(Family Features) - The economic uncertainty of the last year has had at least one positive effect: consumers are retreating to the comforts of home for nurturing good times and reconnecting with family and friends.
According to U.S. trend watcher Iconoculture, consumers are rediscovering the comfort of home, as they save money by hosting more in-home get-togethers. Indeed, staying home is the new going out; 71 percent of adults report cooking at home more and eating out less.
With in-home entertaining on the uptick and the winter holiday season of celebrating with family and friends fast approaching, consumers are turning to simple solutions to minimize the stress and maximize the fun when entertaining. One sure fire way? Keep the menu simple, focusing on finger foods.
"Good food is central to the fun around the holidays and leads to memorable moments," says chef and cookbook author Tina Salter, who develops recipes for Diamond Foods, a premier processor and marketer of Diamond culinary nuts, Emerald snack nuts and Pop Secret popcorn. "Simple, wholesome ingredients combined with easy-to-use recipes help make it easy to get out of the kitchen during holiday celebrations and into the fun."
Finger Food Fix
Finger foods can be eaten in one or two bites, do not require juggling silverware while trying to carry on conversation, and can be prepared in advance and placed on the table at the beginning of a gathering, freeing the host to enjoy the party. They are perfect for a variety of occasions, from a small gathering to a big bash, giving attendees enough to be satisfied and keep the party moving.
Instead of the tired bowl of chips and salsa, consider spicing up your selection of finger foods with unique recipes, like Spiced Emerald Deluxe Mixed Nuts, Diamond Walnut Chicken Sliders, or Pop Secret Spicy Maple Bacon popcorn. For more ideas, Diamond Foods offers a variety of free downloadable recipes to Feed Your Fingers this fall and holiday season at feedyourfingers.com.
Simple Solutions for EntertainingThe Diamond Foods feedyourfingers.com site also offers simple party planning tips. For example:
- Develop a manageable guest list. Can you handle serving this size group? Does this size group fit your budget? Will your home accommodate? Are children welcome?
- Consider incorporating a theme for added fun. Weave invitations, food, music and décor around it to simplify planning.
- Do not let your menu get the best of you; stay in your comfort zone when selecting recipes. Pick 3-4 finger foods to serve, and, preferably, recipes that can be prepared in advance.
- Rearrange as needed to make your living space party-friendly. For example, would your kitchen table be better suited pushed against the wall and used as a bar, freeing up the floor for mingling?
- Do not spend the entire party serving your guests; encourage them to help themselves ... so you can enjoy the celebration with family and friends, also.
For recipes to Feed Your Fingers and additional ideas to simplify your holiday party gatherings, visit Diamond Foods at feedyourfingers.com.