I like to receive. In fact, I love these times spent at the table where I can secretly observe my daughter giving her carrots to my grandfather or listening to my aunts tell old stories of their childhoods. The sound of the glasses filling, the shared dishes, the milk moustaches, pure happiness around the table. To take full advantage, I rely on simplicity and organization.
Plan and delegate to avoid exhaustion
First of all, set your menu. Determine if you plan to make appetizers, starters or soup in addition to the main course, side dishes and dessert. Also, think about your budget and the time you have. Do your shopping in advance, according to the specials in the flyers. When the day comes, you will not run like a chicken with no head! Ha!
Do not hesitate to ask for help and make a potluck if you receive a large group. You can take care of the main meal and the decor, but you will not be a lesser hostess if you have delegated dessert to your mother-in-law or the beet salad to Aunt Chantale.
Save time by washing and cutting your vegetables in advance, depending on your recipes. Make your salad dressings and some sauces in advance. This vinaigrette can be prepared up to 2 weeks in advance and is delicious.
If you are making soup, consider using a slow cooker. You will not have to watch it, you can keep it for a few days in the fridge and only have to warm it up when the day comes.
Remember to reserve your bread, desserts, and meats, at local merchants.
Opt for vegetables that require little preparation. Rather than making mashed potatoes why not make roasted potato bells? We wash, we cut in half, we season, we mix with olive oil, herbs and hop! baked in a dish that will go directly to the table to reduce the dishes. To maximize your time, also put whole garlic heads to get, effortlessly, candied garlic to spread on a crouton for example.
Examples of colourful and easy side dishes
To prepare in advance
Baked & caramelized multicoloured carrots with maple syrup on a plate or slow cooker.
Leek & bacon croutons, the mixture of which is prepared in advance
Fresh spring salad with salads washed in advance. For maximum contrast, add radicchio for touches of bright red and bitterness. Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate seeds are also good choices. Pears and pecans are great options, just like in this salad.
Replace the classic macaroni salad with a pesto pasta salad of your choice. Garnish with mini bocconcini, for a nod to Easter eggs.