Life With Lipstick On

charcuterie board

5 tips for easy entertaining

Partieskacee geoffroyComment
Fall entertaining tips

I love to host little gatherings at house all year but as we come up to the holiday’s my hostess vibes go into full gear. I used to be a really anxious hostess. I would worry about everyone having a good time, was the food good, does the house smell nice etc. etc. Over the years, I’ve honed some tips on how to be a chill hostess and ensure that not only your guests feel special and taken care of but you have a great time too.

  1. Pick a theme- a theme can really help with all aspects of party prep. You can get your table layout designed with decor, decide on florals if any, work out your playlist and create your menu based off the vibe of your theme. This doesn’t have to be elaborate but something that sets the tone for you and your guests.

  2. Add some charm- now that you have a loose theme worked out, you can add little accents to your meal and table to make your guests feel extra special. I love using name tags for each guest. You can get really creative with these sweet touches from wood etched to hand written. Cloth napkins and your nicer dish ware show that you have given the setting extra thought. Florals are always a lovely touch. I like to keep my florals low and scattered to keep cross table conversation easy.

  3. Prep before hand- I love getting my table all situated and set up in advance to see what I’m missing or be able to play with the design a bit before hand. I pull out the appropriate serve ware based on my menu so I can have everything cleaned and ready to go. This also goes for the menu. I plan everything out in detail a couple days before hand so I have plenty of time do the shopping and food prep ahead of time. I’m still working on perfecting my cooking times but practice makes perfect right?!

  4. Libations and Apps-I feel like cocktails and appetizers are the kick off to any party. I like guests to have something yummy to snack on right away and be able to fill their cup with something festive. You can never go wrong with a fall inspired spiked punch or sangria and a yummy rustic charcuterie. Make sure to keep a little something for every pallet at fingers reach.

  5. Set the mood with a great playlist- the tone of any gathering is immediately set by the music. If you want a more energetic vibe get something tuned up that is poppy and fun. For a more laid back feel, find tunes that feel more relaxed and serene. Keep in my tunes with profanity. Some tracks have some sneaky lyrics that may make guests feel uncomfortable and may not be great for little ears.

Charcuterie board tutorial

Food, HOLIDAYkacee geoffroyComment
charcuterie board

There is nothing I love to serve more at a gathering than a gorgeous chartruterie board. I feel like there is an anatomy to creating a well rounded and beautiful board. Here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve found make the process super simple!

To start, you need to decide how large of a board you are going to fill. I have three different sizes on hand. It’s nice to have a couple to feed larger or smaller groups. For this particular gathering I was hosting I wanted my largest board. I love this one because of it’s handles to make serving super easy.

charcuterie board

There are countless pairings you can do when it comes to what you add to the board. I like to include a couple staples and favorites or at least categories.

You will want to have a variety crackers, meats, nuts, dry and fresh fruit, pickles, olives and garnish. I like to have around 3 types of each category.

charcuterie board

I included every day finds all from Trader Joes.

Here is your shopping list to replicate this exact board:

Crackers: Trader Giotto's Rosemary Italian Style Crackers, Fig and Olive crisps, Sharp Cheddar Sourdough Cheese Sticks 

Meats: Salami, Prosciutto and Capocollo

Nuts: Sweet and Spicy walnuts and Fancy mixed nuts

Fruit: fresh pear, pomegranate seeds, dried apricots and dried cranberries

Cheese: Smoked Cheese, White Stilton with apricots and Creamy Toscano soaked in Syrah

Pickles and Olives: Cornichons and Marinated Olive duo in lemon and herbs

Garnish: fresh Rosemary and Sage


charcuterie board

Place three white ramekins in a triangle shape in the center of the board about 2 inches apart.

Stack each type of cracker in a star shape next to each of the ramekins

Add the cheese next to each cracker pile. I like to make sure the lighter colored crackers are paired with the darker cheeses to make a contrast in color. For example, pair the Stilton next to the Fig and Olive crisps and the soaked Toscano with the plum edges next to the Rosemary crackers.

Next add in the meats. I like to fold and twist the slices to make them look less stiff. Tuck in the pieces next to the cheeses.

Divide the pear slices and fan them in a pile on opposite sides of each other on the board. Do the same with the dried apricots. The fruit will create a cross if looking down on the board.

You should be getting fairly full by this point with just a couple holes. You can easily fill the holes with little clusters of nuts and dried cranberries.

Fill each of the ramekins with the olives, pomegranates and pickles.

Tuck in the rosemary and sage for pops of green.