With the holiday season almost in full tilt, it’s time to prep for the expected and unexpected houseguests. Instead of being caught off guard and scrambling around at the last minute, let’s do a little prep. For those of you with a extra bedroom, you will want to use the nightstand as house guest central If you are in an apartment or don’t have a extra room to spare grab a few rubbermaid containers or fancy boxes.
Theirs - Label the drawers/rubbermaid containers with guest, so they know that they can help themselves.
Stock Up - Target has a fantastic minis aisle. It’s filled with travel sizes of anything your guest could possibly need. Pick up a few of everything. You might even find a few items to add to your makeup bag.
Organized - Use drawer organizers to keep things from turning into a big messy pile.
Wash Up - Store washcloths and hand towels in the drawer/rubbermaid container. Try to use different colors if you have multiple guests. It will prevent mixups and help you keep track of everything.
Entertainment - Grab your old iPods and load them up with holiday music and movies. This will keep your guests entertained. Don’t forget to disinfect the earbuds for your guest.
Mini Bar - Make your own gift basket/mini bar. Fill a basket with chocolates, mixed nuts, dried fruit, energy bars, chips, napkins and water bottles. This will cut down on your guest wandering your house when they need a late night snack. Don’t forget a carafe and glass so your guests will have something to sip out of.
Space Saver - Over the door towel racks and hooks will make it easy for guests to hang up their clothes and keep their towel from hitting the floor.
Tips & Tricks - Every house has it’s tricks and every household has it’s rules and routines. If the bathroom water comes out piping hot, you have to jiggle the handle on the toilet, Fido can’t be fed after a certain hour, let your guest know with little post it notes or a print out. The last thing you or your guest want is to have to constantly ask for help doing the simplest of things.
Family Pet - If you’ve got a pet that takes a while to warm up to guests. Leave them a few pet treats, so they can travel safely throughout your home. A milkbone can do wonders on Fido’s attitude.
Stay Away - If there are things that you don’t want your guest to eat or use, label them or keep them in your room. People tend not to go for things that are labeled and if it’s in your room they won’t even know you have it.
Product Tester - Make the bed. If you are using an inflatable mattress give it a test inflate just to make sure it doesn’t have any holes in it.
House Keys - If your company is coming late at night or while you are out, leave the lights on and let them know where you keep the spare key. If you are around when they arrive just hand the key over.
Phone Home - If you still have to work and can’t be with your guest during the day, leave them a phone list of where you can be reached in case of emergency.
Power - Check the outlets in the room they will be staying in just to make sure everything is working. this is especially important if they are staying in a room that you rarely use.
Extras - Make sure you have extra pillows and blankets on hand for you guest. They may get cold in the middle of the night and need a little extra to keep them warm.
Pop Some Bubbly - Traveling can really take a lot out of you. From the long lines, the uncomfortable seats, and all that cabin pressure, your guest may be wound pretty tight when they arrive to your house. Before you give them the run down of your house, celebrate their safe arrival, pop some bubbly and have a little snack on hand. Think of it as a mini welcome party. Popcorn is my go to snack, since everyone I know loves popcorn. Instead of going with the basic kernels and butter, I like to sweeten the deal with white chocolate and sprinkles. Nothing says festive like sprinkles. Holiday Popcorn is super simple to make plus, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry. So, you can use this for unexpected guests as well.
Total Time: 3 hr 25 min | Inactive Prep: 3 hr 0 min | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 10 min
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- holiday sprinkles
- In a medium saucepan, pour in canola oil and heat over medium-heat*. When oil is hot, add popcorn kernels, making sure all the kernels are touching the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid and wait until you hear kernels start to pop.
- Grab the pan; while simultaneously holding down the lid, give it a good shake. Return pan to the stove and repeat. This will ensure that all of the kernels pop.
- When popcorn is done, turn off heat, transfer to a medium bowl, and add a few pinches of salt.
- Add about 1-inch of water to a double boiler (or a saucepan with a metal bowl nestled atop). Note: Be sure your bowl is completely dry. Heat over medium-low, watching the chocolate the entire time. White chocolate has a lower melting point, so it can seize easily. When chocolate is melted, stir until smooth.
