? A basic flat sheet such as this one from Target is cheap, easy to match and no one will ever know.
Use the middle of the table as your blank canvas. Any bowls, plates or platters with the same pattern can work well as a centerpiece. Adding lots and lots of fresh produce will cover it all, so don’t fret about the look of it quite yet.
Flowers? How about using those succulents again? These three plants keep Leah company in her kitchen all year round and are from Costco.
Wood serving-ware is also back in fashion. It’s a neutral color and goes well with anything. The trick to using wood tableware at a party and keeping it up to date is to mix and match it with your other dishes. Don’t be afraid to use different shapes and sizes. As long as each bowl has a purpose, it works. Those days where everything matched perfectly are over. Nowadays, organic is key. See how we used different-sized bowls and even a few colored ones? Mix and match and have fun with it.
Gold cutlery adds that element of elegance and it works really well with the pink and browns. Well, really, gold works well with anything. A little gold goes a long way. Use disposable. You can find our favorite on Amazon here.
We used a basic white plate (we prefer round over square, always!) then a solid color plate to make our table setting stand out. You don’t need to spend much to get a fresh new look. These pink plates are from ikea. They cost only a little more than disposable plates, but they aren’t . That said, if you cannot get to Ikea, get disposable plates for that pop of color. We understand.
Where are the glasses from? Target, a few springs ago.
Now, about the food.
Our aim was to have a fun get together without having to cook. Have 30 minutes? Run to the grocery and buy whatever you can (Shhh… we do that too.)
Our shopping list included:
Ready made salsa.
Key word: Simplify!
Fresh guacamole (with lime, salt and that is all) is always a crowd pleaser with chips. So is this simple tomato and onion salad. And veggies. Did we mention veggies? Lots and lots of cut up veggies. If you are pressed for time, consider buying the ready cut ones that so many groceries nowadays offer. When laying out the veggies, make sure to use the colors and textures to your advantage. Don’t put two groups of similar colors near each other—unless they have a contrasting texture. Keep things interesting!
These cool looking chips you see here? They are a snap to prepare! Just cut a wrap into wedges (use a pizza slicer), season, and fry (the golden ones shown above) or bake (the lighter ones are baked) until crisp. If baking, spray with cooking spray or brush with oil first.
All you really need is one great dish. We chose to showcase these delicious crowd-pleasing pastrami personal pies because they are quick and incredibly hip. Also, not to mention, delicious.
Chanukah parties need latkes, right? But latkes are so hard to prep for a crowd! Look here for a cool way to prep in advance and rewarm. Obviously this works only if you know in advance that you’ll be hosting a party.
Have any questions? Ask in the comments.