Throw a party in a snap

December 22, 1998

buffet treatsphoto and story: Associated Press

'Tis the season to celebrate with family and friends, share holiday hospitality and memorable menus. But who has the time?

You do. Time-pressured but savvy holiday hosts know that casual, impromptu entertaining can be festive and fun - and delicious. The secret to a bountiful buffet that sparkles with savory flavors and perfect presentation is the supermarket. Everything you need from decorations to dessert is there in one convenient stop. Here's the super-simple game plan.

[cont. from lifestyle]

Start with the menu. The easy-to-prepare appetizer buffet provides a stunning array of delicious nibbles. Every item can be assembled in 30 minutes or less. Plus, guests can help themselves whenever they are ready to eat.

Select high-quality prepared and ready-to-eat foods like cheeses. A beautifully arranged selection of cheeses always pleases the palate and delights the eye.


Jump-start the beef offerings with new fully-cooked, heat-and-eat beef products such as boneless pot roast and meatballs, as well as convenient fully-cooked and sliced-to-order deli roast beef. Look for the pot roast and meatballs with the fresh meat selections or in the refrigerated or freezer case in your supermarket.

Shop the whole supermarket. Check the in-store bakery for accompaniments like breads and cookies, and the produce section for fresh fruits and vegetables. Add holiday touches to the table with fresh fruits and berries or candles and ribbons in colors and designs which complement your linens and dishes - all right there at your fingertips.

So, raise a cup of holiday cheer - prepared eggnog from the dairy case would be perfect - and have a happy holiday party.

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Horseradish-Fennel Sauce

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

  • 24-inch-long baguette, split
  • 1 pound deli roast beef, thinly sliced
  • Horseradish-Fennel Sauce

(recipe follows)

Line bottom of baguette with beef; spoon sauce evenly over beef. Close sandwich. Cut into 8 equal pieces.

Makes 8 sandwiches.

Horseradish-Fennel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh fennel with fronds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

In medium bowl, combine ingredients. Mix well. Serve chilled.

Makes about 1 cup.

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