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party tools how to stock your kitchen for better hosting
by Yee-Fan Sun
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continued from page 3

Serving tray: One of my favorite wedding gifts was one I had no idea I even wanted: a simple wooden serving tray, handmade by one of the boyís uncles. Sure, the fact that someone made it expressly for us made it especially lovely, but as an added bonus, itís also an item I now find myself using all the time -- especially when Iím hosting guests.
Bamboo Serving Tray
available at amazon.com
A good serving tray makes transporting your tasty treats from the kitchen to the dining table oh-so-much easier for even the klutziest of hosts; it makes passing drinks out to guests a breeze. Look for one with high sides (to keep food and drink in place while youíre on the move) and comfortable handles.

Wooden toothpicks and skewers: The only thing I love more than teeny-tiny edibles? Food on a stick! Itís easy to nibble even when youíre sporting a drink in your other hand; it allows the creative cook to put together perfect little bites of intriguing flavor combos. Keep toothpicks and skewers on hand in your entertaining arsenal and itís easy to create fine finger food with even the most basic of ingredients.

Acapulco Pitcher
available at amazon.com
Glass pitcher: Sometimes itís the little niceties that make the biggest difference in making guests feel special. With parties, hosts sometimes get so wrapped up in figuring out the edibles that planning drinks kind of falls by the wayside. Sure, the olí wine and beer are easy to supply and always popular, but when you want to make a get-together seem extra festive, offer some kind of special drink. Whether itís a batch of your favorite cocktail or some homemade lemonade or iced tea -- heck, even plain old water dressed up with slices of fresh citrus -- it'll look that much nicer served in a simple glass pitcher.


check out these related articles:
8 slick tools for mixing drinks in style |
guide to glassware


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