Tips for Great Entertaining

By / Wine + Drinks / October 6th, 2010 / 2

Food and family are a natural fit, right? A family meal creates the perfect occasion to catch up with loved ones and enjoy the company of old friends. But for many of us who play host to large or small groups of guests, cooking can seem like a daunting task. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, Tidings has some tips and tricks to share with you on how to make your next family event fun, simple, and stress free.

Family outings are fun, but there’s no better way to bring the generations together than by engaging every member of your family and friends through food. You really don’t need much to pull it all off. A dash of creativity and tasty, high-quality products. That’s right. There’s no need to beat yourself up if you can’t make everything from scratch. Picking up some well-made store-bought food is totally ok. Party planner, Sebastien Centner, says, “Creating out-of-the-box

experiences and dishes can quickly take your next gathering from a predictable family dinner to an unforgettable event” he says. “There are simple things you can do to get rave reviews from guests. Don’t feel you need to cook everything from scratch. Instead, try incorporating quality, pre-made products, like pizza or muffins, to help cut down on prep time. And never underestimate the role of presentation; creative, unique touches can help spice up any occasion.”

Here are some of Centner’s ideas.

Rather than host the traditional family dinner, Centner suggests three party themes for making your next get together something to talk about.

• Family Game Night: Create an interactive evening for the family with a games night. This is an ideal option for a casual gathering with a mix of adults and children.

• Holiday Brunch: Having family over for a cozy, intimate brunch is a fun, economical alternative to a formal dinner and a perfect entertaining option for stay-over guests.

• Cocktail Party: Create a sophisticated and stylish evening for an impromptu get-together, perfect for a group of adults.

Alizé Bleu Champagne Cocktail

Try one of Sebastien Centner’s signature cocktails — a Champagne cocktail with sparkling wine or Champagne and Alizé Bleu liqueur.

Yield: 1 6oz Cocktail

1 oz Alizé Blue Liqueur
5 oz Moet et Chandon Champagne
5 oz Café de Paris Sparkling Wine

Pour Alizé into a champagne flute and then add champagne. Garnish with fresh blueberries.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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