Create a Party Pantry

One of my favorite festive beverages is a Pellegrino and lime. Granted the mineral water has a distinct taste that some people don’t like, but when served over crushed ice with fresh lime wedges, it’s a very festive and frugal drink to offer your guests at the holiday time.

And one of the beauties of this drink is that the ingredients are easily store in advance so that you don’t need to rush out to buy something special.

In fact, building a party pantry is one of the best things you can do as the winter holidays approach. By keeping your pantry stocked with easy appetizers, desserts, and beverages, you’ll be prepared for drop-in guests and spontaneous family celebrations.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Beverages

Lay in a supply of the following:

Appetizers

Keep on hand

Dessert

Easy and quick dessert fixings:

  • sweetened condensed milk, oreos, chocolate chips, and coconut for Double Chocolate Magic Bars
  • cake mixes to bake and chocolate fudge sauce to drizzle over at serving time
  • chocolate chips, evaporated milk, and poundcake for Chocolate Fondue

What quick fix do you keep on hand for special occasions?

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Comments

  1. This is a great little list! I tend to keep all of these things on hand.

    I also alwayyyyys make sure I have ingredients for 7 layer dip, matzo ball soup, and a variety of trail mix and nuts.

    xoXOxo
    jenn

  2. This is such a great idea. I’m a huge planner/scheduler, Type-A person, so entertaining spontaneously is very hard for me! But I’m really trying to get better about it and hopefully stocking a “party pantry” will make that easier.

  3. Barb@My Daily Round says:

    This is a great list. I kept it in mind when I was food shopping this morning. Genuardi’s had soda and soda water on sale for $.47/2 liter bottle. I picked up a bunch for the family holiday party we’re hosting next weekend. I also picked up cream cheese to try the dip. I already had yogurt and frozen spinach.

    Another good dip is the artichoke one. I try to keep a few cans of artichoke hearts on hand for making that.

    I’m also trying to keep a few quick breads in the freezer like zucchini and pumpkin bread. They’re always good as an appetizer or if someone stops by unexpectedly.

    Your list reminded me that I need to pull together an entertaining notebook. I’ve been keeping notes on my entertaining menus in a spiral notebook, but I’d like to be a bit more organized now that I’m doing a Coffee Hour for my Shaklee business monthly.

  4. I love Pellegrino. It reminds me of Italy. I get car sick and we took a car trip in Italy so I drank approximately 1,000 gallons of Pellegrino in 12 days.

    I love Perrier because it reminds me of the trip I took to NYC with my dad for my 16th birthday. I had some with my dad in a frou frou longey (not a bar) type thing because it was cold in there and it was HOT outside.

  5. My party beverage pantry includes 7-up, marischino cherries & grenadine syrup. My kids love Shirley Temples and serving them in wine glasses with cherries on fancy toothpicks (umbrellas or swords) makes them extra special. In fact, adding cherries to any beverage makes them a party beverage in my kids’ minds. I keep a variety of tea and coffee (and flavored syrups) on hand as well. I also keep club soda and tonic water in the pantry — mix with fruit juice (grapefruit & tonic is a favorite!) or something stronger if you please.

    We always have crackers and corn chips in the pantry. I also keep cream cheese in the fridge. Using what’s on hand, I can make a variety of hot cream cheese dips (served with crackers) or serve salsa & chips (I froze some homemade salsa from our garden). There is often something freshly baked around here which is perfect for afternoon tea drop ins.

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