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Relax and enjoy the party you are about to create. What is better than getting together with friends and enjoying good conversation? This is one of the more pleasant things we can do. And it does not have to be perfect, what in life is? Sincerely wanting to be a good hostess usually brings good results. Your company will notice your sincerity and most certainly enjoy themselves. If anyone in particular does not appreciate your earnest efforts, simply leave them off your invitation list for the next get-together. Go ahead, make the first step it will be well worth it!

Variety is the ingredient that makes a party a success. Everyone the same age: “boring”; everyone the same occupation: “boring.” The input according to age or occupation is only interesting if there is a difference. So don’t forget the young helpful neighbor just down the street or the older man who picks up your paper for you when you are out of town. Consider the different prospective each individuals will add to your party.

If you are honoring a certain person, it seems more appropriate to offer a sit down meal. Close friends and neighbors will enjoy a buffet. If guests are seated at the table try to give enough “elbow” room. Perhaps 2 feet at least on each side.

Invitations should include your name as hostess, address, date and time. Make sure the directions to your home is clear, you may need to place a cute inventive “map” in your card. Include the subject of the festivity such as swimming. Send the invitations 2-3 weeks in advance 3 weeks for more formal affairs.

Good recipes can be found most anywhere, however test them first, if it turns out to be a flop, you won’t have time to change it! Preparing food ahead saves valuable time. Recipes that lend themselves to freezing and re-heating are great! When preparing them for freezing leave them slightly under done, this will allow for the re-heat stage, which will finish the processing.

Be aware of the weather conditions, at least the day before the party, you will then, have planned where to store raincoats, boots, and umbrellas. You have the option to rent a coat rack if you have a small amount of space. Make a list of rented or borrowed items get them back where they belong!

Place the buffet table in the center of the room. This allows your guests enough room to comfortably move around the table. If your space is limited pull the table against a wall leaving enough room for you to stand to help serve and replenish the food as needed. Any electrical cords running to the table should be taped to the floor to allow your guests a safe walking area. Use a separate table for glassware cups and plates along with drinks. Leave at least 6-8 inches of border space around the table; this allows room to rest plates.

For dishes that need to be served cold, freeze ice and place in sealed covered bags. Rest salads and Jell-O dishes on top. The best buffet dishes are those that require no cutting unless very tender and can be cut with a fork. Casseroles and stews are good items. Fresh vegetables and fruits cheese looks wonderful on the table!

Arrange seating for after plates are filled. Place small folding card tables around the room in-groups of 3-4, arranged carefully to encourage communication and camaraderie. Place a tablecloth and centerpiece on each table.It would be helpful to use place cards if your guests exceed 10.

These are quick and easy to fix:
- Parsley, wash and dry parsley bundle several sprigs together and secure with a pretty red pimento strip.
- Tomato rose, start at the smooth end of the tomato. Slice without breaking into approximately ½ to ¾ inches spiral. Roll from stem end skin out and behold your pretty rose!
- Make a fan, using zucchini, or pickle. Make thin slices from the top to about ¼ inch from the bottom. Spread this out into a neat little fan.
- Cook bacon until limp let then cool, once it can be handled then roll and secure with toothpick. Finish cooking until crisp.

Homemade Croutons
This is easy you can make them in about 20 minutes.
1. Cut bread into ½ inch cubes.
2. Soften butter in microwave enough to coat cubes well (guesstimate).
3. Poor softened butter over cubes of bread and stir gently.
4. Place in un-greased heavy skillet.
5. Cook with medium heat stirring often until brown.
You may flavor as you wish. I like to sprinkle with seasoned salt or garlic salt. Parmesan cheese is also good.

Roasted Pecans
Add to 1-cup pecan halves (un-salted) to 1-tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Place mixture into a shallow baking pan and bake at 250 degrees for 35 minutes. Stir often, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Present your “offering” in a special way, make it pretty, eye appealing, use a splash of garnishing and consider the blend of colors in your food. Use inexpensive distinctive tablecloths even sheets. Who knows but you? Let your imagination run wild! You can spend a lot, or be clever and use what you have. The end result in both cases will be great!