You'll have more time to visit with your weekend guests if you shop ahead and do as many advance preparations as possible. Here's Tarla Fallgatter's game plan:
One week ahead: Make mushroom roulade, freeze. If desired, make cranberry muffins and fig bread and freeze.
Thursday: Go shopping. Make puffs for puffs with creamed mushrooms; store in airtight container.
Friday: Do last-minute shopping. Make cake layer for lemon curd cake. Make beef and vegetable stir-fry.
Friday night: Make melon balls with mint and baked apples for Saturday lunch.
Saturday morning: Make spicy shrimp and refrigerate. Make breakfast frittata and poached fruit.
Saturday late morning: Make Chinese burritos. Make butternut squash soup and refrigerate.
Saturday late afternoon: Make creamed mushrooms for puffs and place all other buffet items on table. Place mushroom roulade in refrigerator to thaw. Make buche de noel and refrigerate.