Broccoli is my fall back because when cooked crisp or soft, it takes to dressings like a champ. Steam up a lot, keep the dressing on the side so the broccoli doesn't turn Army green and you are in business.
Since you can't magically make your child like beans -- or salmon or Brie en croute -- the instant an invitation arrives, here are some tips that have helped me dare to venture out into the dining sphere of holiday cheer.
People tell me all the time that they are intimidated to host a dinner party. I want to demystify the process as much as possible, because honestly, cooking a meal for friends is one of the most rewarding things in life.
Canapés are a classic cocktail-party offering. They look great on a tray, are easy for guests to pick up and let you combine interesting flavors and ingredients in one quick bite. But they are a royal pain to make.