Pantry Essentials

Last minute guests happen. Here are the five things you need to keep on hand to be the hostess with the mostess:


This one is fairly obvious. Having a bottle of wine on deck is great for multiple reasons:

  • Last minute gift
  • Serve to guests (with or without serving dinner)
  • Sauces (make a red wine reduction for red meats)
  • Have a glass after your guests leave

Cake Mix

Alright – I love cake, but did you know that you can do a million things with cake? It’s perfect for last minute guests, and here’s why:

  • Make a cake
  • No frosting – no problem: make cookies
  • Use the dry mix to coat chicken for fried chicken
  • If you have chocolate mix, rub onto beef to a little extra


You can whip up a great meal with pasta – and do a lot with it.

  • Mac and cheese
  • Spaghetti
  • Bake


Olives – or something similar, can help you build a great charcuterie board. Add cheese, nuts, and meat (lunch meat works) and serve to guests.

You can also add into a salad or add into cocktails.

Dijon Mustard

Dijon is a lot of cake mix – you can do so much with it. We always have Dijon in the house.

  • Add to your charcuterie board
  • Make into a vinegarette
  • Mix with honey or maple syrup and brush on chicken
  • Add into yellow cake mix, with carrots, to make a delicious and complex carrot cake
  • Make a delicious sauce for your pasta
  • Make yourself a sandwich once your guests leave

What are some of your favorite essentials?

Happy Hosting!

xo love kim



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