Friday, October 21, 2011

Quick! Something for Company!

Missy, here. I'm late. Closed my computer around 10 or 10:30 pm last night, planning to read. Said out loud to myself as I closed my laptop, "I feel like I'm forgetting something." (Yes, The Belle talks to herself. And about herself in third person.)

Well, I did forget something. I forgot to do this post! :)

So, I'm thinking this would be a good time to talk about what you do when you need to quickly throw something together if someone drops by your house. Or if you make last minute plans to have company.

Now, I can't begin to help you with what to do with the mess around the house, because mine is always in a state of mess. But maybe I can offer an idea of something quick and easy to serve to hungry guests.

Cheese and Crackers

We always have tons of cheese around here. And usually have some semi-fresh crackers. I'd suggest slices of cheddar or colby. Or even better, goat cheese! Set on a nice platter with crackers surrounding it. Also, I love cheese and crackers with strawberry jam. You can add a bowl of jam to the platter as well.

Dip and Crackers

I keep dip mixes on hand that I buy at a local gift shop (they make great hostess gifts as well). One of the yummy ones I have on hand right now is made by Wind & Willow. It's called The BLT Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix. You just stir the mix with cream cheese, sour cream and milk. It's so good with crackers!

Veggies and Ranch Dressing

Pour out some baby carrots. Slice some celery, cucumber, squash, bell peppers or any vegetables you have on hand. Arrange on a platter with a bowl of Ranch dressing in the center.

Chips and Salsa

I have a chip and dip tray I made at a ceramics party. It has a well in the center for the salsa. I surround with tortilla chips. Nothing's easier!

Queso Dip

Brown 1 pound of ground beef. Cut up one box of Velveeta into chunks. (I heat it in the microwave to start it melting). Put both ingredients in the slow cooker and add one jar of salsa. Heat. This makes a great party dip for tortilla chips.

Okay, your turn! What do you do in a pinch when company shows up?


  1. Um, I guess not answer the doorbell isn't a satisfactory answer?

    Looking forward to what others have to say.

  2. Missy, I guess great minds think alike because cheese and crackers or chips and salsa top my list as well. For queso I start with Velveeta too, cube it up in a casserole, then add a can of chili, no beans, and a can of Rotel, which now you can get in a mild variety, then microwave in one minute incriments until melted. Occasionally I might whip up some guacamole. Start with two or three avocados--cut in half, remove the pit, and use a spoon to scoop the insides into a bowl. Then add a clove of minced garlic, a half a teaspoon of salt, and some pre made, aka pre chopped, pico de gallo from the grocery store. Add as much or as little pico as you like. Then add the juice of one lime. Stir and voila! If I don't have a lime, I use bottled lemon or lime juice. The citric acid not only adds another dimension of flavor, but prevents the guacamole from turning brown.

  3. LOLOL, Mary!! You're too funny. But I have to admit, the thought has flashed through my mind. :) Hey! A tip from a woman in my Bible study: always keep the vacuum cleaner near the door so you can say, "Oh! I was just cleaning." :)

    Mindy, I love guacamole! Mine is simpler, but your sounds better. I just mash the avacado, add jarred salsa to taste. Oh, and a dash of garlic salt. I'll definitely try adding the line juice and garlic next time!

  4. Make that lime juice, not line juice. :)

  5. Umm, I think you're assuming that food would actually hang around long enough to wait for that company? I have two young men in the house who voraciously eat anything resembling cheese or crackers. And don't even mention bacon. You might lose a finger.

    Veggies and dip might last longer, though...

    My company had better give me a call beforehand, or they'll be stuck with a glass of water!

    But I'm saving the recipes/suggestions for a future time :)

  6. Jan, I know what you mean about those young men. We've practically had to take out a second mortgage just to feed them. They're constantly foraging.

  7. LOL, Jan! Veggies do stay around longer here as well. :) Now, cookies? Those are what disappears in our house.

  8. Missy, I used to make it with the salsa, but the pico makes it so easy--no chopping--and it tastes like the table side guacamole you get at restaurants. Remember the rice krispie treats commercial where the mom acts like she's been baking forever, dusts flour on her face when she's really been reading a book? Same reaction:-)

  9. LOL! Yeah, just smear a little green on your nose and sigh. :)

  10. You guys are too funny!

    I have a couple avocados waiting for me - I love them so much they rarely make it as far as Guacamole, but I'll have to try your simple recipe, Mindy.

