As graduates all over the region get ready to celebrate the end of their high school years, moms and dads (Okay, let’s get serious, usually mostly moms) are stressing out about how to send them off.
Years ago, graduation open houses meant a few relatives eating chips and dip and cake off a card table in the garage.
Now they’re serious business sometimes costing thousands of dollars and hours obsessing about when to have it, what to serve and who to invite.
But it doesn’t need to be this way.
Professional organizer Melissa Schmalenberger tells Tracy about “5 Tips for a Fun and Stress Free Open House.”
1. Figure out what you do best and do it: So you don’t cook? You don’t scrapbook? Don’t worry about it. Have the food catered. You can even get someone to make picture boards or scrapbooks for you. If you don’t want to spend the money, find a creative friend. Just ask. Many people are willing to help. It might be their way of giving to the graduate without writing a check.
2. Take your graduate’s interests into account:
It’s easy to do what you want to do, but remember to think about what the graduate likes and doesn’t like. What are his/her interests? Serve their favorite foods, or hang up their dance costumes and soccer uniforms from the time they were 3. If your graduate isn’t very social, who says you have to have a party. Opt for a quiet dinner with family. If they have a sweet tooth, choose a dessert open house.
3. Don’t feel like it has to be at your house:
Sure, most people have their parties at home, because it’s cheap. But if you need to get the carpets cleaned or paint for your guests is it really cheaper than going somewhere else? Not to mention, the time spent away from work cooking, and cleaning to prep your house. Go to a restaurant, park or hotel. You can have a great party, then walk away and let someone else cleanup.
4. Special touches make the party:
Special touches can mean more than expensive gestures. Get M and M’s with their names on them, Use their trumpet case as a greeting card holder, have guests sign a favorite book instead guest book.
5. Don’t overdo it on food or drinks:
You might be inviting 100 people, but don’t plan on food for 100. Most of the time, your guests will have other parties to attend. They might just nibble at each of them or choose not to eat at all. Plan accordingly. Also, don’t serve alcohol and only 2-3 kinds of pop.
Appearance matters. That’s why so many of us pay attention to the flashier parts of building or remodeling our homes. But the little things make a huge difference in saving you money as Tracy Briggs found out at the Red River Valley Home and Garden Show.
Your mom gave you her best ham recipe and Aunt Judy is bringing the green bean casserole. But what do you do about the wine?
Tracy Briggs and Brian Frank have the answers.
By: Brian Frank – Happy Harry’s
When coming up with the perfect pairing of wine to go with any meal, in this case Easter, you sometimes have to look beyond what the main course centers around, whether its turkey, ham, or beef
roast. The main reason is because if your holiday meals are anything like your family meals,there are so many more side dishes and choices to go along with the main course. These side dishes bring in an array of flavors and textures that should not be over-looked. Offering several different types of wines both red and white will satisfy the taste profiles of your complete meal and your guests will be
Below is a food and wine pairing guide, but like I stated above sometimes you have to look
beyond the main course and think of all the side dishes being served…
White Wines: Riesling, Chardonnay (light or no oak styles), Gewurztraminer, Vouvray
Red Wines: Rose (dry to off dry styles), Pinot Noir (lighter fruit forward styles)
Brian’s Recommendations: Ste Michelle Gewurztraminer & Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling
White Wines: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio
Red Wines: Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel (fruit forward styles)
Brian’s Recommendations: Kim Crawford Un-Oaked Chardonnay & Maso Canali Pinot Grigio
White Wines: Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer
Red Wines: Pinot Noir, Chianti, Sangiovese, Merlot, Zinfandel, Beaujolais
Brian’s Recommendations: DaVinci Chianti & Mud Pie Zinfandel
Red Wines: Cabernet, Bordeaux, Merlot, Zinfandel, Shiraz/Syrah, Barolo
Brian’s Recommendations: Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet & Osso Anna Merlot
Red Wines: Cabernet, Bordeaux, Merlot, Zinfandel, Shiraz/Syrah
Brian’s Recommendations: Joel Gott 815 Cabernet & Apothic Red Blend
Red Wines: Cotes du Rhone, Rioja, Shiraz/Syrah, Malbec, Grenache
Brian’s Recommendations: Las Rocas Garnacha & Parallele 45 Cotes du Rhone
Lasagna / Spaghetti
White Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, White Bordeaux
Red Wines: Chianti, Sangiovese, Barbera
Brian’s Recommendations: Terra d’Oro Barbera & Santa Cristina Sangiovese
White Wines: Moscato d’Asti, Sparkling Asti, Champagne (demi- Sec style), Muscat, Sauternes, Sherry
Red Wines: Port (ruby, tawny, or vintage)