As the More is More Mom, I am all about….. more stocking up on party essentials! There is nothing worse than being like Old Mother Hubbard and finding your cupboards bare. You never know when an impromptu celebration will break out this time of year. It’s best to be prepared……
What could be more fun than chatting outside with your neighbors and inviting them in for a cocktail? or friends just popping in because they are in the neighborhood? Spur of the moment get togethers can be a blast, as long as you are ready for them. While you won’t have time to whip up your favorite home made specialties, you can certainly have a few provisions on hand.
The most important element to consider when stocking your pantry and refrigerator is shelf life. Typically dry goods will last a little bit longer than those that must remain cold. Unless you are planning to consume these savory treats immediately, check the expiration date.
Snacks, Keep your cool:
- Frozen Shrimp: I prefer the Jumbo because they make for a very generous presentation. What I love about the shrimp is that they’re elegant and can be defrosted in a flash. If you happen to have any left over, you can grill or saute them for dinner the following day. Please click on the link below for a great recipe:
- Cocktail Sauce: If you’ve got the shrimp, you won’t want to forget the tangy sauce. Be sure to keep a jar chilling in the fridge. You never know when you’re going to need it.
- Assorted Cheeses: There are such a beautiful variety of cheeses. Select a few of your favorites to keep on hand. It’s so easy pull put a serving tray and lay out a nice selection of cheeses for your guests to enjoy. The following day you can make gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with any of the leftovers for a special treat.
- Hard Salami: Meat is a nice addition to a cheese platter. The nice thing about salami is that it lasts for a very long time unopened. Of course, it’s unlikely that there will be any left at the end of the night.
- Dips and spreads: While my preference is to make my own, there are quite a few delicious, pre-made offerings from your local markets such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Costco. I am partial to tapenades and hummus. Archer Farms, from the Target super stores, has an awesome Red Pepper and Feta dip, as well as a Parmesan Bacon. They are great to keep on hand when guests arrive unexpectedly.
- Lemons and Limes: Squeeze the lemon on your shrimp, slice them both for cocktails or place them in a bowl as a quickie centerpiece.
- Eggs and Bacon: What could be easier than scrambling some eggs and frying some bacon for a Sunday breakfast or an evening treat?
- Smoked Salmon: Served on crackers, in a dip or with a bagel, smoked salmon packs a flavorful punch!
Snacks, Pantry Pairings:
- Cocktail Sauce: Keep a spare on hand for safe keeping.
- Crackers: Stock up on your favorites; Wheat Thins, Triscuits, Table Water, Flat Bread. The possibilities are endless.
- Nuts: Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Mixed nuts, honey roasted, macadamia, cashews; scatter them near the bar, on your buffet or on your coffee table as a little nibbler.
- Party mix; The spice of life. There’s something for everyone.
- Olives: Stuffed with garlic, pimentos, blue cheese, or whatever you fancy, olives are an easy and tasty gourmet snack.
- Gourmet cookies & a box of chocolates: It’s always nice to offer your guests something decadent and sweet. How simple is that?
Beverages and Spirits:
- Bottled water, sparkling water, tonic water, club soda, sodas & fruit juice
- Vodka and Gin
- Wine: Why not try something new? I visited the wine department at Whole Foods to learn about some great new wines for under $15.00
Chardonnay: Los Alisos
Sauvignon Blanc: Joel Gott
Pinot Noir: Cycles Gladiator
Sparkling: Presto, Prosecco Brut
More stocking up, more snacks, more beverages, more potential for fun with friends…