To make last-minute entertaining stress-free, Joseph always stocks up on certain pantry essentials to ensure that she always has what she needs, all stored together in one part of her pantry. “That way, when I run into a friend and make last-minute plans for a relaxed Sunday supper, most of what I need I’ve already got.” She’ll open a couple bottles of white wine, throw some chips and nuts into bowls, set out some cheeses with spreads, and then will set it out all together. It’s effortless — “all I need to pick up are ingredients for the entrée,” Joseph adds.
We took a peek into Joseph’s stocked pantry — and here’s what we found:
• Glasses for holding cocktail skewers and beverage stirrers.
• Baskets for cocktail napkins.
• Lots of cocktail napkins (Joseph suggests buying napkins whenever you see ones you like, no matter what time of year it is — or what kind of pattern is on the napkin).
• Some nice wine glasses (Joseph likes Cost Plus World Market for glassware and serve ware).
• Wicker, laquer, and wooden trays, for serving.
• Wooden cutting boards and slate boards, for serving.
• Baskets, for serving crackers, bread, muffins, etc.
• Jarred cocktail foods like olives and artichokes.
• Spreads like tapenade, pestos, balsamic jellies, balsamico, and savory jellies for cheese.
• Snacks like potato chips, crackers, and roasted, salted almonds.
• At least 5 bottles of white wine chilling.
• A large chunk of Parmigiano in the fridge. (It's one of her favorite go-tos.)