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Here's an Easy Table Setup for Your Last-Minute Parties

Impress your guests.
Here's an Easy Table Setup for Your Last-Minute Parties Impress your guests.

This is a holiday scenario that is all too familiar to me. While most Christmas parties are usually planned weeks or months in advance, there are impromptu get-togethers that still end up happening in our home. This is by no way a complaint. In fact, it happens often enough that I have become quite used to this situation, usually orchestrated by my husband. 

I can’t say that we all must have a well-stocked pantry or fridge. In real life, who really does? But there are few items that are always safe to have in your kitchen for sudden events like these, such as crostinis or crackers, paté, cold cuts or chorizos. Depending on the number of hours given to you for preparation, you can either call a nearby homecook, or drop by Gourmet Corner and get some good quality frozen cooked food. If it’s not a real dinner party, then you can load up your table with a variety of hors d'oeuvres. A quick stop at the nicest grocery nearest you can save the night. The rest, you can wing it. Just hope that you have some grown up and design-y serveware.

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IMAGE Charles Rodulfo

 

Never underestimate the power of a cheese platter and some charcuterie. I usually keep the two platters separate, but since I had very little of both, I put them together. I had three types of chorizo iberico sausages. It’s also good to have some cured hams, salami and pâtés. Mix up the textures—hard and soft. If you take your charcuterie seriously, serve some garnishes and condiments such as salads with lemon and oil, olives, nuts, pickles, mustard, onions.

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IMAGE Charles Rodulfo

 

This is the easiest thing to prepare as long as you have a big loaf of rustic bread. I learned this from my sorority in Toronto. It has this vintage vibe that sort of reminds me of Tupperware parties, but it never fails to impress guests. They’ll think you slaved over this fancy platter for hours! 

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All you need is a big round bread—pumpernickel works best but since it’s hard to find in Manila, you can choose any rustic bread. Carve out the middle and slice the bread pieces into bits. Surround the bread with cut carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes. 

The dip is a no-brainer—one tub of sour cream mixed with powdered onion soup mix. And that’s my little hack learned from my years in Pi Beta Phi, Toronto. This is such a favorite that I included the recipe in my book CHIC: Tips on Life, Style, and Work.

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IMAGE Charles Rodulfo

 

Put those Christmas presents to good use. Most of us receive pretty food baskets. Hopefully not all are fruitcake.  These two tubs of spreads from Abuela’s—smoked fish and liver pate—are so wonderful with plain crostini. 

IMAGE Charles Rodulfo

 

Grocery-bought sweets and bakes made to look like a fancy dessert station. I have all these cake stands that rarely ever get used, but thanks to the demands of the holidays, they are always on standby. I use them for everything, even un-cake related. Gingerbread cookies, stacked in a pile look instantly adorable in a vintage cake stand. Here, I also used them for a variety of mini croissants, and freshly baked cupcakes from Thea Bakes Cupcakes

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Daphne Oseña Paez is Preview.ph's guest editor for the month of December. Her eponymous label, DAPHNE, is the home label for stylish living and is a good example of her exquisite taste and the ability to make any house a home. This month she helps us prepare for the holidays with her tips and tricks. Visit her blog here if you want to keep up with Daphne and her adventures.

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