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3 Tips for Reducing Mess When Entertaining (Sponsored)

  • From birthday parties to backyard barbecues and family dinners, almost everyone finds themselves entertaining at one point or another.  But with the hassle of clean-up and prep work, that can spoil the mood. Rather than deal with the stresses of mess, here are some tips on throwing mess-free dinners and parties at home. 

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    1. Prepare the day before. No one wants a messy kitchen, but last-minute cooking results in more dirty dishes and more trash. You can be more strategic by doing as much as possible the day before.

    If you have multiple recipes that use the same ingredient (for example, tomatoes in both a salad and for topping burgers), clean and chop them once, but use them twice. For items you can't prepare ahead of time, consider at least choosing the serving dish and utensil early, so you won't have to hunt them down when it's down to the wire. And while most cooks know the trick of marinating in baggies, do this the day before as well. In addition to having more flavorful food, you'll take up less room in the fridge.

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    2. Serve on platters that do double-duty. Between serving platters, plates, and containers for leftovers, dirty dishes can pile up fast. Cut back on the amount of dirty dishes by serving food in containers you can also use for storage. Not only are glass storage containers healthier for you (They don't leach any nasty chemicals into your food when heated.), they're also more attractive. Smaller bowls are ideal for holding condiments, appetizers, or garnishes. Large bowls are a great choice for salads, especially layered ones, because you can see all the pretty ingredients through the clear glass. After the party, simply snap on the lids and put them in the fridge. 

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    3. Cut down on party garbage by using the disposal for food scraps. Do your slicing and dicing beside the sink so you can toss food scraps down the drain as you go along. Your disposer will thank you for this, as hard materials (like fruit pits) help scrape the inside of the grind chamber, removing any build-up. (Tip! After your party, toss leftover ice cubes down the disposal for the same reason.) Another bonus to operating your disposal is that it uses less than 1% of your house's water usage. And since food scraps are 70% water, it gets pulverized and sent to your local advanced wastewater treatment plant instead of ending up in a landfill. Efficient and eco-friendly! 

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