Last minute entertaining is something that has never bothered me; however, I know it stresses other people out. Last night was one of those nights were I made the call to entertain instead of going out. The cable guy was coming over to fix our cable and the only time slot was from 4 to 6 pm. We had originally planned to meet friends out for happy hour that night so our choices were, wait until the work week and have to deal with the cable guy then or bring the happy hour to our home instead. I suggested the later.
Next question, what should I make? I wanted the appetizers to be substantial enough that they would stand in for dinner but also quick and easy as we had a full day planned already. In going through menu options with my husband, we settled on meatballs, chicken wings, a cheese tray and veggies with dip.
Thinking about what I had on hand and what I could pick up on the way home, I refined the menu to be 5 ingredient Wildtree Stroganoff Meatballs and Chicken Drummettes with a dry rub and teriyaki glaze.
Cheeses would include sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda and spanish Manchego; something for everyone. The veggies would be served around a smoky and spicy ranch dip that would also be great for dipping the chicken drummettes in. One of the guest was going to bring Texas Cavier and chips which would round out the appetizer spread nicely.
Casual and fun, perfect relaxing on our motor yacht, Destiny, with friends before watching the sunset on the fly bridge.
Start to finish, I prepped the appetizer menu in about 30 minutes and it was ready in 1 1/2 hours. Pantry stables plus grocery store conveniences made it a breeze to pull together. And, it got rave reviews by our guests.
Unfortunately with the cable guy there just before our guest arrived, I didn't have a chance to take pictures of the spread so you'll just have to enjoy the sunset view instead and imaging how delicious everything was. Hopefully this inspires you to be bold and brave next time you are faced with last minute entertaining situation. Good food does not have to be complicate or take hours to make.
Wildtree Stroganoff Meatballs
The meatballs were frozen (I took a short cut there) and I use about 2.5 pounds for 6 people. To that I mixed together a Wildtree Stroganoff seasoning blend, 1 cup of milk, 1 package of cream cheese, 1 3/4 of chicken stock (or make your own with bouillon). Whisk to combine and pour over the meatballs. Cook in a slow cooker on high for about 1 1/2 hours or until heated through and sauce has thickened. This makes a really cream sauce that coats the meatballs, great for an appetizer. If you'd like to serve over pasta, add water or stock to thin. I hope you enjoy the sunset and the meatballs as much as we did.
Wildly Good Chicken Drummettes
Purchasing chicken drummettes from the store makes these wing easy to eat for your guest and a lot less prep work for you!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
I keep a small coffee grinder on hand to make spice blends and rubs. If you don't have one dedicated to spices, you should consider getting one. It is an inexpensive way to make delicious, fragrant rubs at home.
Combine 2 teaspoons sea salt, 2 teaspoons Wildtree Ranchers Rub, Garlic Galore and Absolutely Onion seasoning blends with 2 teaspoons smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoons cumin in a spice grinder. Process until blended and onion and garlic is broken down into a more powdery consistency.
Place 2 pounds chicken drummettes in a Ziploc bag. Add 1-2 tablespoons roasted garlic grapeseed oil. Toss to evenly coat. Then add spice blend to the bag. Toss until the wings are evenly coated with the blend.
Place drummettes on a baking sheet lined with non-stick foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Then brush wings liberally with Wildtree Teriyaki sauce and return to oven. Bake for another 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.