(Family Features) Anyone who entertains knows it takes effort to make it look effortless. For those planning to host a dinner party this holiday season - or throughout the year - incorporating special touches is part of the fun and adds to your guests' experience.
The next occasion where you plan on entertaining, resist the temptation to delegate bringing a dessert to your guests. Instead, save the best for last by serving up a dessert pie bar as the sweet finale to a wonderful gathering.
Follow these easy steps to help bring your dessert bar to life for your next event.
Decadent and decorative dessert pie bar
Create a pie bar that looks as pretty as it is delicious. Indulge your guests with an easy-to-create pie bar that delivers an unexpected, tempting twist for your event.
Shhhhh ... it can be your little secret
Finding ways to save time without compromising quality is the hallmark of a savvy host or hostess. With the high-quality ingredients and handmade touches available in today's pre-made pies in the frozen aisle of your local grocery store, your guests will never guess that the flaky crust on their pie isn't homemade when it looks and tastes just like it is made from scratch. With more than 21 delicious dessert pie varieties, let Marie Callender's be your extra set of hands in the kitchen and bring signature special touches to your next occasion.
Pie pairings that please
When planning your pie bar, select an assortment of three to five pies that bring complementary color, texture and flavor. For a traditional pie bar serve holiday favorites, such as Dutch Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Southern Pecan Pie. Wow your guests with a pie bar full of vibrant colors by slicing into the rich Razzleberry Pie, Lattice Cherry Pie, and Peppermint Pie. If you have chocolate lovers on the guest list, satisfy their cravings with a chocolate lover's themed pie bar, serving Chocolate Satin Pie, Turtle Pie and Peanut Butter Cream Pie.
Top it all off
Let your guests get in on the fun with a toppings bar that allows them to tailor each piece of pie to their tastes. Consider presenting a wide selection of toppings for mixing and matching like Reddi-wip, ice cream, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, marshmallows, coconut, crushed cookies and fresh fruit.
A delightful display
Show off the signature special touches of each pie with a display of elevated pie stands. Keep some pies sliced in the pie dish and some served onto dessert plates for added dimension. You can always replenish the plated slices as needed to avoid a cluttered table. Add to the festivity by displaying the array of toppings in martini glasses or Mason jars and feature pie slices on small, square platters to complement the round pies. Don't forget to add a pie server next to each pie and spoons for each topping.
Tie together with a tag
Once your pies and toppings have been creatively displayed on your table, add custom labels that fit your theme so guests can easily determine what the selection includes. Distinguish your pies with foldable tent labels or tags for each variety served. These can be easy to make and personalize if you are feeling crafty, or purchased at a local paper goods or craft store. Label each topping selection by simply tying a tag around the martini glass or Mason jar with ribbon.
The time you save on making pies will allow you to savor every delicious moment of the evening with friends and family. For more inspiration on pie pairings, visit www.mariecallendersmeals.com.