I have a lot of talents, but throwing parties is not one of them. With my art background and my penchant for good cooking, you’d think I’d be a natural hostess, but it just doesn’t come easily to me. I stress too much, I worry too much, and I end up not enjoying a single second of an event that’s supposed to be fun.
So when I do decide to put myself out there and host folks, I try to make the party prep as easy and straightforward as possible. I do not throw Pinterest-perfect parties with favors that I crafted for weeks ahead of time and gourmet food and hand-lettered invitations (not that there is anything wrong with that if it makes you happy!). My parties are simple, low on the prep time, and (I think) still totally enjoyable for my guests. And I get to actually, you know, have fun myself!
One of my favorite tricks for a good and easy party is to let the food be the entertainment. What does that mean? Well, instead of the throwing out a bag of chips and some dip as an afterthought, use the food as the center of attention. Not only is it always a crowd-pleaser (everyone loves food!) but it also plays to my talent in the kitchen. Light a campfire and roast hotdogs and have s’mores. Set up a taco bar with all the taco fixin’s a person could dream of. Or throw a waffle party! It’s easy, it’s delicious, and everyone has a blast.
You can throw a waffle party for breakfast, brunch, or honestly, anytime. It’s a fun creative meal to serve for bridal and baby showers, teas, kid’s sleepovers, or birthday parties. It just feels festive, you know?
To keep it low key, here are some of my tips:
Have waffles at the ready—You don’t want to spend the whole party manning a waffle iron. Either make your favorite waffle recipe ahead of time and freeze them, or, I prefer to use good quality frozen waffles like Van’s Foods line of waffles. The great thing about using Van’s waffles is that you can easily have a whole selection of different kinds of waffles at the ready to satisfy your guests—gluten-free, whole grain, organic—whatever someone desires in a waffle, Van’s makes it. To heat up waffles in bulk, preheat your oven to 400°F and then plop the frozen waffles directly on the grate (for crunchier waffles) or onto baking sheets. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until warmed through.
Use what you have—Chances are, your kitchen is already stocked with awesome waffle topping ingredients. Don’t stress too much about having every option under the sun. Most folks just serve up their waffles topped with maple syrup, so anything different from that is a real treat! I’ve included some of my topping suggestions below.
Keep drinks simple—Set out a galvanized tub with ice and carafes of different kinds of milk (almond, cow, goat, etc.) and some water. Have hot coffee brewing, and, if you’re feeling particularly festive, have the fixin’s for mimosas.
Don’t stress about matching dishware—With all those toppings, you’ll probably need more bowls, spoons, and plates than you have in a matched set. Just go with it! Embrace the fun factor of a whole spread of mismatched dishware.
When it comes to the toppings, you’ll want to have classics—maple syrup, whipped cream, fruit, etc.—but you’ll also want to change it up a bit to really make it a waffle party! Try to have a mixture of healthy and not-so-healthy options for folks to mix and match as they see fit. Here are some of my favorite ideas for toppings:
- (A) Fresh fruit of any kind is a great idea! If you’re working ahead of time, skip fruits like bananas, apples, and pears that will brown as they sit. Fresh berries are great!
- (B) For those who have a bit more of a sweet tooth, canned pie filling is a fun topping.
- (C) Pull out all those jams, jellies, and fruit butters you have kicking around in your fridge and let folks sample them on top of waffles.
- (D) The perfect waffle creation has a great mix of textures. Make sure you have crunchy nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, or peanuts on the table.
- (E) Another option to add some crunch (and health) is a selection of seeds. Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are great sprinkled on top of waffles.
- (F) Some folks love it. Some folks hate it. Either way, coconut is a great addition to your waffle bar!
- (G) Real maple syrup is a must at any waffle party. You can also have a selection of flavored syrups if you like (but I prefer just the normal stuff).
- (H) Plain or flavored Greek yogurt is a great way to add creamy texture and a nice boost of healthy fat and protein to waffle creations.
- (I) Any and all nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.) are great on a waffle bar. To make sure they are drippy enough to easily drizzle over waffles, stir in a little drizzle of mild-flavored cooking oil (avocado oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil). This thins out the nut butters without making them chunky
- (J) Some folks prefer honey to maple syrup drizzled on their waffle creations.
- (K) For those looking for a decadent treat, warm chocolate sauce is always popular. If you’re feeling really dessert-y, putting caramel sauce and butterscotch on the table is a great idea, too.
- (L) Whipped cream is a classic waffle topping. Whip your own or put out a can of pre-whipped cream to keep it simple.
Make sure you have a good playlist going and lots of napkins, and you are well on your way to throwing an awesome waffle party—no stress needed!