Nationwide, restaurants are opening for outdoor dining and a limited indoor capacity. Still, many of our readers will continue to enjoy cooking and serving at home. Some of us have discovered exciting new recipes and look forward to having them in the months ahead. Make the next meal you serve special with these tips for dining in.
-Find the perfect pairing. Whether you like beer, wine or cocktails, take a few minutes to learn what drinks go best with the food you are serving. There is plenty of pairing information online and you may find your local wine and liquor salespeople to be very knowledgeable. You can also linger a little longer over dessert with the choice of a nice aperitif.
-Tableware and decor makes a difference. Purchase colorful napkins, light candles or use tea lights when dining. Hang lanterns and string outdoor lighting on the deck for an ambiance that will be festive and attractive.
-Dress for the occasion. During the past months, many of us have opted for comfortable clothing. How about dressing up for brunch, lunch or dinner at home. It makes you feel as though your meals are a special event.
– Add a little greenery – Whether it’s a plant, a small bouquet of flowers, or a simple centerpiece, be creative. You can make your table look great with items you likely have on hand.
-Serve appetizers. Instead of just a main course, serve appetizers that may include charcuterie, hummus and dip, or a simple pretzel and cracker platter. Enjoy the opportunity to relax and converse at mealtimes. This is also a nice opportunity to have a simple wine tasting with a few vintages.
-Keep it light. Often, people tend to eat their largest meal at dinnertime. A light dinner of soup and salad, a simple meat or vegetable dish is often welcome and can lead to a more active evening.
-Offer choices. Many people enjoy dining out because they can make different selections. Make meals a little more interesting by having a choice of foods. This is especially easy when doing a BBQ. To make it fun, you can even offer a written menu of items. Kids love this idea and like to help make menus.
–Colorful meals are healthy ones. With the bounty of summer and fall produce, you can create a beautiful meal that is not only delicious, but nutritious. Be aware of the fresh, seasonal selections that are available at your grocery or farmer’s market.
-Presentation makes the meal more appetizing. Plate your food with care. Use garnishes like herbs and lemon wedges to make foods more appealing. Meals should be a feast for the eyes and the palate.
Stay well and enjoy. Some of the best meals can come from your great home cookery!
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