Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Ted Allen's Entertaining-on-a-Budget Tips!

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I recently had the honor of being an attendee at the James Beard Foundation Awards. I was excited to be a part of Living Today, a radio show that was nominated in the Broadcast category. The night became more thrilling when I was seated at Table #1 --- next to Ted Allen, the MC of the night. Ted became well-known as a food expert on Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and currently hosts "Chopped" on the Food Network.

Here's Ted and I!

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Ted was a great host for the evening, and was so much fun to talk to especially when it came to food. Because Ted is so insightful, we decided that he had to join Mario on "Living Today" and share his ideas about food and entertaining. He came to our studios today to discuss entertaining on a budget. Ted's tips:

Think Flavor, Not Fancy
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on expensive cuts of meats to have a great meal. You can buy a cheaper cut that is packed with flavor like a pork shoulder.

Themed Drinks
It’s much more expensive to stock a complete cocktail bar than it is to declare a theme such as sangria. People will appreciate the direction you are providing them with when it comes to a drink. You can even make it with inexpensive wine. And if you don’t like sangria, you can try to have a few themed drinks so your guests aren’t overwhelmed by the choices of a full bar. Then you aren’t spending money trying to buy every type of alcohol sold in a store.

Tabletop
It doesn’t matter how fancy your home looks. What really matters is the how the table you're eating on looks. Instead of worrying about fancy flowers, create your own centerpieces, such as a big bowl with lemons, twigs and sticks from your backyard arranged neatly in a vase. Natural decorations cost little to NO money.

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