PARTY SEA­SON IS HERE AND IT’S A BRIL­LIANT TIME FOR FAM­ILY AND FRIENDS TO GET TO­GETHER. IF YOU ARE THE LUCKY HOST/ESS, DON’T MISS OUT ON ANY OF THE PARTY AC­TION BY HAV­ING A STRATE­GIC MEAL PLAN THAT KEEPS YOU OUT OF THE KITCHEN. HERE’S HOW…

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The fes­tive sea­son is well and truly upon us and with the warmer weather, it is the per­fect time friends. Be­cause I hate miss­ing out, the one thing I al­ways do when en­ter­tain­ing is to plan a menu that doesn’t re­quire me to spend a minute more than nec­es­sary in the kitchen once the guests have ar­rived.

SO HERE ARE A FEW OF MY IDEAS FOR EN­SUR­ING EN­TER­TAIN­ING IS EF­FORT­LESS AND EN­JOY­ABLE:

ahead. Know­ing what you need to cook and when is re­ally im­por­tant. Write your­self a list of the or­der you are go­ing to pre­pare food and times that things need to go in the oven. Set timers if you need them also. it as easy on your­self as pos­si­ble. re­quire loads of prep or cook­ing just be­fore serv­ing. meals, sides and sal­ads that you can pre­pare ahead. Plan a bar­be­cue so all you need to pre-pre­pare are sal­ads and sides. Slow-cooked any­thing is a great choice. Cur­ries, casseroles and bakes are also great be­cause you can make them the day be­fore and sim­ply re­heat de­vel­oped so they taste even bet­ter).

sides, sal­ads and dress­ings the morn­ing be­fore you en­ter­tain and sim­ply as­sem­ble and dress just be­fore serv­ing. So for me, that means I have dress­ings made and in jars ready to pour. Any chop­ping, toast­ing nuts or seeds, wash­ing leaves etc is all done in ad­vance.

al­ways needs to be fully pre­pared so you can sim­ply un­cover and serve. My take-home mes­sage is just don’t over com­pli­cate things. Plan ahead and prep as much as you can in ad­vance. It’s of­ten the sim­ple things in life that are the most de­li­cious!

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