All Women's Talk

7 Quick Treats for Unexpected Guests ...

By Jelena

Most of my guests like to add that element of surprise to their visits and, although most people say that if people just drop by unannounced, it’s OK to offer just drinks, I kind of enjoy being a good host and preparing something to eat too. It doesn’t have to be a five-course meal, nobody expects that of course, but a little treat is always a good way to make the guests feel welcome. And here are some of my favorite recipes for quick but incredibly tasty treats:

1 Crackers and a Dip

Crackers and a DipPhoto Credit: mason bryant

I always keep some crackers or pretzels in the house and I’m sure most of the people do too. Now, if you have those along with a moderately stocked fridge you are practically covered because the dip is quite easy to scramble. I just mix some yoghurt and mayonnaise, add just a little bit of mustard and toss in some herbs. Fresh parsley is always a good option but if you don’t have it at hand, oregano will do just fine too. It only takes five minutes to make this dip and the result is just wow!

2 Chocolate Covered Fruits

Chocolate Covered FruitsPhoto Credit: theogeo

In my family, cookies and chocolate bars disappear before my brain even processes the information that there are some sweets present. On the other hand, fruits and dark, cooking chocolate qualify as ”less than desirable food” so we always have plenty of those. Here is the trick – if you melt cooking chocolate, add 4-5 tablespoons of milk and 1-2 tablespoon of cooking oil you can turn it into a very tasty, creamy mass. So I usually serve some coffee or drinks, make a 15 minute trip to the kitchen, put the chocolate to melt while I’m chopping the fruits, spread the fruits on a big plate and pour the chocolate mass all over them. The plate then goes in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and that’s it. All I need to do is make smaller portions, decorate with some whipped cream( if I have any) and serve.

3 Yoghurt, Honey and Nuts

I can freely say this is no-brainer and it probably takes more time to make coffee then to prepare this tasty Greek dessert. You need yoghurt, honey and walnuts or any of the unsalted nuts you have at the moment. The trick is to have layers– a layer of yoghurt, honey and nuts, then another layer of each so ideally, you should use those fancy, see-through dessert glasses but, honestly, any see-through glasses will do. The original recipe says you should use walnuts but I’ve tried unsalted peanuts and almonds and the taste is even better!

4 Oven-baked Macaroni and Cheese

Oven-baked Macaroni and CheesePhoto Credit: www.WorthTheWhisk.com

This treat needs some boiling and baking so it’s great for those times when people actually phone to give you a 30 minute head start. Put the macaroni to boil and the oven to heat and go wipe the tables, fix the cushions and change into your good clothes. Macaroni should be ready by then so mix them with some cheese, put in the baking dish, pour 1-2 whisked eggs on top and leave it to bake until a nice, golden crust forms. Leave it to cool down while you offer coffee and drinks and then serve. Very simple!

5 Italian Style Dinner

Italian Style DinnerPhoto Credit: dusk-photography

Always but always keep a box of Italian pasta like tortellini or gnocchi and some tomato puree in the fridge because that’s all you need to make a perfect Italian style dinner and dazzle your unexpected visitors. My recipe for the quick “red sauce” goes like this: pour the tomato puree into a dish, heat it up, add chopped or squished garlic clove, a pinch or two of oregano and just a little bit of mustard (1/2 teaspoon). Leave the mixture to boil and then pour into a nice bowl and decorate with some fresh parsley. There you go, a perfect dinner!

6 Tuna Salad

Tuna SaladPhoto Credit: Lall

I’m absolutely sure you have canned tuna in your pantry. Maybe even a can of sweet corn? Perfect! Pour those two into a mixing bowl, chop any vegetables you have in your fridge at the moment (tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots…), mix it all up and serve with some mayonnaise and toast or bread sticks.

7 Fruit Salad

Fruit SaladPhoto Credit: ecastro

Serving fruit salad is a win-win situation because you don’t have to spend more than 5 minutes preparing it and you can eat it too even if you are on a diet. Here is my little secret – I often pour a little bit of honey on top or sprinkle some rum. It makes the fruits taste even better.

Now, what do you do when unexpected visitors drop by? Do you offer some snacks and drinks or you opt for the famous “Oh, we were just leaving” trick? Let me know and feel free to share some of your own life-saving recipes because I could definitely use new ones!

Top Photo Credit: Orin Zebest

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