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Peter Callahan

Guest Post, Inspirations

Holiday How-to’s: Party Resources

If we were to hire someone to cater our next holiday get together (or any other celebration throughout the year) we’d want the very talented Dixie Todd from Connecticut-based Party Resources.  Known far and wide as the creator of unique and memorable events filled with flawless style, Dixie has a passion for parties that she’s passed down to her lovely daughter, Kate, who pens the company’s blog and whom we’ve gotten to know over the years.  It is with great pleasure that we have Kate here as a guest today sharing her tips on how to entertain with festive flair.

Introducing Kate…

What fun to be a guest at one of my favorite blogs – The Buzz.  These ladies have such great style!  This time of year is so festive with twinkling lights, garlands galore, and time with family and friends.  But it is also hectic and so I wanted to pass along a few tips for stress-free entertaining.

Setting the Mood

The very best thing is to plan ahead and the key to a memorable event is in the details.  I always do the cooking myself but usually hire someone to help serve and clean up at the end of the evening.

First set the tone – you want even your first guest to feel like it is a party when they walk in to your home.  Make a fire and light a luscious candle.  My new favorite for the holidays is THIS ONE from Archipelago.

Joy of the Season

I always make a custom playlist for a party – so make a mix of holiday classics.  Some of my favorite holiday albums include

Michael Buble’s Christmas

Tony Bennett’s Christmas Album

Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song

Beautiful seasonal flowers – go ahead and arrange them yourself!  This is a holiday arrangement I did with flowers from a local market mixed with berries and fresh rosemary.

Winter Whites

Of course you need a fully stocked bar.  But also make a tray of signature cocktails and impress your guests!  I love the cran-tinis from our good friend celebrity caterer Peter Callahan. RECIPE 

Fun and Festive

Send each guest home with a favor and even better if you make it yourself!  I like making BOOZY OLIVES


Or fill mason jars with SPICED NUTS and finish them with a custom tag.

Double Yum!

Make menu cards for each place like this one.

Holiday Menu

Even an elegant dinner can be prepared in advance.  Who wants to be in the kitchen when you should be enjoying a glass of holiday cheer with your friends?  My favorite recipe for the winter months is BEEF BOURGUIGNON 

A Savory Stew

Another make ahead favorite?  Individual molten lava cakes.  You can make them ahead, freeze them and then pop them in the oven to cook when you serve the main course. RECIPE

Molten Goodnes

I always serve champagne with dessert.  Always.

A Bit of Bubbly

Happy holidays to all of you!

And cheers to you, Kate!  Thank you for your wonderfully festive post.  Your recipe for Beef Bourgignon is our absolute favorite as well and guess what we’re serving Christmas Eve?  Our champagne is chilled, our candles are lit and we’re ready for guests thanks to you!
Photos via Carolyn Roehm, Archipelago, Amazon, Peter Callahn, Bon Appetit, Smitten Kitchen, Tumblr, Food Network, Zoon Yummy and Grant Gibson Blog