Holiday entertaining can be stressful, whether you’re expecting friends and family for a special occasion or catering to last-minute guests. While you start to deck the halls with boughs of holly, keep in mind that it’s also essential to deck out your kitchen pantry with staples that will have all your guests singing fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. Recently, I put together this short video with my friends at Coca-Cola of tips for being a prepared host and keeping your guests satisfied for the holidays.

Here are my favorites:

  • Stock up on Sauces: Easy ingredients that can be used in a variety of recipes are great to have in stock. Keep an assortment of sauces such as canned tomatoes and broths on hand so you can quickly throw together soup, stew, pizza and many more delicious meals in a matter of minutes.
  • Be Prepared to Bake: We all want to enjoy the great flavors of the season without overdoing it on the calories. Easy items like raisins, walnuts, pecans and flour are great to keep on hand for baking as well as when you need quick snack options for guests.  
  • Smart Snacking: It’s always convenient to have seasonal fruit on hand such as apples and pears. These foods not only look festive on a table setting but also serve as an “on-the-go” healthy snack option at any time of the day. I also love to have them handy to whip together a platter of sliced apples or pears along with fruit and nuts to serve to drop-in guests.
  • Don’t Leave Your Guests Thirsty: Remember to have your pantry stocked with refreshing beverages at all times. The Coca-Cola mini can is a perfectly portion-controlled option. It not only comes in popular flavors like Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, but it will help you and your guests keep the calories in check this holiday season.
If you want to be the host with the most and stay cool under pressure this holiday season, stock up on the items above.

Martita Jara

Happy Holidays!  

Martita Jara is a chef, interior designer and Southern California native who is best known for her appearance on Season 8 of The Next Food Network Star on Food Network where she landed a spot on Team Giada and most recently on OWN’s Home Made Simple!  Tweet @martitacjara to share how you’re decking your pantry for the holidays.