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Donna Pilato

Entertaining

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Use Some of those Hardboiled Eggs in your Easter Centerpiece

Friday April 18, 2014

I just boiled two dozen eggs for our egg decorating party tomorrow. Unfortunately, I just realized the number should have been three dozen so there would be extras for our Easter dinner centerpiece.This easy, inexpensive Eggs and Daffodils Centerpiece will make a cheerful addition to the holiday table, and can be created in no time. If you're looking for other easy Easter table decorating ideas, take a look at these easy springtime flower and treats projects as well.

Photo © Donna Pilato

Host an Easter Egg Decorating Party

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Photo by Donna Pilato

Are you looking for a little pre-Easter fun? Or, maybe you're being hosted for Easter dinner at someone else's home, but would still like to have a little Easter party of your own. Then plan an Easter egg decorating party to enjoy the spirit of the holiday at your place.

Photo © Donna Pilato

Get Ready for Weekend Houseguests with this Cleaning Checklist

Monday April 14, 2014

It's Easter next Sunday and I'm sure many people will have guests visiting over the weekend for the holiday like we will. While most guests don't come armed with white gloves, we still want our homes to be clean and comfortable for their arrival. Here's a handy cleaning checklist to take you through the areas you might want to think about cleaning. If you can, begin today to tackle it in order of the most important areas for your home, and then you can relax once your guests arrive, knowing they won't be spotting dust bunnies next to the chocolate Easter bunnies.

Can You Tell a Host about Your Specific Food Needs?

Friday April 11, 2014

Last week we discussed what a host should do if he learns that a guest has specific food preferences, for whatever reason. This week we address the flip side of that issue. What if you've been invited to a dinner party and you're concerned that there won't be anything for you to eat because of dietary restrictions for health, religion or other reasons. Should you tell your host about this potential problem and what should you expect the host to do? Read about the potential approaches you have for telling your host about your specific food needs.

Host a Stock the Pantry Bridal Shower

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Woman at bridal shower.
Bridal showers can serve many purposes. First, they're a fun way to celebrate the upcoming wedding with the bride and share stories and advice. The second purpose is to help the bride and groom stock their future home with all of the homekeeping necessities. But, many couples have already been living in their own home, either together or separately, and no longer need a toaster, blender or set of steak knives. That's why some showers now have creative themes that have nothing to do with kitchen appliances, but are stocking up on other necessities. For example, a Stock the Pantry theme bridal shower will help with items for which you can never have too much. Especially with the rising price of groceries.

Let the Garden Inspire your Easter Dinner

Monday April 7, 2014

Spring is moving along nicely now that it has decided to stick around. I see a few crocuses popping up here and there and I'm hopeful that once Easter arrives we'll be enjoying full springtime color everywhere. With that expectation in mind, it's the perfect season to let nature inspire both our menu and table decorations, especially on Easter Sunday. This Garden Inspired Easter Dinner menu brings my favorite flavors of the season to the table, and I share tips for how I like to decorate on this joyful occasion.

Photo ©Donna Pilato

Easter Nest Treats

Friday April 4, 2014

Do we really have to wait two more weeks for some fun and tasty Easter treats? In many years we would have already celebrated, or be about to celebrate Easter this weekend. This year, however, Easter arrives so late. I just can't wait much longer for the Easter Bunny to hop along. In fact, why don't we give in to temptation and make some of these Easter nest treats now. If you feel too guilty to eat them before Easter morning, you can at least enjoy these little colorful decorations on your table place settings over the next few weeks. And if you sneak one, I'll never tell.

Photo © Donna Pilato

A Common Entertaining Problem

Wednesday April 2, 2014

Healthy Meal

Entertaining used to be all about pulling out your best china and cooking up your most impressive recipes. Now, most of the time we entertain a lot more casually, and the china rarely sees the light of day. As for our impressive recipes, it's not as easy to choose them as our "go to" party dishes, because it seems like everyone is on some kind of special diet, for one reason or another. Many of my friends ponder the question of how far they need to go to accommodate all of those special diets when they entertain. Here's my approach to this frequently asked question, "Do I need to worry about guests' food preferences?"

Photo ©Getty Images/Digital Vision

Make a Diaper Cake as a Combo Centerpiece and Gift

Monday March 31, 2014

There's nothing quite as memorable as a gift you've made yourself. Each time the recipient uses your gift, you'll spring to mind. And if you give a diaper cake to a mother-to-be at her baby shower, you can bet she'll be thinking of you each time she changes her little one's dirty diaper. And she'll be very glad you gave her a whole supply of new ones to use in place of the never ending dirty ones. Here's how to make a Diaper Cake for your next baby shower gift. And if you're looking for other diaper cake ideas, follow our Pinterest Baby Shower board for diaper cake and other baby shower inspiration.

Photo © Donna Pilato

Deviled Eggs, Always a Popular Finger Food

Friday March 28, 2014

It's the last weekend of March and I'm having a hard time repressing my enthusiasm for this change in months because April is all about spring, and Easter, and Passover, and bunnies, and flowers, and chocolate, and green grass, and budding trees, and robins, and eggs. I could go on, but I think you could probably add to that list all of your favorite things as well. I'd also like to pause at that last item in my list, the eggs. Easter egg hunts, and chocolate eggs, and coloring eggs are all part of the fun of this season. But, after the eggs have been colored, you need to do something with them too, right? That's where deviled eggs step in as the perfect finger food that always popular at parties, and guaranteed to use up your artfully decorated symbols of springtime.

Photo © Donna Pilato

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