Entertaining the for the Holidays

I love to entertain. Let me say that again, I LOVE to entertain! Something about having all the people I love in one place over food and drink, there is nothing better. If you are like me, your entertaining has improved tremendously over the years! Back in the day I thought a few bowls of chips and pretzels and few beverages were all a party needed. Boy, oh boy was I wrong. With the holidays fast approaching, (anyone else want to know where 2012 went?) I thought I’d share a few of my tips for hosting a successful holiday gathering:

1) Variety is key: This is my number one tip. Make sure you have a variety of food and beverages. I always like to have at least one non-alcoholic option, besides water, and depending on whether I am doing all appetizers or a sit down dinner, I like to have a few options. Something vegetarian, something gluten free, something fresh, something sweet.

2) Prepare as much ahead of time as possible:  Nothing is worse than feeling stressed, pressed for time and like you don’t have as much time to devote to getting yourself and your house ready right before your guests arrive. I always make as much as I can ahead of time, usually the day or 2 before hand, and freeze what I can until the day of.

3) Potlucks are the way to go!  Every year for my annual Christmas party I have an array of appetizers and sweets as well as a few beverages and then ask all my guests to contribute a dish to share as well. We end up with lots of delicious treats and no one goes hungry

4) Know your timing:  I have limited oven space, so I know that in order to make sure everything is cooked properly, and ready at the same time, I have to have my timing spaced out perfectly. This year, I’m asking for a new Breville Smart Oven, which will eliminate these worries! Until then, knowing what takes the longest and what doesn’t need to be piping hot when served helps me get meals on the table on time.

5) Have fun!  It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of throwing a holiday gathering, but I always make myself take a deep breath, put on my favorite Christmas album and remember that no matter what, I’ll be with the people I care about. And at the end of that day that is all that matter.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Breville.  The opinions and text are all mine.

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