Party planning experts Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali are here today to share their tips for Holiday Parties and what’s in Holiday Entertaining 2011. How to decorate, what to cook – what NOT to cook – and how to shop! It’s all here.
Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali are entertaining experts, authors of Plan To Party, and the founders of The Party Bluprints Blog. They have appeared as featured experts on tv, radio, and in national publications, namely, the Today Show, Martha Stewart Radio, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazines.
The Party Bluprint approach to party planning, cooking as well as gifting is simple: keep it easy but elegant, and save money and time where you can.
This Holiday season Dawn and Elizabeth teamed up with CheapSally.com to find the best deals on Holiday gifts and they are judges in the Holiday Giftee Awards by Gifts.com. You can find their gift recommendations in the Best Holiday Gift Ideas for 2011 at Party Bluprints Blog and then click to CheapSally.com to find the gifts from the gift guide on the lowest prices. Many deals sell out quickly so you need to locate and act on the information fast. You will save time and money by visiting CheapSally.com’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday pages, they aggregate all the best deals across the internet for you, offering a one-stop resource for saving.
But read these Holiday Entertaining tips from Dawn and Elizabeth before your Black Friday shopping spree – you will know what to shop your holiday parties in mind!
Top Tips and Trends for Holiday Parties 2011
1. Meals like casseroles are great for holiday parties and can be made ahead, and served in one dish. That means fewer pots to clean and you won’t need to cook during the party. Save money by creating more decadent looking dessert cupcakes with a nonstick mini cupcake maker you’ll find on sale on Black Friday.
2. One less thing to do on the day of the party means more time for you. Set your table and bar area the day before your party. Let your guests make their own hot drinks by using a single serve coffee maker, like Keurig, in the bar area.
3. Skip the dinner entirely and focus on desserts to save money and to lighten your work load. Cocktail and Dessert parties are the NEW way to entertain and dessert flights are the trendiest thing to serve at holiday parties this year.
4. French food is hot and fun to feature at dessert parties. Try: macaroon towers, French 75 cocktails, mini dessert pastries and crème brulee.
5. When you put a value on your time, you will discover it can be cheaper to buy certain items for your menu. Here are some items to consider buying rather than making from scratch: bread, pies, rice balls, and fancy desserts.
6. Serve a cocktail punch instead of making each guest an individual cocktail. Punch gets you out from behind the bar and allows you to toast the holidays with your guests.
7. Buy simple white plates that match with any decorating theme, they come cheaper in the long run than paper plates and are much more elegant.
8. Graciously accept guests’ offer to help, this makes many people feel good. Invite them to bring a side dish or dessert or help serve or clear dishes. Enlist the help of teens at the party to watch the little ones for a while so you can join in conversation and eat a hot meal! And don’t forget the entertainment for the kids, like setting up a Wii party with the new Just Dance 3 game.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post, but I approve the tips”