The Christmas Halo

Is Christmas dinner at your place this year? Are you worried about impressing your guests with your cooking skills - or lack thereof?

Well, it turns out that a food psychologist at the University of Illinois, Brian Wansink, has found that the way people perceive their dinner has less to do with what's on their plate than what's in their heads. Tell me more you say?

Restaurants pay lots of attention to their decor and lighting, the wait staff, menus and even the names and descriptions of their dishes --- Why you ask? To create the belief that the chef will be taking similar pains over your meal. And it works - if the food is half decent.

So how can you ensure your guests love your meal? Try these few tips-- During the conversation talk up your ingredients - maybe mention that you bought your cranberries at the organic farmer's market. Or that you can't wait for them to taste the fresh juicy pears which are at their peak at this time of year.

Props can also help create the halo effect. When guests wander into the kitchen, why not fiddle with your most complicated piece of equipment? For me, that could be my food processor - wink wink. What about leaving a melon baller on the counter -- wicked looking!

What studies have shown is that making people pay close attention to their food - makes it taste better.

If you try any of these tips, be warned--- You may be asked to host the meal again next year!

Hope you are halo shows up this year!

Posted by Paula