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Andrea Olguin
Pam Kietzman

Click on image to purchase book

Even though you may not be rolling in the dough, you can still throw parties that are festive, yet inexpensive, and brilliant in their simplicity. Our guests, Andrea Olguin and Pam Kietzman are authors of the book “Carefree Food Buffets”. These gifted food enthusiasts have come up with an A-Z guide that leaves virtually all of the guesswork out of throwing fast, fun and fabulous summer soirées.

Carefree Gourmet was conceived of in 2000 by Andrea Olguin. After spending time catering, attending chef school, avidly reading food magazines and trying new recipes out on her family and friends, as well as providing advice to friends and family on party planning, she identified the need to create a way to make entertaining more approachable and affordable. Too many of the current publications focused on complicated recipes, hard to find ingredients and techniques that required training and practice. People she spoke to were intimidated by the recipes, didn’t have the time to learn, or a clue as to how to get started. Their only other option was to hire a caterer, which didn’t’ fit into everyone’s budget. So many friends chose not to entertain at all.

Andrea shared her idea with Pam Kietzman a photographer and fellow food enthusiast. Together they built upon the concept and created the first book, Carefree Gourmet Buffets – Dazzling Desserts, Bountiful Brunch, Tea Anytime, Brazilian Bar-B-Que, Casual Cajun and Classy Cocktail for up to 20 Guests.

Carefree Gourmet is meant to be just that, carefree entertaining, while still providing a quality experience for your guests. Fresh foods, nice presentation, simple recipes, menu items you can make ahead and fun party ideas we hope will inspire you to have a few friends over. Start small if you like and build your confidence over time, try the recipes a few times, mix and match the menu items and create new party combinations. Use these recipes to take great tasting food to your next potluck, people will think you fussed over your contribution, but you will know it was done in a snap. 

Food is central to life in so many ways.  It is, of course, critical to our body function, but it is also social, cultural, and nuturing. Where to people congregate in a home?  The kitchen. Where to friends meet to catch up?  A favorite restauant.  How do we celebrate special days and accomplishments?  With parties including lots of food!  How do we show love?  By making a favorite meal or special dish.  Most of us have a special memory of a certain recipe our mom or grandmother made espcially for us that made us smile both with anticipation and knowing that we were loved.  Recipes passed down from generation to generation help us to stay connected with our heritage and share our culture with friends and family.

Food today, however, has become rather complicated.  TV chefs whip up dishes that are difficult, time consuming, expensive and require odd or many ingredients.  And what do you do with the leftover spice that you only have one recipe to use it in?  Information on what is good for you and what isn't is so confusing.  Is organic best?  Or should it be locally grown?  Is corn fed beef ok?  Or should I buy only grass fed?  Maybe I shouldn't eat meat at all!  And wow, fish is getting a bad rep too with all that mercury or pollution that it contains...  Who has time to sort through this all and make a good choice for their family?

Pam and Andrea know what it's like to be a woman on the go today.  Pam works full time in local government.  Andrea is an entrepenuer in the health & wellness industry as well as a real estate investor.  They have full lives with husbands, kids, aging parents, siblings and wonderful dogs. They know what it is like to be short on time, juggling lots of to do's and still wanting to spend quality time with loved ones.

On this site, they share great recipes, kitchen shortcuts, recommend helpful products , offer video how to's to demonstrate easy recipes, a food blog and are available to answer you food questions.  All of the recipes provided have been tested in a home kitchen with home tools, so they know they work!  They publish a new recipes each month in their newsletter. 

Click here to visit author's website