We all get those last-minute guests during the holiday season and we've found that the best way to not stress out (and enjoy them instead) is to have a little hostess stash ready and waiting. We're talking food, wine and a few things for your home that you can pull out at a moment's notice and look like you're Martha herself.
7 FOOD AND HOME MUST-HAVES FOR HOSTING LAST-MINUTE GUESTS
Big, chunky throw blankets and some extra seasonal pillows
Think every staged room you've ever seen in a Pottery Barn catalog. Blankets and throw pillows make any room in your house look more inviting. Buy your in neutral colors and jewel tones and fill up your couches, chairs and beds with them.
Candles, candles, candles
We talk about candles in our great gatherings post, and the same goes here. Whether you have weeks to plan for guests, or just a few minutes, candles are easy, quick and make a huge statement about the warmth (literally) and the inviting nature of your home. We love these
Voluspa and Austin-based Slow North candles. For a romantic or luxurious evening, turn up the heat - tapers, votives, all kinds work. Tapers are a great way to add elegance to any get together - try Austin beekeeper, Raul Vergara's 100% beeswax candles from his Austin Honey Co.
The best thing about cured meats is that they last. You can buy them well in advance and open at the last minute. Making you look like the ultimate host or hostess. Try cold smoked salmon which lasts 2-3 weeks unopened or one week once opened and kept in the fridge. Dry cured salami is always a great bet - this is the kind you see sitting out at Whole Foods or your favorite high end market vacuum packed in plastic, then tucked in a pretty paper sack. You can even branch out with some premium beef jerky like Ultimate Wagyu Jerky Assortment from New Braunfels Smokehouse just outside of Austin.
BOXT is perfect for last minute guests. Our wines stay fresh for six weeks once tapped, so you can enjoy and still have plenty for your last-minute gatherings. It also stores in the fridge or on your counter untapped for two to three months.
We love Rustic Bakery's crackers and you can get them on their website, at HEB, Amazon and lots of local grocers. Table water crackers are also a good choice, as they go with anything and you can mix it up with Trader Joe's raisin rosemary crisps.
Aged or blue cheeses
These cheeses will last longer than other types and are happy to hang out in your fridge for three to four weeks when properly wrapped. Try blue, aged white cheddar, parmesan or smoked gouda.
Nuts and dried fruit
These will last forever if you keep them sealed. Best choices are pistachios, pecans, cashews, macadamias, apricots, figs and cherries.
Now that you've got your hostess survival kit ready to go, make sure you've got enough BOXT on hand for all your guests this holiday season. Get a BOXT on us when you refer a friend and if you need a gift that keeps on giving, we've got you covered, just Gift BOXT.