*This post is sponsored by Walmart. I do not endorse or work with companies I do not love and trust. I strive to be authentic and show the benefit of these products in our lives*
The holidays are a busy time. Its a time of celebration and even a time of expectation. Over the years we have tried to simplify our holiday business, but with 4 kids, you can only scale back so much. The one thing we will never stop doing is entertaining and celebrating the holidays with family and friends. We love entertaining and having parties at our home. With life being so busy, I have learned some easy tips to help host a party without stressing yourself out.
When I think of the times I host a party, I find myself (the party host) always thinking about the food first. I often joke that we have parties just for the food. My family has always centered our holidays around what we were eating. We are foodies, what can I say. When life gets super busy it can be difficult to multitask and host a party while dealing with the usual business that is associated with the holidays. I have a couple of tips to help you tackle a dinner party or get together without killing yourself ini the process.
One thing my family loves to do is create a charcuterie board for all sorts of special occasions. We often have them on Sunday afternoons when I don’t feel like cooking. They are an easy way to feed everyone with little to no prep involved.
Now, knowing me, I always make a couple homemade items such as my sourdough focaccia bread or my easy flatbread. There are tons of shortcuts to making one quick and simple and I want to share how I do it.
For years I have shopped at Walmart, as it is our closest large grocery store. When you have to travel 1 1/2 hours to the grocery store, its really great to be able to get everything we need in one stop. From groceries to bedding to cooking supplies and decor I can get just about anything I need. I have found their products to be really great and they make my life so much easier. it is one of my favorite places to get my holiday foods.
We recently had a little get together with some friends and family members and I wanted to create a meal that could feed everyone but have little prep and be easy to pull off. I decided I wanted to create a charcuterie board that would be able to feed everyone at the table. I thought it would be a good idea, and it turned out great. I have wanted to make a large cutting board that I could use for this, and so we measured out how big I wanted it and built it. We chose a rectangular board style, and added a couple feet under it to raise it off the table about an inch or two.
Being a good host is important to me, and I want everyone to enjoy their time at our home. Whether you are hosting a large group or stick to small gatherings, it’s important to create an experience for them. A charcuterie board dinner is a great way to satisfy everyones appetites and even their food preferences. If someone is gluten intolerant or a vegetarian you can add food items that satisfy their need as well. For this dinner party, I wanted to create something fun and interactive. I want them to have a good time while they enjoy their dinner. This charcuterie board was going to be a bit different.
I wanted the board to sit center in the table and be accessible to those sitting on both sides of the table as well as those on the end. That has always been that hardest thing about charcuterie boards. When you have a bunch of people eating from it, it is usually hard for everyone to be able to get access to all the yummy things on it. So, in the spirit of entertaining, I wanted to create a dinner where no matter where you were sitting you could easily access the all the same yummy foods that someone on the opposite side of the table can.
This dinner party was made a lot easier by some of the products I was able to use from Walmart. I made a list of all the things I wanted to use on the board and then went shopping. This can be made even easier by ordering your groceries online and picking them up. This is how I always do my grocery shopping. It saves me tons of time and even money! I find I spend way more in the store haha. Here are some of the items I got for this dinner. The great thing is that we use these all on a daily basis so if it doesn’t get used for the dinner party, they will most definitely get eaten anyways.
How to successfully host a party during the busy holiday season
For my charcuterie board we needed an assortment of different food:
These are the essential elements I use…this is all personal preference
- assortment of meats such as proscuitto, genoa salami
- a variety of cheeses or a cheese platter as well as soft cheese like goat cheese and Brie. Use your favorite cheese but also make sure to add some that your guests will love too. Goat cheese with fig jam and pistachios is one of my favorites. Simple slices of cheese are all you really need.
- fresh fruit such as grapes, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries….you can also use dried fruit
- assortment of crackers, pretzels and more
- vegetables or a veggie tray
- fresh herbs
- dips as well as condiments such as mustard and hummus.
- assemble the food as close as possible to when the guest will be eating so that the food stays fresh.
Want some of the items I’ve shared? Click on the image and add them to your next Walmart grocery pickup order!
