Party in the kitchen!

Your family and friends don't need to be entertained. They just want to hang out and eat with you! Set out a few help-yourself items where everyone tends to gather — the kitchen — and the party will take care of itself. Here are three easy ways to get your holiday party on.

1. Cheese Board

Make your own fancy crackers, then raid your cheese drawer, fruit bin, and pantry to turn them into a spread. Add champagne or a bubbly cocktail, and let the grazing begin!

Cheese, Please!We used (clockwise from top right) Délice de Bourgogne triple crème, Prairie Breeze white cheddar, Shropshire Blue, young Gouda, aged Manchego, and Président Brie for a mix of textures, ages, and flavors.

party cheese platter
Photo: Jacob Fox

2. Pasta Bar

Make this easy, hearty bolognese in the slow cooker and fire up the pasta and garlic bread when guests arrive. Set it out on the island with prepared pesto, basil, Parm, and a little vino. Salute!

pasta party
Photo: Jacob Fox

3. Coffee & Cookies

Make one terrific sugar cookie (or up to six different cookies from the same basic Chewy Sugar Cookies dough). Set them out with cream, sugar, and a fresh pot of coffee, and let the merriment begin.

christmas cookies
Photo: Jacob Fox

Check out our collection of Entertaining and Dinner Party Recipes.

This article originally appeared in the December/January 2020 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.