Setting out our best silver for family gatherings makes any festive table look beautiful. Always use a polish designed for shining sterling silver. Here are hints on keeping it in excellent condition.
* Wash sterling silver in hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and buff dry with a clean, soft cloth.
* Do not put really old or valuable sterling into the dishwasher. The detergent might cause a discoloration.
* Never put hollow-handled silverware into the dishwasher.
* Never mix sterling and stainless steal in the same utensil compartment.
During the holidays you may want to make your coffee, after a big meal, extra special. And you probably already have what you need to do this in your pantry.
1. Add a couple of drops of peppermint, almond or chocolate extract into each cup of coffee. Top with a dollop whipped cream. Serve with peppermint, almond or chocolate cookies too.
2. This is a cheap way to enhance plain old coffee and make it fancy for special occasions in your home.
When you are busy preparing a huge holiday meal, it can get harried in the kitchen. But you have to be aware of possible food safety contamination so you don’t make you and your family sick!
* Never cross contaminate your kitchen.
* Do Not ever put a cooked turkey or other meats onto a platter that held a raw meat etc. Keep platters separate.
* After you use a plate holding raw meats, wash it ASAP, along with all the utensils in hot soapy water.
If you are tired of the same old turkey you cook and want a twist, try this easy and quick Peanut and Paprika Baste. Your turkey will taste delicious.
* Slather the turkey with peanut oil.
* Rub lots of paprika and pepper on the top of the entire turkey.
* Make an aluminum foil tent to put over the top.
* Cook at 300F to 325F, for as long as is specified for the size of the turkey.
* Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes.
This is a French term for a bundle of three dried herbs. They are used to flavor sauces, soups and stews. Here’s how to make one.
* To make a dried bouquet, take equal parts of dried parsley, thyme and bay leaf and put them on a cheesecloth square and tie with a string. Drop it into whatever dish you are cooking such as a hearty soup or stew and take out when the dish is done.
With all the computers and printers that we have in our offices and homes, it’s inevitable that something will go wrong or a device will not work right. And, it’s usually at the wrong time, too! Try to uncover the problem before you take it to a pro.
1. First, shut everything down and turn the device off.
2. Then, unplug everything and plug it all back in.
3. If the computer, printer or hard-disk drive is not running right, use the utilities file.
4. Then read the troubleshooting part of operating manuals. Be certain that you are “cleaning” them in the correct way. Visit the manufacture web site or call hotlines for help.
When you volunteer to take food to a party, it can be such a hassle to get the dishes back after the party. While you can label dishes, here’s another idea on what you can do.
During the year, buy extra dishes, bowls or platters at garage sales or resale shops. I have found some beautiful serving dishes for just a few dollars! You can find really pretty or attractive glassware and serving pieces. Set them aside to be used for taking food to potluck dinners or family events. Then you can leave the dish as a hostess gift.
Most of us get obsessed that our homes look perfect when entertaining. Well think about it, most of our guests are more interested in chatting, eating laughing and enjoying the evening! They are not invited to do a white-glove inspection and are not going to look under the couch for dust bunnies! Here’s another way to think about cleaning for a gathering.
Try top cleaning! My mother would stand in the middle of a room and give a fast look around. She liked to just clean the tops of the surfaces that are going to be seen or used during a party. So you can put a sock on each hand and then just wipe off all the dust you can see. Allow only 10 minutes per room!
When you are getting ready for holiday parties from Thanksgiving to the New Year, of course you want to be sure they are successful and fun. Here are the three basic keys to making this happen.
1. THE SETTING. Think about the first impression a guest will have when entering your home. Do you have a decorations or flowers in the entryway? What kind of mood are you setting with lighting? You want your place to be appealing.
2. THE SCENT. What will guests smell when they enter your home? Aromatic candles, cookies baking, fresh holiday greens or bouquets will provide lovely scents.
3. THE SOUND. Put on some music to enhance the party. Pick your favorite CDs to create a musical tone for the event. Do keep the sound “low” so people can talk and hear each other!
If you are going to be a guest at a gathering, it’s customary to bring a small hostess gift. We also know our friends and what they like, but if you are unsure, call the hostess and ask if there’s something she would like you to bring. Some people love flowers or plants, but here are some other gift ideas.
Be creative with the hostess gifts you bring to a party. Here are some of my favorites: aromatic potpourris, scented candles, exotic coffees or teas with mugs and lovely hand towels. Other ideas: wine or liquor, gourmet cookies or candies.