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Lifestyle expert Mahin Arastu has insight on what puts people at ease, she was formerly a human behaviors neuroscientist. She recently teamed up with Pottery Barn to showcase her version of a beautiful yet relaxed example of casual and easy weekend entertaining. Mahin’s interpretation of low-key draws up on her mantra of simplicity.
For her menu, she pulled together simple ingredients.
Double Gloucester Cheddar
Substantial Living Mixed Pickled Vegetable Achar
For Mahin, the joy of entertaining is the people, so she always plans a meal that most things are assembled rather than cooked. “It’s the people and the interaction that the food fosters that is important,” she says. This is why for this meal she chose her go-to entertaining appetizer, Chipotle Avocado Crostini – it’s simple, quick and always delicious!
Chipotle Avocado Crostini
- fresh bread (french boule is a great option)
- fresh avocado slices
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt or fleur de sel
- chipotle chili flakes
- Slice the bread on the diagonal into slices. Lightly coat each slice with olive oil and toast in a 450 degree oven until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on baking rack.
- Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil on toasted crostini and lay long slices of avocado across each slice. Once all crostini are assembled, drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chili flakes.
- Style with edible flower petals and enjoy!
6 Tips For Easy Weekend Entertaining1. Be GENUINE. Don’t try to impress your guests doing things you would not normally do, just to be a “good host”. Feel joy that someone is coming into your home, and that you get to share a huge part of your life with them. 2. ASK DIETARY PREFERENCES. Save yourself and your guests the headache and ask about restrictions and preferences before setting the menu. This shows respect and thoughtfulness. It always makes me feel so nice when people ask me what I eat and don’t, and try to be mindful of that. It requires some work, but all good things in life do. 3. SIMPLICITY is BEAUTY. Less is always more. If you are not comfortable cooking a lot, just make the things you really enjoy eating-even if it’s simple mac and cheese. I find my inspiration from nature-which is uncomplicated and pure. 4. CLEAN Your Kitchen. Before your guests come clean up your mess. You could be a Michelin-rated chef, but if you have a messy kitchen, it ruins the experience for the guest. No one wants to look into a kitchen that looks like a disaster zone. 5. SERVE with ENTHUSIASM. If you are not excited about your food or your guests, who else will be? Excitement and passion are contagious. Find something you love about the process-the medicinal properties of the spices, a cool historical fact about the food or dishes, or anything, and share the love. 6. MUSIC. Completes the circle of senses. I love streaming old school jazz like Billie Holiday or international flavors such as Cesaria Evora in the background.
Weekend entertaining doesn’t needn’t be difficult. Focus on the people you invited, follow Mahin’s simple tips and your next party will be smooth sailing!
To read more and view examples of a the simple table Mahin has created for Pottery Barn, visit the store blog.