Throwing a holiday shindig is easy when friends pitch in.
Invite friends over for the most creative gathering of the season-a cook-together appetizer party. It's the idea of Sheri Castle, a cooking-school teacher in Chapel Hill, North Carolina ( www.shericastle.com). "This brings guests into their favorite party room-the kitchen-to cook and catch up," she says. "Assign two recipes for each couple, and have a no-cleanup policy for your guest chefs."
Choose appetizers for the party that will look and taste good as the evening progresses, such as Brie Tartlets With Grape Relish.
Show guests how to tie Beef-and-Asparagus Bundles with a fresh chive.
Save the final step of drizzling honey over Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear for each guest to do.
Nibble while you work. Provide Blue Cheese Shortbread Leaves and bubbly for your guests to enjoy.