2003-11-06 / Women's

A Holiday Recipe For A Happy Kitchen

A Holiday Recipe For A Happy Kitchen

(NAPSI)-If you’re hosting a party in your home, the kitchen is where it begins and usually where the guests gravitate.

Party planning can help make it a happier holiday experience, say the experts. Here’s a list to help you prepare:

• Sift through recipes and plan your menu. Review your cookware and cooking utensils so you have everything you need to prepare your meal. Making a list and shopping for items in a specialty store such as Linens ‘n Things can help you to stock your kitchen for less. For beginners looking for the basics, non-stick or hard-anodized cookware sets offer value. For accomplished cooks, stainless steel is hard to beat. Although some cookware items do double duty, there’s no good substitute for a roasting pan, a double boiler or a stockpot.

• To make choosing gadgets easier, Alton Brown, TV celebrity chef, kitchen gadget expert and author of Gear For Your Kitchen, has teamed up with Linens ‘n Things to create "Alton’s Picks," a selection of 30 of his favorite kitchen gadgets (including the Zyliss Mandoline Slicer, EZE Citrus Tool, OXO Colander and Amco Stainless Steel Spoon Rest), available at all LNT stores.

• Sharpen dull knives for optimum use. Test your knives ahead of time and make certain you have at least the basic types (paring, utility, serrated bread knife and sharpening steel). For holiday gatherings, consider an easy-to-use electric knife to assist with carving duties.

• Use the speed of appliances to minimize preparation time. Plug in a stick blender, food processor or KitchenAid stand mixer for the benefit of a second pair of hands. For winding down, invite guests to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee, cappuccino or espresso, courtesy of Braun, Delonghi or Krups.

• Shake, stir and set up refreshments in a separate place to maximize kitchen space. Ensure you have all the necessary accoutrements including glassware, ice bucket and tongs, wine markers and a corkscrew.

• Blend in extra glassware and dinnerware. Instead of using paper and plastic stand-ins, purchase affordable "party packs" of china plates, glasses and stainless utensils as a convenient and long-term solution to borrowing extras.

• Mix and mingle. Plan and prepare as many foods as you can before guests arrive (or ask them to bring a favorite dish) so that you’ll be free to join the party.

• Serve up sumptuous fare on beautiful linens from Waverly, Wamsutta or Croscill. Add an assortment of candles and a festive centerpiece. For more information, visit www.LNT.com.

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