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Travel & Eats: Effortless Entertaining … Not!

Travel & Eats: Effortless Entertaining … Not!

By Coco Chapetta ~

With the holidays quickly approaching and spring in the air, let’s get entertaining!

If you want to do something well your first challenge is to make it look effortless … but we all know there’s nothing effortless about entertaining, now, is there?  Have you ever watched an Olympic gymnast pull off a routine error free?  You say to yourself “he or she made it ‘look’ sooo easy” … that’s exactly what we want to do when we entertain.

Preparation and organization are the two key elements when making entertaining look effortless.  A few simple steps to help make entertaining “look” easy are …

  1. Decide who you will invite (head count)
  2. Menu
  3. Shopping List
  4. Food preparation
  5. Day Before Set Up/Day of Event
  6. Dessert/Coffee

Ok, first things first. I put everything in my iPhone; therefore, I have all I need on me all the times.  Begin with items one and complete the list through item six as listed above.

You can prepare your main course anywhere from a month to a few days before a party.  Let’s say chicken piccata is the main dish.  This can be prepared up to a month before (then freeze).  If frozen make sure you give 2-3 days to defrost.  Or you prepare the dish a few days before which will not require freezing, of course.  Now the main course is done.

As for side dishes, they should be done the day before and be ready in the fridge in whatever dish they will be cooked and served in.  Tip: anything going in the oven should be taken out of the fridge and set out to reach room temperature.  Food cooks quicker when it is at room temperature, this is “key” when wanting to get your din-din on the table.

The night before any tables, buffet area along with a beverage area are set, put out any non-refrigerated snacks on different tables and counters.  Do as much as you can do the day before, it will lighten your load the day of your party.

“The day of” is about timing:

  1. Prepare appetizers and refrigerate until a half-hour before guests arrive.
  2. Make sure all drinks are chilled and ready to be served.
  3. Place napkins and small plates wherever you have munchies.  People are always looking for a napkin.
  4. Create a designated dessert area, use different tiered cake plated, domed if possible – it looks good with different heights.
  5. Take the food out of the fridge one hour before it needs to go in the oven and place it on your stovetop. Now everything that needs to be cooked is in the same place.  It’s a good visual that looks impressive!
  6. Know how long each dish needs to be in oven so you will know exactly what needs to go in first, second, third and last.  Desired goal is for everything to be done at the same time.
  7. Once your din-din is on the table enjoy what God has blessed you with; food, family, friends, and of course, sharing your home.

I find entertaining extremely rewarding and a blessing that God has gifted us with that we can share with whomever we choose, or more importantly, whomever He chooses! I love using my home to bless others, what a delightful honor for me.

Most of all have fun and enjoy your company, they came because you invited them, be with them, love them. Effortless entertaining?  Not! Just simply make it “LOOK” effortless!

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