2 Simple Ways to Host a Holiday Gathering

2 Ways to Host a Holiday Gathering

What I love about the holidays is that we don’t always have to have a big party. Small, intimate gatherings are really special, and quite honestly, they can be quite simple!

Recently we hosted 2 kinds of gatherings in our home:

1. Appetizers. You can ask your friends over for a platter of delicious appetizers and serve a variety of wine. And then head out to your favorite restaurant for the main course!

2. Desserts. Make one yummy, festive dessert that feeds 6-8, and you’re golden! Bring your guests back to your house after eating out for the final touch of the evening! Or, invite friends over for a dessert evening, after everyone’s eaten dinner in their own homes.

For the appetizers, I sort of cheated. Have you ever received a gift basket during the holidays and you rip it open, eating only a few of your favorite items, and the others get pushed off to the side? What I’ve recently learned about appetizer baskets is the companies who send them actually go to a lot of work in pairing the foods together. So what I did was take a Harry & David Northwest Gift Basket that I received, and I used all the products in the basket for this delicious assortment of appetizers.

2 Ways to Host a Holiday Gathering

I didn’t even have to think about what to buy – my appetizer party was complete!

Head over to Harry & David’s brand NEW blog to read more about how I made this elegant appetizer platter.

For the dessert party, I went with a creative festive dessert that would serve a lot of guests. I didn’t know exactly which of our friends would be coming back to our house for dessert, so whether 6 came (a nice big piece), or 10 (a sliver is all you need), this dessert was moist and perfect for the holidays.

2 Ways to Host a Holiday Gathering

Head on over to KitchenAid’s NEW BLOG to grab my delicious Pear Cranberry Upside Down Cake recipe, and to read more inspiration on hosting a dessert party!

Keeping things simple during the holidays can be a gift in itself. One I’m always ready to receive.

What is your favorite way to entertain during the holidays?


  1. Hi Sandy!

    The link to your Pear Cranberry Upside Down cake links directly to the KitchenAid Home Page, and the recipe didn’t turn up in a search — would you mind posting the direct link to the cake recipe?

    Thank you! The cake looks absolutely delish – can’t wait to try it!

  2. Hi, I’m new to your blog, in fact you were recommended by the Recipe Girl. And from what I have seen so far, I really need your help…Thanks

  3. Great simple tips, as always, Sandy! I was just thinking this morning of a couple smaller groups of people that we haven’t seen in awhile…trying to think about how to make something happen during the holidays. Perfect timing with this post!

  4. We’ll be hosting a graduation open house this month (yay!) and appetizers and/or desserts will be perfect! Great, simple ideas–thanks.

  5. Thanks for this post, especially pointing out that Harry & David create their baskets with the idea of paring the foods in the basket. I often send their baskets as gifts, but now I want to purchase one for myself to create an appetizer get-together for a few of my friends. I also would like to try that scrumptious cake! Merry Christmas.

  6. Thank you! :)

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