FRESH Ideas for holiday entertaining

Published on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 22:55 - Written by CHRISTINE GARDNER food@tylerpaper.com

It’s the time of year for holiday parties and if you’re considering throwing a party there’s simple ways to dress up everyday food and keep the party budget low.

For serving, many stores carry small tasting dishes in either ceramic or plastic. They offer an assortment of tasting spoons, small bowls or plates in a variety of sizes. The plastic versions are disposable and can be found at craft and discount stores.

Even if you don’t want to spend the money on the tasting dishes several things you may already have in your pantry can be used. Shot glasses, table spoons, saucers, cocktail glasses, goblets or dessert cups can all be dressed up for individual service.

In the FRESH Ideas video, available at TylerPaper.com and cbs19.tv, some of the ideas I demonstrated included tomato soup in shot glasses, Caprese salad in tasting spoons, shrimp cocktail with produce department salsa in individual bowls and sweet potatoes with bacon-honey crumble piped into small geometric bowls.

The garnishes used on the platters and individual items add to the flavor and design of the appetizers. This is what gives the food a final professional touch. Some shavings of parmesan, basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic glaze or a sprinkling of spice is the perfect finish.

The ideas are endless and you can be as creative as the grocery aisle and your budget will allow.