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I have a confession to make. I hate March Madness. Actually better put, I hate basketball. Each year when the tournament rolls around and I get emails and texts inquiring my level of interest in filling out a bracket (zero), I remember my distaste for the whole event. I have realized over the years, however, that I will not beat March Madness and my love for my friends and for entertaining is much, much greater than my hatred for the game.
So, being the entertainer that I am, I cannot ignore that throughout the month, the people congregating in my house will, indeed, be watching the games and I will carry on doing what I enjoy doing most, throwing a party.
When I say the word party, you should know that I say that loosely. In my house, where three or more are gathered, a party exists and this weekend was no different. It wasn’t necessarily planned, but that is what I love most about entertaining and with a few small tricks up my sleeve, I was able to pull off a pretty great march madness party with little prep.
I kind of revel in the challenge of making an easy get-together something special with what I have on hand. I might send Matt to the liquor or grocery store for a few oddball items, but I rarely overhaul my life for a party, and this gathering is definitely evidence of that. I just gathered a few of my go-to serving pieces even though I was serving very casual food. I think everything tastes better when presented beautifully!
The menu was totally simple and based mostly on what I had in my pantry. The popcorn is just out of a bag, with a little parmesan and rosemary sprinkled on top – so easy! For my mini roast beef sliders, I buy the precooked prime rib from the grocery store that is near the lunch meats and use hotdog buns cut into thirds as my ‘slider’ buns… tricky! A few little condiments in pretty bowls are all you need. And a cheese tray, because my life isn’t complete without cheese. More on that later.
For drinks, I kept it super simple by just having beer & wine – why make it hard?
Due to my aforementioned dislike for basketball, I hesitated to do anything sports related because really, it usually turns out cheesy and I didn’t want to waste time. I would rather spend my time outside making a eucalyptus garland because that is what I do on random Sundays. If you know me, you’ll know that unfortunately, I’m not being sarcastic at all.
BUT I am always a sucker for puns, so I went the extra mile and made some kraft paper pennants and some stickers for my popcorn baskets which said things like, “My kind of basket” and “grab a basket for the win!”
I also decided that just because I don’t participate in the basketball brackets doesn’t mean I have to miss out on all the fun. I made some cheese brackets and a few beer brackets so that those of us who weren’t paying attention to the game could get into another type of fierce competition.
I now have convinced myself that it’s totally possible to have a great evening that revolves around basketball It’s easy when you start with Target – mine clearly in neutral, but yours doesn’t have to be! I am not sure who won the game, but with great friends and an easy atmosphere, who really cares?
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