Remember this: when it comes to food (and only food), it’s all about appearances. That’s right – prepare a clean, crisp, stylishly set table or buffet, and your guests will never suspect your pre-made main course. Note: This doesn’t mean you need expensive dishes.

“It’s not about spending a lot of money,” writes Susan Spungen in What’s a Hostess to Do? “More expensive platters don’t guarantee the the food will look beautiful. Sure, you might invest in some special pieces, like a silver bowl or fancy glassware, but all that matters is that the food look enticing and inviting, which can be achieved with even the humblest serving pieces.”

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November 10, 2013

Comfort food – pastas, bakes, casseroles – is family food. The only downfall? All. That. Butter. For those of you interested in getting the brood on a healthy track, we give you Chicken Pot Pie Casserole from the calorie-cutting blog Emily Bites.

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Photos by Emily Koenigsberg

Besides packing her recipe with veggies, Emily Koenigsberg uses skim milk and light butter for the filling, and light half-and-half for the biscuit topping. The result? “A steaming hot bowl of hearty chicken and vegetables covered in a creamy, flavorful gravy and topped with crumbly biscuit pieces,” Koenigsberg writes, at just 303 calories per serving. Don’t clear the table just yet – that calls for seconds.

Our Sunday Supper: Served Family-Style Boutique opens Sunday, September 15, at 11AM ET.

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September 15, 2013

 
As the holiday season approaches, big family dinners are top of mind. On our must-try list this week? Avocado Caesar salad, from our foodie friends at Food52. Essentially, it’s a traditional Caesar topped with rich parmesan, crunchy croutons, and tangy dressing – with one significant difference. Avocados. As one Food52 member, fiveandspice, so eloquently puts it, “everything is better with avocado. It’s a simple truth.”

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Photo by James Ransom

When preparing, be sure to use a large head of fresh Romaine lettuce. Unlike leafier greens, Romaine is sturdy and will never wilt under heavy toppings. In true family style, serve it in a large bowl right on the dinner table. Give it a personal touch by offering extra toppings in smaller bowls to suit guests’ individual tastes.

Our Sunday Supper: Served Family Style Boutique opens Sunday, August 18, at 11AM ET.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

August 18, 2013