Last-Minute Christmas Entertaining Recipes

castello cheeseChristmas is just days away now and I’m so excited! Whenever my heartmate and I entertain, whether on the Big Day itself or anytime during the busy holiday period, I always make simple recipes that are delicious despite only taking minutes to pull together. Preparing to entertain take so much prep and time that I wanted to share these two recipes with you to try and help streamline any holiday parties you may be hosting in the next couple of weeks! One is my quick and easy Cheese Board and the other is a delicious bruschetta recipe, which is always a favorite in our house – we even had it at our wedding celebrations!

If that’s not all, my friends at Castello Cheese, who I partnered with on this post, are giving one of you guys the chance to win a hamper full of their yummy cheeses, plus other Castello goodies including a cheeseboard and knives, wine glasses, candles, cocktail napkins and even a grocery store gift card so you can buy crackers, nuts and everything else for your cheeseboard. Carry on reading and I will tell you how to enter at the end of the post!castello cheeseHere are my top tips for a creating a stylish and delicious cheese board without the hassle:

1) Variety is key – Cheese can be very personal so make sure to have at least three different types. I always ensure there’s something light and mild; here I included Castello’s Gouda as it’s always so popular. Then, for a blue cheese option, I had Castello’s Danish Blue and for something a little more unusual I included Castello’s Havarti with Jalapeno (my personal favorite!).
2) Use containers – A super easy way to make a cheese board come to life and appear more elevated is to add accompaniments such as olives, pickles, chutneys. Grab a small dish or vessel that contrasts with the cheese board – white marble pairs perfectly with this olive wood board – and it will pop against it. Also, it’s practical as it stops smaller accompaniments from rolling all over the board and cheeses.
3) ‘Plate-free’ options – Don’t forget to include some easy to grab items that don’t require cutting or ‘building’. Often guests can be unable to dive into a cheese board because they are busy talking, so I like to include small cubes of Castello’s Havarti with Herbs and Spices as an option that people can pick at with cocktail sticks rather than having to have a plate.castello cheeseAlright, so your cheese board is sorted but if you still need a quick and easy appetizer to pass around your party then I have the perfect recipe for you. It’s a simple tomato bruschetta with two quick twists that make it a little special. These bruschetta are perfect for parties because no plates are needed so it’s easy for everyone to help themselves (and saves on the post-party washing up!). In this recipe I add thyme to the oil to add some more flavor – plus I add Castello Vintage Havarti on top, too! The sharp and bold flavour of the cheese pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the tomatoes. Plus, as you will see below, they are so how easy to make!castello cheeseIngredients:
1 Punnet of sweet grape tomatoes (multicolored is preferred)
1 x Bunch of thyme
2 x Tablespoons of olive oil
1 x Pinch of kosher salt
1 x Pinch of cracker black pepper
Pack of crostini (or slice a baguette and bake the slices for a few minutes until dry)
2½ oz Castello® Vintage Havarti, or Extra Matured Cheddar, shreddedcastello cheeseRecipe:
1. In a pestle and mortar smash the thyme leaves with the oil, salt and pepper.
2. Halve the tomatoes and then mix with the oil and thyme leaves.
3. Arrange the tomatoes onto the crostini and then grate the Castello Vintage Havarti on top.castello cheeseI hope these ideas have been helpful and if you want to find the cheese near you then you can find it here. OK, fancy wining a Castello Cheese hamper? Here’s how to enter: just leave a comment below before Dec 22nd 2018 and include your Instagram handle. I will pick one lucky winner at random, for full contest terms and conditions see the disclosure. Happy entertaining, and good luck!castello cheese// Photography by Will Taylor


  • Reply Aray Rivera December 20, 2018 at 11:30 am

    As always, you pictures and posts are flawless.

  • Reply Mike December 20, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Wine & Cheese brings people together for great conversation! This looks amazing.

  • Reply Greg McCaw December 20, 2018 at 11:51 am

    ‘Heartmate’ that’s the cutest thing I’ve heard all week.

  • Reply Mark Valdez December 20, 2018 at 11:52 am

    This all looks so good! Mastering my hosting skills is one of my new year goals!

