Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Art of Entertaining: Pantry Essentials for Easy Entertaining

Entertaining essentials for your pantry
Image from Emerson Made Farm via Design Sponge.
Ever get a last minute call from out of town friends, your parent's swinging by, or decide to have happy hour at your place and need to entertain guests with almost no prep or planning time?  If your pantry is stocked with these entertaining essentials, you won't have to stress about having nothing to offer guests.  See below for some of my favorite pantry essentials to keep stocked for your next impromptu get together.

Cheese: Gruyere, Manchego, St. Andre | Truffle Honey | Bubbly | Cocktail Napkins | Bamboo Skewers | Chocolate: With Chili, With Sea Salt | Fig Chutney | Pepper Jelly | Club Soda | Tonic Water | Marcona Almonds | Carr's Water Crackers | Roasted Red Peppers | Olives: Garlic Stuffed, Kalamata | Charcuterie 
Some of these are self explanatory, but I'd like to elaborate on a few of them.

Cheese: Keep several cheeses stocked including a soft cheese, like a St. Andre or Brie, as well as semi-soft cheese like Manchego and harder cheeses like Gruyere or Parmesan.
Olives: Fresh olives from a help yourself olive bar are great, but I find having a few jars of Kalamata or garlic stuffed olives in the cupboard helps me out when I forget to pick up fresh ones.
Truffle Honey: This might not seem like a necessity to most, but once you have tried it you will understand.  It makes any cracker/ cheese combo DIVINE! It is definitely worth every penny.
Bubbly: It doesn't have to be Champagne as it can be expensive.  Try Cava or Prosecco or even a dry sparkling wine. Trader Joe's offers some great, low priced options of all of these.
Accessories: I'll go into this more with a separate post, but always have cute cocktail napkins on hand as well as bamboo skewers so guests can easily use your cheese platter.
Tonic & Club Soda: These will basically help you make any highball, especially when paired with lemon or lime and a dash of bitters... voila fancy cocktail at your fingertips. I'll also do a separate post on bar essentials so stay tuned for that.

What are some of your pantry essentials for easy entertaining in a pinch?


  1. Greattttttt suggestions!! I'm so bad about keeping these items around but they're so crucial to entertaining -- or even just one of those nights where you want to treat yourself to a cheese plate for dinner.


  2. I love having a really pretty bamboo board or platter on hand for presentation, also something sweet like ice cream or cookies. Trust me, everyone is excited when you break out a box of Girl Scout cookies especially when they're not "in season."


  3. Truffle honey? Oh yes please! This post is so helpful - I always dream of having a well stocked pantry and then get to the store and completely forget.

  4. ohh truffle honey- yum! i love marcona almonds. great list!

  5. you're so cute. I LOVE THIS! And it's weirdly timed because I was going through my pantry t-o-d-a-y realizing I'd run out of all my entertaining essentials and was mentally making a list of what to re-stock. You did it for me! And in a much prettier way. love your blog girl! xo

  6. PS Julie, I JUST BOUGHT AN *EMBARRASSING* number of those gold foil confetti dot ombre cocktail napkins. ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT PRICE? THEY USED TO BE $24.95 A *SET* AND ARE NOW $4.95? That's 80 percent off and I remember wanting to buy these when they were $25 and being like "pshhh fuck that I ain't payin' 25 bucks for 4 napkins.' But FIVE bucks for 4 ADORABLE napkins? YES PLEASE. I bought an absurd number in each color. Not only are they the cutest/most perfect thing for festive holiday entertaining--hello christmas and new year's parties-- but they make the cutest hostess gift e-v-e-r. I bought a bunch just to have in our closet, so that ANY time I am invited over to someone's place, all I have to do is go to the closet and grab a set of these adorable confetti dot ombre napkins + a bottle of champs to gift the host. = best guest ever. I would die if I received these as a hostess gift. They are so f*cking cute and so nice for that price! I can't. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Okay like everyone else I am dying over the truffle honey! Must try!

  8. These are great recommendations!!! Thanks for taking the time to put this together, it is so helpful. I'm saving this file for future reference! My fridge may always be empty, but I always have a bottle of bubbly chilled, tonic water, and soda with a full bar, so I'm half way there!



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