Rolling the Dice and Clinking the Ice

Friday, April 27, 2012

Not-To-Be-Missed Grocery Store Party Pics

Today I am going to blog about one of my favorite ways to make a party easier, especially if you are short on time (or energy).  And what way is that?  Well, don't tell Martha (Stewart, but of course).... but I'm talking about grocery store party items.  Literally, I mean those little extras I can nab at the last second - and they take minimal (if any) prep and still look good and taste delicious too.  You won't tell anyone my little secrets, will you?  :o)

And while I am on this topic, do y'all remember the movie Mermaids?  You know, the one with Cher before she went blond, Winona Ryder before she went shifty and no-good, and little cherub-cheeked Christina Ricci before she went Addams Family.  

And sorry to get on my soapbox, but... a celebrity caught shoplifting.  Doesn't that just beat all?  For shame, Winona.   Didn't your mama teach you better?   And for all of us gals who loved you in Little Women and Beetlejuice and Heathers and How to Make an American Quilt.... even Reality Bites..... you betrayed us.  I mean, how common of youAnd that is the ultimate insult in the South, y'all.

Anyway, back to Mermaids.... the reason I bring that movie up (and what a great movie if you haven't seen it) is because in the film, Cher played a glamorous 1960's mother of two who loved things to be pretty and just so but when it came to food, she just didn't have the time or the patience to spend hours slaving over the stovetop.  So she was unabashedly Queen of the finger foods.  I must be honest.... I can relate to that.  :o)

Love this photo from the '50s.  I'd eat one of those deviled eggs up right this minute. 
So without further adieu, here is a list of my quick picks.  These are my go-to's for looking pretty on the bar or buffet, providing a tasty beverage or snack, and being a little something special too.  (Note:  this is of course not an exhaustive list; rather, these are just some things I think y'all might love that are a bit off the beaten path or are such a staple in my entertaining arsenal that they just have to be mentioned).     

The original Italian lemon and orange sodas.  Such a pretty can, and there's just something fun about the little foil top - and the little bottles they make are nice too.  A great mixer for tons of drinks.

Lillet is a French aperatif wine.  It comes in white or red and both varieties should be served chilled. While in France many folks enjoy it on the rocks with a slice of  citrus, it is very sweet so be sure to have some mixers nearby.  Such a pretty bottle too.

Do your guests right and serve a special local beer or two.  We love Wild Heaven.... and the company is based right here in my little town of Avondale Estates!

Cheese straws.  They're tasty, they're vintage yet fresh, and by golly they're Southern too.  Just do it.  :o)

I love this brand of organic cookies and other goodies.  Perfect for kids' parties, but I must say that the dark chocolate sandwich cookies are so good... and have a surprisingly adult taste.   

Yup, I'm admitting it to the cyber world.  I sometimes serve store-bought chicken salad.  I know it's a cardinal Southern-entertaining sin, but it's one I just must break sometimes.  Generally I serve some from the deli of our local farmer's market (if you live in any proximity to the DeKalb Farmer's Market you must go), but I promise you that Mrs. Kinser's is darn tasty too. 

Mini croissants for that chicken salad - or egg salad, or pimiento cheese...

And with just a few quick steps, I can tell you how to easily make the perfect nut mix that's just a little something nicer than your regular old bar mix. Buy a nice blend, or mix together some of your favorites for the base. I like peanuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, and macadamia nuts. Then, add special items like a few sunflower seeds or pistachio nuts. (Oh, and I buy all my nuts from the aforementioned DeKalb Farmer's Market. I'm telling you.... GO). Last, add in some cheddar sesame sticks (the little kind) and crunchy wasabi peas. You'll have a perfect and pretty mix. 

The cheddar sesame sticks

The wasabi peas

A cheese, meat and fruit (some dried, some fresh) plate is so amazingly simple and everyone always loves it. 

Prosciutto is so tasty and a nice complement to all sorts of cheese. 
Amazing with blue cheese and fig or apricot spread...

I think dates or figs are such a nice touch.

So pretty and healthy too.

I love to serve sliced roast beef for the men and the really hungry folks in the group.   Seriously, I can't stand the thought of a guest leaving hungry.   I often get my meat from our Farmer's Market or if I'm at Kroger, it's from the Boar's Head deli section.  I get them to slice it medium-thickness, although that's strictly a personal preference.  

Serve some nice gourmet mustards and a horseradish sauce with your roast beef and your guests will be in Heaven. 

 Another great snack source is Trader Joe's.... my favorite there is a nice soft cheese (I think it's a gorgonzola) with cranberries on top.  Just perfect with crackers and melba toast.  

And that's that, y'all!  Those are some of my favorite, tried-and-tested finger foods that you can buy, carry home, and have out in a jiffy.  Can't beat that, can you? 

Cher would agree.

Bon appetit!



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