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Tasteful Entertaining

Be the Boss of Your Holiday Buffet

Hosting friends and family is what the holiday season is all about, but entertaining can create some chaos. Grab your holiday party by the reins by serving a holiday buffet that’s easy to prepare and pleases everyone from the foodie to the health nut. Here are a few tips to help you deliver a bountiful buffet and still enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

Warm Up with Winter Soup

The best friend for a holiday host is a slow cooker. This Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Roasted Garbanzo Beans takes up to six hours to cook, which gives you plenty of time to tend to other party preparations. For even greater ease, serve the soup in the slow cooker so it stays warm while your guests serve themselves!

Brighten Your Buffet

Serve a colorful and healthy salad, like our Carrot and Beet Salad, and skip the worry about keeping your dishes warm during your holiday soiree. Remember to serve the dressing on the side in a decorative carafe so the lettuce stays fresh and crisp.

Treat Guests with Bite Sized Treasures

We all indulge in our favorite holiday desserts, but the abundance of sweets makes it easy to over-do it. Serve extra-small desserts like mini cookies, tarts, and cupcakes, or Carrot Cake Bites, so guests can try multiple items and enjoy the right-sized portions guilt free.

We hope these tips help you be the boss of your buffet this holiday season! Let us know how you prepare for a large crowd during the holidays in the comments.

Easy Three Bean Salad

This salad is simple and tastes fresh (even with the cans, I promise!) like I think a summer salad should taste.  I eat it with chips, scooped like a salsa. The little girls here (four of them now!) like to eat it with a spoon instead. This salad is also really good scooped onto crostini or thick slices of crusty artisan bread, which adds a fancy factor that is nice when you’re serving it to guests. And, I can assure you it is easy because the only kind of cooking I’m doing this summer is the easy kind!  Enjoy.


1 can Libby’s Organic Black Beans
1 can Libby’s Cut Green Beans
1 can Libby’s Organic Kidney Beans
1 can Libby’s Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup diced green onion (white and green parts)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Drain and rinse beans. Drain tomatoes. In a large bowl combine the beans, cucumber, tomato, and onion. In a small bowl whisk parsley, vinegar, oil, and seasoning. Pour over bean mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with chips, bread, or over lettuce.  Serves 6.

This recipe was created by Allison Ruth from Some the Wiser

Score a Touchdown at Your Big Game Party

In two weeks, families all across America will gather around television sets for the most watched sporting event of the year. While two teams of professional athletes anticipate the biggest game of their lives, you can prepare a big game party worthy of your own victory dance. Sketch a Game Plan While the pros diagram plays down in New Orleans, where this year’s game will be held, make your own game plan for a touchdown-worthy celebration. Send invitations, by traditional mail or email, with enough time for guests to respond. Tackle your menu plan ahead of time and create a timetable for the day so all your food is ready by the time the guests arrive. Map out a space big enough for all your guests to have a clear view of the game and easy access to the food. Avoid a Food Fumble Your snacks will take center stage during commercial breaks and halftime. While the big game is the main focus of the gathering, we suggest creating a buffet table so guests can grab food whenever they like. Score an extra point with your guests by preparing fun party dishes like Libby’s Corn and Mac Casserole and Southwestern Chicken Quesadillas. Fill the Viewing Arena with Team Spirit Even though your camp will be watching the big game from the comfort of your home, you can still amplify the spirit and excitement as if you were viewing it live from the stadium. Construct easy and fun centerpieces, like football floral arrangements, and hand out pom-poms in your team’s colors to create an electrifying atmosphere. Practice Good Sportsmanship Sometimes we forget that major sporting events are held to bring groups of people together, foster tradition, and entertain. As the party host, it is up to you to create an atmosphere that promotes good sportsmanship, no matter the outcome of the game. Offer prizes for all your party attendees, not only those rooting for the winning team, and make sure each of your guests leaves full and happy!

Budget Friendly Valentine’s Day

Although Valentine’s Day is not until next week, it’s never too early to prepare! Take some time from your hectic life filled with science projects, basketball practice and everything in between to show your Valentine how much you care. These helpful tips can show you how to create the perfect Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank.

