Food is the Frosting – Company is the Cake
A Lifetime Guide to Make Entertaining Easier

Maggie designs keynote presentations and can expand topics to several hours to meet the needs of the sponsoring organization. Classes can be offered as a single presentation or as a series with homework (of course).

Food is the Frosting – Company is the Cake
Target Audience: Intergenerational, whether students can’t boil water to make a cup of tea, or are experienced chefs and seasoned hosts.In this fast-paced world, increasing our connections with one another is critical. Erma Bombeck said, after she found out she had cancer, “I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained or the sofa faded.” What prevents you from entertaining? This class will offer new ideas to make it easier and less stressful to host a gathering. Among the topics covered are secrets to menu planning, tips for toning down the “extras,” and guidelines for avoiding hectic holiday gatherings. This class is ideal for singles, couples, and those who like to semi-cook or are often pooped out from doing all the work when having friends or family over.

Kids in the Kitchen: Passing of the Rolling Pin
Target Audience: Parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, cool neighbors (you have to like kids to take this class).This class is designed to help good-hearted adults who want to pass on their secrets, wisdom, skills and family traditions that start in the warmth of our kitchens. Sometimes it’s OK to skip a generation and mentor the next one so that we don’t lose the life lessons learned by sharing what we know about inviting friends into our home and staying connected. The class starts with the premise that every kid needs to know how to cook something, and the earlier the better. First, we’ll cook up some easy kitchen safety rules and practice the Thou Shall Not Whine regulation. Participants will learn how to start their own mini-family (key word: mini) cookbook. We will also use a fun Party Planner for Kids so adults can help them learn how to think ahead, organize their own parties, and participate more in family gatherings and holidays. We will also cover hiring neighborhood teens to help with parties. It’s a win/win: they need to learn, and we need more help! Participants are requested to bring to class a recipe and a tradition to pass on.

The Out of Towners
Target Audience: If you have guests (which can include friends or family) spend a night or two, once in a blue moon or for a week during the holidays, this is the class for you. When overnight company is coming, do you feel like a host or the hired help? Learn ways to make your out-of-town guests feel like one of the family and your out-of-town family not feel like one of the guests. This class offers practical ideas using universal guidelines to prepare for company, and how to enjoy your overnight guests when they arrive. All the so-called work doesn’t really have to all fall on YOU. Participants will learn how to “invite” guests so the expectations are clear, have help with some meal prep, errands and even light household chores (really) while they are visiting. We will assemble a welcome basket, which helps set the tone for their visit and makes time together precious and fun.

How to Stay Connected as We Age - Just Don’t Call it Dinner
Target Audience: Anyone who finds it more of a challenge to entertain as we age or is transitioning into a new stage of life. Come join the fun and re-think how you welcome friends and family into your home. Too often guests are invited for dinner, which is the most difficult and costly meal to prepare; plus it’s at the end of the day, when the air is often out of our balloon. We will look at non-peak party times, such as a drop-in breakfast, or tying in a gathering with another activity. The class will cover co-hosting, entertaining in smaller spaces, cooking again on your own or when the nest is empty, and honoring special occasions during suffering, illness and loss. Andrew Weil, M.D. says, “We must increase our connections with each other as we age.”

Hotsy-Totsy Parties
Target Audience: Calling all hosts who are planning a more formal party! This might include landmark birthdays and anniversaries, bar and bat mitzvahs, family reunions, New Year’s Eve parties, and wedding or baby showers.

In life, big problems always start out small. Up-front planning can save you time and money, and more importantly, reduce stress by anticipating problems. We’ll start with a formal party plan, which is essential for big bashes or “hotsy-totsy” parties of any size. The class will cover menu planning, what to do if you run out of something, hiring caterers and other helpers (and what to do if someone doesn’t show up), looking at space in your home from a party perspective, and your to-do list for before, during, and after. Every family has an “elephant in the room,” those family secrets we need to acknowledge and make an accommodation for ahead of time…or else! Even though you have a detailed party plan, people do make mistakes, and we will address what to do when they occur. The success of your party depends on your attitude and your ability to problem-solve on the spot.