N1605P27001CKENTUCKY (5/12/17) — Hosting friends or family is one of the little pleasures in life. Socializing enables people to remain close, talk away stressors and have some fun.

Entertaining frequently involves sharing food or drink. For those who shy away from routinely inviting others over because of anxiety over meal preparation, these tips for easier entertaining can remove many barriers.

1. Quickly chill drinks. Unexpected guests may require chilling beverages down quickly. Wet some paper towels and wrap them around beverage bottles before placing in the freezer. In roughly 15 minutes, the bottle will be almost cold. Cool down many beverages at once by mixing water and salt with ice to form an ice bath in the sink or a beverage cooler.

2. Chill wine effectively and quickly. On a similar note, if wine is the beverage of choice, always keep grapes frozen in a bag in the freezer. Put a few grapes in a wine glass before pouring, and the wine will be chilled without becoming watered down by ice.

3. Heat up foods. Preparing meals in advance is a real time-saver. However, it may take a while for dense foods to reheat so they can be served. Space out a circle in the middle of the food so that it will heat up more quickly.

4. Get creative with serving dishes. Muffin tins can be put to use in different ways as handy serving dishes. Use them to keep several filled beverages upright and manageable when serving guests. Or try a tin for condiments at a barbecue. Place pickles, relish, ketchup, mustard, and onions in each section for easy burger fixings.

5. Keep dental floss handy. Unscented/unflavored dental floss can clean teeth and be used to easily cut cakes, pastries and other soft foods.

6. Save plastic bottle tops. Cut the tops off of plastic bottles and use them to seal plastic bags. Insert the bag through the bottom, fold over the top, and screw on the cap. Easily dispense dessert toppings, rice, chocolate chips, and more.

7. Make fast snacks. Grilled cheese is not only a delicious comfort food that can be transformed into gourmet fare depending on the cheese used, but it's also a relatively easy appetizer to make. Bake grilled cheese between two baking sheets in the oven. The bread will turn out crispy, the cheese perfectly melted, and you can make several at the same time. Cut into bite-sized pieces and serve.

8. Serve breakfast without breaking a sweat. Treat overnight guests to a hearty breakfast without breaking a sweat in the morning. Put pancake batter in a squeeze bottle (like a well-rinsed ketchup container) and use it to easily pour batter onto the griddle. Experiment with shapes if you want something even more special.

9. Freshly squeeze juice. Use a sturdy pair of tongs to squeeze all of the juice out of lemons, limes and oranges for fresh juice or lemonade.

SurfKY News
Source: metrocreativeconnection.com

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