We are a true family of party people. We like the food, the drinks, the people, the music and the fun. Any excuse to have a party is good enough for us.
Conveniently, in Europe it's very common to have an after work or end of the day drink and snack with friends, neighbors or colleagues. It's called many different things in many different languages all over the world, but here in The Netherlands its called, a "borrel." A borrel can be 1 drink and a small snack at a bar or café that takes a short as 30 minutes and then off you go to your final evening destination. Or it can be an evening of snacking until you and your friends are full, as if you had eaten an entire "sit-down meal" together.
They are both fun, but for me the longer version is glorious!
The all evening borrel, take the pressure off of entertaining by keeping it simple and not overdoing it with adventurous, new recipes, while trying to impress. They keep it light and fun because you get to mingle instead of stand in the kitchen alone while only your guests have the fun. And if you choose not to pre-plan and make a bunch of complicated snacks you can buy cheese, charcuterie, fruit & bread, serve it with some drinks and call it dinner.
But, if you are like me and still like to cook more often than not, a super simple, room temperature, vegetarian couscous salad with sautéed veggies, pine nuts, herbs and lots of lemon juice & zest is the perfect kind of dish. I served it on a rather large, round platter, spread a liberal amount of creamy hummus on the bottom, set the salad atop and spooned some store bought "muhammara" tapenade on the sides. We served it to some neighbors who we don't get to see often enough who are also a 1/2 Dutch-1/2 American couple we always enjoy hanging out with( when we make it happen). Some wine was opened when they arrived at 5 and all the food was gone by 8:30-9:00 when they left.
I had very little cleaning up to do in the kitchen because it's so fast to put together and we had a great time hanging with some friends. A definite win-win! I'll share my couscous recipe soon!