“Gosh, she made it look so easy!” – That’s what we all wish our guests would think when they visit. Entertaining, on top of working, holiday shopping and company, is never easy but it can be made simpler. Here are a couple suggestions to help you make it look so easy:
Clear and clean counter tops. You will need lots of room to work this month. Put some of your usual kitchen counter decor into your Christmas decoration boxes and store it away.
Grab a beautiful basket. Fill it with festive Christmas paper plates, napkins and cups. Add a bow and some holly. It will look pretty on your counter and cut down on dish washing.
Make ahead. After you make your menu, star the items that can be made ahead. Spread the make-ahead items out on your calendar.
Think about how you will serve the food at your party or buffet. With the menu in mind, lay out the serving pieces and label each with a sticky note. Anyone helping can then fill platters or bowls without asking you what dish you want to use and where to find it.
Plan for the unexpected. It happens. Create an extra couple tins of cookies or loaves of banana bread as gifts for the sudden guest. Also plan ahead for a couple of extra appetizers. Either you will need to offer a snack you did not plan on or you will suddenly need something to carry to a party.
Organize for next year now. As you gather recipes together for the holiday, keep them together in a binder or folder for next year. Add your menus, shopping and gifts lists and you are off to a good start for next year.
Think easy. A simple well made meal is a delight. A supper of a salad, yummy casserole or soup and warm bread is always welcome.
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.