Lifestyle

Host a Stress-Free Dinner Party

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(NC) Even for the most sophisticated home chef, preparing for a dinner party is a major challenge. While fresh ingredients are the foundation of a great recipe, it may mean numerous trips to the market when you can least afford the time.

So how can you keep your stress level at a minimum without sacrificing the freshness of your meal? Celebrity chef, Lynn Crawford, tells us how:

Embrace the season: Take advantage of what the season has to offer. The autumn harvest produces some of the most delicious and rich vegetables of the year, so theme your menu accordingly. Not only will seasonal produce be the freshest and most readily available at the grocery store, it’s also the height of flavour and nutrition.

Let your menu be your guide: Whether you’re shopping at home by picking herbs from the garden or making a trip to the grocery store, be sure to cross reference your menu with your grocery list to avoid any last-minute ingredient runs.

Shop in advance: It is possible to shop early without compromising taste or texture of your fresh fixings. Today, you can get refrigerators that actually help keep your food fresher, longer. For example, retailers tell us that KitchenAid refrigerators with the Preserva food care system uses innovative technology to keep your fridge and freezer at optimal humidity and temperature level to extend and maximize the freshness of your food.

Do your prep work: Avoid creating a menu that requires everything to be prepared and served immediately. For example, choose a dessert recipe that can be made a day ahead. Individual components for salads can also be prepared in advance – simply toss together and dress immediately before serving.

It is possible to avoid pre-party stress and focus on what you love most – the cooking and the entertaining.

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