Consider rounding out a meal with a local favorite—perhaps a pie from a popular stand or some spreads from a great Middle Eastern grocer. While plated meals are well-suited for formal affairs, they require you to be “on” throughout the event.
With a serve-yourself set-up, though, a hostess can tackle most of the work before company arrives and just replenish as needed.
Free up time and valuable oven space by buying a few pre-made items (we won’t tell).
“Stress levels naturally run a bit higher when you’re having a party,” says Dawn Simmons, a cooking instructor in Dallas and author of Sifting through your pile of “recipes I must try one day” for something that will wow?
Unless you have a backup entrée (and why put that extra stress on yourself?
You want your soirée to be remembered for great food and good times—not sick guests.
Start with these bacteria-bashing pointers from the USDA: Nix cross-contamination by chopping veggies and slicing bread on a cutting board that’s separate from the one you use for raw meat, seafood or poultry.
The amount you need to make varies depending on your guests (adults-only or your teen’s ravenous football team?
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