Saving for the Season: Holiday Entertaining

November 18, 2008 6:21:40 AM PST
Entertaining expert Debi Lilly, of A Perfect Event in Chicago, helps you throw a holiday party without breaking your budget.Gearing up for holiday entertaining can be overwhelming so a helpful tip is to make a list and head to a warehouse retailer, like Sam's Club where you can find all of your needs from foods to wines and even gifts for everyone on your list to boot! It's the perfect one-stop shop/entertaining destination for anyone - especially on a budget.

Tis the season?we have to be ready to whip up a chic and stylish menu from now until after New Year's. And if your family is anything like mine, it's most often spur of the moment, and you need to rely on your gourmet go to sources for all foods fabulous. I love a party menu with interesting drinks and eclectic bite size offerings - it makes shopping and party prep easy yet elegant.

Skip the formal dinner and try a buffet with champagne bar (under $10)

For the holiday I love a champagne bar - you can feature a rose, a sparkling wine from Napa and a Prosecco (these are both around $10 from Sam's Club and Jewel). These are all inexpensive, and make tasting fun and interactive. Its always great to serve several options, so a few whites and reds (these are roughly $12-24) work well in addition. Last, its always important to have non alcoholic drinks as well, and this trio of sparkling juices from Trader Joe's is a great value.

Check out warehouse retailers for cheap and hearty appetizers ($10-12 for dozen)

My favorite menu this season includes a hearty buffet of heavy hors'douevres from Sam's Club: chicken quesadilla trumpets (so easy to heat, serve, and pop in your mouth), mini beef wellingtons (again, no silverware required), the fantastic Black Tie Gourmet Appetizers like crabcakes (I serve them with a dollup of horseradish cream ontop), mushroom turnovers, and cheese soufflés.

Cost - all roughly $10-12 for a dozen

Nix the traditional dessert and make your own Hot Chocolate Bar (Under $20)

And what menu is complete without something sweet for dessert? No one can resist an eye popping Hot Chocolate Bar - featuring a half dozen toppings to taste and enjoy. These containers are all from Pampered Chef, and can be used long past the holiday season. They pair perfectly with a dessert menu of decadent chocolate trufflets, profiteroles, and the party favorite: mint ice cream bonbons, again all from Sam's Club.

Cost - $7-10 each

Bon appétit!

Debi Lilly
Chief Eventeur

A Perfect Event

3050 N. Lincoln Ave

Chicago, IL 60657

T 773.244.9333

F 773.404.2112

aperfectevent.com


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