We look for just about any excuse to get together with friends and family. Because our family is pretty large there is almost always a birthday or celebration and an opportunity to throw a party at the house. I do have a very big pet peeve though when it comes to parties. I remember growing up and watching my mom at all our parties and get togethers, she would always make traditional food that requires days of preparation and even on the day of the party the only place you would see my mom was in the kitchen. That has always really bothered me and because of this, I plan my parties in whole different way. These are my tips for "Spicing Up a Party" without having to miss the entire party myself.
Depending on the amount of people coming over, we usually decide on 2-3 main dishes and a lot of side dishes and snacks. I always know what our guests really like to eat and make sure to have a little bit of everything.
Pre-cook as much as we can the day before. This works really well when preparing enchiladas. We prep them and get them ready to just throw in the oven an hour before the party.
Make fresh salsa. A spicy and delicious sauce is always the hit of our parties. They make all the food taste even better and this is something my mom can prepare a few days ahead of time and freeze. She usually makes 2-3 different sauces with different chiles so everyone can pick their favorites.
Keep decorating minimal but fun. I am more about adding a few touches here and there rather than covering up the whole room in crepe paper. The only place that gets more colorful decorations and balloons in the kids area, but for the grownups I like to keep it simple.
Have an agua-fresca bar. We totally love agua fresca and when you are serving spicy foods all your guests will be very thirsty. Our favorites to make that only require some cut up fresh fruit, sugar and a blender are; watermelon, melon, horchata and pineapple aguas.
For the adults you can also prepare a few of your favorite cocktails. My sister will make pitchers of margaritas, cosmopolitans and if it's in the budget you can also bring out a few bottles of everyone's favorite wine.