5 TIPS FOR STRESS-FREE HOST­ING

Clean Eating - - RECIPES | PERFECT 10 HOLIDAY -

1. Write a menu and stick to it. Sev­eral weeks be­fore, plan the menu. Adding dishes later will only add stress, so stick to the plan, stay or­ga­nized and serve only what you can re­al­is­ti­cally han­dle mak­ing. Or­der any big items (like the tur­key) in ad­vance.

Keep it sim­ple. No need to add the whole spice drawer for a great meal. The key is to buy fresh, or­ganic in­gre­di­ents and splurge a lit­tle with sta­ples like olive oil, fresh herbs and flaky sea salt.

3. Write lists, lots of them. Look over your menu and write a shop­ping list. It may seem fas­tid­i­ous, but or­ga­niz­ing your list by depart­ment will en­sure you won’t zigzag all over the su­per­mar­ket. Write a chrono­log­i­cal list for all the do-ahead cook­ing tasks you can com­plete in the days lead­ing up to the party. Write a fi­nal big-day time­line so you can have ev­ery­thing ready in time, even when you’re dis­tracted with a house full of guests.

4. Work ahead. Each recipe here in­cludes do-ahead in­struc­tions, so you can break the cook­ing into sim­ple tasks done days in ad­vance. It’s also wise to prep your space the night be­fore – set the ta­ble, pre­pare serv­ing dishes and set up a bar area with glasses and a wine opener.

5. Del­e­gate and cheat. As­sign a fam­ily mem­ber to bring a dessert, ask a friend to bring one of the side dishes and del­e­gate a bar­tender to pour drinks. And you don’t have to make ev­ery­thing from scratch! An art­fully ar­ranged plat­ter of sliced pears, toasted nuts and one spe­cial cheese makes an el­e­gant ap­pe­tizer. Buy pre­cut veg­eta­bles from the pro­duce depart­ment to save time. In short, make it easy on your­self – it’s your holiday, too!

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