So you've been thinking about adulting and throwing that party at your new-ish place. You know, the kind with small bites, wine and maybe even a signature cocktail minus the cheap beer (or OK OK, fine in addition to it)? WHAT are you waiting for, lady? The easy last minute or well-planned party doesn't have to be labor intensive to be cute. I've thrown dozens upon dozens (YEP I like to throw parties) of last minute parties and these are some of my go-to party eats. I'm happy to share my perfected party prep with any aspiring or established party girls. Party ON! ...but then you think about Think you have to plan and shop for days before throwing an awesome party that everyone will love? Think again! We challenged ourselves to put together an amazing party spread in under an hour: 30 mins at the grocery store and 30 minutes prep at home. Challenge accepted! Pass the candy, please.
One major key to party prepping is shopping for things that take little to ZERO prep time. Here are three ideas you can steal next time you want to spend less time on party prep and more time doing whatever else it is you want to do pre-party. Glass of wine while you leisurely get ready? Talking on the phone to your far away or down the street BFF for a little pre-game strategy regarding a certain someone who may show up at the party? Solo dance party? It’s your life, live it! Don’t forget to ENJOY your parties, don’t stress too much about how your food table holds up, just check on it a couple of times for refills and clean up throughout the night. People may or may not remember your sweet party spread, but they’ll remember the good company.
Nutella Berry Crostinis:
This takes the teensiest bit of prep and delivers a wow factor without much effort. Plus, they’re super pretty.
1. Slice a loaf of french bread into 1-inch thick pieces and put them in the toaster oven for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted.
2. Spread Nutella on the bread and top with berries. Done with the crostini! Now, let’s do the pretzel dip bar and candy station.
Pretzel Dip Bar:
Put out a bowl of pretzels (which are already yummy on their own), and add some extra flavor with an easy dip station! Pretzels pretty much go with anything, but a few ideas for easy, zero-prep-needed dips are mustard, Nutella, peanut butter, cheese dip, chocolate fudge, ranch…the list goes on. And all you have to do is open a few jars and put them in little bowls. Brilliant. Pro-tip: Pretzel sticks and rods work best for this dipping station.
Colorful candy is one of the easiest things to serve at a party. It’s perfectly bite-sized and easy to eat while having a conversation. Also, if arranged artfully alongside the other party snacks, it can be pretty.
And again, ZERO prep. Just open those bags and boxes and dump them into cute bowls of various sizes. Pocky ‘s not candy, but I highly recommend picking up several boxes. If you aren’t familiar, they are a pretzel-like treat dipped in chocolate, strawberry or cookies and cream flavor. And they’re delicious. They’re a Japanese cookie/snack, but many American grocery stores now carry Pocky. You can even get it at Target!
As soon as you have your food out, be sure to spend a few minutes finding the best arrangement and thoughtful placement of all the items. The art of your food table and other side table snacks brings the party up a notch in sophistication and charm. Now, bring on the guests! We’ll be over there in 10.