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How to Entertain Guests on a Budget

Have you ever turned down company for an evening because you weren’t sure how to entertain on short notice? I have found two foolproof ways: homemade dip and Margaritas. Isn’t dip, pardon the expression – cheesy – and don’t you need different mixers and things on hand to make enough varieties of Margaritas?

The answer is “no” to both of the above. Dip, when it’s homemade and presented nicely in an interesting dip dish, works for just about any occasion.

I came up with this simple recipe during a Super Bowl week. I have served it with anything from wheat crackers, to blue corn chips, to vegetables. I have served it as a snack while watching races and it went over well as part of the menu for a New Years party.

1 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons dry parsley

2 tablespoons chives

2 tablespoons spring onions

1 minced garlic pod

2 tablespoons grated onion

1 teaspoon minced capers

1 teaspoon garlic salt

It’s best when it’s made the night before. You can change the amount of ingredients to suit your taste. To serve a larger party, just increase the ingredients proportionally. Just remember to use equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream, and you can’t go wrong.

As far as Margaritas go, I created a unique variety by using different fruit nectars (found in the Hispanic section) instead of syrups and mixers with the tequila. They come in interesting flavors, such as mango and guava, which makes for perfect Margarita flavors. Unopened, the nectars can be stored until you open them and after, they can be poured into ice trays and frozen.

To make this more interesting and to tie it all together, serve the dip in a dish that goes with your theme. For example, for St. Patrick’s Day use a green dish. You can also coordinate your Margarita to the occasion. Well, for Cinco de Mayo you can’t go wrong with any margarita, but the different flavors of nectar also come in vibrant colors that you can match to other occasions.

For example, I saw black currant nectar yesterday in the store. That would make an interesting Margarita indeed perhaps served in orange-stemmed glasses for Halloween?

It used to be that entertaining had more complicated expectations attached to it. However, times have changed and many have to make due with less.

Mostly, don’t let the doom and gloom on TV and newspapers stop you from entertaining and socializing. Socializing is important to take your mind off things and hopefully these two ideas will help you out.