Grads and dads, brides and babies, family reunions and church luncheons, there are so many springtime celebrations that call for scrumptious dishes and table settings sparkling with a festive flair.

Casual entertaining is popular today. Hosts and hostesses may use a traditional table setting for some occasions, but they are becoming much more creative by letting their personality come through in their tabletop decorations.

Bowls of fruits or vegetables may take the place of a floral centerpiece. Serving dishes are now available in many unusual shapes and colors to mix and match with table linens and napkins.

The Taste of Home Cooking School knows if you have a special event coming up you are probably looking for new recipes to impress your family and friends.

We have a lineup of 10 party recipes to present on March 22 at the James H. Rainwater Conference Center off Norman Drive in Valdosta.

For the admission fee of $8 you can watch a lively demonstration as Michelle Roberts from the cooking school staff prepares recipes fit for brunches, luncheons, and dinner parties.

The two-hour demonstration combines basic cooking skills with a touch of creativity as Roberts demonstrates how to present dishes with a personal touch.

Learn how to plan a casual family get-to-together or a more formal luncheon with cooking techniques, national sponsor products and recipes that are sure to produce outstanding results.

Gather your guests at an attractive but comfortable table that invites all to come and savor the flavorful meal you prepared.

The evening will be spiced with humor and fun food facts. If you are a trivia lover you will enjoy the trivia questions presented on screen after each recipe demonstration. "Audiences really enjoy this feature as they select one of the multiple choice answers and then watch the TV screen to see if their answer is correct," Roberts said.

Everyone will be a winner has they enter the auditorium and receive a 68-page Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook that includes the demonstration recipes plus other sparkling spring recipes to try at your next celebration.

The Valdosta Daily Times is sponsoring the program and they will have a free gift bag ready for you with a rainbow of coupons, brochures and samples.

"We're planning the finishing touches for an exciting evening. A large crowd is expected, so I'd advise people to show up early," said Mae Stokes, advertising director for The Times. Tickets are still available at Publix and The Times front desk.

The doors open for the event at 5 p.m. March 22. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

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