Friday, December 17, 2010
Are you planning a party for Christmas? These great tips came from my Pillsbury® Holiday Cookbook.
Hosting a buffet is a wonderful way to entertain during the holidays. It doesn’t require a lot of dining space and tends to be more relaxed and casual than a sit-down dinner. A buffet also allows you to mix and mingle with your guests easily because you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Here are some tips for making your buffet a smashing success:
• There’s no rule that says a buffet has to be a whole meal; consider serving a variety of appetizers or desserts.
• Let the number of guests decide where you put your buffet table. More guests require more elbow room, so your best bet is to station the table in a spot where people can easily access both sides.
• Unless you plan to provide small sit-down tables for everyone, it’s best to stick with forks when it comes to flatware; knives are difficult to use when standing. The same applies to serving utensils: salad tongs are easier to handle with one hand than a salad fork and spoon.
• Choose foods that are easy to serve and that will stand up well over time. Slow cooker items are good choices, as are casseroles and tossed and molded salads. Include a few make-ahead dishes if you can.
• To keep traffic jams to a minimum, consider setting up separate buffets, one for savory items and another for sweets.
• The buffet table is the center of interest so you’ll want to decorate it with care. A linen tablecloth, festive placemats or runners and beautiful serving trays are just a few simple ways to dress up the table.
• For an easy, inexpensive centerpiece, fill a vase or two with small ornaments and tie or wrap with ribbon.