Top 5 Tips to Make Entertaining Less Stressful
The entertaining season is just around the corner! The pressure of hosting soirees and entertaining family, friends and everyone in between can take a toll on even the most self-confident host. This fall, Americans with a case of entertaining anxiety can rest easy and take advantage of five expert tips for spicing up their kitchens while creating the best parties of the season.
1. Theme It Up!
No need to be a professional caterer to be creative! Just think of a theme, any theme, for future gatherings. It will help keep everything from food to mood very focused… a wine tasting, a Spanish fiesta, a southern BBQ, a Cajun crab boil, an Italian pasta feast, a mid-afternoon gourmet coffee party. Every gathering should have a beginning, middle and end – a theme will help – and the end should be memorable! Try providing a little “show;” whipping up gourmet café style Pumpkin Spice Lattes for guests using the new Mr. Coffee® Milk Frother (MSRP: $49.99). Here’s how: With frothing disk in place, add 2/3 cup cold 2% milk to pitcher; cover with lid. Press On/Off to start the Latte cycle. Prepare 1 espresso in a mug; stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Stir in hot milk. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 1 serving.
2. Cook Smarter.
Entertaining is for spending time with, and enjoying, friends and family, yet consumers often complicate the process by preparing meals that require far too much kitchen time. Get out of the kitchen and spend time with your guests using multi-tasking tools like the Oster® Roaster with High-Dome Lid (MSRP: $29.99). It roasts, bakes and slow cooks meals in one versatile vessel, accommodating up to a 24-pound turkey! A “keep warm” setting is perfect for entertaining, and with its expansive 18-quart base size and high dome lid, it can double as a second oven or replace the oven altogether, using 36 percent less energy! Clean up is also a snap with its removable enamel-on-steel roasting pan.
3. Hire (or Invest in) Good Help.
Keep the drinks flowing! It’s critical to the success of any party, but it’s a demanding job. If hiring a bartender is out of the question, invest in the next best thing – an automatic bartender like theMargaritaville® Key West™ Frozen Concoction Maker® (MSRP: $299.99). This party starter features an oversized ice reservoir – enough to make three pitchers full of frozen drink perfection. Choose from the automatic “shave & blend” cycle or bump up the customization using the manual shave or blend toggle. Designed for the contemporary kitchen with an inspired metallic body and polished finish, this 450-watt masterpiece also features a drink selector for creating one, two or three perfectly proportioned 12-oz drinks. Also included is a premium shatterproof, 36-oz blending jar with new easy pour lid.
Keep Things Neat & Tidy.
After all the planning, prep work and cooking, make sure the food presentation is inviting! Guests will remember the food, ambience and company. Be more creative when displaying and serving foods at parties. With items from Crock-Pot® Brand you can cook and serve foods from a single unit to make your presentation clean and savory. The brand’s new Crock-Pot® 6-Qt Lift & Serve Hinged-Lid Slow Cooker (MSRP: $39.50) promises to keep things neat at the buffet table with its hinged lid that props open for easy serving. No more messy lids dripping all over the place! Plus, the removable oval stoneware is dishwasher-safe, as is the lid which detaches for easy cleaning. Recipes included.
4. Never Show Up Empty Handed.
When someone else is hosting, you should never show up empty handed! Whether its potluck or not, bring one of your trademark dishes as a “thank you” for the host and for guests to enjoy. An appetizer, side dish or dessert are perfect and Crock-Pot® Brand has the ideal items to simplify feasts on-the-go. The new Crock-Pot® 6-Qt Single-Hand Cook & Carry™ Slow Cooker (MSRP: $69.50) can be easily grasped with a single hand, leaving the other hand free, and its secure-fit locking lid system promises no spills or messes along the way. Programmable settings, from 30 minutes to 20 hours, make prep a snap, and the auto shift to warm and heat shield are ideal for keeping food at the optimum temperature. Its stylish stainless steel finish looks first class in any setting, and clean-up is easy with its dishwasher safe stoneware and lid.