If you've ever found yourself scrambling through cupboards for a scrap of something to serve surprise guests, this one's for you. I've totally been there: You think your family is swinging by to pick you up but they decide to come in and have a drink and you're wishing you had more to offer than almond milk and yogurt. It's hard to gain hostess points when you're breaking up pop-tarts for everyone to share. I've learned the hard way that you never know when your in-laws will drop in or a friend might come by after a bad day at work. Whether it's cheese and crackers, fruit and chocolate, here are a few things I'd keep on hand just in case ...
champagne // someone comes by with engagement news or your boyfriend was suddenly promoted at work and you wish you could pop some bottles. by keeping some affordable champagne in the back of the fridge, you'll always be prepared.
chocolate // it doesn't have to be super fancy or expensive (I personally love to keep some ritter sport or max brenner on hand) and will last a long time in your pantry or fridge. break up a bar into little squares and throw in a dish for an instant pick-me-up.
crackers // buttery ritz are so delicious on their own, but if you're paring them with cheese, I love Carr's water crackers. You can even keep them in an air-tight plastic container for a longer shelf life and minimal breaking.
cocktail napkins // if i spot a snappy set of cocktail napkins in the wild, I always add them to my basket. These things are so affordable and instantly add some flair to your drinks and snacks. In my opinion, the bolder, the better.
whiskey // I'm a proponent for whiskey for three reasons: (1) it doesn't need to take up fridge space, (2) it has a long shelf life, (3) it's delicious. If you don't do hard alcohol red wine fills similar criteria.
cheese // the first hosting lesson I ever learned was "always have cheese." it requires minimal effort, it's delicious, and it's something not a lot of people buy for themselves to snack on at home. a beautiful circle of brie or camembert is my go-to with a side of cubed spicy cheddar.
salami // for the last year, I was a member of olympic provisions' salami of the month club because my husband loves meat. we would always have a nice salami in the fridge for whenever guests dropped in and it always made last-minute snacks a breeze. long shelf life + minimal preparation = lifesaver.
nuts // there is a reason you've seen these on many-a-bar: they are easy, cheap and tasty. peanuts, cashews and almonds take up virtually no space in your pantry and can be placed in a sweet bowl in no time.
if you have some emergency hosting essentials in your home, let me know in the comments below!