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Tips for Entertaining

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 30, 2012

How do you entertain for a crowd? It’s best to be well organized and to do as much ahead of time as you can. Here are a few tips to get you started:

· Determine your guest list
· Decide upon a party theme
· Send invitations

On Memorial Day weekend, we had some writer friends over. Counting our family members, we had about 16 people total. I wrote the menu after we sent out email invitations.

MEMORIAL DAY MENU

Appetizers: Spinach Artichoke Dip, *Eggplant Appetizer, Lobster Spread, *Swedish Meatballs, *Stuffed Mushrooms, Cheese Cubes, Crackers, Chips

Buffet Dinner: Sliced turkey, corn beef, and turkey pastrami platter from TooJay’s, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, *Corn Barley Salad, Chicken Greek Pasta Salad, Tuna Salad, Sliced Rye and Challah Breads, Olives & Pickles, Veggie Platter

Desserts: Carrot Cake, Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Bars, *Wine Cake, Fruit Salad

Recipes for the starred items can be found on my Website.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Barley Corn Salad

Barley Corn Salad

Wine Cake

Wine Cake

· Choose your menu
· Make a grocery list
· Shop for non-perishables

A few days before the event,
· Take out your serving platters and utensils
· Label each serving dish with the intended item
· Set the table(s), including centerpieces, the day before
· Put out candles and do last minute cleaning
· Decide upon background music, if any

Food Labels

Labeling the Dishes for Easy Filling

Labeling the serving dishes saves time so I can spoon out the food quickly into predetermined platters and bowls. You also won’t have to go hunting at the last minute for those extra serving plates.

· Prepare foods the day before the event when possible. Otherwise, get an early start the event day so you’ll have plenty of time to rest up, shower, and get dressed.
· When guests arrive, offer them a drink and point out where they can get food. Introduce guests to each other. Then relax and enjoy yourself!

Writers

Allison Chase, Cynthia Thomason, Zelda Benjamin, Sharon Hartley (seated), Karen Kendall, Nancy Cohen, Lynn Byer

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4 Responses to “Tips for Entertaining”

  1. Now, I’m hungry, very hungry!

  2. My Mom used to entertain all the time. Me, never. It’s more who I’m with (my ex-husband didn’t like that) I think than anything else. But I loved going through your recipes. Thanks for sharing them.

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