There’s really nothing that compares to hosting a great party. As a true social butterfly, I can tell you that it feels like I’m hosting a gathering of some kind almost every weekend. Any occasion is a good excuse for my family to invite people over, not just birthdays and holidays – I’m talking board game nights, NBA games, in-house karaoke (yes, we do that too), movie nights, the latest episode of Jane the Virgin – really any reason to gather a bunch of friends together for an evening. You name it, I’ve hosted it. And let’s get real. Everyone knows that the best part of any gathering, what makes or breaks the whole event, is the food.
And I really enjoy treating people to some quality food. My husband and I love nothing more than whipping up a whole spread of treats for people – chili, baked beans, a dal dish, chana masala, curries, potatoes, dips, and even hot drinks to help us make it through the winter like apple cider (we keep the rum on the side so the kiddos can enjoy the cider too). I’ve even been known to whip up a giant batch of homemade hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows on the side. Like I said, the food really makes the whole event. My husband and I go all out, and feel proud of the elaborate things we make for our friends.
Except for when all the food is cold.
It’s such a huge disappointment after laboring all morning in the kitchen to make all the goodies for a truly top-notch taco bar, my husband and I working in stained, rushed tandem to get the veggies fried, portobellos roasted, my husband’s legendary refried beans made from scratch. There’s such an unspeakable let down to have your guests dive into a decked out, promising taco bar, only to have the veggies soggy and the beans room temperature. Speaking frankly, by the time we finish cooking the second dish, the first one’s already cold. What’s an aspiring Martha Stewart to do?
Enter my beloved food warmer. When my husband first came home with it one afternoon, I thought he was more than a little crazy. After all, weren’t food warmers reserved for Chinese food buffets or a motel’s continental breakfast? Did he think we were running a bed and breakfast suddenly? Who in the world were we, to have something so fancy as a food warmer in our kitchen cabinet?
And there it sat for two weekends, until we had another get-together. This time, we were having a competitive Uno night. My husband had his mind set on tacos again – like I said, he is an absolute genius when it comes to his special refried beans. He pulled the food warmer out from the cabinet above the fridge, and I shrugged. Sure, I thought, let’s give it a try and see if it’s worth the space it takes up.
Let me level with you here: it did not disappoint. We have the Oster food warmer, and it has three pans for three different dishes. My husband’s beans were warm all afternoon, my homemade nacho cheese stayed creamy and divine, and our veggie fajitas with roasted portobello mushrooms were juicy well into the evening. It felt so wonderful to see people eating food that was actually hot and ready, and I for one loved biting into a crunchy taco with warm fillings, all topped with cool, crispy lettuce. Mmm.
It’s been a hit at every party since. I love watching my friends go back to the food warmer for seconds and thirds and find that their food is still warm, and I find myself daydreaming about riveting new flavor combos for the next party – barbeque jackfruit, anyone?
Our food warmer has also been perfect for party stragglers. There’s one couple I’m friends with who shows up about an hour late every time we have a get together Before getting the food warmer, I would pile them up a plate of food, put some foil on it, and hope for the best. Now, the food they get is still hot and delicious by the time they wander on over – that is, if there’s any left.
The easiest part has to be clean-up, too. Since the pans are dishwasher-safe, it’s a breeze to clean everything for the night, and if there are leftovers, I just put use their lids and slide them into the fridge – after a little consolidating and rearranging, of course.
My husband and I’s relationship revolves around cooking and hosting. Although I was incredulous about his impulse buy at first, it has long lived up to its expectations. I can’t imagine hosting a party any other way, and I know I’ll never go back to life without a food warmer! I’m excited to go into this year’s birthday parties armed with my new favorite appliance. What kinds of dishes would you put in your own food warmer?