Strategies for Pain-Free Entertaining
There’s nothing like getting together with friends and
family to enjoy good company and, of course, good food. Whether you’re having
two or 20 people over for a gathering, the idea is to make it as simple as
possible so that you can have a great time along with your guests. The
following tips can help minimize fatigue and ensure that your next entertaining
experience is pain-free, pleasant and memorable.
Consider a Potluck
If you feel comfortable doing so, ask each guest to bring
one dish or a dessert. Being responsible for one item (it can be storebought) is
manageable for everyone and can take a huge load off of you as the host.
Make it a Buffet
This will allow you to set out all of the food at one time,
rather than getting up to bring out multiple courses over the meal—and your guests
can help themselves. You can turn any table into a buffet simply by removing
the chairs and pushing the table against a wall. Set the chairs around the room
Use Disposable Plates, Cups and Cutlery
They’re not the greenest alternative, but plastic dinnerware
is lightweight, making it easier for guests to manage…and there are no dishes
to wash! To add sophistication to the party, you may want to present the food
on elegant glass or ceramic serving plates and reserve the disposables for
eating on. There are a wide variety of designs to choose from, so you can
easily blend them with your good plates and tablecloth.
There are so many available today that preparing food for
entertaining is easier than ever. You can use pre-sliced cheeses, packaged
sliced pepperoni and/or salami, olives, gherkins, mozzarella balls with grape tomatoes,
ready-to-use packages of cut fresh vegetables with ready-to-serve dips, pitted
dates that can be filled with cream cheese, hummus with sliced pita bread triangles
and ready-to-eat cooked buffalo wings sold at the supermarket. Many of these
can be arranged on trays and covered with plastic wrap ahead of time, then
stored in the fridge until ready to serve.
Prepare Your Meal Over Several Days
If you’re not having a potluck, make as many dishes as possible in advance and freeze
or refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve. It’s best to offer only one or
two hot food items, as this will eliminate the need to prepare too much on the
day of your party.
Keep in Mind Your Guests’ Needs
Make sure that tables are wheelchair accessible, provide straws for beverages
to help avoid the possibility of spills, and have hand wipes available to make
it convenient for guests to clean their hands before and after eating.
For a fantastic fall fête, try the simple recipes seen here.
Choose some great music to set the mood and have fun. Before you know it,
you’ll be throwing parties more often and with less effort.
Cream Cheese Cinnamon Bread Finger Sandwiches
1 loaf of sliced cinnamon or date-nut Bread
1 16-ounce container of whipped cream cheese
Make cream cheese sandwiches and then cut them into
quarters, wiping the knife clean after each slice. Arrange on a serving plate, cover
with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Get your favourite flavour of ice cream and cookies of
choice. Spoon a dollop of ice cream onto the back of a cookie and top with
another cookie, pressing down gently. Freeze immediately. Serve alongside a
fresh fruit platter and apple cider for dessert.
1 wheel of Brie cheese
Dark brown sugar
Fresh mint leaves or citrus rind
Preheat oven to 350ºF. With a sharp knife, slice off the top
coating from the cheese, leaving the sides and bottom intact. Cover the top
with brown sugar. Place in an oven-proof baking dish and bake about 15 minutes,
until brown sugar begins to melt. Remove from oven. Garnish with toasted pecans,
dried cranberries and fresh mint or citrus rind.
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup Bisquick
- ½ cup canola orvegetable oil
- 3 cups cubedzucchini
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoonchopped fresh parsley or basil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to
350ºF. Mix all ingredients, except bread crumbs and butter, together in a large
bowl. Pour into a greased 9-inch round pie plate. Mix 1½ tablespoons of melted
butter into the breadcrumbs. Spread the mixture on top of the pie. Bake for 45
minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool to room temperature,
cover and refrigerate. This can be made a day or two ahead of time. When ready
to serve, cut into small slices and arrange on a serving dish. Tastes great
cold; no need to heat.