I like to keep a few easy party foods on hand in case I have an unexpected guest drop by, house guests from out of town, or want to throw a party and not fuss over prep work. Below are a few easy party foods:
- Watch for sales on brownie, cake, cookie and muffin mixes as well as break apart cookies and cinnamon rolls. All are easy to prepare, and while not the healthiest of foods, are usually crowd pleasers.
- Carrots and apples both keep for a long time if stored properly and are inexpensive enough to keep in the house most of the time. Both are good served alone or with a simple dip.
- Cream cheese is my go-to food for parties. Serve with hot chili and cheese poured on top and tortillas. Make my herbed cream cheese spread. Add a little jam and whip together for a tea sandwich filler. The ideas are endless. Watch for it to go on sale for $1 or less and stock up on the boxes with the expiration dates farthest into the future.
- Popcorn is a favorite. It is healthy, easy to make from scratch, inexpensive, and since stored in kernel form doesn’t go bad quickly. Chips can get crushed or become stale when stored for longer periods, but popcorn doesn’t. Just heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a large and tall pot. Add enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pot in a single layer, put the lid on but vent it slightly to let steam escape, and give the pot a good shake every few seconds. Heat until the popping slows down and take off of the eye. When the popping stops, salt and serve. It it also good with a little nutritional yeast added to the top.
- Crackers are versatile. Serve them plain, with a dip or spread, with cheese or meat, or with a fondue.
- Drinks can be expensive. For the most part, I usually stick with serving sweetened and unsweetened tea with an additional pitcher of water available. I’m from the South and most people expect you to have tea available. When I catch a good deal on ginger ale, I keep it in the pantry with a little white cranberry so that I can make mock-champagne punch. Just mix the two together and serve with an ice ring or just ice—it seems fancy but takes very little time to make.
What about you? What are your go-to party foods?