Sunday, November 28, 2010

Take the stress out of your holiday entertaining

We all love holiday parties, but hosting them can be very stressful. Here are a few tips to make your gathering more enjoyable.
  • Make a list of all things that need to be done. Decide how far in advance you can do each of them, but do as much as possible ahead of time.
  • A buffet table looks especially pretty when selections are set out at different heights, such as on footed cake plates or tiered trays. To improvise risers, invert bowls, pans or baking dishes in the table and drape them with holiday fabric.
  • Veggies and dip look great arranged on a platter with a border of frilly savory cabbage or curly parsley.
  • Too little space? Supplement storage with coolers, or store food in a garage or enclosed porch if the weather is cool enough.
  • Trouble keeping food hot on the serving table? Preheat oven-proof serving trays in the oven or rinse other trays in hot water.
  • Never prepare a recipe for the first time for a party! Make it at least once ahead of time to ensure the recipe works.
  • Plan to purchase at least half of the dishes you plan on serving. Decorate those dishes to give them that personal touch.
  • Have your menu posted for a last minute check to ensure nothing is forgotten.