At long last, warmer weather and longer evenings are finally here. It’s party time!
Whether an intimate spur of the moment gathering for six, or a full-fledged throw down for thirty, getting together with friends and neighbors is a key ingredient for happy, fun summers. Don’t have much time to prepare? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Even if you aren’t a born hostess, we have some killer tips to help you fake it!
First, keep a few essentials available in your fridge or freezer. Whip these out on a moment’s notice for those “we are on our way over” texts or phone calls.
- Gourmet salsa. Mix it with cheese for a dip, or use it as a topping for other appetizers.
- Frozen shrimp.Thaw them out by soaking the bag in cold water, and arrange them artfully on a plate.
- Pro tip: Impress your guests with a quick and tasty Remoulade dipping sauce.
- Cheese. Blocks of cheese keep for several weeks in the fridge, making them a sure bet for those last minute festivities. Chop them into chunks, and serve on a tray with crackers, or with an olive on a toothpick.
- Nuts. Fancy almonds, cashews or roasted peanuts add a crunchy, salty touch to your table. Plus, they are healthy and filling.
- Crackers. Have a few different types on hand to accompany dip and cheese.
- Fresh herbs. Keep basil, cilantro, garlic, and mint in tightly sealed bags in your fridge to add to appetizers – and cocktails – to make them pop.
Impress in 20 Minutes or Less
For a truly stress-free party, serve your guests a mix of the “staple” appetizers mentioned above, and a few of the more elegant, homemade appetizers listed below. Your guests will think you’ve spent all day in the kitchen when really each recipe took you 20 minutes or less to make!