Holiday Menu Smarts

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Planning the organic menu for your holiday gathering should be fun, not fretful. Make a smart party plan for one-stop shopping, and add a few delicious shortcuts to be the host of the season.


One of the secrets to a successful gathering is to make sure you enjoy your own party, says Food Network host Sandra Lee, best-selling author of Semi-Homemade Cooking. If you’re having a good time, so will your guests.

Add style without sacrificing flavor with some of Lee’s holiday secrets:

Kick Off the Party with Festive Food. Choose friendly foods. Bite-size appetizers are easy to enjoy and serve. You can pick up convenient, ready-made snacking platters: delicious shrimp, deli meats, cheese, vegetables and fruit. Order in advance, and display food on your own decorated dishes.

Keep the Party Moving. Serve in several different spots. This avoids traffic jams and helps guests move and mingle.

Plan for One-Stop Shopping. Instead of running from store to store, shop at one location that offers everything you need for entertaining: groceries, beverages and even gifts. Design your shopping list for moving around the store. You’ll feel less frazzled and save time, which means less stress and more time to enjoy holiday fun with family and friends.

Tune in tomorrow for two of Lee’s super-simple holiday recipes: Feta-Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms and Bacon-Wrapped Artichoke Hearts.

Photo courtesy of Wal-Mart

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