Tips for Entertaining
Keep it simple. Stay calm. Whether you're having a
few friends over or hosting a sizeable holiday
brunch for family, our tips are geared to make your
life easier. Rules of thumb for most occasions: An
uncomplicated affair is always best. Prepare food
ahead of time (and don't serve anything that hasn't
been first tested at home) and order prepared dishes
whenever necessary. The less time you spend in the
kitchen during your gathering, the better. Just
remember to breathe!!! THE BUFFET:
Excellent for large gatherings, especially if
seating at the table is limited.
Select fare for variety and color. Brighten the
buffet table with colorful in-season fruits and
vegetables. In cooler months, consider cranberries,
persimmons, pomegranates, pears, winter squash,
kumquats; during the spring and summer, think about
artichokes, chiles, papaya and strawberries.
Make sure you have plenty of food; keep backup
portions on hand to replenish the buffet. If you are
offering catered dishes, make sure you order enough
(guests often take larger portions at catered
Label any hard-to-identify food with tent cards.
Avoid serving food that requires a knife...finger
food and dishes to be eaten with a fork are ideal.
THE PERFECT BRUNCH:
After breakfast and before lunch...keep fare light
Visit the bakery for an assortment of muffins,
sticky buns, scones, bagels (don't forget the lox
and cream cheese) and tea breads. And offer lots of
choices when it comes to the flourishes: jams,
jellies and honey. Select the freshest in-season
fruit (a melon and prosciutto combination is always
Serve quiches, frittatas and vegetable tarts that
may be prepared ahead of time. we'd suggest these
quiches: tomato and goat cheese, ham and cheese, and
Stock up on fresh-squeezed juice. Offer both regular
and decaffeinated coffee.
A SIT-DOWN LUNCH
This type of lunch may be casual or formal—it easily
adapts to suit your needs.
For the casual affair, serve no more than three
courses: appetizer, main course and refreshing
dessert. Soups are always excellent (hot or cold,
depending on the season), dressed-up sandwiches, and
clever salads (pasta, rice or mixed greens). Light
wines are perfectly suited to lunchtime meals.
Offer coffee with a favorite dessert from the bakery
or better still...make your own!
For special holidays, you may serve a full
multi-course dinner menu.
THE DINNER PARTY
What fun! traditional or adventurous...you decide
(this of course will be dictated by your guest
Do a little research. Be sure to ask guests ahead of
time if they prefer vegetarian offerings or adhere
to any dietary restrictions.
Don't daunt guests with too much food. Plan on
enough courses but not so many that guests will feel
overwhelmed. Offer variety but keep the progression
of dishes well-balanced. Consider colors, textures
and flavors of each dish and how all the dishes fit
In warm weather, serve cool, light and refreshing
fare. When it's cold, think hearty. Always shop in
Finish the meal with a wonderful dessert—one of your
own making or that of a pastry chef—or fabulous
chocolate. Serve coffee.