Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in Let's Talk About It | 0 comments

I’ve got a big heart, #TeamFabio.  I want those of you around me to thrive and get what you want in life.  That’s on a big scale though – Let’s shrink it!  The dinner table is a place where I want my friends and family to feel love, care and laughter.  What better way to do that than with food?!  It’s a great idea, I know – but you can take credit for it this time.
I like to take 2-3 ingredients or dishes and make them as special as possible.  Elaborate doesn’t mean special necessarily, either.  You know me and my approach towards food – keep it simple when possible.  It’s been working for me for the last 25 years, so I don’t have any reason to change it now.  Recently I’ve come up with the slogan “Approach with 4,” a dining guide that will help you plan any food for a dinner party or get together.  You’ll be selecting 4 of the items listed below in order to achieve rock star status at your party.  I’ve got some crowd pleasers that hit the bulls-eye time and time again!  In another section, I’ve got my classics that my guests can feel like they are eating at their own home, but not lifting a finger except to eat more food.  That’s what a party is supposed to be.  But with my help, you won’t be doing much work either!
•    Seasons – It’s always a good idea to pay attention to the seasons.  Fruits and vegetables have a way of really turning boring dishes into something vibrant and luscious.  It also lets your guest feel that this is their party.  Now, I’m not stupid and I know it’s not their party, but the season gives it a mark in time and that added amount of care.  It’s not something standard when pears are on the table with a dark toned tablescape – it’s fall.  They also know that their food hasn’t traveled half way around the globe, unripen, only to be tired and mushy when it arrives at the dinner table.  Stick with the seasons and you’ll be a knock out.
•    Family Style – Big platters, to me, equal family.  It you want to make something easy, yet elegant, choose a platter and go to town!  The platter makes for a big, impressive display of food, but puts everybody in charge of serving themselves.  Less work for you, but you’ll get all the credit. #BOOM
•    Finger Foods – Everybody loves bite size.  You see it everywhere now!  Take advantage of all things small and build bites such as bruschetta, slow cooker meatballs and sweet onion dip (homemade, of course) to keep your guests tied over until the real fun at the dinner table begins.
•    Eventful Cocktails – I mean, I encourage responsible drinking, but any party that has a signature cocktail of the evening is one that I want to attend.  Take the extra step to make your guests feel important.  Your game plan? Make a base the day before to let the flavors meld and add alcohol the day of the party.  I’m so glad you are thinking ahead!  If in doubt, refer to step 1 relating to seasons.  You’ll have a great cocktail in minutes.
•    100% Taste – There’s a saying that food eaten within 100 miles of where you are will simply taste better because it’s being grown in the area.  The food grown there is probably done with care and with the coming and going of the seasons.  When things are in season, they are always better.  Always sweeter.  Always more vibrant in color and texture.  All we have to do is find it!
For some of you lovely people, the word “entertaining” or “elegant”, when used regarding food, might be intimidating, scary or simply dreadful.  But why?  Maybe it’s because the thought is appealing, but the execution scared the heck out of you.  Friends and family gathered together, enjoying food and drinks, enjoying company and conversation…I mean that sounds like a great time if you ask me!  But if you don’t know how to set yourself up for success, failure is waiting around the corner to devour you in a “not so pretty” way.  Maybe you are worried about playing host, shopping for groceries, cooking for hours, cleaning the house, etc.  And after all of your preparation, what if the party doesn’t go as planned? You are probably thinking, “let me just go to a restaurant!”
With that said, It’s a good thing that you now have the “Approach with 4” guide and are on your way to many nights of family and friend entertaining.  All of these choices and options will pair with each other and the food, as long as within the boundaries!  Your days of stressing over a party are done as long as you ask me.  Just have me over for dinner some time to thank me!  #LetsTalkAbout