Illustrated by Caitlin Owens.
Those Last-Minute Guests
Debi Lilly, A Perfect Event
Sometimes, there's that unexpected batch of friends or family that decides that they want to just "drop by," which is simple for them but stressful for you. It's time to get party prepared.
1. Bubbles In The Fridge:
No holiday party would be complete without some bubbly — even if it's not the real stuff. "Always keep a few bottles of Prosecco (around $10 a bottle) on hand, ice cold, and ready to pop on a moment's notice, says Lilly. Jazz it up with a few fresh cranberries and fresh rosemary and your guests will start calling you Martha.
2. Cheese, Please:
Fancy canapés? Not when you barely have time to throw on lipstick before guests arrive. Opt for cheese, a universal favorite that can be go out on the table in a flash. "Simply stock your dairy drawer with a soft goat cheese (garnish with fresh ground black pepper), a hard cheddar, and a havarti," suggests Lilly. "Pair with fun crackers, toasts, a jar of pepper jelly, fig jam, and sliced apples and pears." Even better, all of these varieties last for weeks. So, if you stock up now, you'll be prepared for the entire holiday season.
3. Freezer Friends:
When push comes to shove, we all love a frozen app now and then. "Grab a few boxes of heat-and-eat party favorites like edamame and cooked shrimp (run under cold water, garnish with lemons, pepper, and cocktail sauce)," suggests Lilly.
4. Cake Stand Chic:
Don't just throw the food out on the table — this is
the holiday season, after all. "Fill glass domes on cake stands with a collection of ornaments, powdered doughnuts, or glittery tinsel for instant glam," says Lilly.
5. Candes, Candles, Candles:
Everything (including your complexion) looks better in candlelight, the ultimate party trick. "Set them in windowsills, on top of mantles, in varied heights (I love to mix pillar candles with taper candles with small votive candles), or on mirrored trays or platters for fast centerpieces," says Lilly.