Spontaneity is a good thing, but sometimes trying to accomplish something on the spur of the moment proves to be a challenge. When you’re expecting last minute guests, or putting together a just-planned party, one great trick to have up your sleeve is having plenty of gourmet snacks on hand.
With little or no time to plan, shop, or cook, knowing that there are some tasty tidbits ready to go in your home is a big stress reliever. There are a lot of packaged items that people often keep in their pantry. If you want to be able to impress your guests, make sure that some of those items aren’t boring or expected. Gourmet snacks, cheese snacks, and nuts become more interesting if they aren’t the kind you see on the shelves everywhere, or eat frequently.
Consider stocking up on the following items:
Cheese snacks: Forget plain crackers. No need to keep fresh cheese on hand. This type of cracker item provides it’s own cheesy flavor. They are great on their own or perfect for toppings, which leads us to the next item to have ready.
Gourmet spreads: Spreads that are in a jar have a long shelf life. Pop them open when you have only moments, and it’s a flavorful departure from mundane. They go great with cheese snacks, but are also good on breads. Look for sun-dried tomato spread, olive tapenade, mushroom spreads, or even roasted red pepper topping.
Nuts: Think beyond peanuts. Cans of wasabi almonds, honeyed cashews, or even exotic mixes are gourmet snacks that make for quick and easy finger food.
Dried Fruit: On their own, dried fruits are little more than a healthy nibble. Mix them with nuts, or use them on a cream-cheese spread and you have some easy appetizers to pull out at the last minute. Serve dried cranberries or figs and suddenly the cracker and cheese spread combo has gone gourmet!
While a last minute event may not have the same pizzazz as one you’ve planned for weeks in advance, it is possible to entertain without potato chips and onion dip. Making sure your home is supplied with some gourmet snacks makes entertaining easier. It can also help keep people from starving when you do want to take time to prepare a more elaborate dish.
Saving time and effort with easy finger food can make the thought of spontaneous entertaining seem a little less intimidating.