Ruff Draft: Holiday Hostess Gift and Entertaining

Are you ready Holiday Entertaining this week?  If not, we have some last minute, quick and easy ideas for you!

I am one of those people who insists on bringing hostess gifts everywhere I go.  However, I am also one of those people who tends to wait until the last minute… which gives me limited options, and I typically end up bringing a bottle of wine.  Not very creative, I know!

So – this holiday season, I decided I was going to think outside the box, and put more thought into my hostess gifts!

One of my favorite entertaining go-to’s, is putting out meats & cheeses on cutting boards!  I thought, why not give the hostess, something I love to serve???  I am going to show you both options:  A. Creating the perfect hostess gift, and B. Displaying the perfect appetizer

You can find cutting boards at discount stores (Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Walmart) for as little as $3.99…. You can source gourmet cheeses in local grocery stores (find specialty cheeses on sale)… and crackers are pretty inexpensive as well.

The key to creating this perfect hostess gift, is to unwrap each item and re-wrap with your own personal touch!  It is simple to do, and makes for a fabulous presentation – your hostess will be blown away!!!



Cutting Board
Various cheeses – I used a mild cheese (Munster), a creamy cheese (Goat Cheese), and a robust cheese (Blue Cheese)
A specialty meat – I chose a gourmet summer sausage
Crackers – I used breadstick crackers and seeded crackers


Part A:  Creating the Perfect Hostess Gift

1. Unwrap all ingredients – wrap cheese back in seran wrap, and wrap crackers back in their clear bag packaging or seran wrap.
2. Once they are re-wrapped, find scrap paper that you have in your house – I used book pages, b/c I have tons of them and they give a nice rustic flare – BUT, you can use craft paper, newspaper, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper – you don’t need a lot… whatever type of paper you like best.
3. Cut small pieces of your paper, and wrap around each item – you want the product to show a little, so your hostess knows what it is.

rewrapping cheese

4. Once you have wrapped each item with paper, then you are going to start stacking them, and adding printable tags for the final touch!  (For this display I used our party logos from the Fall Harvest Collection) *Note – I used tape inbetween stacks to hold together.

wrapping the crackers

5. Next you will place on the cutting board – again using a little bit of tape underneath, to hold into place *When items are stacked, I also reinforced by wrapping together with twine.

placing the components

6. Last – tie together with a couple pieces of raffia, ribbon or twin to secure in place.

raffia tied together


Part B:  Displaying the Perfect Appetizer

Now, if you are needing a quick appetizer to put out, you can use the same items to create another display.

The key to making this display unique, is to take glassware and use as bowls – I typically use a: champagne glass, martini glass, rocks glass & wine glass!

displaying the food

I added some olives and almonds for an extra touch… and I put party flags from our Fall Harvest Collection on the cheeses to make it more festive!
This is one of the easiest appetizers, but it looks like a million bucks, just because of displaying it in an unusual way.
Serve a little fig jam with this, and your meat & cheese tray looks like it came straight out of an Italian Bistro.

displaying appetizers

I can’t tell you how many compliments I get from my guests on this appetizer, when I serve these simple foods.  It is all about the presentation – I promise!!

One more suggestion:  next time you are asked to bring an appetizer, package the items up like I showed you in Part A, then unwrap and present (borrowing some glassware at your guest’s home) and set out like I showed you in Part B.  (Let you hostess keep the cutting board, and it’s a win-win!!!)


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful Turkey Day!!!!


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