Do guests popping in on short notice or throwing last minute parties, especially during the holidays leave you stressed and frazzled? Lifestyle expert, Elizabeth Mayhew joined me this week to discuss simple tips for ensuring you’re prepared for your next ‘Pop Up Party’!
Candace Rose: With holiday party season upon us, what’s the secret to throwing the perfect party and where do we start?
Elizabeth Mayhew: “The secret to being prepared is to not go way over budget and to have a good time. So the real secret is to just be prepared for anything, and it’s what I call the ‘Pop Up Party’, and that kind of party starts with a drink. So today what we’re pouring in the studio is Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash. It’s delicious on its own but it’s also great when it’s mixed with other things over cocktails. So take for example our Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash Cocktail- all we did was take the Sierra Mist, with some orange vodka and orange liqueur, and some grapefruit juice and some ice cubes and chilled it, and then poured it into this martini glass and you’ve got a nice signature cocktail that lasts throughout the holiday season. You can pour it at all of your parties.
The other thing you can do with it is actually heat it up and make a really nice cider, so you just take the Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash and you warm it up in a saucepan with a couple sprigs of thyme, then you pour it over some fresh cranberries or raspberries and then garnish it with a lime wedge and you’ve got a really pretty Christmas drink that’s perfectly red and green to fit the occasion. For those recipes and more you can head to Sierra Mist’s Facebook page and get everything you need.”
Candace Rose: How about when it comes to meal prep?
Elizabeth Mayhew: “Well, what we’re really talking about today is just having something on hand for that pop up party. It’s the idea that you can have a party anytime, anywhere and we know that a party often means chips and salsa, especially with Tostito’s new Cantina line (Please see video for details). It was line that was created to mimic that restaurant taste. There’s two different chips and two salsas. The Tostito Cantina Traditional chip is best with the thick salsa, it has roasted garlic and is thick and chunky. They also made a thin and crispy chip that goes well with the Tostito Cantina Chipotle restaurant style salsa. This is the type of thing that doesn’t cost a lot of money, you can have it in your pantry and always have it ready to serve when guests come.”
Candace Rose: Are there any other must haves we should know about?
Elizabeth Mayhew: “In terms of having parties, I always like to have my guests leave with something, just as when I go to another party I like to bring that person a hostess gift. So one thing that’s really cute to do is to order these little canvas totes for wine bottles, or I even use them for olive oil bottles. You can even have them personalized, and personalization is really, really in for gifts this year. You’re going to see lots of monogramming everywhere so you can do that kind of monogramming at Lands’ End, just go online, they make it really easy.
The other thing Lands’ End has are cute little scarves that you can put on wine bottles or as I said, an olive oil bottle. It’s just a fun way to dress up a gift. They only cost $8 so you can get a few of them and have them on hand for your friends.
Really, this is about being prepared, be ready and not spending too much money and just enjoying your friends and family.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Elizabeth Mayhew: “For Sierra Mist cocktails go to Sierra Mist’s Facebook page; Go to Tostito.com for more ideas and information about their new Cantina line. And check out LandsEnd.com for lots of gifts, especially those personalized gifts.”