Are you hosting the big family gathering over the holidays? Or maybe you're doing New Year's Eve with friends at your place? I adore hosting, but I find it still brings a lot of stress and worry. I always second guess myself on how much food to make, what beverages to supply, what if I run out of wine?! What will I feed the kids? And, of course, with my poor housekeeping, there's always a worry that I might not get the place appropriately clean and tidy before the big day.
At the holidays there's even a bit more pressure, as we have to think about decorating, and maintaining family traditions. There are certain dishes in any family that must be on the table for the big celebrations, for instance. Or do they? The pressure is there, but it's your party, so it's really up to you, isn't it? You get to make the decisions on theme, menu, decor, etc., and on how fancy or laid back the event will be.
Metro has created a holiday themed microsite, with ideas and product suggestions for your holiday entertaining. There are tips for taking shortcuts on some holiday favourites, and new recipes for you to try as well. Take some time and check them out!
There's also a must-read article on the site, 10 Tips for Being a Great Host. A couple of tips in particular stand out for me.
Tip #2 is Plan A Simple Menu, which I think is critical if you are cooking for a crowd. As they say, this is not the time to try out a brand new fancy recipe. You want to at least make the main part of your meal something you can pull together with ease, because you've done it so many times before.
I think the simple menu idea goes well with Tip #6 Stay On Budget. One of their suggestions is to opt for store brands whenever possible. At Metro you can pick up excellent sides, appetizers and desserts under their Irresistibles brand. Grab frozen appies and all you have to do is pop them in the oven just before your company arrives! Or try the Irresistibles Black Tiger Cooked Shrimp. When you eliminate the prep time for a course or two, you eliminate stress as well, and allow yourself more time to enjoy the company of your guests.
Wondering how to make the perfect pastry or roast? This embedded video will show one of four rotating options, so have a look, and then check back later to get a different show :)
Disclosure: This post has been brought to you by Metro Richelieu Inc. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.