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Holiday Entertaining Made Easy

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - It’s that time of the year again when everyone’s schedule is a little more hectic than usual - from home entertaining and holiday parties to family gatherings and school performances - finding the time to plan a dinner party has become more and more difficult.

With so much going on, holiday entertaining requires careful planning to ensure that the smallest detail is not overlooked. Paramount to any party is the food! Nowadays, people are turning to recipes and dishes that are quick and easy to prepare, with the holidays being no exception. The following tips were designed to help you better organize your time so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labour!

  1. Choose your menu ahead of time. Make a grocery list, check it well and include such items as napkins, candles, and flowers to cut down on last minute trips to the store.

  2. Do your grocery shopping at off peak hours - Early in the morning or late in the evening are best to avoid long line-ups.

  3. When pan frying, take a trick from professional chefs: sear meat, fish or poultry in a small amount of Imperial Culinesse, a creamy vegetable oil, over high or medium-high heat to brown and seal in the juices. Finish cooking in a pre-heated oven - this will enable you to enjoy a little more time with your guests.

  4. For novice cooks, prepare a dish you have made before so you’ll be more relaxed and able to enjoy the party as much as your guests.

  5. Preparing dishes ahead of time is also a great time-saver. Trim and cut vegetables ahead of time, then cook in boiling salted water until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop further cooking. Drain well and refrigerate until ready to prepare. When ready to serve, heat a creamy vegetable oil such as Imperial Culinesse in a skillet over medium-high heat, add vegetables and cook and stir until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.

  6. And most of all, remember to smile, relax, and have fun!

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