11 Items to Have on Hand for Instant Hors d’Oeuvres

Experienced party planners prepare for the unexpected by keeping extra hors d'oeuvres in the freezer. If that's not an option, have someone slip out to the nearest supermarket. Most stock trays of prepared vegetables, dips, cheeses, and cold cuts. If they don't, here is a shopping list for a dozen hungry grazers:

from Five Minute Fixes

1 Pound Sliced Genoa Salami
Sliced salami can be combined with bread and condiments for quick sandwiches.

1 Large Bunch Grapes
Grapes pair with wine and cheese to cleanse the palate. Simply wash and serve.

2 pounds Swiss or American Cheese
Sliced cheese is an easy finger food and can also make quick grilled cheese sandwiches. See how to make grown up grilled cheese for your guests.

1 Pound Dried Apricots
Dried apricots are a sweet counterpoint to a cheese platter.

1 Pound Sliced Smoked Ham or Turkey
Ham rolled up with cheese is a quick, tasty snack. Or be ambitious and whip up these asparagus ham crepes.

1 Jar Spicy Mustard
Good mustard adds a zing to any quick sandwich recipe. You can also grab a box of frozen pigs in a blanket and use it as a dip.

2 Boxes Crackers
Crackers can be combined with just about anything for a quick snack. Everyone has one potential topping on hand-peanut butter, sliced cheese or hummus.

2 Loaves French Bread or Baguettes
A French baguette is great to have on hand. It can be sliced for sandwiches or simply paired with good olive oil or butter. Also worth a try: This sausage, grilled pepper and tomato bruschetta recipe.

1 Jar Green Olives
Olives will keep for a long time, so be sure to have them on hand for cocktails and for guests to munch on while chatting. Stuff the centers with good blue cheese or even marinated garlic for a sharp bite.

1 Large Bag Bite-Size Peeled Carrots
Baby carrots are great with in hummus, dip or peanut butter. They are healthier than potato chips, too. Try our cucumber dill dip recipe.

2 Small Baskets Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Like baby carrots, cherry tomatoes add color and nutrients to your hors d'oeuvres. You can also throw together this pasta with cherry tomatoes recipe for a quick meal. Pair it with the baguette.

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