3 mins read

The Secret to Holiday Hosting: Don’t Forget to Live in the Moment

Whether she’s hosting dinner parties and game nights with friends, or running her fashionable apron business, Bon Aprontit, you can find Plume & Petal Ambassador Megan Kowalczyk living in the present. “I’m most grounded when I’m with my friends and family. I couldn’t tell you where my phone is or what my to-do list says because I’m enjoying what’s happening in the now.”

One thing that’s for sure – Megan knows how to throw a good party, and with the holiday season right around the corner, she’s sharing a few easy hosting tips. Pro tip: with good food, good cocktails and great company, there’s no way to go wrong (but a beautifully organized charcuterie board always helps)!

What does the menu look like for a Holiday Cocktail Party?

Lots of warm and cozy dishes with a themed cocktail. I always start with a charcuterie board as they make for a great centerpiece on a table and people enjoy nibbling on it all night. Then I’ll add 2 or 3 bites to compliment it. For this gathering, I’d do Butternut Squash and Feta Tarts, Cranberry Goat Cheese Crostini’s, and then finish it off with mini ginger pumpkin pies.

Ok, so what’s the secret to laying out the perfect holiday charcuterie board?

Having a cohesive theme! Coming up with something to guide what you put on your board is key whether that’s the look, the flavors, or a combination. For this board, I did a variety of cheeses with touches of different flavors including a truffle brie, cranberry goat cheese and herb gouda. For the meats, I used a mix of salami, chorizo and prosciutto and paired them with crackers, parmesan crisps and fig and olive crisps. I finished it off with some dried apricots, figs, carrots, sliced pears and greenery I found in the floral section of my grocery store.

How do you arrange your board?

I start by placing my larger items first. For this, I first placed my cheeses and holiday touches – mini pumpkins, candles, and gourds. I then started filling in the large spaces with the meats (tip: roll or fold your meats to give them height and dimension), carrots and crackers. Once these are placed, I adjust everything to be evenly spaced out and fill in the gaps with dried fruits, nuts, herbs, etc.

You can’t have a Holiday gathering without cocktails. What will you be serving?

Just Peachy Cocktail! The peach flavor nicely compliments the savory, spice forward dishes that you eat more in the fall and winter. You also can’t go wrong with the Peach Basil Smash. I made it for a dinner party once and everyone raved about it!

How do you keep guests entertained and connected while hosting?

I always think it’s helpful to have a game in your back pocket – whether it’s a conversation starter such as trivia or an actual board or card game. It’s a great way to get everyone thinking and interacting.

What advice do you have for other people who want to host a gathering?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re hosting on a weeknight after work, ask guests to bring a dish since you may be short on cooking time.

Also, no matter the gathering or party, have fun with it! There’s no right or wrong way to host, so if you want to get fancy and pull out the china or keep it casual with disposables, it’s totally up to you and your guests will enjoy it either way!