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Easy (But Elegant) Entertaining

Less time cooking means more time visiting. So serve up the same great flavors your guests (and you) love with less hassle—here’s how.

Even if you love spending time in the kitchen, it’s also important to spend time with the people you love. Use these hints to help you serve up delicious gourmet-style dishes for friends and family without missing out on the conversation.

Use your microwave. Our Hot Crab Bites taste like a restaurant appetizer—and they heat up just as well in the microwave as under the broiler. You can also use your microwave to warm up dishes that have cooled off during travel time to your house.

Start with precooked ingredients. Your store’s seafood and freezer cases both offer precooked shrimp, which means fancy appetizers like shrimp cocktail and TRISCUIT crackers spread with California Shrimp Topper are a breeze to make.

Look for time-savers. Many recipes on this site offer shortcuts from the Kraft Kitchens. For instance, our Spicy Tomato-Cheese Bread can be made by spreading toppings on 2 halves of a loaf of French bread instead of on 20 individual slices. Oftentimes you can do much of your chopping and other prep work before guests arrive. Or have willing company help slice and dice ingredients for the Fresh Vegetable Sauté while you work on the entrée.

Liven up simple sides. If you’re looking for something special without a lot of extra work, start with a bed of torn spinach and romaine (4 cups each). Toss on 2 cups of halved seedless red grapes, some chopped celery and thinly sliced red onion, and ¼ cup of KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Cheddar. Then serve your Grape, Cheddar and Walnut Salad with KRAFT Light Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing and a sprinkling of chopped PLANTERS Walnuts.

Make ahead. Our Chicken, Cheese & Spinach Manicotti and Better-Than-Ever Cheesy Meat Lasagna are perfect dishes to get ready for the oven—but then stick in the fridge instead. Some recipes, like our Make-Ahead Tiramisu, actually need to be refrigerated overnight to truly blend the flavors.

Make easy recipes look elegant. Spoon Quick French Vanilla Mousse and Pumpkin Mousse into wine glasses or fancy dessert dishes before serving. A pretty garnish of mint leaves or citrus curls also adds a touch of class.

Easy (But Elegant) Entertaining
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