Let’s face it, life doesn’t get put on hold so that you can plan your wedding. In fact, impending nuptials seem to attract projects and responsibilities like a moth to a flame. You said “yes!” and the floodgates of celebrations opened. Whether it’s a “meet the parents” luncheon, a brunch for your bridesmaids or dinner with your soon-to-be in laws, suddenly your one special day has spread into ten. I’m Tamiera from TheLifeforLess.com, here to share a few fabulous fool-proof celebration tips, designed with you in mind. Even busy brides can host fabulously and live The Life for Less money, in less haste and with less stress.
Impress the In-Laws Dinner Party
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind and try out a new adventurous recipe. Stick to an easy to prepare, awe inducing classic that uses simple, high quality ingredients. We love something fabulous and deceptively easy like Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon.
Cool fall and winter months are notorious for being a time to pack on the lbs. Keep your eye on the wedding dress prize by skipping the usual high calorie side items and desserts. My yummy Warm Winter Salad and Skip the Pie Poached Pears are a delicious alternative.
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
½ lb Brussel sprouts, halved
2 Anjou pears, cored and thin sliced
½ cup Pecans
2 oz. Gorgonzola Cheese
2 cups Arugula
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup cold pressed apple cider
Salt and pepper
Put the cubed butternut squash and halved Brussel sprouts on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat. Roast them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden and tender. Remove and set aside to cool.
Roast the pecans in a dry skillet on low heat until you can smell them. Combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl and whisk into submission. Toss the arugula and pears together with some vinaigrette and put into your serving bowl. Add your roasted veggies to the salad and top with pecans and crumbled gorgonzola. Serve vinaigrette on the side.
CALORIE SAVING TIPS
- Nix the olive oil in the dressing and allow the mustard to give you a thickened, creamy texture. Mustard has no sugar and 0 grams of fat.
- Keep cold pressed, organic apple cider on hand to use as a sweetener. It will replace honey, maple syrup and sugar in teas, vinaigrettes, marinades and smoothies. It can be reduced to replace honey in your glazes and sauces.
Style your table! Be purposeful about making your table or entertaining area beautiful and eye- appealing. Use simple flowers, uniform in variety and/or color to make an easy arrangement. Don’t be afraid to repurpose items from in and around the house to help. A bowl of apples or fallen pine cones make a lovely Autumnal centerpiece.
K.I.S.S the party (Keep It Simple Sweetie). Make dishes that don’t require you to be in the kitchen much once your guests arrive. Renting dishes, glasses and flatware (rental companies will typically pick up the dirty dishes after your event. Score!) Offering food family style, limiting drink options and incorporating quality pre-made appetizers or desserts is a great way to keep party pressure down.
Have fun! No one likes a burdened bride-to-be. Remember that your family and friends are celebrating you and your fiancée during this pre-wedding time. If you all are not enjoying yourselves, what is the point? Burned the ENTIRE meal? Oh well! Take it in stride and serve that take-out lo mein right on your grandma’s beautiful china.