Food Tips for the Perfect Holiday Celebration
With a little planning this just might be your best holiday yet!
Tip #1: For a successful celebration – “Keep it Simple.”
Here is a formula that works: 2-2-2. It works this way, I like to offer six items: two that are store bought, two that are semi-homemade and two homemade. That lets you take time to focus on your special recipes while keeping the other prep easy. Next you want to make sure you have something for everyone in the mix. These days that can be challenging. So many people are gluten-free, vegan, aren’t eating dairy and such so make sure you have that information when crafting the menu. In a perfect world offer vegetarian, seafood and meat options so it feels like a meal. People are moving more towards tapas so the basic crudité, meat and cheese board doesn’t cut it anymore. There is no shortage for ideas on the internet so menu planning is just a click away! If you find yourself stumped just take a look at my catering options and I am happy to help.
Tip #2: Focus on the Platters and Decorations and keep the dishes in the cupboard! Select nice napkins, small paper plates, if needed, and plastic cups rather than creating extra work that comes with lots of dishes.They are perfectly fine for these holiday gatherings. You can then put some thought and design into your selection of platters and decorations to create a lovely setting. I have yet to hear anyone complain, especially when the food is tasty.
Tip #3: A Simple Self-Serve Bar – Provide a selection of beverages that includes sparkling water, craft beer, red wine and maybe a signature cocktail like an Aperol spritzer.
Tip #4: Bites per Person – People always ask me this and its the larger groups that can be challenging. The rule of thumb is 4-6 bites if a meal is being served and 8-10 bites without a meal. Having gourmet nuts, chips and olives and maybe a dip like pimento cheese with crackers staged in several areas will always help to fill people up!
Tip #5: Deserts- This is the time of year when people splurge! Either make your favorite holiday deserts or save yourself time and go to the local bakery and pick up a few unusual items. Consider placing a special order ahead of time to make sure you are covered. Actually, this is where fruit and cheese can also work well. A beautiful platter of warm brie drizzled with honey surrounded by dried and fresh fruit and chocolate covered almonds it’s just enough to finish off the evening!
Tip #5: One Bunch of Flowers Will Do – There is no need to spend lots on elaborate flower arrangements. You can save a bundle by picking up a loose bunch of flowers from the grocery or florist and add to it with simple greens and berries from the yard or local garden center. With this inexpensive combination you can create stunning and memorable decorations without breaking the bank.
Tip #6: Cooks Tip: No need to feel overwhelmed this holiday season. Look to your closest grocery store, like Ingles. They can make stunning holiday platters with just 24-hours notice. By delegating those labor intensive items like tea sandwiches and deviled eggs you will have more time to do the holiday prep that you find the most fun.
A great gift to me that comes via my catering … meeting the most amazing people and organizations doing good in our community!
Hop on Board the Meal Train!
I often have folks order freshly made and home delivered meals for friends and family. Whether it is to give a new Mom a break and a rest from the kitchen, to pamper a loved-one going through a difficult time or perhaps it is to help out someone who is under the weather. No matter the reason my “Give the Gift of Food” has become one of my most popular services.
Recently a group of friends/family contacted me because they wanted to provide a steady stream of fresh healthy meals for someone special who is ill. I do this all the time, right? But what made this really interesting to me was that because of this request I learned about setting up a Meal Train.
A Meal Train is a wonderful free service you can use to set up meal schedules. Instead of scratching your head wondering what to fix and when, you can glance at the online calendar shared among friends to see when the best time might be for your lucky recipient. It’s brilliant!
Recently a group of friends took it one step further by pitching in together to hire me to add some of my healthy meals to the mix. I love being a part of such a generous giving collaboration!