Tips for Enjoying Holiday Festivities
The winter holiday season brings us enjoyment during these short days and long nights. Whether you are attending a party or giving one yourself, it's important to have a strategy that allows you to have fun without overindulging. While you might be OK with an occasional day of eating whatever you please, it's hard for any of us to get away with doing it for and entire week. Join us in planning ahead.
A strategy that works for many Calorie Counters is to have a snack before leaving for the party. Hot soup is especially satisfying and takes the edge off hunger so you will not be as likely to over eat. Another plan is to drink only water at the party. If not, there are choices to be made. Think it through before you go.
If the party involves a sit-down dinner, control your portions and only partake of your favorite foods. Don't be afraid of hurting feelings because most people are more understanding than we realize. When it's time for dessert, ask for a small portion, or if you don't have a choice, eat only a part of what you are served. Being able to say, "This is delicious but I can't eat another bite, your meal was so wonderful" is a learned habit.
If it's a cocktail party or a buffet, then things get challenging. You can offer to bring a dish if the occasion warrants it. Of course this is not an option at catered affairs. The best tip is to stay as far away from the array of food and drinks as you can. Use a small plate and look at everything first before making your choices. If you have a small plate in your hand or a drink of any kind, people will be less likely to press you to eat more. Once again, control your portions.
Best choices from a buffet are, of course, raw vegetables and a small portion of dip. Other good choices are lean meats, poultry and fish because protein is satisfying. If you want cheese, limit the amount. An ounce of cheese is about a one inch cube. Avoid anything in a crust or puff pastry, or deep fried, unless you feel you can afford it.
Planning your party can be a challenge in this busy season. You'll need good logistics, so make lists. Make sure you have all your ingredients on hand and if people are bringing food, know what everyone will offer. Have serving dishes and utensils laid out well before the party so there is no last minute search for the gravy ladle. Set and decorate the table and don't be afraid to ask for help from your family and friends. Decorations are a good way to involve children. Be sure to buy some garnishes such as radishes, curly parsley or curly kale, and lemon or orange wedges. Make those platters look pretty! By the time guests are to arrive, you should be relaxed enough to enjoy their company.
We have some cooking tips. If you are doing baked dishes and want to fix them in advance, many things can be frozen and reheated. Bake your casserole or quiche in container lined with foil. Place the entire casserole in the freezer until frozen solid. Remove the foil wrapped contents from the dish and place the frozen casserole in a freezer bag. When ready to thaw and reheat, simply remove the foil wrapping and place the still frozen food into the same dish you baked it in. Thaw it in the refrigerator the day before, then the day of the party put it into the oven to finish. Avoid things that have to be cooked at the last minute, such as pasta.
Whether you're fixing an array of appetizers, or a more complete meal, if you follow these tips you'll develop a reputation of a great host. Giving a party doesn't have to be a stressful, rushed situation.
When giving a party you have a lot more control over what you'll eat yourself. In recent blogs we've offered some nice party foods and we'll do that again today. You want your table to look attractive and appetizing. Avoid foil trays of food in favor of nice platters and serving dishes. You don't have to mention to guests that what you have prepared is low fat or low calorie. If it's good, they won't ask.
Today's recipes include a light soup to be eaten before the party.