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Your Best (And Easiest!) Cocktail Party

By Megan Myers, December 10, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Megan Myers

Holiday BrieFor me, holiday parties are all about the mixing and mingling with friends I might not have seen in a while. While I love to cook, I hate to be stuck in the kitchen while the party is rolling. Rather than serve a large meal or buffet, providing snacks that can be eaten one-handed means plenty of opportunity for socializing and minimal time in the kitchen.

Planning the Menu

First things first – no cocktail party is complete without a cheese board! Even if I’m just getting together with a friend or two, we’re always sure to have a cheese board to start things off. It doesn’t need to cost a lot, though – many Whole Foods Market stores have bins of “cheese ends” that are the perfect way to stock a simple cheese board or try new-to-you cheeses.  Learn how to create the perfect cheese board.

Aside from cheeses, I like to have a wide variety of small bites so I can please every guest, no matter their diet. Dips are always a hit, as is anything that can be eaten in a bite or two. Here are some of my favorite party-ready snacks.

Shrimp Cocktail with Creamy-Spicy Green Onion Dipping SauceChampagne Cheddar Cheese Straws

Sweet Potato Bacon BitesMushroom and Chard Bruschetta

Butternut Squash and Pecan Blini with Currant "Caviar"Creamy Cauliflower and Apple Soup Shooters

Your Secret Weapons

Whether you just want to round out a home-cooked spread or leave all the work to the experts, Whole Foods Market has plenty of quick options for cocktail parties. I love appetizers that you can just pop into the oven and then slip onto a serving tray.

Serve up some international flavor with Whole Foods Market™ Potato & Pea Samosas, Whole Foods MarketTM Spinach & Cheese Spanakopita, or Whole Foods MarketTM  Pork & Vegetable Potstickers. Pizza is always a crowd-pleaser, and when cut into small squares they’re the perfect size for mingling nibbles. Whole Foods MarketTM  Wood-fired pizzas come in a variety of gourmet flavors!

Sweet Sips

It’s right there in the name: a cocktail party has cocktails. While you don’t need to be mixing drinks to order, having a carafe or two of a festive drink at the ready will be appreciated by everyone. I like to set up a drink station with a signature cocktail, bottles of wine, and sparkling and still flavored waters. Be sure you provide for the nondrinkers, and don’t overserve!

Rosemary-Pear BelliniApple-Pomegranate Fizz

Pineapple Rosemary Crush CocktailsClementine Crush Sparkling Cocktail

Are you hosting a cocktail party this year? I’d love to hear about your favorite recipes!