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It’s happening: this week is the official start of holiday entertaining season. Are you ready? The rush of upcoming gatherings can get you stressed (I know it can get to me), but it doesn’t have to be when you prepare yourself! I am always looking for easy, pretty, and affordable ideas for holiday entertaining – from recipes, to decor, to gifts, and more! Today I want to share some simple ideas for decorating your holiday table, as well as an easy dessert bar featuring mousse parfaits!
Let’s start with the holiday table. Do you have a classic setup that you like to go with? In my house, I like to switch things up between parties – variety is the spice of life, after all! I like to decorate based on the theme of the night, the guests who are attending my party, and the food and drink I’m serving! One tip I like to implement: decor that serves a dual purpose! For instance: place settings that serve as table decor AND a gift for guests to take home with them at the end of the night!
I love putting together a quick and easy gift box filled with cookies or other treats, like ones from the Pepperidge Farm Cookie Collection.
Simply buy a cute holiday tin (which are usually around 99 cents!), line it with wax paper or parchment paper, and add a few layers of cookies inside! Close the tin, add a bow or a ribbon, and attach a name card.
When you place them in front or on top of each guest’s place setting they will not only know where to sit, but the cookie filled tin will add an extra pop of festive fun to the table! How simple and effortless is that?!?! When it only takes a few easy steps to set the table, why not take advantage and impress your guests?
You can easily pick up a box or two of the Pepperidge Farm Cookie Collection and the Pepperidge Farm Cracker Trio at Walmart to have on hand and in stock for the entire holiday season.
When it comes to crackers, I always need them at the ready in my kitchen. Who doesn’t love a spread of crackers, sliced cheese, and other accoutrements as an appetizer spread to start your party? The Pepperidge Farm Cracker Trio is great since you get three crackers in one box – variety is the spice of life, as I said! In addition to the cookies and crackers, you can find many more items for your holiday entertaining needs, like Barilla Pronto Pasta (which can easily be prepared in one pot – no draining necessary!) topped with Barilla Pasta Sauce. It just so happens that Walmart will be holding in store demonstrations and tastings in the months of November and December so you can experience these products yourself. You can visit the Simple Entertaining Hub to find out about an event at a store near to you!
And of course, you can’t forget the wine at your holiday gatherings! Pairing my holiday bites with Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir is a choice that complements chocolate. Yes – Walmart features a selection of super premium wine in their stores at great prices – take a look when you are stocking up for your holiday entertaining needs! With your DIY mousse parfaits layered with Pepperidge Farm cookies and a glass of Pinot Noir, your night is bound to be delicious perfection!
So – how about that dessert parfait bar? A DIY parfait is one of my favorite dessert options to present at a holiday gathering. They are easy to put together, each dessert can be customized, and almost everything can be prepared in advance – you just have to set everything out on the table when it is time to eat!
You can create your own homemade mousse, or if you’d like a quick option simply mix an instant pudding mix with half of the required milk (typically 1 cup instead of 2), then fold in whipped cream or whipped topping as the second half (1 cup). Set it in the refrigerator, and you have a semi homemade mousse! Guests can add desired toppings, like the Pepperidge Farm Cookie Collection cookies, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, and more. It’s no fuss for you as the host, and a lot of fun for your guests to boot!
Be sure to check out more holiday entertaining ideas on Simple Entertaining I’d love to hear about your favorite holiday recipes, tips and tricks!