    – @mark.a.valdez

  • Reply Andrew Douglas December 20, 2018 at 11:52 am

    This information is very helpful, Will. I love a good cheeseboard! 🧀 IG: @aznandy

  • Reply Michael S December 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Everything looks positively scrummy! Can’t wait to try these recipes at my next party! @mchlwllm

  • Reply Mark Valdez December 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

    This all looks so good! Mastering my hosting skills is one of my goals for 2019! – @mark.a.valdez

    (Sorry if this posted twice! Not sure if the first one went through)

  • Reply Juan Caballer December 20, 2018 at 11:58 am

    @juancaballertheslut I LOOOVE CHEESE

  • Reply Bruno Lemos December 20, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Loved the tips and ideas! We are hosting this year and we always want to make sure our guests are comfortable and happy (with good food)!

  • Reply GW Mackley December 20, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    A good cheeseboard is my go too but I always load it up with too much stuff. Thanks for the editing ideas! ♥️🧀

  • Reply Michael Brown December 20, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Can I please come over for a holiday party? This is all so flawless!

  • Reply David December 20, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Happy holidays.


  • Reply Evin O’Keeffe December 20, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    I love the detail in the post. It’s ok if I make all this to eat myself, right? @freckledpast

  • Reply Kyle Boen December 20, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Umm…how can you NOT love a good cheese filled basket. Sign me up! 🦊 @stayfoxx

  • Reply Kyle Boen December 20, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    How can you NOT love a basket of cheeses?! Sign me up. Great blog post buddy! 🦊@stayfoxx

  • Reply Annette December 20, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    It looks so pretty and appetizing. I want to try doing something similar.
    agratefulattitude (IG)

  • Reply Simon Norman December 20, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Cheese + Wine = Christmas

  • Reply Joey baron jr December 20, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve always had such a hard time trying to mix cheeses or even make a cheese bored this gives me such insight on how to do it, thanks will ❤️

  • Reply Juan December 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    This is getting me in the holiday spirit!

  • Reply Michael Lewis December 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I love when you do things about food. It always makes me so hungry and eager to try new things. -M


  • Reply @danieljhorn December 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    A perfectly plated cheese board takes any party to another level! Thanks for sharing this bruschetta idea

  • Reply Ashley M December 20, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Lots of great ideas. I love the tip to use small containers. That takes the look of the cheeseboard up a notch 🙂

    IG: @thatsamoore


  • Reply Edgar December 20, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Always have such a hard time to know how to put a board together! This is such a help and a good “go to” for any occasion!! Also those pic are amazing as usual 🙌🏽 @edgar_g32

    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar December 20, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      @Edgar – So glad it was helpful and thanks for the kind words! 🙂

  • Reply Pedro Sanchez December 20, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    This post is a bit cheesy and yummy! Like you Will ☺️😜

    Happy holidays

  • Reply Matthew December 20, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Wonderful! Everything looks so great! These will look a lot better than the frozen meatballs in a crock pot I usually do!! Haha! Thanks for the tips! Cheers & Happy Holidays!!
    -Matthew (ig: matthewseldridge)

  • Reply Michael Lewis December 20, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    I thought I had posted earlier but I dont see it. So I’ll post again no worries 😋 You always help me enjoy my days, recipes, clothes, nature if you didnt already have a heart partner. Lol. I love all of this I am always looking for new and exciting cheeses and like cheese board ideas. This is a lot of great ideas. I may have to try some of this out! Do you have any good wine pairings for the recipe you posted? I looked but I may have missed it.


    • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar December 20, 2018 at 11:57 pm

      @Michael – Awwww thanks so much! I’m no wine expert but some of my favs are Justin Wine Iscosoles blend and pretty much any montepulciano!

  • Reply Doreen Fitzpatrick December 20, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Love both recipes. So easy! Cheese board is also great if your guests include kids. @doreenannie

  • Reply Steven December 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Have a great holiday to u! Enjoyed your article! @stevenzhou

  • Reply Miranda December 20, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    You had me at cheese. ♥️ (@awalkinthewild(

  • Reply Lisa Carroll December 20, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I love the term heart mate. Charcuterie is a super-fun word to say but cheese is divine and this post has me inspired! I love the word hamper and since I hear your voice as I read, hamper is even more delightful in a British accent. Cheers! @leese626

  • Reply Lisa Carroll December 20, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    Excited to make this bruschetta! So easy! And Cheeeese!!! My favorite food group! Thanks for the inspiration! @leese626

  • Reply Alan Ilagan December 21, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Looks lovely and delicious! Will definitely try the bruschetta soon. – @alanilagan

  • Reply Reuel Dave December 21, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Hi Will!! Always love your Instagram content and just currently saw that you have a blog!! That’s awesome!! Have a happy holiday!! @reueldavedeleon

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