Hosting a holiday dinner doesn’t need to be stressful

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Entertaining, Holidays | November 6, 2017 | By

Dinners with family have been our company’s focus for 15 years now; however, entertaining was a focus for our company’s founder for many years before 2002, during Stephanie Allen’s pre-Dream Dinners life as a caterer. Even today, Stephanie is the “the hostess with the mostest.” She invites groups to enjoy at her home and before people know it, there is a spread of food that could feed an army. 

The mystery is that you never see her leave the gathering. She spends so little time in the kitchen and so much time with her guests, you have to ask yourself where she hides the elves. Surely, she has a merry band of chefs working with her behind the scenes. No, she doesn’t. She’s Stephanie. She’s learned through the years that it’s absolutely possible to focus on her guests because she’s taken the time before her gathering to prep and pre-cook what she can.

She once wrote that guests can pick up on a host’s mood quickly. If a host is stressed, the guests can’t really relax. Stephanie exudes a sense of relaxation that can only be emulated by pages in a lifestyle mag, where everyone is smiling and every plate and glass is filled: Cheers! Always laughing and with an ear to listen to the many stories, Stephanie quietly goes about the final touches. She is eating with her guests, laughing around a fire pit and cracking crabs at the beach because she’s taken steps ahead of time to make sure she’s not stressing and is focused on her guests.

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Bruschetta Chicken Skewers

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From weeknight dinner to holiday appetizer in a flash.

We’ve learned a few tricks to turn Dream Dinners into dream appetizers during the busy holiday season. Founder Stephanie Allen loves to entertain, so she is always looking for fun ways to remix our recipes into appetizers when the holidays roll around.

One recipe on our November menu is Grilled Bruschetta Chicken Skewers. The skewers are perfect for dinner over rice, but when guests come knocking at the door, you can easily create a tasty appetizer when you bake the chicken, cut it, then place them on garlic crostini instead. Drizzle the chicken-topped crostini with the sauce.

Here are our instructions for this quick dinner, which of course, can be served as an appetizer, as well.

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Appetizer – Coconut Shrimp Skewers with Tropical Chili Sauce

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Simply delicious, tender shrimp coated with a sweet coconut crust served a Tropical Chili sauce.

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Appetizer – Pacific Rim Glazed Steak Bites

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These steak bites come from aged sirloin marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame and green onions. Served on top of a gorgeous salt and pepper wonton.

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Appetizer – Sausalito Chicken Flatbread Triangles

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These whole wheat flatbreads are topped with thinly sliced seasoned chicken, creamy Florentine sauce and our special cheese blend.

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Appetizer – Southwest Chicken with Ancho Hummus and Pita

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All-natural chicken breasts seasoned with an aromatic blend of Southwest spices kick up the flavor on this quick and easy appetizer served with our smoky Ancho Hummus and pita.

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4th of July Entertaining

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It’s officially last minute.

4th of July is less than a week away and if you’re planning to attend an Independence Day event, showing up empty handed is usually not an option— this is a great weekend to bring your Dream Dinners along.

June’s menu has some great backyard BBQ recipes including:

We also recommend taking a classic dinner and remixing into an inspired single-serving and shareable appetizer.

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Holiday Cookie Remix

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We’ve already shared a great way to make homemade ice cream sandwiches for your holiday shindig, now it’s time to add a little extra flare to your holiday platter using these simple cookie remix ideas. 

It doesn’t take much to bake up something special for your friends and family, here a few ideas:

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Appetizer — Sesame Glazed Meatballs

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Holidays can be stressful, don’t let the need to entertain push you over the edge this year. Try something new by using your Dream Dinners Sesame Glazed Meatballs with Jasmine Rice to create the perfect entertaining appetizer.

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Appetizer — Herb Crusted Flank Steak

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Attending a party?

Required to bring an appetizer?

Leave the stress of planning, shopping and prepping behind and use our Dream Dinners favorite, Herb Crusted Flank Steak to create a delicious dish in half the time. 

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