Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘space saving’

Must Have Pantry Items for Impromptu Entertaining

In Features on March 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Entertaining is easy if you have a plan and time to prepare, but it’s those impromptu evenings that truly test your chops as a host.  Keeping a variety of pantry items on hand for these occasions will undoubtably take the stress out of entertaining unexpected guests.  If you keep at least a few of these things in the kitchen you can throw together delicious hors d’oeuvres or a meal in no time.

  • Plain breadsticks
  • Jars of olives, stuffed grape leaves, roasted red peppers
  • Mixed nuts
  • Cornichons or dill pickles
  • Jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  • Few types of pasta like penne, linguine, farfalle
  • Good crackers
  • Variety of chips like tortilla, pita, root vegetable
  • Jars of salsa
  • Jars of mustard (dijon, whole grain, honey)
  • Dried fruit like cranberries, apricots, figs, raisins
  • Chutney / honey
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Dried Italian sausage and salami
  • Biscotti / cookies

Top 5 Must Haves for Small Space Entertaining

In Features on January 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Welcome in 2011 with these must have items that will help you throw great parties throughout the year.

1. Battery Operated Candles 

How many times have you gone to bed after a party and realized you left candles burning? Now you don’t have to worry about it! These amazing little guys provide the same light and ambiance that real candles do without the fire hazard.

To purchase check out:, 6 for $4.50

2. Plain White Serving Platters 

Okay, I know this sounds basic. But everyone needs at least two large plain white serving platters.  They can make everything from a cheese platter to take-out look elegant and can add visual interest to your table.

To purchase check out:, $10-$40

3. Tray Tables 

I know this sounds weird, but trust me, tray tables can be a small space entertaining lifesaver! Next time you have a party and need an instant bar or buffet table, pull out your trays, throw a table cloth on and wham! you have an stylish and space saving place to put food and drinks.

To purchase check out:, Set of 4 $39.99

4. Wine Decanter 

This is a must! Not just because decanting wine makes it taste better, but if you don’t want to buy expensive bottles for your next get together pour the budget wine from the box into a decanter and your guests will never know the difference. Plus, they look great on the table!

To purchase check out: Crate &, $3.95

5. Evite  / Paperless Post Account

Evite’s are so much more fun than a invite on Facebook.  With hundreds of personalized themes, this free tool has a ton of useful features and is great whether you are throwing a birthday bash or a small intimate dinner.

To sign up go to:

For another paper free, savvy way to invite guests to your next shindig, check out Paperless Posts. These invitations show up in your email and look just like fine stationary! You can event customize your envelopes. Only downside, they will cost you, but it sure beats snail mail!

To sign up go to:, 30 invitations for $5.00

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