Compensation was provided by BROOKSIDE Chocolate via MomTrends Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Brookside or Momtrends Media. Read my full disclosure policy here.
Some old friends just called to say they’re passing through town on the way to visit family for the holidays. They’d love to drop by for a visit… in 30 minutes.
Of course you want to see them, but at the moment you’re probably panicking about how you can get your house and yourself presentable in a half-hour. Plus, there’s the question of what you’re going to serve your guests.
I can’t help with hair and makeup or speed-cleaning tricks, but I do have some last-minute party food ideas that will help you shower your guests with hospitality without driving yourself crazy in the process. Bonus — the cleanup is easy, too!
Your guests will be so distracted by the good food and drink that they won’t notice the dust on the furniture!
This spread took me just five minutes to pull together — using items I already had in the fridge and pantry.
This time of year, it’s a good idea to keep extra wine and sweet and savory snacks on hand so you can share the season with friends.
I have an abundance of serving pieces that I like to use for parties, but you really don’t need a hoard of stuff for impromptu holiday gatherings.
Here’s all you really need:
- Wine glasses
- A few pretty bowls
- A pretty platter or cake stand
- A table runner or pretty placemat
- Festive disposable plates and napkins
I recommend you designate a “party shelf” in your pantry or kitchen cabinet where you keep all these items stored together. Or gather them all in a box and store in a convenient location. Then, you can pull them out at a moment’s notice. (Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win BROOKSIDE Chocolates and other items for your last-minute party box.)
For this casual party spread, I set up a selection of tasty noshes on a cake stand.
Grapes, muffins left over from breakfast, crackers and the easiest party appetizer ever — cream cheese with a dollop of pepper jelly on top of it. You can buy pepper jelly at the grocery store, but if you have time, check out my recipe for homemade pepper jelly. It’s a great holiday food gift.
I also filled two bowls with BROOKSIDE Chocolate because it’s not a party without something sweet.
BROOKSIDE Chocolate is rich, dark chocolate with sweetened soft centers made with exotic fruit flavors, and it pairs really well with wine.
I love Clos du Bois Pinot Noir with BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Flavor and Clos du Bois Merlot with BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Acai & Blueberry Flavors. You’ll find additional pairing suggestions here.
Nuts, olives, cheese and bread served with an olive-oil or vinegar dipping sauce are other easy-to-prepare party food ideas that most everybody loves.
You don’t need to overwhelm your guests with choices. Just offer a few options — some sweet, some savory — plus a selection of beverages, and you’re golden.
The emphasis is on easy entertaining and making time for friends. You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen.
Now for that giveaway I promised you.
Enter below for a chance to win a BROOKSIDE Chocolate prize pack including a BROOKSIDE Chocolates, red and white wine goblets, wine bottle caps and a winged corkscrew.