Home Entertaining - Cheat Codes

No matter how much you try and avoid it, sooner or later, you will find yourself entertaining a friend at a short notice. It need not be a cause for breaking into a sweat. I am myself a perpetually nervous and prone to breakdowns kind of hostess. But am slowly learning to stay away from the padded cell by keeping life, and entertaining, simple and fuss free. So when, a couple of weeks back, an old friends came visiting, I decided to just order in some food, and make a couple of sides, and a pretty dessert. For decor, I stuck to some lovely Gerberas, and loads of candles. They never fail to impress!

I made a simple platter of multi-grain bread. This is where some tips given by Reshmy Kurian of Bombay ChowParty came in handy. I did a simple bread platter, topped with some plain butter, chocolate, sea salt and lemon zest, and another set with red chili jam, and some fresh herbs. The point is to let your imagination go, and play with the ingredients. Also, try and experiment with texture and flavors. Chocolate, salt and zest were suggested by Reshmy, at her bread-making workshop, and have been a huge hit with my family.

For dessert, I had some chocolate cake balls ready, so life got smoother. I took some chocolate syrup, and worked as simple pattern on a plate, using a syringe. I then used some edible flowers, Orange mint and Orange segments to add more character to the dessert. Finally, I froze a bit of sweet yogurt, with some mango pulp, in a couple of cupcake molds, and served that as well. It looked stunning and elicited some rather enthusiastic remarks about my culinary capabilities from the diners. Little did they know what cheat course I had resorted to. 

So there, no sweat, a little imagination, loads of cheat routes, and a glass of cold water to soothe your nerves while you are at it. And also, a file filled with take-away menus. In all fairness, I also served a paper baked Basa as the main course. My friend was thrilled that I could come up with all this at such a short notice. But once you understand the trick of time management, it should become a breeze, really!

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