Living day-to-day during a tough economy is made easier with meal planning and cooking healthy, budget-friendly meals. How you serve those meals is almost as important as what is on the plate. We often take extra time and effort to please our guests, making sure that they feel special while visiting our home. However, we often forget to treat ourselves and our families with that same special attention. There is a long-standing and popular saying, “Treat your guests like family and family like guests”. This saying should be taken to heart because giving yourself the same special treatment you give to others not only reminds you of your own importance in the world, but also elevates the status of your economical dishes to a new level of importance as well. This short, weekly series, Treat yourself like company, will highlight different ways to make your mealtimes special everyday.
One way to feed your emotional as well as your physical well-being is by cooking in bakeware and serving on dinnerware that make you feel as good as the food that you are eating.
You do not need to spend a lot of money to cook and serve with elegance every day. Thrift stores are a great place to find functional and beautiful pieces, especially one-of-a-kind pieces, from bygone eras for pennies on the dollar. Some of these pieces can become an important part of your family history as their use will be attached to everyday family meals, holiday functions and special events. Burlington Coat Factory, Ross, K-Mart and other budget retail stores have boxed sets that are often on sale around or after the holidays. Yet another great deal is QVC’s Tara McConnell’s bakeware and dinnerware sets called, Temp-tations. These economical pieces are not only beautiful, but also heavy-duty work horses that can be used in the oven up to 500 degrees, used as food storage in the freezer and refrigerator and are dishwasher safe.
Another way to add a touch of elegance to your dinner table is to use cloth napkins. A staple item on the everyday European table, cloth napkins can be washed and re-used making them an excellent way to save the environment from paper waste. Have a set for each season and a special set for the holidays.
Glassware can be used beyond their typical function to add a touch of elegance to certain dishes. For example, serve your tuna salad in a lettuce-rimmed martini glass or your ice cream sundae in a brandy snifter.
Build your cookware, bakeware, dinnerware and glassware collection as your budget permits. Soon your table will resemble that of your favorite restaurant without the need for a reservation or to find parking.