Holiday entertaining

‘Tis the season for holiday parties. Whether you plan to host one or attend one, this is one of the busiest times of the year for parties with both family and friends. It can be stressful if you are the one hosting that party so here are some tricks and tips I like to use when we have guest over.
* If it’s a dinner party, make things you can cook ahead of time or in a slow cooker, that way you can be with your guest not in the kitchen.
* If you are having the event catered but want to have the illusion you did the cooking, put a whole onion in the oven on a cookie sheet and turn the oven on low about an hour before the guests arrive. When they come in they will smell the onion in the oven and think you have been slaving away in the kitchen all day. Just remember to turn the oven off just before serving the food.
* Pick a theme to unify your party and plan foods around that theme. E.g. Moroccan, serve traditions dishes from Morocco, Moroccan themed drinks, and create an atmosphere that reflects the theme by using coloured glass votive candles, colourful accent pieces, etc.
If you are a guest at a party you can’t go wrong with bringing a small hostess gift. Here are a few I’ve brought in the past.
* Wine, always a good pick and it doesn’t need to be very fancy or expensive, just please no homemade wine.
* Homemade preserves. Canning is somewhat of a lost art now, by bringing some homemade jam or jellies nicely presented shows how much you value your friendship with the host/hostess.
* If you know the party will be a late one give a small basket of homemade cookies and a coffee card. This way they won’t have to make coffee when they wake up.

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