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Hosting Without the Headaches

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  • Publish Date: Jun 21, 2010

Hosting Without the Headaches
Impressing party guests is easier than you think.

Half the fun of entertaining guests is impressing them. But half the reason not to play host is how time consuming the preparation can be.

Lulu Powers, a Los Angeles event planner, has a better M.O.: wowing without overdoing. It's all explained in her new book Food to Flowers: Simple, Stylish Food for Easy Entertaining. Think of it as tips for hosting elegant affairs yet exerting the same effort you would for keggers.

We love many of Powers' suggestions--chief among them, swapping your stemware for juice glasses. That might sound like sacrilege coming from us, but the glasses are easier to clean, they're cheaper, and they're the standard in relaxed, European bistros.

Also, if you've amassed a collection of empty wine bottles, Powers says not to recycle them all. First, use one as a rolling pin if you don't have one. Use the other empties for serving water.

And perhaps our favorite recommendation: Serve sangria in empty jam jars or mason jars. A variety of sizes and shapes gives that rustic feel. Also, add red-wine ice cubes to your white sangria.

For the rest of Powers' offbeat wine tips, recipes, and hosting ideas, pick up a copy of her book. And if you have a tried-and-true hosting tip of your own, share it here.

Previous Sip

Drink Slovenia, Cheer For the U.S.
The Ultimate Napa Getaway

Jun 30, 2010
Love the idea of using wine bottles as water bottles at a dinner party. Perfect idea for turning your home into a more professional culinary setting (aka: a bistro). Thank you Lulu!

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Jun 23, 2010
I have a copy of Lulu's book, and I love it.  I love using mason jars for drinks... can't wait to serve sangria in them.

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Jun 21, 2010
Although I know enough about wine and food pairing to host my own wine tasting party, I felt weird about hosting the actual tasting myself mainly because I was not keen on my girlfriend's family and friends thinking I was a know-it-all wine snob.  Instead, I hired a professional to come in and host.  Not only was that a great idea (because I get to sit back and relax), but she had ready-made wine note cards to go with the wine. You just can't miss with a professional, and if you plan it well, you can put on a party for a rock bottom value.

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Jun 30, 2010
Great points, Chris!

In the 1997 movie "Blood and Wine," who stars as Alex Gates, a Miami wine merchant with a secret plan?