A frazzled Mom's view on the latest news, views, product reviews, and the occasional giveaways.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Think QuicK Time & Money $avers! Easy Entertaining Ideas On The Cheap
No Tricks, Just Treats
Put your loads of leftover Halloween candy to work. Melt those leftover chocolate bars in a saucepan and you can dip strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels, (you name it) for a fun and super cheap fondue dessert night or tasty treat that puts a chocolate-y spin on those same old lunch box snacks.
When Life Hands You Lemons
Next time you have leftover lemons or limes from a party, squeeze the juice into an ice cube tray. Then, when a recipe calls for fresh lemon or lime juice, you'll be all set. These also come in handy to add an antioxidant zing to chilled water, seltzer, tea and cola.
To remove the last of the wax from votive candle holders, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes. The wax will shrink and pop right out, no mess, no fuss!
The Early Shopper Gets the Bird
Try to do your Thanksgiving meal shopping in the early morning or late evening at least one week prior to the holiday. Stores get more crowded as the holiday grows near, and you might find your favorite brand of bread crumbs have sold out. This especially is true on the busiest shopping days of the month, usually the first of the month and the 15th of the month. Most enlisted Military folks get paid on these days and Social Security recipients also receive their benefits on or around the first of every month as well.
Keep the Club Close
Keep club soda on hand to help pre treat any stains that might occur during holiday dinners.
When picking out the food and/or recipes to serve at a party, consider the cost of the recipe ingredients. You may be able to pick different—but still tasty—recipes that will be a little more kind to your pocketbook.
Enjoy a Night In
Instead of going out, plan a cozy night in with your sweetie. Fondue makes a romantic appetizer for two. Curl up on the couch after dinner with a good movie. You'll save money and enjoy more quality time together. Plus, you can enjoy a stress free glass of vino or two without worrying about a designated driver.
Food Allergy Advice
Planning a party can be tricky if a guest has a food allergy. Avoid problems by communicating to find out the specifics, and by using designated cookware and utensils to avoid cross contamination when preparing your dishes. And don't be offended if a guest asks to see labels or avoids foods altogether—she is just trying to stay safe.
Quick Clean for Guests
Last-minute guests on their way over? Don't worry—not everyone maintains a perfectly put-together living room at all times. Grab an empty laundry basket, fill it with any clutter, and store it in an unused room. Then dim the lights and light a few candles to transform your room from cozy-but-cluttered to company-ready.
Hosting a dinner party with kids in attendance? Keep them from getting bored at the kids'-table by covering their table with white drawing paper and providing a big box of crayons as the centerpiece. Once everyone is finished eating and the adults are chatting, the kids can entertain themselves by decorating their table.
Settle the Spice
Serving dishes with a little kick to them? Have some easy ways on hand for guests to calm the spice sensation. Milk, yogurt, and bread are great to help cool a peppered palette.
Save the Wine
Have some leftover wine after hosting a party? Try freezing it to use in marinades or sauces for future dishes.
Sensational Salad in a Snap
Restaurant-style salad—think gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds—is easy to come by these days. Just look in the produce aisle near the bagged lettuce for pre-packaged salad kits. Guests appreciate the extra touch, and it's less work than a simple vegetable salad.