Tag Archives: food

Balsam Hill | Balsam Hill Editors

National Margarita Day: A Classy Celebration with a Well-loved Drink

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Today, Balsam Hill joins the country as it celebrates National Margarita Day with its own more intimate version of a gathering centered on the margarita. A long-time staple of tiki bars and beachside cabanas, these margaritas will have you setting aside your usual Bellini for the ultimate in frosty refreshment.

margarita
Photo from Lee Edwin Coursey via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Twists on Your Favorite Margarita

Everyone knows the basic ingredients to a margarita: tequila, triple sec, lime, and coarse salt. But this drink has evolved into something more sophisticated that every crowd can enjoy.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Elegant Christmas Party Must-Haves: A Feature Post by Elizabeth Copeland

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Earlier this year, we asked our fans to share how they prepare a perfectly elegant Christmas party for their friends and family in our Balsam Hill Blog Contest. Elizabeth Copeland responded with not only wonderful decor ideas, but also recipes for delicious party treats that will be a hit with your guests. Reposted from her blog, Water Rolls Uphill, read on to find out just how this mother of three throws a simple, pitch perfect Christmas gathering that is a feast for both the spirit and the senses.

Elegant Christmas Party Must-Haves
by Elizabeth Copeland of Water Rolls Uphill

Last year, my Christmas tree fell three times. Sad, isn’t it? Imagine my despair as I stood surrounded by pine needles and shattered ornaments (three times!), and I’m sure that you will agree that my last thought was how to have the perfect Christmas soiree.  However, as  I sit relaxing and enjoying company, I am reflecting on how to share a wonderful Christmas evening with friends and family.  I also threw my hat in the ring to win an extravagant $10,000 shopping spree at Balsam Hill (you can enter on their Facebook page). [Editor's note: This sweepstakes ended on December 12, 2012.]

My parents have a very pretty, stable Christmas tree with a lifetime of cherished heirloom ornaments on it. I unfortunately, do not, but that won’t stop me from finding and creating new memories with the help of my family this year. My tree decorations might be sparse, but I’m full of great ideas for celebrating the season!


My parents’ Christmas tree, as I don’t have one up yet.

 

The simply Elegant DIY Christmas Party:

  1. Invite plenty of people you love and enjoy.
  2. Beautiful decorations – you can find some great wreaths and garlands at Balsam Hillglitter pillar candles, a beautiful ruffled tree skirt (use a circle skirt pattern and sew strips together to achieve the required lengths necessary, leave one side seam open to add ties to for ease of opening/closing), a Jesse tree.
  3. Tasty treats: spinach artichoke dipsausage balls, bruschetta, hollowed cucumber cups with hummus or tzatziki dip, mini quiches, smoked salmon with baguettes, cheese tray, Honey Baked Ham and yeast rolls, broccoli salad, and a fruit bouquet (these are easy to make with floral foam and bamboo skewers).
  4. A great finale: Chocolate cake with peppermint bark frosting with vanilla ice cream on the side (butter cream frosting with a bit of peppermint oil and broken up peppermint bark.
  5. Pretty things for the hostess: Boogie Woogie cocktail dress and black stilettos.
  6. Something pretty to share with your guests: simple glitter ornaments, layer a cursive initial for the guest’s last name over the silver glitter with a second color.

Elizabeth also kindly agreed to participate in an email interview with us, which will be published on Christmas Eve. In it, you can learn how her family is celebrating Christmas this year. You can also find out more about Elizabeth on her blog, Water Rolls Uphill.

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Throwing the Perfect Thanksgiving Party

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Thanksgiving, that time of year when you gather with loved ones and take a moment to be thankful for all of your blessings, is almost here. Planning a huge get-together of family and friends, with most traveling across the country, is a big undertaking. There are decorations to be planned, assembled, and hung up; an exquisite menu to prepare; and of course, a delectable wine and bar list to impress even the most discerning of palates.


Image courtesy of Simon Howden | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

To prevent yourself from feeling too overwhelmed by all of these holiday preparations, it is vital that you separate the event into three main categories. This way, the tasks are all compartmentalized, allowing you to accord sufficient attention to every detail. Here are a few tips to help you get on your way to planning the perfect Thanksgiving party:

Décor

Proper party décor bolsters the mood of the space. Before you start decorating, think of the ambiance that you want your party to exude. For something elegant yet full of familial warmth, decorate with a color palette featuring warm tones such as orange, brown, and warm red; these colors beautifully complement most Thanksgiving menus. Contrasting these colors against off-white dining sets elevates the elegance of your gathering and provides a backdrop for your dinner table.

If you’re looking for décor rooted in casual sophistication, juxtapose brighter color palettes against autumn’s muted scenery; colors such as gold, blue, pink, peach, and green work beautifully to convey a more laid-back atmosphere.

Once you’ve identified your color palette, you can start assembling décor items to pull the look together. No matter what colors you choose, decorating the space with charming seasonal items, such as these Mini Brown Acorn decorations, is enough to highlight the beauty of fall.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Elegant Party Appetizers

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A party is never complete without a flavorsome array of appetizers to initiate lively conversation and bring guests together. Do away with the usual fare of cheese trays and pigs in a blanket, and incorporate these scrumptious culinary treats into your next dinner party.

Caviar Canapé

Nothing embodies sophistication more than caviar. For a classic appetizer, toast mini-brioches and top them off with a teaspoon of crème fraiche and your favorite caviar. You may even give your guests options by allowing them to select the caviar of their choice. For an added visual twist, cut the brioche into various shapes to match the party theme, like an autumn leaf to match an autumn dinner party. Garnish with your favorite fresh herbs.

Layered Puff Pastry Squares

Puff pastry appetizers are one of the easiest things to prepare when you’re in a rush. You can purchase a large quantity of pre-made puff pastry dough from your local supermarket and bake it at home as needed. Dress up the puff pastry by layering it into mini sandwiches with an array of fillings. From sweet fig jams to savory pâté, your puff pastry appetizer plate will offer a delectable range of choices for your discerning guests.

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