<p>A pantry brimming with classic standbys and a well-organized kitchen are the stuff of dreams for holiday hostesses. With a little ingenuity and a party-ready pantry featuring these eight staples, you can whip up scrumptious appetizers and host an impromptu soiree on a moment's notice.</p>
In the midst of holiday entertaining, it's easy to get caught up creating a dazzling dinner party. Keep it simple at your next gathering with a jazzed-up version of jarred olives -- an easy and delicious DIY hors d'oeuvre. A heaping bowlful of marinated olives will keep grazing guests happy, and they go great with a classic cocktail! Try these go-to recipes to find your new favorite appetizer.
Salty, spicy, or sweet -- seasoned mixed nuts are a nutritional powerhouse that feature incredible flavor! Dish up these delicious mixes at your next party, and you're sure to get rave reviews! Or scoop a few cups of your favorite recipe into a festive tin or cellophane bag for a quick and easy hostess gift.
Depart from traditional condiments and relishes and dazzle guests with a selection of chutneys or jam. Chutney makes a sweet and tangy addition to savory dishes, while fresh and fruity jam makes a delicious spread at the brunch buffet -- perfect for topping pancakes, biscuits, and more! Grab a jar during your next grocery run and you'll have what you need to whip up these easy party-perfect dishes!
There's more to dried fruit than trail mix. Keep a stash of dried cherries, apricots, and figs in your pantry. They last forever and are perfect for your stress-free party spread. Toss a handful on your next cheese platter, or serve them up solo with cocktails. Or try one of these party-ready appetizers that star sweet dried fruit.
Because of its versatility, classic pesto is a kitchen staple. Stock up on store-bought if you're short on time, or dazzle your guests with a full-flavored homemade version. Toss it with pasta, spread it on a sandwich, or serve it as a delicious dip paired with warm breadsticks or french-fried potato wedges.
What's better than a yummy cookie? One that's already been made for you! Whether from a cake mix or prepackaged refrigerated dough, store-bought "cookies" instantly improve dessert without the extra work. Try these recipes to make party prep easier -- no one will know they're not completely homemade!
With just a few extra minutes, sleeves of snack-aisle crackers can be transformed into a tasty DIY artisanal treat -- plus, they're easy on your grocery budget and can last for months when properly stored in the pantry. Drizzled with butter, sprinkled with seasoning, or served with dip, these simple recipes will hit the spot at your next holiday get-together.
From savory to sweet, it's easy to create your own gourmet-style popcorn that will satisfy every craving. Choose between air-popped kernels (to save a few calories) or oil-popped popcorn (which makes it easier to add mix-ins). Infused with just a few ingredients and spices, basic popcorn becomes an irresistible treat that will have guests begging for another batch.