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Having a Dinner Party, Family Gathering, or Celebrating a Holiday?

Small or large, it can be overwhelming, so here are a few tips to help you prepare

for your upcoming event.

PLAN: This is the best way to be sure that all your ducks are in a row. Think your table-scape through. Decide on a theme and the colors for the perfect presentation. How many people will you have? What dishes you will use? How many courses will you serve? What can I make in advance?

TABLESCAPE: A dinner party doesn't need to be elaborate to be elegant. It's all in the 'presentation!' Simple and clean with splashes of color and texture will make a big impression, getting you plenty of oohs and aahs. Just remember to keep your centerpiece(s) simple enough to not block anyone's view across the table. This means low or high with nothing blocking everyone's eye level.

MENU: From hors d'oeuvres to appetizers to salad to entrées to dessert; no matter how many courses you serve, try to prepare a few the day before, to save time and reduce your stress the day of the party. Again, simple can be elegant, so get those cookbooks out or go online to the Foodnetwork.comfor some fabulous ideas. Always keep in mind any foods your guests might be allergic to, so ask before you finalize your menu. Things like nuts, dairy, alcohol, chocolate, and vegetables should be considered items that people might be allergic to, so ask your guests prior to the party and everyone will be prepared to enjoy.

Getting together with friends and family is always fun, so make it a point, as the host, to enjoy the time with your guests and make it easy on yourself to accomplish. Bon Appetite!


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