Ideas for creating a quick and delicious spread of easy snacks for last-minute guests in your home.
It's not a secret that I love to entertain. If you give me the tiniest bit of notice that you're stopping by the house, I'll have a mini cheese board and custom cocktail waiting on you at the door! I just always want people to feel welcomed and taken care of, especially in my home. But I'm also single with no roommates so my fridge is far from fully stocked at all times. A question I regularly get is "What are you cooking?" And it's a fair one because I love cooking and am a food blogger after all. I typically meal prep and cook a lot on weekends but not so much on weeknights unless I know I'll have someone over. It surprises people that I don't always have something going in the oven but, truthfully, I can only eat so much and hate wasting food. (Cooking for one was a struggle at first because I come from a large family and became accustomed to cooking for a crowd--whether it was them or my sorority sisters and classmates.) Add in the fact that I live in a central location and walking distance to my church, and I was slightly stressing over being prepared for pop-up visits. That's how I landed on a few things to keep on hand that help me stay ready for my friends and family members that decide to text me when they're "down the street" or "around the corner". 🙂 Now, even on the days when I'm not recipe testing, prepping, or just experimenting in the kitchen, I know there will still be something yummy to eat.
My go-to items will likely change with the seasons and certainly over time but the snacks mentioned below have worked well for me since moving in a few months ago. For now, I like to have hummus, naan bread, a type of veggie such as cucumber, fresh fruit, popcorn, and chilled wine in stock. I thought these would be helpful to share because you can create a solid spread for two or more people with the components below or pick and choose certain items as you see fit. For example, a few of my girlfriends came over a few nights ago and we munched on popcorn and sipped red wine (a la Olivia Pope) while we chatted. I am partial to kettle corn but keep a couple of different varieties on hand so that everyone is happy. And, really, wine goes with everything so I typically have a bottle or two chilling out in the fridge for last-minute guests or just myself after a long workday. 🙂 If you are into red wine, I love this decanter and it's very inexpensive. I like to use it so that there's no need to let the wine breathe for any period of time before people arrive. Fresh fruits and nuts are an excellent healthy option and you can add in other things like cheeses or a dip or just keep it light.
I also like having hummus on hand but am unlikely to get through a group-sized container before it expires, which is where my monthly Degustabox subscription came through in the clutch recently. My April box included chick peas and Hummus Made Easy from Bush's. I just combine the two in my blender and have freshly-made hummus in about a minute! Each component is shelf-stable, so there's no need to worry about spoilage anytime soon. Dash of Jazz readers can get half off their first Degustabox here. By the way, if you live near an HEB, get the garlic naan bread from their bakery. It will change your life and you don't even have to thank me!
I hope this helps you to stay in your hostess with the mostest groove even in a pinch. Let me know below if you have any questions or other tips. Thanks for reading!