Tips to be a perfect host this Christmas

The most beautiful holiday of the year – ‘Christmas’ is only a few days away! If you are wondering how to host the ultimate Christmas dinner, read on…

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

  • Be a welcoming host: We can’t emphasize enough on this. Think about this – you get invited to a Christmas dinner. As soon as you enter you see the host distressed about how far behind schedule they are and how they still to get the bacon in the oven. We bet you will be immediately on your crisis control mode. Do you want this for your guest? We bet the answer is a loud – No! A well put together dinner demands the host be welcoming, relaxed and most importantly prepared. No matter how big or small the party is.
  • Be prepared: We did touch upon this in our last tip. A well-prepared host can make even the most elaborate party look easy breezy. Take the time to prepare the menu, finding caterers or finding simple recipes if you are cooking yourself, understanding any special dietary requirements, what kind of beverages do the invitees prefer. Planning can tackle a majority of your stress.
  • Stock Up: We all hate storing food we know will never be consumed but make sure you are stocking plenty of food and snack (if kids are invited) without going overboard. Extra liquor, salad, cheese is all an excellent place to start.
  • Invest time in picking the right menu: Food is central to a good party. Take the time to plan a full course meal from starters to dessert. You don’t want to put things off last minute that will not be enjoyed by your guests. Most of all keep the menu refreshing yet straightforward and make it easy for yourself. You don’t want to spend the entire party in the kitchen. Co-ordination is the key; schedule everything beforehand.
  • Consider Tableware and Crockery: Make your dinner table an oasis complete with scented candle, ideal centerpiece, silverware, and porcelain. Being a perfect host demands attention to detail.
  • Entertainment: There may be conflicting views regarding this suggestion of ours. Some of you might feel organizing games for after dinner might take away from the important family time but remember Christmas is also about the family having fun together. So we recommend some fun activities post-Christmas dinner to up your host game.

Have a tip that should be part of our list? Tell us by commenting below.

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5 interesting facts about Maple Syrup

Who doesn’t love maple syrup? Besides being an excellent pancake topping, maple syrup has become widely popular as a healthy sugar alternative. On the National Maple Syrup day here are little-known facts about your favorite maple syrup:

Pancake with Maple Syrup

Pancake with Maple Syrup

  • It takes 40 liters of sap to produce a liter of maple syrup:  It’s a well-known fact that most trees yield anywhere between 35-55 liters of sap in a season and a tree takes close to 40 years before it’s matured enough to tap, hence, producing syrup is a time and labor-intensive process.
  • Only three maple tree species are used for making syrup: Currently, there are 13 recognized species of maple tree (native to Canada). However, only three are utilized for maple production – sugar maples, blanch maple, and red maple.
  • There are three federal categories of maple syrup: CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and the provincial governments have established classification systems based on color and taste for commercially produced maple. Category 1 (extra light, light, and medium grades) and Category 2, (an amber grade) have maple flavors that are “typical” for their color grade. Category 3, which includes the dark grade and any other ungraded colors, also contains traces of caramel, plant bud or sap flavors.
  • Quebec, Canada produces two-thirds of the world’s maple syrup: The Canadian province of Quebec is currently the largest producer maple syrup. It is responsible for about three-quarters of the world’s output; Canadian exports of maple syrup exceed 141 million USD per year. Vermont is the largest producer in the United States, generating about 5.5 percent of the global supply.
  • Maple syrup as a sugar alternative: The sugar content of sap averages 2.5 percent; sugar content of maple syrup is at least 66 percent or more. The syrup offers many health benefits – A 60 ml portion of maple syrup contains 100 percent of your daily recommended allowance of manganese, as well as 37 percent of riboflavin, 18 percent of zinc, 7 percent of magnesium, and 5 percent of calcium and potassium

Know a fun fact about maple syrup that we missed mentioning here? Tell us by commenting below.

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