Hostess With The Mostess

For many people, the mere thought of entertaining friends and family induces instant anxiety, sweats and sleepless nights. For others, it provides pure excitement and delight. No matter which type of person you are, pulling off a flawless meal or event does not come without precise planning and a little practice.

Tomorrow night I’m hosting Wine Club, and with the girls coming over right after work, I need almost everything to be prepped beforehand. I know from experience that running around like a maniac, until the second before guests arrive, or staying up until the wee hours of the night to finish everything is no fun at all. Since the holidays are upon us and ‘tis the season to entertain, here are a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way to help you be the Hostess with the Mostess, while having fun and remaining stress-free.

1. Plan the menu well in advance: Select as many dishes as you can that can be made at least 1-2 days before the event. Choose recipes that you’ve tried before and that you feel confident making.
2. Utilize the freezer. If you know a dish freezes well, make it a week before and pull it out with enough time to thaw/bake.
3. Set the table in advance; designate serving pieces.
4. Begin the gathering with an empty dishwasher. This helps quickly eliminate dishes/clutter as utensils and other items are used.
5. If all else fails, keep the number for the local pizza delivery on hand!

Last night I purchased the remaining items that I needed for tomorrow, and prepped two of the things I’ll be serving. I’m already feeling relaxed and organized and ready for some fun!

I made these Honey-Glazed Almonds as a delicious treat to set on the table. After sampling these, I can already tell they are going to become a staple in my house.

Honey-Glazed Almonds

Source: Cooking Light

What You Need

  • 1½ cups raw, unblanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

What To Do

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the almonds in a medium nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted, shaking pan frequently.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a microwave safe container. Microwave on high for 30 seconds.
  4. Add honey mixture to pan, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Arrange almond mixture on prepared baking sheet in a single layer; let stand 10 minutes. Break apart any clusters.

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