Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fashionable Celebrations: Hosting Your First Holiday Party

Pick out an outfit, put on an apron and pour yourself a glass of wine!
Your House, USA If you are hosting a holiday dinner at your house this year, don't despair. Even if it is your first time, don't worry, these tips and a killer Easy Roast Turkey recipe will make the event a breeze!

Pick Out an Outfit
If it's a daytime event, wear a pretty dress or skirt with a blouse and ballet flats topped with a full apron while you are cooking. Your clothes will be fully covered but once dinner is served, take it off and make your entrance sans smock and in a pair of high heels. Wear a statement necklace or some pearls. BOOM!

Make your entrance without the apron but with some heels! Dress by designer Nora Gardner, NYC.

Simple Buffet Menu
The holiday super-stars are the turkey, stuffing, ham and candied yams. Don't go crazy trying to make too many dishes and don't be afraid to ask guests to bring one of their favorites if they'd like. Put everything out buffet style so they can help themselves. Do the same for desserts & wine. Need more inspiration? Google holiday entertaining menus online.

A simple salad and sandwich buffet can be put out for your guests while the main course is still cooking.
Make Dishes Ahead of Time
Another way to coast through your holiday party is to make your side dishes ahead of time and then refrigerate or freeze them. You can make your mashed potatoes, green beans, candied yams and pies days before. I use my Temp-Tations Oven to Table serving set because each piece has its own plastic lid. Bake, store and serve in the same dish! 

My apple pie with crisp, crumb topping. Temp-Tations in Old World Style Spice.
Easy Perfect Roast Turkey
Speaking of cooking, don't be afraid of roasting a turkey. Here are some very easy tips that will make you look like a gourmet chef the first time out:

Perfect Roast Turkey the EASY Way
Try these simple tricks to roast your best, juiciest holiday turkey ever!

1.) Skip the brine.  Most large turkeys are infused with a broth solution to make it extra juicy.

2.) Rub your turkey with a flavored butter, (chive is good), and roast breast side down at 425 degrees for the first hourTurn and continue cooking at 325 degrees breast side up.  Leave the turkey uncovered and baste every hour with butter to finish cooking.

3.) Use Bell's Seasoning in your stuffing which can also be made outside of the bird.  

4.) Try whole berry cranberry sauce instead of the jellied type.  Whole berries add extra texture & crunch.

5.) Make turkey gravy right in the roaster pan by adding a little white wine, water and flour. The Mauviel Copper Roaster is perfect for this purpose as it caramelizes the pan drippings and releases them for a delicious gravy.

Presentation is part of the allure of your Holiday Party. My Mauviel Copper Roasting Pan with wire rack.
Turkey Tetrazzini with Portabello Mushrooms & Sherry

Enjoy Yourself!
Be the star of your own party and with a little planning like this, you'll have time to mingle with your guests. I play the guitar and someone else plays the piano so we sing Christmas Carols and Auld Lang Syne for New Year's Eve!  Accept help for the clean up and offer "doggie bags" to your party go-ers to take home. Another sweet thing to do is to make up little goody bags of whatever you like and give them out at the end of the evening. GaveThat.com has some super tips on how to put them together HERE. Even if you don't get around to getting everyone there a Christmas present or sending a card, the dinner and the gift bags will be very much appreciated.

Don't forget to be the "star" of your own party! Make sure to welcome and entertain everyone.

Cookware c/o QVC and Mauviel, France respectively

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