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Holiday Entertaining

When it comes to the Holidays and entertaining, we tend to over-think the menu, the decor and time it takes to do it all!

As a former caterer for 15 years, some suggestions follow to help make your Holiday entertaining stress less.

Simple is best, a few touches of Holiday-ness is all you really need to suggest a festive commemoration.

Good lighting and candles are essential, they soften the mood, create warmth and make everyone look good!

Music is another essential, but keep it in the background.  There are so many options from the music channel on cable to Pandora to IPod to cd collections. Conversation ebbs and flows, and a tune just might spur some singing.

And of course, the food and drink!

Cover the basics of your guests preferences. One good vodka, bourbon, and scotch will cover most people's preferences. If they are a wine and beer crowd, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay are all good cocktail wines. Good local lagers are an appreciated treat for most beer drinkers. And don't forget the people who do not drink alcohol, make a pitcher of  festive non-alcholic punch or infused water for variety.  For sit-down meals, do some research as to what beverages pair the best with what you serve.

Save yourself some time, energy and even money by purchasing some of your food items already done. Veggie and Fruit trays from the grocery store are inexpensive when you consider the variety of items on the trays and the cost for you to purchase that variety. Bagged salad mixes and salad mix-ins are a quick way to supplement a meal. Making a beef, turkey or pork roast a day or two ahead and then slice and warm the day of the event. With a homemade sauce, it makes something simple very special.

Want to make it special, but don't want to fuss?  Consult with a caterer for some of their specialty dishes and hors d'oeuvres, then make the rest. (or not!)

Desserts are always the grand finale, and making them a week or more ahead will save you headaches and impress your guests! Of course you can supplement your dessert table with some delicious handcrafted, all natural Toffee and Chocolate Barks from Sweet P's Pantry for an added bonus to your cookie tray or elegant 5 layer chocolate cake!

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