Country Sampler Special Edition

Just Breathe …and Follow These Tips

Make the meal go smoothly by preparing as much as you can ahead of time and rememberin­g that you don't have to hold an elaborate affair.

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W Forgo trying out complicate­d recipes. You don’t want to spend time hunting down hard-to-acquire ingredient­s or learning a new cooking technique.

W Prepare some foods ahead of time. Think of what can be done either a day or two before or what can be partially cooked beforehand and then finished off right before the start of the meal.

W Set the table the day before. This is an easy thing to do and one less task to worry about on the day of the dinner.

W Don’t feel you have to offer a multitude of dishes. You can prepare just a few appealing items, including a main dish, a couple sides and desserts, and guests will be satisfied.

W Use some convenienc­e foods. Nowadays, many ingredient­s come sliced, diced, washed and ready to go. Take advantage of this, but add a few mix-ins, unique toppers or delicious sauces to fancy them up. W Make it a family affair. Get the kids and relatives involved. It’s always fun to work together.

 ??  ?? ABOVE AND BELOW: Pull out the candlestic­ks and set the table with a treasured runner or tablecloth. Add a special accent at each plate, such as sprigs of rosemary and a bell.
ABOVE AND BELOW: Pull out the candlestic­ks and set the table with a treasured runner or tablecloth. Add a special accent at each plate, such as sprigs of rosemary and a bell.
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