It has happened to all of us. Friends stop by to say hello during the busy holiday season, and the pantry is bare. Fear not, with a few simple ingredients tucked away for these emergency situations, you will be prepared to throw a festive, impromptu party that will make it seem like you were planning for weeks!

The trick to creating a last minute gathering is having a few special ingredients on hand. We are featuring some of our favorite gourmet food items here so you can focus on checking things off your Christmas list. One quick stop to our gourmet food section could save the day!

There’s nothing like a perfectly crafted cocktail to get the conversation flowing. Take your finest crystal out of hibernation to serve these libations showcasing either Quince & Apple’s Tart Cherry Grenadine in a classic Old Fashioned or Earth & Vine’s Pomegranate Grapefruit mixer in a chilled martini.



1/2 oz Quince & Apple’s Tart Cherry Grenadine
2 dashes Angostura bitters,
1 Orange wheel
2 oz Brandy
Club Soda

Preparation Instructions:

Muddle together Tart Cherry Grenadine, bitters, and the orange wheel in the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Fill glass halfway with ice and add brandy. Top with club soda, stir gently and enjoy!


2 oz Earth & Vine’s Pomegranate Grapefruit Cocktail Mixer
1 oz Gin
½ oz Triple sec

Preparation Instructions:

Add ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

After all of your guests are armed with a proper cocktail, whip up these simple, but mouth-watering appetizers to whet their appetites. Bella Cucina’s Artichoke Lemon Pesto is an all-time best seller in our gourmet section. It is so versatile, can be served either hot or cold, and pairs well with chicken and veggies alike, but it really shines in this simple, warm dip. Earth & Vine’s Red Pepper & Ancho Chili Jam is the star in our second appetizer recipe. It has a sweet and savory flavor that is enriched by a slathering of creamy goat cheese atop a crisp baguette slice. Happy holidays!


1 6 oz jar Bella Cucina Artichoke Lemon Pesto
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the Artichoke Lemon Pesto together with the mayonnaise and parmesan cheese. Spread the mixture into a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and the dip is hot and bubbly. Serve with toasted, sliced bread or tortilla chips.



Earth & Vine’s Red Pepper & Ancho Chili Jam
Sourdough or French baguette
Olive Oil
Soft Goat Cheese, pepper flavored or plain

Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

Slice baguette into even slices about ¼” thick and brush with olive oil. Arrange slices on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Place under a preheated broiler and toast until just browned around the edges, but not burned. Spread soft goat cheese on baguette rounds while still warm and top with Earth & Vine’s Red Bell Pepper & Ancho Chili Jam.