Once it gets cold its pretty easy to turn towards hibernation. Blankets, comfort food, heaters, and being a bit of a hermit. But one of the greatest comforts is the company of your closest friends.
One of my best friends recently bought a fire pit, and these do wonders for dragging people out of their fortresses of solitude and convincing them to come visit you despite the rain/chill/darkness. The atmosphere is instantly cheery, especially with a few glasses of wine, and you don’t need to move heaven and earth to cater either.
Look towards finger food that doesn’t require any cooking. We had roast chicken, fresh bread, fruit, assorted deli meats, cheeses, and my famous marshmallow birds nests.
It’s all about presentation. To instantly jazz up simple cold cuts, roll each piece of meat and add a little garnish.
Before you know it, the spread looks like this, and you’re physically restraining people from digging in before you’ve taken a photo.