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6 ways to throw a great party for less

Substitutions are the order of the day
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Substitutions are the order of the day

Party pro: Grace Parisi, senior recipe developer for Food & Wine magazine and author of "Get Saucy: Make Dinner a New Way Every Day with Simple Sauces, Marinades, Glazes, Dressings, Pestos, Pasta Sauces, Salsas, and More."

Favorite money-saving party tip: "The biggest money suck for any big cocktail party is cheese and (smoked meat)," says Parisi. "So I substitute something a little bit more substantial and interactive. Like a whole roasted ham or turkey platter with biscuits or rolls. Or a brined turkey breast served cold."

Give it a twist: "I like to do themes," says Parisi. "Vary the condiments, the rolls and the way you serve it."

Recipes: Whole roasted ham http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spiced-smoked-ham-with-mango-cranberry-chutney and a turkey platter with biscuits http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/perfecting-biscuits

Last used this idea: For a Halloween party. "It's great because you can feed a lot of people for a lot less money. And it's fun. If you've got a ham on a platter with a big basket of biscuits that are overflowing, it looks more festive than a salami on a flat platter."

And when you're serving something more casual, "you can get creative with the drinks," says Parisi. "Punches and sangrias are great."


 

 

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