10 Tips for Relaxing and Enjoying your Guests

When I host gatherings, my friends and family often say, “You’re so relaxed; how do you do it?” I didn’t know I was relaxed, but, I guess I am! Through years of practice, both at home and in the catering business, I’ve found a rhythm that works best for me.

family gathering and entertainingMy style is informal entertaining. Whether we’re in the yard serving a buffet or at the table eating family-style, my aim is to focus on our guests. I want to enjoy our company instead of fussing over something I could have done earlier.

Guests will pick up on our mood and quickly notice if we’re stressed or relaxed. Our emotions set the tone for everyone else. Relaxed entertaining has everything to do with: Continue reading

Outdoor Cooking Tips

No matter the season, more and more of us are cooking outdoors. During the warm summer months outdoor cooking and dining are even more popular. Here are some steps you can take to stay healthy and reduce your risk of illness during the summer months.

When meat and other protein foods are cooked at high temperatures, chemical compounds can form that are believed to increase risk of some types of cancer. To decrease formation of these compounds use a lower flame on your grill, trim away fat on meats to avoid flare-ups and marinate meat prior to cooking. Continue reading

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Bread

September is National Chicken Month and luckily our menu hosts a variety of chicken dishes for you to serve up. For chicken dishes the whole family will enjoy, order these family favorites:

Crispy French Onion Chicken makes the perfect kid-friendly finger food if you slice the chicken into strips before coating and baking.

Try our new Fully Loaded Chicken and Potato Soup with Breadsticks. It is warm and hearty for those first days of fall. Continue reading

Get your Family Prepared for Back to School!

Back to schoolHeading back to school involves more than just buying new pencils and shoes. This August, get your whole family prepared for the demands of the new school year.

–  Reading throughout the summer keeps children’s minds sharp even when they’re not in school. Make a weekly trip to the library to get your kids excited about reading. Check out this article from Parenting for the best books to read with your kids.

–  Get into a school routine at least two weeks before the first day back. Follow these tips for readjusting your child’s sleep schedule before school begins. Help your kids establish a homework routine during the summer by setting aside time each afternoon for reading, working on an activity book, or any other brain-sharpening activity. Continue reading

One Pan Wonders in Your Baking Dish

Ever wanted to serve your Dream Dinners pan meal in something prettier than the foil pan you made it in? It can be easy to do if you follow these steps.

  • Spray your rectangular baking pan
  • Peel the foil pan away from the frozen dinner.
  • Insert the dinner right into your baking dish.
  • Bake as directed.
  • Serve beautifully!

Continue reading

What to do when you have too many things on your plate

Don’t know where to start?

One way to reduce the stress and anxiety produced by an overcrowded schedule is to complete things systematically before you start new projects.

Review your calendar for the week, the day or even the hour. Then pick one item you need to get done or one decision that you can make in five minutes or less. Make a phone call? Send an e-mail? Decide what to have for lunch? Go for a walk?

Once you’ve finished it, cross that item off and say out loud: Done! No matter how small the task, give yourself credit for completing it. As your list shrinks, your sense of control and competence grows. One success sets you up for another.

Source: Recharge in Minutes, by Suzanne Zoglio, PhD, TowerHill Press