  • Make sweet Valentine’s Day decorations. Flowers and chocolate may be the traditional Valentine’s Day accessories, but you can spice things up this year with some unique pieces that make your special someone smile. Design a mason jar with brightly colored paper and fill it with chocolate for a homemade touch, or construct festive, felt fortune cookies with “sweet nothings” inside. These easy crafts can also double as favors for your kids’ class parties or centerpieces for your romantic dinner for two. 
  • Prepare a feast filled with love. Nothing is more romantic than a homemade meal tailored just for your Valentine. Create a dish that shows you care, like our Paella Salad or Vegetable Sausage Soup. Don’t forget to finish it off with some Libby’s Fruit Cocktail drizzled with chocolate syrup for dessert!
  • Spend quality time at home. After the kids go to bed, turn up your playlist to your favorite songs, crack open a bottle of your favorite wine, and relax. A board game is a great way to spend some quality time with your Valentine, while still having fun.

This Valentine’s Day, ditch the candy hearts and fancy restaurant protocol and plan an evening just as special in your own home.

Tips to Help Make Organizing Your Family Reunion More CANvenient

Libby’s Meal Plans, Helpful Tips and More to Avoid Breaking the Bank While Getting the Family Together

September is Get Back to the Table Month and this year Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables asked families to pledge to reunite with extended family members by entering our Family Reunion Contest at the Libby’s Table Facebook page. We will be rewarding one lucky family with a trip for up to 10 family members, including travel and hotel accommodations, to gather for a reunion dinner. We are currently reviewing the entries and will unveil the five finalists who will compete for America’s vote to win the grand prize on October 3. Be sure to visit the Libby’s Table Facebook page to see the finalists and vote up to once a day to determine the winner!

Planning your own family reunion? Here are some helpful tips to help make organizing your family’s get-together a little easier!

  • Create an invite list. Make a list of family members that you will invite to the occasion. Reach out to one person from each branch of the family to help you contact everyone else on your list. Collecting email addresses can make it easier to provide updates and ask questions.
  • Gather Information. Whether your event includes 10 family members or 100, you’ll want to make sure that everyone who wants to attend, can attend! Send an email survey to help determine details such as dates that will work for the majority, recommendations on where the reunion should be held, as well as any food preferences or menu ideas.
  • Set the date and location. Oftentimes it helps to schedule a reunion to coincide with a summer vacation or holiday, since many family members may already have plans to get together. Also, be sure to look for a location that’s accessible and affordable to the majority of family members.  
  • Plan the menu. This step is often the most complicated, as satisfying everyone’s taste buds can be a challenge. However, to make it easier, you can choose a theme and focus all the dishes around it. Perhaps you have a summer barbecue and include traditional items like barbecue chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs, as well as creative side dishes like Libby’s Sunshine Salsa, Sweet Pea Dip, French Style Potato Salad and even meatless hamburgers, for any vegetarians in the family. Using these recipes can keep your meal CANvenient, affordable and nutritious with Libby’s canned fruits and vegetables. You can also ask everyone to submit their favorite family recipes so you’re sure not to forget to include Grandma’s famous fruit crisp and others!
  • Capture the memories! Ask a member of the family to be the photographer so you can capture heartfelt moments and make new memories. Give several family members disposable cameras with assignments to capture memories of the day. Prior to the event, ask your family to bring snapshots of family activities and milestones (weddings, births, etc.) from the past year and display so that everyone can enjoy them.  
  • Get back to the table. Depending on how many people you are expecting, you can determine if you should have a buffet style or sit-down dinner. Either way, you can have fun with table settings by labeling each spot at the table with a baby photo or fun fact about the person that is assigned to sit there. This will get your guests talking about old memories and provide a fun way for everyone to find their seats.
  • Keep in touch! To make sure everyone stays in touch, be sure to create and send out a post-reunion contact list with any stories or photos taken at the reunion. Also include family members that couldn’t attend, so they can be filled in on the fun.