Party pro: P. Allen Smith, author of "P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden" and host of "P. Allen Smith Gardens" and "P. Allen Smith's Garden Home."
Favorite money-saving party tip: Co-host with a friend. "Divide and conquer," he says. "Get somebody to work with."
Give it a twist: When people ask, "What can I bring?" Smith takes them up on it, he says. His secret: "I assign a recipe. And people love that," he says. "It gives them a sense of purpose -- they feel like they're making a contribution, and they have fun."
One party hit: Maple-glazed walnuts.
For those who might not cook (or the time-challenged), they "can bring wine, beer or a bag of ice," he says.
Last used this idea: "I'm doing it right now," says Smith, who is co-hosting a holiday party. "You can split the cost and all the harrowing last-minute details."
Says Smith, "I never host anything alone."