A bunch of friends descend on your house, and you need some fast and easy party food. Quick! Hit the corner market! Here are 10 tips on how to create simple snacks and drinks from the local convenience store. Easy entertaining on the fly!
1. Toasted Pound Cake with Dippin' Sauce: Toast chunks of store-bought pound cake (such as Entenmann's All Butter Loaf Cake) and serve on toothpicks along with a bowl of melted caramel candies flavored with espresso powder. (Inspired by this CHOW recipe.)
2. Drunken Affogato: Chocolate ice cream and Kahlúa served in a shot glass makes for a nice adult dessert. (Inspired by this CHOW recipe.)
3. Impressive Snack Mix: Buy your favorite cereal, pretzels, chips, and nuts and fry them in a skillet with a little melted butter. Cool and serve.
4. Boozy Hot Chocolate: Make some Swiss Miss hot chocolate, then add a shot of bourbon, rum, or triple sec and a squirt of whipped cream.
5. Wine Spritzer: Even cheap white wine is tasty when mixed with juice and sparkling water.
6. Pigs in a Blanket: Score some steaming hot dogs from the roller, cut them in sections, and wrap them in Pillsbury-style canned croissant dough. Bake and serve with mustard.
7. Olive Toast Points: Cut sandwich bread into triangles, toast, and top with cream cheese mixed with chopped black olives.
8. Stuffed Olives: Take black or green olives and stuff them with cream cheese or, if your convenience store has it, blue cheese. Serve on toothpicks.
9. Chocolate-Dipped Fruit: Melt a Hershey's chocolate bar and dip whatever fresh fruit you can find—bananas, apples, and oranges all work well.
10. Hot Bean Dip: Mix a can of refried beans with sour cream, cream cheese, and grated Jack and cheddar cheese; heat; and serve with tortilla chips.