Hosting a get-together doesn't have to mean spending a ton of cash and slaving away in the kitchen all day. Katie Lee- Cosmo food columnist and author of The Comfort Table - shares her secrets for being the perfect host. Just make sure you don't commit one of these major party fouls.
1. Try this cheapo and festive decorating trick that Katie uses: Fill vases and hurricane candleholders with fresh cranberries. Stick a sprig of evergreen in the center and place the arrangements around your living room.
2. Make a playlist rather than putting your iPod on random. Katie suggests sticking to upbeat, festive music for cocktail hour and mellow tunes for dinner. Download these must-have albums to really get the party started.
3. You don't have to deep-clean your pad before a party, but you should stash clutter. Use decorative tins, baskets, and hampers to hide messes. Or if you're really pressed for time, toss everything in your boudoir and declare that room off-limits.
4. At a dinner party, serve simple comfort foods like meatloaf or fried chicken. Or these quick and easy chicken and dumplings. They're crowd-pleasers and don't require a lot of effort to cook. Plus, Katie claims these atypical main dishes are awesome icebreakers.
5. Break out the bubbly, girl! Champagne never goes out of style, and it makes any party feel instantly sophisticated. Prosecco tastes almost as good and costs a fraction of the price. Before you pop open a bottle, read this primer on how to uncork without making a mess.
6. Forgo the full bar and instead serve up one signature cocktail. Katie treats her guests to a big pitcher of sangria. Try mixing up one of these Cosmo cocktails.
Are you planning on hosting a party this holiday? Share your no-fail hosting tips with us.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.