Last year, my party guests all laughed when they saw that I had posted a menu in the kitchen for the evening’s festivities. They laughed, and then conceded that it was kind of cute and helpful. I did it again this year, and now it’s become tradition.
Sangria Party Menu |

It may seem completely ridiculous, but I do this for a few reasons. First of all, it’s a great way to let people know “hey, there’s appetizers out now, but don’t worry – we’re going to be serving dinner later, too. Oh, and save room for dessert.” Of course, I had mentioned that we would be serving dinner in the extremely formal Facebook party invitation as well, but hey, sometimes people forget the details.

More than that, though, it’s an easy way to save yourself from answering questions all night long. Don’t get me wrong – if anybody has a specific question regarding an allergen or ingredient, or just really likes a dish and wants to chat about it further, I’d love to talk to you about it. Really, I would. But, what I don’t love doing is answering “hey – what’s in this chicken lettuce wrap mixture?” sixteen times. Sorry, I’m way too busy playing badminton for that.

I totally get it – I usually like knowing what is in something before I eat it, too. I ain’t mad at ya for asking. But because I took just 10 minutes to type and print a menu, and then posted it in the kitchen right above the plates and flatwear, you might already have your answer before you even have to ask. And then we both have more time for a game of Giant Jenga.

Giant Jenga |

Does my menu include every single ingredient used in each dish? Of course not – those chicken lettuce wraps had like 20 ingredients. But, it does include the big things people may have intolerances to (nuts, dairy), and things lots of people don’t prefer (mushrooms, onions).

This post could also be titled “How To Make Your Backyard Party Feel Like A Pop-Up Restaurant.” Because pop-ups are all the rage right now – I recently had dinner at one! And their menus usually change each time you visit. So yup, my sangria party is a pop-up.