31 No-Stress Holiday Entertaining Tips

No need to run yourself ragged over the holidays. Try these tips for simple, elegant holiday entertaining.
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Choose warm dishes, not hot

Lose the headache of choreographing cooking times and keeping multiple dishes hot when entertaining. For big family dinners, food writer Katherine Cobbs plans a menu around dishes that are as great at room temperature on the buffet as they are hot from the kitchen. "Think of recipes like a wild rice 'salad' with cranberries and pecans and sliced beef tenderloin," she says. "Plus, it's easier to keep a sauce for the meat hot than risk overcooking a pricey filet in an effort to keep it warm."