- In a few batches, pour chocolate over popcorn, mixing gently to coat each kernel lightly.
- Evenly spread popcorn onto a baking sheet and add confetti sprinkles. Let popcorn sit for 3-4 hours (or until dry).
*Drop in two to three kernels in the oil before the pan heats. Once those kernels pop, you know that your oil is hot enough.
*Don’t have 3 hours. Follow the steps to make the popcorn and chocolate. Instead of coating each kernel do a quick drizzle and toss is some holiday sprinkles.
Once you got your popcorn ready to go, grab a few champagne flutes drop in a few cranberries and pour in the bubbly.
Since this popcorn is sweet, I like to pair it with Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut. While the sweet Cuvee is perfectly paired with sweet and goodies like the Holiday Popcorn. I personally prefer the touch of apple and ginger found in the Brut. It compliments the popcorn and ginger reminds me of the holidays. Sweet Cuvee may sound like a sugar overload it’s not. Compared to most dessert wines, Freixenet Sweet Cuvee is very dry.
If you’ve never tried Freixenet let me tell you a little bit about it, starting with how to pronounce the name. Say it with me now fres-eh-net the Black Bottle Bubbly. Now that you can say it’s time to try it. Freixenet is widely available nationwide in restaurants, wine stores and grocery stores as common as Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Publix.
Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée
Fresh, deliciously sweet and fruity, Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée is designed for those who enjoy the sweeter things in life.
Tasting Notes: Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée is delicious, refreshing and smooth. It exhibits aromas of peaches and cream with lively bubbles that rise through the glass. Fruity ripe summer peach and tropical fruit flavors culminate in a long, silky sweet finish.
Pair With: This sweet sparkler pairs well with a variety of dishes and cuisine, ranging from tried and true pairings like oysters, seafood, and desserts, to more surprising pairings like spicy foods, pizza, and popcorn.
Cordon Negro Brut is Freixenet’s most popular cava, often referred to as the “Black Bottle Bubbly.” It is the #1 imported sparkling wine in the world and still ideal for any occasion.
Tasting Notes: Cordon Negro Brut is crisp, clean and well balanced. It is medium-bodied with a palate of apple, pear and bright citrus flavors with a moderately long finish and a crisp touch of ginger. It goes great with any type of food.
Pair With: This wine pairs well with a wide range of food from shrimp salad to olive and tomato bruschetta to cheese appetizers!
Freixenet is on the move this fall with a three month long MINI tour where a duo of Freixenet MINI Coopers are traveling the nation from New York City to Florida and ending in California. We will be popping up at retailers and popular restaurants and bars, where fans can enjoy samples, play games and find hidden bubbles to enter for a chance to win a two year lease on a brand new MINI Cooper! We’ve also hidden bubbles with rewards codes throughout the Freixenet website, our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages, and even in retail stores. Once you find a bubble, visit www.findthebubbles.com to enter the rewards code. Keep an eye out for more codes, as the more times you enter, the greater chances you have to win. Visit www.findthebubbles.com for more information.
Now that you’ve got the tools to make your houseguest feel welcome, print out a copy of the Houseguest Worksheet that features all the items here with a few bonuses. If you’re looking for our original Holiday Prep Worksheet print out your copy here, and for those of you in a Thanksgiving Day Panic, don’t worry we have a print out for that too.,
Who says the holidays are the only time for bubbles? Make it your resolution to sparkle 365 days of the year with Freixenet cavas. Our sparkling wines come in a variety of different styles to suit any moment or mood. Cordon Negro Brut, our classic Black Bottle Bubbly, is great as an aperitif before a night out on the town or at home with takeout pizza. Our brand new Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvee is the perfect match for brunch favorites like pancakes and eggs benedict. Visit FreixenetUSA.com for more information about where to buy Freixenet sparkling wines and learn how you could win a 2-year lease on a new 2013 MINI Cooper.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Freixenet. The opinions and text are all mine.