So there you are, with a weekend evening that you don’t have plans for. What do you do? You invite some friends over for a little beverage and some snacks. But that leaves you only 2 hours to prepare. Do you worry? Absolutely not! All you need to do is follow a little formula and keep it simple. And you will still look like an amazing hostess who can pull together a fabulous soiree at a moment’s notice.
First, the cocktails! Remember, the whole point of a last-minute gathering is to have fun. So keep it simple. My favorite thing to do is to jazz up some Prosecco. It is very simple to do. Throw in a touch of Elderflower liqueur and a sugar cube. Or add a dash of Chambord and garnish with a frozen raspberry and a basil leaf. There is also the option of making a big pitcher of something such as margaritas or sangria.
If you just want to serve beer and wine and soft drinks, at least present them in a non-last-minute way. Put them in an iced galvanized bucket and set it on the counter with glasses lined up next to it. Or arrange them on a bar cart.
Now on to the food. My #1 go to party food is a charcuterie plate. There are a few key elements to a charcuterie plate. First of all, the meats. I like to roll up sliced prosciutto and put out some salami. There are several cheeses that are always crowd pleasers: cheddar, manchego, brie and Boursin. Pick two and serve with simple water crackers or baguette rounds. Add in some olives and nuts. Then put out some fruit to cut the salt. This can be grapes or dried apricots or apple slices. Group all the items together on a large platter and that’s it. You look like a pro!
Here is my super secret party food trick…… Don’t tell anyone, OK? Buy a premade veggie tray and put it out on one of your own nice trays. Easy! Literally, all you do is arrange the veggies on a fancier tray. And then refer to them as crudités. Uber fancy!
Now you need something warm on your last minute hors d’oeuvres menu. I keep my freezer stocked with flatbreads from Trader Joe’s. They have all kinds of really yummy ones! And they sound exotic with their ingredient list. You can pop one or two in the oven and have them ready to eat in minutes. They aren’t very big so you can cut them up into appetizer sized pieces, no problem.
All that’s left to do is answer the door and enjoy your guests. You make throwing a last-minute party look effortless!
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Brenna Morgan Interiors is an interior design firm in Lake Norman, NC. Also servicing Charlotte, Davidson, and Mooresville.