Doing some serious entertaining this year? Try going casual with decor: give your tableau a distinctly Northwest vibe with a loose arrangement of native flora.
There’s an earthy beauty found in a Pacific Northwest winter: damp forests give us various shades of green set against a backdrop of grey, stormy skies, with the occasional brilliant sunset. So when it comes to holiday decorating, look outside for inspiration—and consider a less-traditional arrangement that echoes the wild charm that is December in the Pacific Northwest.
The key? “Traditional greens gone untraditional,” says Katie McConahay, floral merchandiser for New Seasons Market. “They give you the Northwest forest fragrance you want during the holidays, while muted shades of icy green, white and pale pink incorporate a wintry color palette.” When arranging, keep it loose and casual — and then up the sophistication with a beautiful vessel, like the mercury glass vase Katie used at left.
A perfect party starts with the perfect cheese plate. Quick, tasty and easy to assemble, it’s the ultimate appetizer. Anyone can put a cheese plate together—here’s our simple guide.
Variety is good
Choose a minimum of one cheese per category, then vary the textures and possibly the animal source (sheep, goat, cow).
Try a theme
Consider going with one country, or one category.
Buy by the person
1-2 ounces per person is a good rule.
Round it out
Pair the cheese with nuts, a fig spread, sour cherry spread, Amareno cherries, charcuterie, olives, sliced pears or sliced apples.
Altar Company, Portland OR
Each bottle is a magical concoction of fruits, heirloom vegetables, single-estate teas, flowers and exotic spices, each designed to be imbibed on its own or mixed in a delicious cocktail.
Alchemy Candles, Silverton OR
Specializing in richly-colored candles scented with pure essential oils, Alchemy Candles’ French Butter Pear candle will fool guests into thinking there’s a fresh pear galette baking in the oven.
Olympic Provisions, Portland, OR
Although Olympic Provisions is Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, the shop takes its cues from charcuteries in Europe, producing delicious, high-quality cured meats using fresh Northwest pork. The Olympic Provisions Christmas kielbasa is a uniquely Northwest flavor profile—and can only be found at New Seasons Market.
Mallow Artisan Marshmallows, Seattle WA
Marshmallow connoisseurs, take note: Seattleites Brian and Kyra Freeman are bringing the childhood treats into the realm of gourmet with inventive flavors—like peppermint and dark chocolate, a New Seasons Market exclusive (available in December).
Bring the family together around a delicious, flavorful rack of local, grass-fed lamb, served up with Mediterranean-influenced, Argentinean-inspired sides.
Start Christmas morning off right with a tasty menu injecting Portland’s favorite meal with holiday-inspired soul.
This menu starring cioppino, an easy, crowd-pleasing fisherman’s stew, could very well come from a local Italian trattoria.