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Let Me Entertain You: Mastering The Art Of Home Entertaining:

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

With the ever-increasing prevalence of super-sized, super supped up vehicles, super-sized homes and super-sized meals, it would seem quite ironic that our home lives to have actually “downsized”.

In fact, the once “weekly” tradition of gathering with friends and family seems to have, for the most part, become virtually obsolete and specially designated for special holidays and affairs.

Yet, many experts agree that food combined with social interaction is one of the key ingredients in the recipe for a healthy rewarding (personal) life. Food (along with positive interaction) is noted as having the ability to comfort, nurture, and connect people, and has been one of the main staples of a healthy diet for centuries.

Experts further note that sharing experiences and some laughter etc. with friends and family with good food and drink can serve as an enjoyable and cathartic experience. However, they emphasize that in this harried and hurried environment in which we live, and many “imposed” pressures, we frequently have a tendency to associate entertaining with extra work and effort and less with relaxation and enjoyment. Often agonizing over our “inability” to please the palate of some of the most sophisticated chefs experts suggest dinner parties have simply fallen out of grace, style and fashion. An easy way to once again making (family) meals “en vogue” is by KISSING (keeping in simple and sensible) your woes goodbye.

A Few Simple Steps For Hosting A Simply Sensational Soiree:

· Remember, meals don’t have to be elaborate just inviting.

· Refrain from getting exotic. Instead prepare foods you and your guests have acquired a taste for and are comfortable with.

· Stick with old, familiar favorites, especially things you are confident about. Dare to be daring and invest in a few good basic cookbooks and embellish on the tried and true.

· Pressed for time, don’t be afraid to break out the chips and dip. Better yet, slice and dice up some fresh veggies throw some scallions and olives in some basic cream cheese and create a home may crudités platter.

· Opt for basic meals like pasta and don’t forget the garlic bread.

· Think about preparing some extras while making family dinners during the week, then freezing, and pulling out for “special occasions”.

· If you have the time, cook ahead of time and freeze; this way whether you have expected or unexpected guests, you always have something in the house and are always prepared.

· Make it a practice to serve an appealing meal on a regular basis. Whether you are cooking for two or twenty-two, make sitting down to a meal a tasteful experience.

· Not much of a “chef” or don’t feeling those “creative juices” flowing, consider the ease and luxury of pre-made foods. Invest in a couple of trays of shrimp cocktail, boxes of hors d’eourvres, bags of buffalo wings, cheese and crackers, even order pizza, etc. Who ever said entertaining (always) had to be an “extravagant” experience. Remember, presentation can be just as important as preparation.

· Purchase and stock up on some decorative and festive paper plates, cups and napkins. Sure you’ll want to break out the fine china for more formal sit down dinners and special occasions, but with all the aesthetically decorative disposable “dinnerware” out there, dishing out expendable dishes is a very viable and practical option.

Entertaining authorities affirm that one of the best ways to host a great get together is spontaneously. Having (prepared) items on hand obviously helps ease the stress of preparation. And, they note that not only does spontaneity allow you to do something “exciting” but also it also often gives friends and family a good excuse to break away from routine and have a refreshing and revitalizing night “out”. Furthermore, experts emphasize that while you may not want your home to be disastrous disarray, you don’t have to have a designer home to enjoy the company of good friends and family. Besides, it’s a fun easy and fairly inexpensive way to have fun and it can be quite rewarding.

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