Stress Free Entertaining Tips!


I love to cook and entertain.

I am so excited about Easter Brunch this Sunday with family and friends.

I will admit though I do stress out a lot when it gets down to the wire, but I found these awesome tips from one of the best! So relax and enjoy when you entertain!

Before you check these out, know that one of the BEST entertaining tips I have ever received came from Steve Kemble.

He has a secret called “Take Out, Fake Out”.

Which is brilliant!

All you have to do is go to the store and buy one of the prepackaged party platters.

 Then he takes a nice platter, puts some nice lettuce (like Bibb) down and takes the contents of the tray and spreads them out.

No one will EVER know!

With that being said, here are 10 more Fabulous tips from one of the best, Woldgang Puck!




Be in the right frame of mind

“My espresso machine is the most important gadget I have in the kitchen. If I don’t have two double espressos to start the day, I’m not happy. You have to start the day out right.”

Open the kitchen to guests

“If you have a kitchen which is open to the living room, obviously it makes life easier. But the main thing is that you have a few things ready in the kitchen on nice platters, or wooden boards — even pizza paddles.”

Dress it up a little

“You could even get pizza from the store. Cut them in wedges, grate some fresh parmesan with some sliced basil. People will say, ‘This is nice, we want to eat this.’ If it’s plain, they’ll say, ‘This doesn’t look right.'”

Cook what you know

“You have to learn a few things really well. It’s always great to make a soup or stew because you can make it in advance. It makes life easier. Another great thing is to make little skewers — chicken, lamb, scallops, whatever — season them all a little differently, grill them and make a dipping sauce. It’s easy, fast and you’ll impress people with freshly cooked food. Plus it will smell up the whole room.”

Cheat a little

“You have to cheat a little bit; it’s OK. Start out with something you know and then get as much help as possible. Serve something you got at the take-out store, and something you made yourself. If you want to make a risotto, it’s not complicated, but don’t try to make the whole stock. Make one thing à la minute and have the rest ready.”

Cook under pressure

“A pressure cooker is really great because you can make something in no time. Let’s say you’re an Irish guy and you want to make corned beef and cabbage. It takes five hours to make corned beef and cabbage. You can do it in a pressure cooker in an hour and a half or less. It makes things feasible. Pressure cookers are easy to use. You just throw everything in and what’s really great is it seals the flavor. Lamb shanks are done in 45 minutes and they’re moist and flavorful.”

Use the right tools

“If you have a grill-griddle like I do, you can do so many things on it. And you can regulate the heat very easily [because it’s electric]. So if you’re going to sear a steak or a lamb chop you can put it at 450 and if you’re going to make pancakes you can put it at 325 or 350. Whereas with the gas people are always nervous. It’s too hot or not hot enough. It makes life much easier that way. You know you’re not going to burn it.”

A little freshness goes a long way

“You have to help yourself. If I would serve [pre-made] soup, I’d serve it in small cups. If you add some freshness to it like fresh basil or a little sour cream and then put it in a little cup, it gives it an extra dimension. Or just a drizzle of olive oil. Hide the can and say you did it all yourself.”

Roast a prime rib

“At the end of the day, people will be impressed with what they taste. People will be impressed if you can roast a great prime rib. Chop some thyme, lots of black pepper. Make a nice crust and roast it perfectly and slice it — people will think it’s amazing. Do something for presentation. And it’s easy to get a good piece of meat. If you want to get a good piece of fish, it’s more delicate to cook and harder to find.”

Simplify (but use fancy dishware)

“I remember one time, years ago, I did Christmas dinner at home. I had like 30 people, and I don’t know why but I decided to make five courses. For one course everyone got half a lobster. So I brought 15 lobsters in the house. And you know, in the restaurant kitchen it’s one thing — it goes on the floor, somebody wipes it up. I was alone, I was cutting the lobster, juice was running all over the floor. I fell on the floor. Then I had to cook them all. It was a mess. Nobody could come in the kitchen. Next time I would make a lobster soup with extra lobster meat and serve it in an interesting bowl.”

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