We are well and truly past the Silly Season and the Christmas crazy has finished for another year, but I just have to share with you a few new goodies I discovered which made entertaining over this busy time of year a breeze.
When you’re entertaining you generally plan for such occasions and have things sorted in advance, or you have time up your sleeve to create something from scratch. When time is at a premium or you’re squeezed dry of inspiration, I’ve found a solution that anyone can utilise to make life less stressful whilst also wowing your guests tastebuds.
Alison’s Pantry has created the ultimate entertainers accompaniments. A vast array of sweet and savoury options are available to combine with cheeses, berries, fresh fruits and crackers to create the most perfect platters for your gathering. The selection has expanded significantly and some delicious new morsels have been added to the already perfect goodies on offer.
Each Christmas, a couple of days before the big day, we have a bunch of friends over for a casual glass of champagne and Christmas Mince Tarts. Although the gathering was a lot smaller this year and I was determined to not go overboard, I whipped up a couple of lovely platters which made the afternoon flow seamlessly into evening and left everyone perfectly satisfied.
For our savoury platter I put together a selection of crackers, a creamy blue wedge and some soft rind cheese from Puhoi Cheese, homemade Caramelised Onions, sliced cherry tomatoes and some creamy Sundried Tomato Dip, then added the following from Alison’s Pantry range – Horopito Cashews which are undeniably delicious and incredibly moreish (I could have polished off the lot myself), as well as some plain Macadamia Nuts which need nothing added. They are the perfect nut in my opinion.
Our sweet platter included fresh seasonal fruits – Pineapple, Blueberries and Strawberries, storebought Mince Tarts, some of my Christmas Rocky Road Two Ways and the Chai Chocolate Almonds, Raspberry & Cacao Nougat, Maple Cashews, Dried Jumbo Peaches and the Mega Mix (a decadent selection of Macadamias, Hazelnuts, Cherries, Almonds, Cranberries and fudge coated in yoghurt and dark and milk chocolate) from the Alison’s Pantry range. All of these tasty morsels are actually amazing and I *may* have devoured a whole bag of nougat on my own. Whoops!
I literally threw all the items into tiny bowls and ramekins before the guests arrived, unwrapped cheeses to breathe, cut fruit into bite sized pieces and then set everything on platters, under wraps from these ghastly flies we’ve been haunted by this summer, until guests arrived. Then we poured champagne, offered beers or cucumber, mint & lemon water and sat in the sun enjoying a relaxing afternoon of chit chat and end of year winding down.
Entertaining friends does not need to be stressful and with bulk bin options as scrumptious as the Alison’s Pantry range there really is no excuse for not presenting guests with something satisfying to munch on at your next gathering.
What’s your favourite easy entertaining idea?
* Although I received Alison’s Pantry products to use on my platters, I selected the items I wanted to try and put these platters together without influence. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received.