Coffee, tea and some great cookies will be a great addition to your pantry. One of my favorite cookies are these French chocolate covered cookies by LU http://www.lubiscuitsna.com/sweet-biscuits.html . They are wonderful!
A quick appetizer is a block of cream cheese with pepper jelly spooned on top served with crackers. This is quick and tastes great with Riesling or Zinfandel.
Things that have a decent shelf life like aged cheddar cheese, and one of my favorite semi-firm goat cheeses Garrotxa http://www.artisanalcheese.com/prodinfo.asp?number=10239 is great to have on hand. I usually cube or make slices of the cheddar and the Garrotxa is broken into chard's.
Nuts, olives, chips, popcorn, crackers, pretzels, pate`, good olive oil, a jar of roasted red peppers, a few blocks of cream cheese and pre-packaged dips are great to have on hand; they go great with cocktails, soda or water. I want to try Stacy's Pita Chips http://www.stacyssnacks.com/#/?page=products. I think a spinach and artichoke dip and a nice Sauvignon Blanc would pair nicely with these chips. I love trying new products and sharing my opinions. These days we have to be careful and thoughtful on how we spend our money.
Having a few appetizers that can be made ahead and frozen work well; you just have to thaw and bake. Also, fondue whether cheese based or chocolate is quick to prepare and looks fabulous served in a pretty pot. Have lots of things on hand to dip for fondue, like french bread( cheese fondue), marshmallow's, fruit, cut up pound cake,doughnuts( chocolate fondue) or for a savory fondue, meats.
Of course wine has to be on hand as well as non-alcoholic sparkling cider, sodas, beer and bottled water. I like to make frozen drinks from time to time, but it has been hard to find my Fat Tuesday drink mixes http://www.fat-tuesday.com/site361.php in Little Rock. Oh well, I will have to pay shipping if I want my frozen drinks with that New Orleans flavor; they are wonderful!
When I'm having champagne or sparkling wine, I love to pour my guest who don't drink some bubbles in a flute, so sparkling cider fits the bill; everyone is included when I entertain.
Martinellis Sparkling Cider
This product is easily found in your local grocery store.
Now, I like to have sparkling wine, white wine, rose` wine and red wines on hand. This allows you to have flexibility in pairing with the foods or snacks that you have on hand.
Try this with the chard's of Garrotxa cheese or Humboldt Fog cheese.
I can't wait to sample the 2010 vintage!
Try this wine with with bruschetta or cocktail meatballs in a smoky sauce. Rainy days are great for making cocktail meatballs that you can cook and freeze. When you need them all you have to do is thaw them, and heat them in your choice of pot, whether it be a sauce pot, crock pot (the stainless ones look nice) or keep them warm in a fondue pot to be a bit fancy.
Well, I think you get my point; having a few staples in your pantry and fridge will always save you when you have to entertain without much notice. Also, buy French breads on a Friday and put them in the fridge; they will come back to life when heated in the oven when making bruschetta or small sandwiches. Let me know if you know of any great store bought appetizers so I can give them a try.
Angoves Nine Vines Rose` is a nice rose` to sip on a warm day.
Send me an email and let me know what you think.