Dec 21, 2009

Are You Hosting Christmas Dinner This Week?

This year, and for the past few years, my sister has hosted our Christmas dinner. My turn to host comes in the Spring for Mother's Day. Thanksgiving day we ate out and had desserts at my Mom's after. I remember what a wonderful host my Mom was each and every holiday, it is good to be able to give back to her for all she has done.

If you are hosting this year, you might enjoy the following, which honestly faces the fact that hosting can be stressful, and gives you some solutions you may find helpful.

Buffet Recipes And Tips For The Imperfect Hostess
By: Daniel Millions
Hosting a dinner party for friends? Or have you been selected (or singled out, ahh!) to host Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner this year? How exciting. And what a pain in the rear. While having the people you love in your home and feeding them a ton of food is rewarding and can be a lot of fun, chances are you re a little stressed about it. Unless, of course, you are Martha Stewart.

When you re overwhelmed planning a dinner party, sometimes choosing a few good buffet recipes and setting up a simple buffet seems like the easiest thing. And though it s true that, in many ways, a buffet is simpler to do than a sit down dinner (where you have to prepare each guest his or her own plate), hosting a buffet style dinner is no walk in the park. After all (and especially if your family is as piggy as mine), you ll still have to cook a whole big pile of food, won't you?

Choosing Buffet Recipes: When choosing recipes for a buffet dinner, the first thing you ll want to think about is ease of preparation. When having a lot of people over for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner (or any other holiday celebration), there is always a lot of food involved. Can you easily prepare a particular dish for a large number of people? Do you have room in your oven or on your stove to cook all of your dishes at once?

Another thing to think about when choosing buffet recipes is how much time each dish will take to prepare. When you host a dinner party, there are about 100 things on your to do list the day of the party or holiday... and about 100 other things that you never even thought of. The best way to cut down on your work load a bit?

Pick recipes that you can make ahead of time. If 80% of the cooking is done in the morning before your dinner party, you can be sure that things will be a lot easier when the guests arrive. Some great dinner party recipes that you can make up ahead of time are:

  1. Cold vegetable salads and pasta salads

  2. Soups and stews (add any rice or pasta at the last minute)

  3. Veggies and dips

  4. Cold appetizers

  5. Reheatable sauces

  6. Breads, biscuits, etc.

  7. Sliced cheese and fruit trays

  8. More stuff I can t think of now
Last, you ll want to think about how easy a particular dish is to eat. 

Especially if you re going to have some guests on their feet or perched on chairs, you ll want foods that they can eat without too much cutting or hacking. Unless you want them to eat a whole steak in their hands like some kind of carnivorous squirrel (which would be entertaining but unhygienic), skip preparing a large piece of meat.

Buffet Table Setting Tips: Got your buffet recipes figured out? Now it s time to get the table ready. While it seems like setting up a buffet table should be as simple as tossing things together, there are a few things you can do to make you buffet table both look nicer and be easier to use. One is to vary the height of different dishes.

This makes the table look more appealing visually and makes it easier for guests to access a particular dish. Another important buffet table setting tip is to... avoid being boring! Most people have been to about 1000 buffets in their lifetime, and most of them are ordinary and all the same.

But with some creative decorating ideas and a little flair for the unusual, you can create a beautiful and unforgettable buffet table. Good luck!

Updated 3/22/16

Article formerly on Selling with Articles, a site that is closed, used with permission, author's site:

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