Holiday Entertaining: How to host a spectacular, Holiday Dinner Party

2018-12-05T19:09:11+00:00

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tips on how to host a dinner party 

TIPS ON HOSTING A SPECTACULAR, HOLIDAY DINNER PARTY

tips on how to host a dinner party 

It’s that time of the year again; my favorite time of the year actually! Hosting Season!! That’s right, the holidays are upon us. Let all the gatherings and partying begin. Can you sense my excitement? I am all about hosting and entertaining, I love it – but not everyone feels the same. I have heard from a couple of my readers, that they get overwhelmed at the thought of hosting an event. In light of that, I have partnered with 7UP® and H-E-B to bring you some great tips, that can help ease the stress of hosting your next holiday dinner party.

tips on how to host a dinner party 

TIP # 1 H-E-B CURBSIDE PICK UP

tips on how to host a dinner party 

My first tip on how to ease the stress of hosting your next holiday dinner party is: H-E-B Curbside Pick up. Now H-E-B Curbside Pickup is magical, they were thinking of me when it was invented – as a work-from-home-mom of two, that is trying to balance weekly schedules, homework and the latest activity that the P.T.A comes up with, I have very limited time.   On average, I save two hours of grocery shopping time, thanks to this amazing Curbside Pickup service. So when it’s time to host – Its a no brainer for me, I just go to the hebtogo.com website, shop for what I need, pay and pick up when it’s ready. It eliminates the stress of grocery shopping for your party! And you can even buy wine!

tips on how to host a dinner party 

TIP # 2  TABLE SIDE SET UP : THE BAR CART

TABLE SIDE AND THE BAR CART

Let me introduce you to the bar cart – which is my second tip, on how to ease the stress of hosting your next holiday dinner party.  A bar cart is so versatile, practical and useful – its an essential for hosting any party. I recommend using a bar cart, table side, during your dinner parties.  Make sure to plan, stock and style your bar cart.

For my Holiday dinner party I served a delicious 7UP Mango & Cranberry Sangria; along with some Puerto Rican fritters as appetizers. I planned ahead and made sure that the bar cart had all of my essential components.  Glassware, ice bucket, coasters, glass carafe and a bottle opener. Double check and make sure you have everything you need – it will save you from getting up in the middle of your dinner party.

TABLE SIDE AND THE BAR CART

7UP mango sangria

 THE BAR CART

 THE BAR CART

Stocking up.

I stocked up on the Sangria ingredients: wine, ice, fruit &  7UP. 7UP was perfect for this Mango Sangria – it gave it a hint of sweetness, with a touch of lemon-lime, “citrusy” flavor – it was the hit of this holiday gathering. I suggest the 7UP 12 oz cans (not only are they on sale now during the holidays: 7UP 12 packs of 12 oz cans are Buy 3, Get 1 Free at H-E-B when using Curbside Pickup. from 11/28 – 12/11 ) but the 12 oz cans look great on the bar cart. They are easier to pour when you are serving table side!  I will share my Mango Sangria recipe at the end of this post.

 THE BAR CART

 THE BAR CART

 THE BAR CART

Styling.

Styling the bar cart is one of my favorite things to do. It’s like a puzzle to me. But don’t worry, if you are clueless as to how to style yours, just get inspiration from my cart below.  I added some greenery and a red holly wreath – that was all the decor it needed. I used the 7UP and the wines bottles as decor. It’s also a great way for your guests to know what is in the sangria.

 THE BAR CART

 THE BAR CART

 THE BAR CART

 THE BAR CART

 THE BAR CART

decorating and setting your table

TIP # 3  DECORATING AND SETTING YOUR TABLE

decorating and setting your table

Decorating your table for the holidays does not need to be difficult or stressful at all.

  1. pick a table runner
  2. add a cute centerpiece or flower arrangement
  3. add candles or votives ( helps create a great atmosphere )

For my table I went with a white runner. I think it was the perfect contrast against my dark table. Then I added a green, long garland that had touches of white and a few pinecones here and there. All the colors stood out perfectly against the table. Finally, I added candles. Long white candles on these stunning metal candle holders really brought a bright element to the table. Go ahead, play with these three decorating elements. and here is my final decor tip: buy an extra garland for your bar cart. Since you will have your bar cart -table side- make sure they kinda play off each other!

decorating and setting your table

decorating and setting your table

Here are some great tips for a Stress free table Setting

  1. add a large dinner plate.
  2. add a small dinner plate on top of the large plate.
  3. add the silverware.
  4. add a napkin.

This is where you can get creative. You can mix match plates. Use cute napkins & fold them in different ways. Add a napkins ring, you can have place cards, just have fun with it, or keep it simple.

decorating and setting your table

decorating and setting your table

decorating and setting your table

Although my table decor was more simple this year, the garland was just the right size to make the table feel decorated and not overcrowded. I did not go with a higher centerpiece, so that guests could look at each other and carry conversations -without anything getting in the way! It was a fun time!

a new years eve eve celebration

doughnuts

so gather 

gather with friends

recipe

7 UP MANGO AND CRANBERRY SANGRIA

I have included the sangria recipe below, give it a try. It’s such a great recipe and so easy to make. The blend of wines is perfection and by adding the 7UP there is no need to add sugar. So invite your friends, celebrate life, and  gather around your table drinking this delicious sangria.

7UP MANGO AND CRANBERRY SANGRIA

Course Drinks
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Melissa Sanchez

Ingredients

  • 4 12 onz cans 7UP®
  • 1 bottle Merlot
  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • 1 bottle Pinot Noir
  • 1 cup frozen mangoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen grapes
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 TBSP fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Add mangoes, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes to a large pitcher and muddle with a muddler or wooden spoon. 

    2. Add 7UP®, orange juice, lime juice and lemon juice and muddle again to combine. 

    3. Add the Merlots, the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Pinot Noir wine and stir to incorporate, then taste and adjust flavor as needed.

    4. Add ice and stir once more to chill. Serve. 

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