Yesterday may have been the last day to ship gifts for Christmas, but it's not too late to pull together some easy holiday entertaining. We asked Lea from the CASA PINO to share some of her effortless hostess tips for the holidays.
Hey y'all, I'm Lea from the CASA PINO. I'm so excited to be here blogging on Fortique. I'm going to show you how easy it is to throw an elegant holiday party anytime!
The Holidays can be all hustle and bustle, but it doesn't have to be! Perhaps it was my upbringing in the South, but I always like to be "entertaining-ready", which means I try to have a few things on hand at all times so that I can host guests easily at a minutes notice. Here are my go to items for effortless holiday hospitality.
I keep a couple bottles chilling in the fridge at all times. You can save the fancy Champagne for special occasions, sparkling wine is just fine. I recommend Gruet Blanc de Noirs (Total Wine + Whole Foods), Secco (Trader Joe's), Jaume Serra Cristalino (Total Wine, Giant, Safeway) and to make the bubbly a little extra festive, I buy some pomegranate seeds or make some sugared cranberries (here's an easy 3 ingredient recipe) and add a splash of Sorel, a sweet and slightly spicy hibiscus liqueur. Sparkling Pink Cocktail, don't mind if I do! Yum!
Cheese plates are so easy to make, they look beautiful, and they are total crowd pleasers, and you don't have to be a Maitre Fromager to assemble the perfect combination of cheeses. The general rule is a hard, soft and blue cheese in a variety of milks; cow, goat, and sheep. Pick up an asiago (hard/sheep), a chevre (soft/goat), a gorgonzola (blue/ cow), a bunch of grapes, a few different kinds of crackers and you're set. If you see fig jam, quince paste, or a pate, grab that too for a little something extra. If this seems overwhelming just ask the person at the cheese counter for help or head to a specialty shop like, Righteous Cheese at Union Market, they would love to help you pick an awesome, unique selection!
It' so important for setting the mood, and so simple to do! All you need is candles; tea lights, pillars, or tapers, it doesn't matter- just use what you've got. Sprinkle them around the house and light them just before guests arrive. And music, I usually just download a holiday playlist and push play! Here is a great one from Hip Hip Gin Gin!
You're probably thinking this is going to be the hard part, but really its the easiest! I bet you've already got a tree up and maybe even a wreath. So all you really need to make the whole house feel festive and party ready is some extra greenery. If you don't have any on hand, visit a local tree stand. They have a mountain of clippings and they are usually happy to let someone grab as much as they want! I got some fir branches when I bought my tree. We had a recent snow and ice storm that took down a couple of pine branches in a little park in my neighborhood, so I helped my self to as many as I could carry. So my cost on decor, so far, $0. Gotta love that! If you wanted to buy something while you were the store, branches with red berries work well for these simple arrangements. You don't need to be a florist, just grab a assortment of vessels and put a branch in each, and then I'd lay a few little branches around the food and drinks. It's crazy easy, and so elegant.
That's it! Simple stress-free holiday entertaining from the Casa Pino. I'm hosting my chic simple party next weekend so I'll have tons of pictures for y'all on our blog and on Instagram! I hope this helps y'all make your holidays more special! We think, it's not how much money you spend, it's all about the time you spend with those you love.
xo Lea Hart from the CASA PINO