Hospitality Reminder: Prepare a Snack Tray

Be prepared for guests and have your larder stocked with quick snacks and appetizers. Pulling together an impromptu snack tray will be quick and easy.

We like fun food around here. We like snacky food. We like to eat fun, snacky food with friends and neighbors.

And sometimes, especially around the holidays, friends and neighbors might drop by unexpectedly. I love a spontaneous little party.

And I love it even more if I have some snacks to offer my guests. Last week I told you about the Beverage Box. When I did my aisle by aisle cruise through Costco recently, I made sure we had everything we needed in terms of libations.

This week, the hospitality reminder is to stock up on snacks.

Consider the following to stash into the pantry, fridge, or freezer this week:

  • crackers and rice cakes
  • olives, pickles, and roasted peppers for a quick relish tray
  • tortilla or pita chips
  • nuts and seeds
  • hummus, salsa, or guacamole fixings
  • a variety of cheeses
  • cream cheese or Brie and a jar of raspberry jam
  • vegetable dippers
  • frozen spinach, yogurt, and cream cheese for Healthier Spinach Dip
  • apples and clementines

What did I forget?

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  1. My kids love it whenI make a “tray”. Their favorites? Sliced apples, orange wedges, celery with peanut butter, colby-jack or cheddar cheese cubes, carrots and cucumbers with Ranch, graham crackers with peanut butter, grapes, pimento cheese with crackes, rolled up ham slices and pepperoni slices. I have a divided tray I use just for this purpose and when I find it mysteriously on the kitchen counter, I know what I’m pulling together for lunch or snack that day.

  2. Love this! I also think it would be a great way to promote healthy snacking. Just sit out a divided tray full of colorful, raw veggies with some dip and allow kids to “graze”.

  3. I love to have a variety of spicy and sweet nuts on hand. Just a little bit special, but not much work to pull out of the pantry.

  4. Billie Gann says:

    I love creamcheese w/ jalapeno jelly assorted crackers,grapes ,mini pickles,olives . My aunt gave us cranberry jalapeno pepper jelly for Thanksgiving and I can’t stay away from the spicy sweetness of it.

  5. jasi December 1, 2011 at 11:18 am
    i keep them in a few different boxes but same principle. i also have a snack fix. always have grainy tortilla and pita chips, cans of white beans or ceci for a quick dip, some trader joe’s eggplant pepper spread, nuts, fresh and dried fruit. instant party! i could probably even whip up a pie in a jiffy with frozen dough too.

    still true.

  6. What a good idea!

  7. Oh, some other things you can do is have cream cheese on hand with the crackers. You can make a quick cheese ball pretty easy or a cracker spread that is cheaper than serving sliced cheese with crackers.
    Also, sour cream for dip….

  8. I love the idea of this (who doesn’t love snacky food?) but my problem is that we don’t normally keep much of that on hand. Going out and buying it in case guests stop by seems to violate the “cheap” part of the “good cheap eats” plan. Do you normally keep all those things in your pantry or fridge?

    • @Kate @ Green Around the Edges, we actually do eat these items on a fairly regular basis. I simply apply my same stock up tips to these ingredients as I do anything else. Buy a lot when I see a good price.

      If these aren’t your norm, I’d think about what is — or what can be morphed easily to offer to guests — and make sure you have some of those items.

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