Every so often I read blog posts and articles suggesting all sorts of adorable and Pinterest-worthy casual last-minute party ideas, and I think they're awesome, but the truth is that it's probably never going to happen in my life.
My friends are so busy and awesome that coordinating something like a casual last-minute taco party takes a month. (You know...if I want people to actually show up.)
So I just throw them for myself! (And Eugene. And Hudson, even though he's a dog.)
I always keep a baguette or two in the freezer, so I sliced and baked one up, then raided the fridge and pantry for possible toppings. Arrange them all sexy and messy on a big serving board or two and have at it.
It's chill and fun and so perfect while watching TV or a movie.
And if you are lucky enough to have friends who live nearby and can just pop over for an impromptu party? Even better!
- Set out different kinds of cheese: goat and ricotta work especially well here, as do other soft and spreadable things like a garlicky "Rondele" type cheese or little wedges of Laughing Cow.
- Get some kind of meat going! Slice up chorizo, pepperoni, or that summer sausage you bought from your boss's kid's school fundraising sale two years ago. Other sliced deli meats work, too--ham, prosciutto, salami, etc. Or you can get fancy and include something like thinly sliced grilled skirt steak, shrimp, or chicken.
- Savory veggies like thinly sliced zucchini or cucumber work well, as do roasted beets, grilled or roasted vegetables like eggplant or bell peppers. Ripe avocados are must, too!
- Add a few greens. Peppery arugula is a great choice, as are fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and small sprigs of thyme. Dried florals like lavender are also lovely.
- Pull out your favorite condiments, choosing ones that are both sweet and savory. Honey or maple syrup is a great match for a lot of things. A couple kinds of jam, maybe a good quality mustard, and pickles or a chutney.
- A few fruit options are another great touch. In the winter, you can take advantage of all the great citrus that's available. I suggest actually peeling and segmenting out at least a couple to make them easy to serve. Sliced strawberries and blueberries are great in the summer, and definitely offer up some crisp slices of apple or pear in the fall!
- Crunchy nuts (like almonds) and seeds (like sesame) work really well here, as do dried fruits (dates, apricots, whatever!)
- Finally, add a few spices like cinnamon and red chili flakes. And don't forget the chocolate! Chips or chopped up bars in both dark and white work well.
Want more ideas? How about a Date Night Tapas Party for 2 or a Hot Chocolate Bar Party?
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