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