Before assembling an epic charcuterie board, make sure to consider these simple rules:
- Try not to place fruits or veggies next to crackers, because they can sometimes make the crackers soft if they release any liquid.
- The number of guests will effect how bit to make your charcuterie board
- Make sure to have a couple of servings of mustard and dips on either sides of the board so that everyone can access the condiments( I used these adorable little bowls from Walart.com)
- Add simple elements like rosemary sprigs or sugared cranberries to liven up the board and make it festive.
- make sure to provide plenty of dips etc to go with the veggies etc.
- Put a piece of parchment paper or even plastic wrap on the charcuterie board prior to assembling to prevent stains from fruits and oils.(I learned this the hard way. it really is a good thing to do.
- Make sure everything is cut and served in bite sized portions so they can grab one item and not have to fuss around with cutting a piece off.
Watch this video to see how I set the table and assembled the entire dinner. This is one of my most favorite things to do.
Prior to assembling my large charcuterie board, I wanted to set the table.
I used some simple greenery from my yard and nestled it under the large board. This table will serve double duty to both the meal and the centerpiece. I have the most amazing cloth napkins. dinnerware and the most gorgeous goblets from Walmart. They look so amazing for this intimate dinner party.
Our dinnerware is used and loved well, as is our gold silverware. I am a realist and having two sets of everything is just too much for me. We use what we have.
Now on to the fun part….
When assembling my large charcuterie board, I added some main elements first. Since I wanted this to be the centerpiece, I wanted it to be pretty too. I added a couple candlesticks to the board. I then placed three decorative bowls in different spots on the table where people could access the dips and sides.
When placing foods, I like to add the larger items first and then fill in with smaller ones. I started with the grapes and added them in sporadic spots around the board. Next up was the Proscuitto. I used the same method and laid them out in different areas making sure they could be access by all the guests.
After that was cheeses. Walmart has easy to use sliced cheese platter options like the one below. It saves me so much time!
I repeated this process, adding crackers, sliced breads, nuts, fruits and veggies to fill in the empty spaces. The end result is pretty fantastic! I found this Entertainment Cracker Selection box at Walmart that made it easier and saved me money.
I did not have to buy tons of boxes of crackers. One box was all I needed. You want to make sure to fill the entire board with food. You want it to look lush and delicious.
I love how colorful and appetizing it all looks. The combination of ingredients means everyone can find something they love. One thing I love to make is small bowls with mini fresh mozzarella balls with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and basil. Walmart has this amazing fresh basil paste that I use and it takes no time to create this yummy side. It is amazing on bread or on its own!
Everyone ended up having a blast with this. This was an alcohol free party, and so we opted for some yummy Welches Sparkling Grape Juice. My kids love this stuff. We had a great time with our close friends and family. I wanted to make sure guests enjoyed the food and had a good time.
This is a beautiful board if I do say so myself. Its a bit next level, and my kids were so excited to dive in and enjoy it. Creating one of these for your next get together is a great option, especially if you are not a fan of cooking.
I will definitely be making another one for our next gathering. I like to think of this as the ultimate charcuterie board. It can be used as the perfect appetizer or do what I did and make it the meal! People can eat as much as they want, and can sit and enjoy each other as they snack on the food.
Now, as if thats not enough, I just wanted to share some of the gorgeous decor elements I added to this space to slowly bring in the holiday season. These are perfect for the next time you host a party!
I found this adorable wooden house advent calendar on Walmart.com and had to have it. As you can see it looks amazing with my other items on display, including my other gorgeous wooden cutting boards, which I store on the shelves as part decor and part function. You can use these for your own charcuterie board too! (These can all be found on Walmart.com)
My new rug is the star of this room. It has such gorgeous rich colors and acts as a nice base for the rest of the decor in the room. I purposely chose a rug with some reds as well as greens that would pull in the Christmas element without being obvious.
Are you ready to host a party?
Want this look? Found something you love? Click on the image below to be taken directly to that product and have it shipped right to your door!
The holidays can be a stressful time. I hope these tips can help you navigate the holidays and not be afraid to entertain and wow your guests. Have fun, try new things, and so what works for you.
Make sure to check out these other great posts:
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