With the 2023 fall season well underway, many people are looking for cool new insights for hosting friends and family this fall and winter.
Fox News Digital talked to bestselling author and popular chef Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest for her best tips for hosting a gathering.
Her first hosting tip for this season is simple: Don’t stress.
“Don’t try to create a menu that is so intensive or anything like that — take help from the store,” said the Colorado-based Gerard.
The uber-popular chef has over 5.3 million Instagram followers and is known for sharing her best recipes and kitchen tips with others.
Gerard said that buying pre-cut or pre-made food from the store to help ease a bit of the hosting load is totally acceptable.
Prep recipes ahead of time if they require lots of effort, she said — but don’t pick difficult recipes if you don’t have to, she recommended.
“Don’t pick recipes that you have to be sitting there, frying on the stove — choose things that are simple to create,” she said.
Gerard also recommended exactly that: Pick simple dishes that don’t require lots of time to make.
She said a simple appetizer or cocktail — even just setting out a bottle of everyone’s favorite wine — can be enough.
“Really just simplify the process of everything,” she recommended.
With wisdom gained from hosting and cooking for her family of 10, she recommended against doing an extravagant, multiple-course dinner.
“Light the candles, light the fire — make it warm, cozy, welcoming and inviting.”
Instead, try an approach of “here’s your salad, here’s your main dish, here’s your dessert,” she said.
She also said that not making dessert from scratch is totally acceptable.
Rather, buying a cake from a favorite bakery or cookies from a favorite shop is totally fine.
“I think the most important thing about entertaining is when your guests are experiencing your dinner, and they feel welcomed,” she said.
She loves when her guests feel relaxed and invited into her home, she said — not as if they can’t touch the tablescape or need to be on their best behavior at all times.
“Light the candles, light the fire — make it warm, cozy, welcoming and inviting,” she said.
And when it comes to gifts for the host, Gerard said you can never go wrong with a candle.
“I think that candles can make your environment feel so welcoming and inviting — and people don’t realize that you can really create this environment of warm and cozy with a single scent,” she said.
Gerard also recommended bringing flowers — she said they’re underrated as a host gift.
Overall, she suggested bringing whatever the host would most likely use and appreciate, noting that nobody “really wants a knickknack.”
“If they love to make cocktails, find them really pretty cocktail glasses,” she said.
“Find beautiful things that maybe they wouldn’t get for themselves but can really enjoy in their life.”
Gerard recently announced a collaboration with Home Chef, which will feature seven of her most popular dishes from her food blog, “Half Baked Harvest.”
Gerard told Fox News Digital she was excited to bring her recipes into more homes around the country and noted the partnership was in the works for quite some time.