Holiday Entertaining – Appetizers And Cocktails

For me, Christmas is synonymous with decorating and entertaining, so when I had the chance to create a holiday party for Pier 1 using some of their items, I was thrilled! You know how I love to incorporate food as part of the party decor so pieces from their tasting party were “must haves” for this appetizers & cocktails party. This is my favorite way to entertain - intimate gatherings with small tasty bites.

See how I put it all together, and read my tips for hosting your own adult soiree, below…

Get the Look:

  • One of the first things I think about when setting up party tables is the centerpiece, or focal point. When I found this gold “twig”-style tree at Pier 1 I knew I needed to have it. It’s sturdy, disassembles for storage, and it’s versatile enough for year-round decorating – a triple threat in this party girl’s book! I placed it to one side of the table to hang ornaments from and left the rest of the background empty for a clean modern feel.
  • During one of my shopping outings at Pier 1 I found the white sawhorse desk. I’ve been on the lookout for something white and lightweight that I can use for parties and be able to move from room to room as needed. I nearly died when I saw this table and knew I had to have it – I just love it!
  • I kept everything in white so the menu would shine, and added red for a pop of color.  The beauty of using white as a base is that you could add in ANY single color that matches your decor.

Setting up the buffet is just plain fun when using the tasting set pieces. I love using them because they add an architectural element of design, and the white and clear glass pieces coordinate with everything I already have. I already had the mini martinis and Asian spoons, and by adding the glass bowls, white bowls, and stemless flutes I was able to set a fabulous buffet.  Here’s my menu:

  • Pasta & Crab Salad served in white tasting cups – even for appetizer parties I like to serve things that are hearty and filling, especially if men are around. You don’t want anyone hitting up the fast food joint on the way home because they’re still hungry.  I made this one by combining a pasta salad from the deli with chopped crab meat {okay, the “faux” crab meat}.  Pre-made salads are always overly dressed so the addition of the crab meat really helped balance that out.  I was surprised at how tasty this was, and would certainly serve it again.  To dress up the tasting cups I simply added an adhesive ‘pearl’ to the side.
  • Hummus served in mini martini glasses – I always provide some time of dip at a party. It’s a good time and money saver because it feeds a lot of people at once. Serving dip in individual glasses alleviates any fears of the dreaded double dipper! Hummus is also a good choice if you have vegetarians in your group. As the hostess you have to be aware of the special diets of your guests.
  • California Rolls served in Asian spoons – Have you ever noticed how “one bite” items always seem to take 2 or 3 bites {is that just me?}? Serving sushi rolls in the little spoons is great for people like me who need the extra help, plus you can put soy sauce in the well for dipping.  Placing the spoons on a tall cake stand adds height to the table and makes it easier to reach items in the back.
  • Upside Down Cheesecakes in mini dessert bowls – You can serve classic recipes but why not do something different with them.  I think these upside down cheesecakes look even prettier than the right side up version, plus my favorite part is the graham cracker crumbs so I love that they are on top!
  • Peppermint Cotton Candy Cocktail served in stemless flutes – I’ve always wanted to try the cotton candy champagne cocktail, and the holidays are the perfect time to try something special like that.  I found peppermint flavored cotton candy {at the Dollar Tree} that’s white with a little red throughout – matched my party perfectly.  After trying the mixture I am a fan!  Not only does it make for an interesting {and tasty} presentation, but it’s a novel idea your guests will love and the kind of detail you will be remembered for.

What are your “must have” items for entertaining?  Decorating is easy when you use some key pieces that can transition from one occasion to another.  Cheers!

If it’s interesting, if it’s impressive, if it’s colorful and cute and one-of-a-kind—then odds are it’s probably from Pier 1 Imports®. After all, Pier 1 has been the place for unique finds for over 40 years. Our buyers travel the world’s major capitals and small villages hunting for the kinds of treasures you can’t find just anywhere—fresh and fragrant candles, exotic wicker, hand-painted dinnerware, gorgeous textiles and thoughtful hand crafted gifts. Find what speaks to you at Pier 1 Imports®.

If you like the food label tags and want to use them, just right click and save the blank card below.  You can add you own text in picmonkey or ipiccy, save and print for your own use.

For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Cheers!

 

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pier 1 Imports® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pier 1 Imports®.

About Chris

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience. In addition to her work as founding editor of Celebrations At Home, Chris is an editorial stylist and contributor to Homes.com, Marie Callender's, and SheKnows. Most recently her work has been published in Woman's World, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, and Cottages & Bungalows.

Comments

  1. Simple but still so festive! Can see lots of decorating possibilities with that “twig tree,” too!

  2. Darling, love that table too!

  3. Love this!! So classy!

  4. I love the gold tree with ornaments, simple but adds nice height to the tablescape. I bet those cotton candy cocktails are delicious!

    Brittany Ryan
    Beaux and Belles event planning blog

  5. Love it, especially since I have most of the same servingware, got my own wheels spinning!

  6. Love this post…great ideas and a nice plug for Pier 1.
    Only wish you shared recipes or gave site to find them on the post.

  7. Where did you get the cotton candy? I have searched everywhere!

  8. I’m way behind on reading emails, but just want to let you know this is ~awesome~! I would love to put together a spread like this. Thanks so much for all the details–it actually does look easy enough even for me to do!

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