31 May 2012

The Budget Entertainer: Making Low Cost Food Look Like a Million

Part of my intention for the remainder of this year is being more mindful with my money. That gives me a sense of peace & fills my pocket book in preparation for a rainy day. There is so much to be said for mindfulness when it comes to not only eating food, but also purchasing it. This conscious intent can be brought on by many factors, one of which is budgetary constraints, no matter how these are caused. Everyone must be feeling the monetary crisis if Town & Country magazine is writing articles called The Costco Challenge. But how does one, take a bulk item, frozen or whole sale grocery store foods & make them formal entertaining ready? A few styling tricks & some slight of hand.

1. Serve it on Silver. Silver serving dishes are a signifier of formal old world class, even if you don't have the budget to match. No one questions the contents of a silver laden anything. Plus, silver is a nice aesthetic accompaniment to any cocktail hour or dinner table.

2. Add Herbs & Fruit to Your Serving Dishes. You may not consciously realize this, but fresh ingredients used as accessories (as seen in food magazines) gives the appearance of freshness, health, & time spent in making the dish With the presence of fresh anything your guest won't question where you purchased your food.

3. Combine to Create. Don't just serve a block of Sam's Club goat cheese. Place the cheese on a crostini & add a dollop of apple jam. Make interesting combinations of your bargained cost food.

4. Less is More. There is something to be said about limited quantity. People generally have the mistaken belief that the smaller the portion & less the availability, the more expensive and time consuming to make the food is. Play up the misconception.

5. Cook it Simply Yet Well. If you're cooking meat, say lamb chops for example, cook them simply and deliciously. That goes for any item you're serving. Your guests will pretty much forgive you anything expect bad food.

6. Have Copious Amounts of Wine. Wine in proper glasses give the air of refinement to any meal. At the very least if there is enough of it, no one will care that much about the meal anymore, anyway.

For more Budget Entertaining Ideas go here.

photo image: Juliana Sohn for Town & County magazine

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