When you’re hosting a party, the last thing you want to do is spend all your time in the kitchen. With Super Bowl XLII and Mardi Gras coming up, I thought I’d share a few family favorites that are quick and easy to prepare, and budget-friendly as well.
- Barbecued Smokies. This is possibly the easiest snack recipe known to man, and was shared with us by a member of our church. Grab 2 or 3 packages of Hillshire Farms’ Little Smokies, and toss them in your Crock Pot. Add a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (our family enjoys K.C. Masterpiece’s Honey Barbecue flavor), and set your Crock Pot on high for about an hour. Once done, serve the Smokies in a pretty dish with crackers.
- Ham Roll-ups. Another easy recipe, this one passed to my husband from his dad. Cut several pieces of sliced ham into strips. Mix cream cheese with black olives. Spread the mixture thinly on the strips of ham, and roll each strip up. Refrigerate until firm and serve with crackers.
- Shrimp cocktail. If you don’t have time to prepare the shrimp yourself, pick up a couple of frozen rings of shrimp from your local grocery store. The day before your event, put the shrimp in the fridge to thaw. When the party-goers arrive, pull out the shrimp and your favorite cocktail sauce, and enjoy.
- Veggie tray. This is another item you can pick up from your local grocery store. Veggies and ranch dip are always a hit at any party. Fruit trays are also a great idea, but can be hard to come by during winter months.
- Chili. For parties in the winter, chili is a welcome sight on the table. You can look on the ‘net for great recipes, or pick some up from your local grocery store. Homemade is best. Make sure to have plenty of cheese and crackers on hand. Peanut butter sandwiches and carrots are also a great companion to steaming bowls of chili.
- Oyster soup. Soups are another crowd-pleaser at winter-time parties. Ever since I was little, my mom has made oyster soup at Christmas and New Year’s gatherings. Simply put 2 cans of oysters in a pan. You can use whole oysters, but oyster pieces actually add more flavor. Put in 3-5 cups of milk depending on your personal preference, and a tablespoon of butter, and salt to taste. Then cook until steaming, but DO NOT BOIL. Serve with crackers.
- Chips and Salsa. Chips and Salsa are also easy to make – just set out a huge bowl of chips, and a smaller bowl of salsa. Make sure to have plenty on hand. If you’re feeling ambitious, melt some Velveeta cheese and a little bit of milk in your Crock Pot, to make nachos.
Parties don’t have to be a huge hassle for the host. With these easy recipes and disposable dinnerware, you can enjoy your party with your guests, and not have a lot of dishes to clean up the next morning. Have fun!