PLAN AHEAD, FOOD-WISE
It’s been said once, and likely should be said again and again after, but planning ahead in this season can really save your party when you’re up against the clock. Smaller parties require less preparation in terms of food, but don’t worry if you’ve got a large party to cook for. Buy antipasti like olives and roasted bell peppers, and serve them with fruit and nuts. Cheese boards also make for fantastic starters over cocktails and drinks. Otherwise, buy crackers and top with slices of smoked salmon and a sprig of fresh dill, and serve with honey mustard.
Where main courses are concerned, you’ll want to marinate your roasts earlier, or opt to serve stews which you can make ahead, freeze, and then reheat on the night of your party. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Get the entire family in the kitchen and work on preparing together. You’ll be able to spend time with your loved ones, and have fun at the same time. And if you want to save on time, remember that carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, grains, quinoa, and couscous among others, are easy to prepare and wonderfully filling.
Make your desserts a day ahead; bake cakes and store, covered in cling, in the fridge, or serve ice-cream straight out of the freezer! At the end of the day, what’s truly important to remember is this: you don’t have to do everything yourself. Your guests will be happy for your company, whether or not you make everything from scratch. If need be, let the lovely cake shops contribute to your seasonal spread! Don’t stress yourself out. A happy cook is a happy host, and a happy host is a happy guest.