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Every year I explain my position on entertaining like this:  I rarely "do" parties-and when I do I make it easy on myself and others.

It's not that I'm opposed to using my cooking skills to fill the belly of others-it's just that I don't have the budget, the house size and the husband who has the patience for it.

My husband is a saint, but he has never liked crowds.  At least all the prep work before the party.  For him it's torture.  He hates the cleaning, the prep work, the anticipation of what guests can do to the house, etc...

What can I say-this is the man who won't let us use the new hall bath because he "doesn't want anything to happen to it" and (I swear this is true) didn't want us to use a new trash compactor because it might get dirty.

He's not insane; he just hates what can happen to the old homestead if humans come into his domain.  

With that said, when we do entertain, I make it as easy as I possibly can.  I make the menu with "light work" in mind.  I cater ala Costco, make recipes that do not need me to babysit them (i.e., stir the sauce, circulate the sheet pans), I chose paper and disposable plastic over stoneware and china.  

As Sandra Lee is an expert at fancy tables capes and semi homemade, I am the queen of easy and budget friendly entertaining.  And I will let you in on my secrets this month.

I've already told you the 2 biggies-come back Friday for what you can do for a fun and fabulous brunch!

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