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The Too Hot Tamales' Top 10 Tips for Creating a Fabulous Holiday Party

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Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales” are Chef/Owners of Border Grill Santa Monica, Border Grill Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and Ciudad in Downtown Los Angeles. Last week we brought you a report from their fantastic Holidy Cooking Class (including two amazing recipes) and now it is our pleasure to share with you their tips for making your holiday gathering a deliciously smashing success.

1. Impress your guests with a handmade signature cocktail when they walk in the door.
a. During the holidays, we love to serve blood orange jalapeño margaritas, spiced red sangria, or cucumber mojitos. [Recipe for Cucumber Mojitos]

2. Anchor a party with a big pot of soup and a big salad then fill it out with appetizers on big platters that you can pass around or just put on a buffet table.

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3. Get creative with your salads, but keep it simple.
a. Make a simple vinaigrette.
b. Choose quality ingredients and play around with flavor combinations.

4. Make ahead, make ahead, make ahead!
a. Sit down and go through your menu and recipes, planning out what can be made a day or two ahead of time, what can be made the morning of the party, and what needs to be made just before or as guests arrive.

5. Teamwork! Get your significant other to be your sous chef.
a. We learned from a recent survey that couples who cook together, report feeling more satisfied in every aspect of their lives when compared to couples who do not cook together. These include family life, fun, happiness, relationships, social life, self-image, AND SEX!*