Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Entertaining Tips & Tricks

With the holiday season here, it's time to prepare for hosting family and friends. Bed Bath & Beyond is here to help those responsible for the holiday presentations and preparations impress their guests with everything from the turkey to the table. Our experts have helpful tips for how to put together the perfect holiday meal and create an inviting atmosphere for guests.
The Prep Work
  • The key to reducing stress around the holidays is to plan in advance. Start putting together a menu about three to four weeks ahead of time to determine the hors d'ourves, specialty drinks, main course, sides and of course, the desserts.
    • Once the menu is selected, make sure you have the right pieces to prepare the meal—the turkey essentials include a roasting pan, thermometer, and gravy separator. Keep in mind that every turkey is different so your roaster should be able to handle even a 25-pound holiday bird. Your serving plate will need to be large enough to accommodate your turkey, and there should be enough additional room on the plate to surround it with garnish.
    • When it comes to serving guests, it’s helpful to get open stock dinnerware in both white and clear so you can mix and match as needed. Be sure to check that you have enough drinkware for serving guests cocktails when they first arrive and then have a set on the table for them to use during the meal.
It’s all about the Presentation
  • Consider how you’d like to present your meal to your guests. Whether it’s a sit-down dinner or you will be serving them buffet style, your food will be the main focus. Using an item like a triple slow cooker is great for a buffet. It will let you cook, keep your food warm and allow your guests to help themselves all at once.
  • You can make a great impression before your guests sit down to eat by crafting a beautiful setting for them. You can create ambience by adorning the holiday dinner table and buffet area with seasonally inspired d├ęcor and infusing pops of color with the tablecloth, metallic chargers, napkins and fresh flowers.
  • For a finishing touch, you can set the mood with candles by using a mix of tea lights and candlesticks on the table at varying heights.
Make a Big Impression by Thinking Small
  • Many people are getting more creative with their holiday menus and decorations by using small plates and dessert dishes. They allow guests to mingle and socialize with everyone, compared to sit-down dinners, and are also great for guests who just want a little taste of everything. With small plates, you can create more of a visual presentation with your food—adding small decorating details like garnish can make your appetizers or desserts look even more appealing.
  • Using mini baking pans are also a great way to make desserts for your holiday gathering. This can be a fun project to do with the kids before everyone arrives, and they let guests try multiple desserts without over indulging. 

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