Every entertainer knows that a well-stocked pantry is essential for when those impromptu gatherings happen. Quite frankly, those always seem to be the most fun for me as I don’t have time to stress out over the little things.
To pull off a spur-of-the moment soire, here are some items every home entertainer should keep around:
- Mixed nuts
- “Fancy” crackers – Ritz and Goldfish are good in a pinch but an adult party should have adult crackers.
- Pickled vegetables – Green beans, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower. If you buy these at the store, they can get horribly expensive. Watch this blog for a cheap and easy way to pickle your own veggies for a fraction of the cost.
- Sun-dried tomatoes – You probably won’t use these often, but they’re nice to have around to add flavor to dips and spreads.
- Cured/Smoked meats (i.e. Summer Sausage) – These should be kept in your freezer and can be pulled out and thawed fairly quickly.
- Chickpeas & Tahini – You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make your own Hummus. Click here for my favorite recipe. Tahini is rather expensive but it lasts forever in the refrigerator (once you’ve opened it) and a little goes a long way. If you don’t care for hummus, an alternative would be to keep white beans on hand. A white bean dip can be whipped up just as quickly as hummus.
- Pita chips – These are amazing with hummus!
- Club soda & mixers – They’re good for mixed drinks, non-alcoholic drinks and club soda gets out the inevitable wine stain from carpet. It may also help settle your tummy the morning after your party.
- Wine! – Even if you don’t drink wine, it’s nice to keep a bottle of red and a bottle of white on hand for guests who do. A good Cabernet will work for red fans and a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio for white drinkers. I would also recommend a bottle of Prosecco for special occasions that call for some bubbly.
- Beer – Micro-brews are growing rapidly in popularity. If you don’t drink beer, keep a nice 6-pack of micro-brew on hand. In my area, Surly and Flat Earth breweries are two local favorites.
That’s really it! If you have these ingredients in your pantry you’ll be able to throw together a party in a pinch. The only things you’ll have to grab at the store are an assortment of cheeses, some grapes or fruit for your cheese plate and a lemon & lime.
Watch my blog as I’ll be adding some great recipes for easy entertaining. Party on!!