Believe it or not, the holiday season is nearly upon us, with the celebrations starting in October and going strong through to the New Year. And, while some may have a knack for it, holiday entertaining can be anything but effortless. Being the hostess with the mostess (or host with the most) can require a hand at mulled wine-making, turkey-roasting and centerpiece-arranging. Follow these quick tips to help pull off the next holiday dinner that guests will rave about:
Set the stage – or the table! While the food will most certainly steal the spotlight, guests still eat with their eyes. For simplicity and budget purposes, start with a colour theme and add accessories in the same hue. When it comes to serving dishes, don’t be afraid to mix and match pieces. With large family get-togethers this might not be just for stylistic reasons, but necessity! Add some visual interest with a festive centrepiece of old-fashioned ornaments, pinecones, candles or cedar wreaths.
Make-ahead menu: From hors d’oeuvres to desserts, capitalize on make-ahead items that will help the big day go smoothly. Cranberry sauce can be made and refrigerated up to four days in advance, while vegetables can be pre-roasted and warmed minutes before “bon appetit.”
BYOB (be your own bartender): Encourage guests to be the bartender, giving the host a break to enjoy the evening. Keep the drink selection simple, and offer pre-cut garnishes like citrus and olives, plus festive stir sticks. For elegant presentation and a bit of whimsy, include family favourite recipes written on chalkboards.
A sweet finish: Cap off a delicious meal with a variety of desserts and goodies. From gluten-free to sandwich cookies, here are nine great peanut buttery cookies to add to a sweet tray, or try our Peanut Butter Buttons for a taste of nostalgia. Looking for an interactive dessert experience? Have dessert faux fondue-style by dipping cut-up fruits and biscuits into this Peanut Caramel Sauce.