Passaic County Chef Serves Up Holiday Entertaining Tips

HAWTHORNE, N.J. -- Cooking up a storm in preparation for the holidays? Hawthorne resident Chef Karen Marayag, a French Culinary Institute grad and owner of My Appetite Delight, a catering and personal chef service that caters to Bergen and Passaic counties offers the following tips:

Chef Karen Marayag, owner of My Appetite Delight catering and personal chef service.
Chef Karen Marayag, owner of My Appetite Delight catering and personal chef service. Photo Credit: Submitted

  • Shop ahead of time. Avoid those crazy lines at the grocery store.
  • Buy non-perishable items, including drinks at least one week before.
  • Discuss your menu with friends and family who may be bringing food to make sure you've got all the courses covered. (You may also want to ask about food allergies and aversions.)
  • Clear out your freezer and fridge to make room for holiday items.
  • Days before the party, make sure you have all table arrangements ready (plates, chargers, cutlery, wine glasses, napkins, vases, candleholders, etc.).
  • Review your menu and figure out what dishes can be done ahead of time.
  • Do dishes as you cook or have someone else do them to make sure the kitchen is ready when guests arrive.
  • Set up your table the night before. Doing this can be a real time saver.
Here's an easy cocktail for before your meal is served.

Pomegranate SparklerIngredients:

  • 1 cup Pear nectar
  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate juice
  • 3 cups chilled Prosecco
  • Pomegranate seeds

In a large pitcher, stir together nectar, pomegranate juice and Prosecco. Place pomegranate seeds in bottom of four champagne flutes. Divide cocktail among glasses and serve.

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