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Article: Secrets to Entertaining on a Shoestring #mmm

With Mardi Gras and Easter coming up, we start looking away to SPRING into the year with hosting parties.

Being on a budget around the household or just trying to save money is always on the forefront of our mind.

 offers great tips to help us out!

Secrets to Entertaining on a Shoestring

Expert Author Christine Szalay Kudra

Parties can still be great successes even if you do not have a big budget. You do not need fancy silver serving trays or crystal goblets. Even the simplest fare will look delectable when you present it nicely. You do not need fancy dishes to make your food look great.

You do not need fancy trays to make your food look good, but you do need to pay attention to how you present your food. You can make a simple piece of cardboard into a beautiful backdrop for food by covering it with aluminum foil and a couple paper doilies. Be sure to put the shiny side of the foil down so the duller side shows. It makes it look more like pewter. Arrange your food on the doilies so the lacy parts show towards your guests.

When you serve sandwiches, you may want to make a sandwich board. This easy serving piece is made from a 1 x 4 lumber scrap. Make it somewhere between three and six feet long so it fits your table and the amount of sandwiches you want to serve. Clean the wood well with a mild detergent and let it dry completely. Cover the board in waxed paper. Secure paper doilies onto it before adding your sandwiches.

The easiest way to make sandwiches is to use those long loaves of Italian or French bread. Add a spread and top it off with lettuce, tomato, and cold cuts. Other ingredients you may want to consider include onion, cucumber, or avocado. Drizzle a simple oil and vinegar dressing on top of your sandwich filling to give it a gourmet taste. Place decorative toothpicks in the sandwich every inch or so to keep the sandwich together. Slice into 1 inch wide pieces and serve.

You can find some amazing baskets at the craft store. Line them with a pretty towel and fill them with rolls, pastries, cookies or other baked good. If the items need condiments, serve the butter, jam or cream cheese on small plates set around the basket within easy reach.

Crackers have gotten very expensive to buy. One way to get a crunchy appetizer without the cost is to make toast points. Toast your favorite bread then cut them on the diagonal. Cut each piece diagonally again. This gives you four pieces for each slice of bread. Serve them with spreads or toppings like cream cheese and olives, or a spoonful of chopped tomatoes and basil.

Add this cold appetizer recipe along with any others you may like to your recipe file. You will be amazed at how simply you can throw a party your friends will rave about. Presentation is the key to making even the simplest appetizers look scrumptious.

Do not forget to serve enough beverages. You can simply serve coffee or tea or you can make fruit punch or lemonade. If you are really keeping it simple, offer soda. Match up paper cups with napkins and your party will be all set for your guests. Parties should be enjoyed, not stressful.

Cold appetizer recipes make a nice change of pace from ordinary appetizers and will fill out your party meal perfectly. Many people like to put out summer appetizer recipes when everyone gathers for the big meal. These can be as simple as a blue cheese dip to more elaborate seasonal favorites. You Make the Appetizers, We Help You Make Them Delicious.

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