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This week is special to our home-it’s official, my son and his wonderful girlfriend are now engaged!  Even though the wedding isn’t scheduled to be until the Spring of 2010, I’m sure we’ll be doing periodic celebrating!

Which brings me to this week’s topic:  Celebrating without killing yourself.

Due to my own personal health, I’ve learned some easy ways to entertain very nicely without having to spend a week in bed or on darvoset to recover.  Let me share some of them with you.  I’ll bet many of you have thought of them yourselves.  

First, know your crowd.  Not just the amount, but if there are any known allergans or complete dislikes.  See if there are any crossovers.  An example:  In our home, we have several people who have dairy allergies, several who constantly remind us that they will “absolutely puke” if they even smell cilantro and a few who need to keep the spices at bay.

What do I serve?  Even though I prefer cooking from scratch, I know my physical limitations, I tend to “cater” part of the meal from my friendly neighborhood Costco.  I believe I talked about this in one of my first columns-but to sum up:

Go early and by veggie and sandwich/high rollers trays.  If you prefer, buy the rotisserie chickens, hot wings and ribs.  Or buy several types of burgers (beef, turkey and salmon are always there) and some of the nicer buns or La Brea Bakery ciabatta rolls.  Costco has some very nice potato salad and mixes for broccoli slaw and chinese chicken salads.  DO NOT buy their fruit trays-I’ve done it a couple of times and the fruit is just not “up to par“.  Better to buy the flats of strawberries and whatever else looks really nice and serve those whole with some whipped cream or cool whip on the side.  If it’s a cake occasion, plan to order it a couple of days in advance or buy a grab & go.  Or, I’ve found that many people just really love the fruit and bakery cookies.  Buy and slice some of the banana bread and everyone thinks you‘re a genius.

Wednesday, let’s talk about how to personalize what you purchased!



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