  11. By the way, there are some great recipes at the Harlequin website. I hosted a Harvest Cook-off. :)

  12. I was thinking not answer the door too!

    I've had the queso dip with the velveeta and rotel but instead of ground beef it had cooked breakfast sausage - the kind in those squishy rolls they sell near the bacon - Jimmy Dean/Owens. good stuff! we talked my dad into adding cooked sausage to his that he took to work many years ago for a christmas lunch and the crockpot came back clean - turned out he said he'd never seen anything like it - once they dipped, poured over anything including sandwiches, they took slices of bread and starting wiping around the crockpot! looking close there was just a light film from the cheese.

    there's some kind of raspberry chipotle stuff in a bottle - looks kinda like lumpy jelly - but someone poured this over a thingy of cream cheese and had crackers and some spreaders and it was really good. I found it at World Market but it's at the grocery store - my mom took it to some parties for a while.

    a friend made something similar - same cream cheese! - but the sauce was made from green chilies(small can drained) and a can of that cranberry sauce -the chunky kind NOT the jelly look stuff that slides out of the can..this one had pieces of the actual berries. seems like she doctored it up with some garlic powder..I'd have to ask her for the recipe but she goes through so many - she's a regular homemaker/chef-she makes homemade lemon custard - never had that in my life til she gave me a little jar of it several years ago. but we inhaled that cranberry/chil cheese spread - her 'almost son in law' was there with her granddaughter and she had to make a 2nd one because he couldn't turn loose of it.

    oh btw - I got some kale today! :-) may get brave this weekend - it came in a bunch all tied together so I guess I'd better either like these or start looking up soups to stick it in...


  13. These are great quick recipes! Queso dip is one of my favorites. Someone commented about cream cheese...
    We always pour A1 steak sauce over a block of cream cheese and set a bowl of Wheat Thins by it. It never lasts long around our house. I think my mom got the recipe from a wedding caterer. :)

  14. Susanna, I love how you describe things! (jelly stuff that looks like the inside of the can--love that description!) :)

    I used to make something similar to your cream cheese with spicy fruit stuff on top. We just poured a jar of Harry and David's pepper jelly over it (I think it may have been raspberry pepper jelly). Anyway, H&D has gone out of business, I think I heard. So I'll have to look for the raspberry chipotle stuff (or else try making the cranberry one). I get addicted to that sweet and spicy with cream cheese! Love it.

  15. Natalie, that sound yummy! I never would have thought of that. Will definitely try it! Boy, you can't get any easier than that.

  16. Well, the Harry and David's website seems to be up and going. So maybe what I heard was that the store nearest us was closing.

  17. I'm late, but these are rocking tips! I keep some of those cheese dip mixes on hand to mix with sour cream or cream cheese for quick 'serve up now' snacks... IF I ANSWER THE DOOR...

    But here's the thing: My kitchen looks out over the side porch. It has TWO PICTURE WINDOWS. HUGE.

    So I cannot hide even if I want to because they'll see the movement. And there's no curtains on the porch picture window, because that would mess with the view of the..




    Hey, these are great Simply Saturday tips, too. We should keep a log...

    Missy. Get on that, will you???? ;)

    How about the Brie or Camembert with a chopped nut/dried fruit mix poured over the top and warm caramel sauce drizzled over the nuts and fruit? You spread it with a spoon or knife on crackers...


  18. Ooh, I love the sound of that Brie with nuts, fruit and caramel.

    I love the sound of caramel--period.


  19. My step-mom always did the queso dip on New Year's Eve. Hers is Velveeta, Rotel, Breakfast sausage (browned), and one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. Mix it all in the crock pot, and let it simmer and let it melt together. It's not New Year's without it!

    I love the cream cheese with jalapeno jelly...amazing.

  20. Andrea, I'll have to try that spin on the dip. I bet it is yummy. A bit spicier.