I use to love entertaining, but somewhere along the way, it got put on the back burner. In the early days of my marriage, I would host an annual Christmas brunch for my lady friends where I’d bring out all of my grandmother’s serving dishes and my fine china and create a festive holiday event where everyone could come, relax, and visit without having any responsibility. When my son was little, we hosted regular events for our church. It just seemed easier back then.
Nowadays, we hardly ever host a proper dinner party. With three kids, an unconventional job, and all of the things I’m juggling these days, entertaining usually seems like too much work. I guess I’ve gotten lazy. We do end up getting together with friends spontaneously, but it’s never fancy. In fact, I usually throw some cheese and crackers on a tray and call it a day. I really need to up my game and get out of this rut, so when HSN invited me to try out a few pieces of their new Margaritaville line, I was all in.
HSN’s Margaritaville brand offers an extensive lifestyle collection of island-inspired fashion, beauty, electronics, home décor, and culinary products that are designed with the Margaritaville state of mind. I immediately loved the kitchen collection… modern with a touch of vintage. Just envision yourself on a tropical island with a margarita in hand.
They sent me a set of 2 margarita glasses, a set of 4 melamine dessert plates, and this large melamine platter. As soon as I saw this gorgeous platter, I knew I wanted to do more than throw my usual cheese and crackers on top, so I put it out to my Instagram friends and asked what they would put on it. I got lots of great ideas, and I decided to go with a seafood antipasto.
I bought smoked salmon, frozen shrimp, cocktail sauce, salmon pâté, lump crab meat, cream cheese, capers, an assortment of crackers, and yes, a package of my favorite soft cheese. What can I say, I like cheese! I also got the ingredients to make this delicious margarita recipe.
I invited some friends over last Friday night, and here is where I have to make a confession. I asked my neighbor, who is much more talented with food presentation than I, if he wouldn’t mind putting the platter together while I made margaritas. I know, I’m shameless. But take a look!
Not only was everything gorgeous, but it was also delicious. I cooked the shrimp in boiling water with lemon and a bay leaf for about 3 minutes, then chilled and peeled them so they were easy to eat. They were delicious dipped in cocktail sauce. The cream cheese and capers were perfect with the smoked salmon or crab meat.
And yes, I did enjoy some cheese and gluten-free crackers as well, but I love that they weren’t the center of attention, for once… not that I’m giving up my cheese and crackers, but it’s always good to expand one’s horizons, yes??
I love the melamine plates and platter for outdoor entertaining. It’s awesome not to have to worry about breakage. They’re also lightweight and easy to carry back and forth, plus the small plates are top rack dishwasher safe.
The glasses are made of glass, but it’s a nice heavy glassware that won’t easily break, and I definitely prefer my drinks in glass. The margarita glasses remind me of the ones I was served in Costa Rica last fall — definitely authentic.
I hope this helps inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and flex your entertaining muscle a bit.
Thank you HSN for sponsoring this post. All content and opinions are my own.