Iron Clad Holiday Entertaining Tips

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On the morning of Thursday, October 5th, I had the opportunity present the Keynote Address at the Michigan Design Center’s premier launch of its @home Magazine in Troy, Michigan.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Michigan Design Center, located at 1700 Stutz Drive nestled amidst the sprawling Troy Motor Mall campus, is a state of the art collection of home décor from furnishings to fabrics, fixtures and art from all over the world and in most any style you could imagine.

A maze of hallways leads you through a menagerie of colors, style and ideas for your current home or perhaps for one you intend to build, all with vignettes, displays and objects to see, touch and experience in person.

My presentation that morning was one I’m often giving impromptu in my own home, when I throw parties of my own, and that is, “how and the heck do you pull this off Pete??”, (maybe it’s even more impressive to some because I’m single and there’s fewer hands to help).

But is it really THAT hard??  Actually it’s not that difficult with a little advanced planning AND with a strategy that makes it possible to start well in advance and have it all come together seamlessly at the end… without breaking a sweat.

Copies of the Michigan Design Center’s @home Magazine are at local news stands and of course, at Nino’s, but I’ll give you a sneak preview of a few of my time and money saving tips.

Tip # 1  Bland is boring… No one is likely to remember bland food. Don’t be afraid to use bold flavors and spices. Let your food make a statement!

Tip # 2  Pre-prepare as many dishes as you can in advance, and have things on pans, ready to pop into the oven when guests arrive so they can be cooking while you entertain. Don’t be afraid to use the microwave oven to re-heat sauces or side dishes you’ve freshly prepared earlier in the day.

Tip # 3  Go vertical.. Flat table displays are a bore. Create visual interest in your buffet composition by elevating platters and chafing dishes to varying heights. Also, use what you have to create interesting table decorations. Things like tree branches, colorful leaves and backyard flowers can really add interest to your display of foods.

Of course there are MANY more tips (17 in all) that are in the magazine article but safe to say, they’re all well worth considering the next time you entertain.

Have any tips YOU’VE found made your entertaining more enjoyable, more memorable, more fun? I’d love to hear from you.