Our dear friends Peter and Jen live in Seattle. And we don't get to see them nearly enough. Fortunately Peter's parents still live in the NY suburbs so each year they come East for Christmas. It has become a tradition for us to spend a day with them between Christmas and New Year's while they are out here visiting and this year is no exception.
The day has some must do activities: eating, talking, eating, a walk around the city of sorts, eating, talking, shoe shopping, and a dinner of Chinese food.
Usually I try to put together some yummy snacks for noshing on while we sit around our apartment and partake in the aforementioned eating and talking. This year, since we just got back from Mexico, I really didn't have time to prepare much. So I'm cheating. Well, it's not really cheating. It just made a nice juicy title for this post. I think of it as being very clever when there's no time to prepare and you are entertaining.
My standards include: salsa, hummus, guacamole, a few cheeses, some sausage, nuts, olives, various cut up vegetables, assorted chips (baked tortilla, pita, bagel), crackers and bread. Take everything out of the containers from the store and place the foods into your own pretty serving pieces. Voila - instant hors d'ouvres and you look like a genius.
This isn't exactly the frugal route as it's much cheaper to make all the dips and chips yourself. But time is money. And right now, I don't have much time.