Entertaining is still a priority for us and we always have some staples on hand (i.e. chilled champagne, cheese, a pint of gourmet ice cream) to quickly assemble a casual get together. Over the years, we've added a few unique items to that list to help elevate a simple party into something a little more special. Here are our go-to products, which also have a really good shelf life, so you don't have to worry about wasting them.
St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur - My dad introduced me to this sweet, floral liqueur a few years back and it's quickly become a favorite amongst our friends. It's great on its own, but really shines when used in a champagne cocktail, or mixed with some citrus juice and gin. G's current favorite recipe is this Scotch-based Elderflower Thistle.
Truffle Salt - Whenever I taste a dish with a distinctive truffle flavor, I'm immediately transported back to our honeymoon in Italy. But since actual truffles are ridiculously expensive, we opt for this seasoning. We use it on a lot of our vegetable dishes, add it to mashed potatoes and even sprinkle it on top of popcorn for a twist on a classic snack.
Peppadew Peppers - A great cheese plate should include a nice variety of savory bites, so I also always have jars of cornichons, olives, and large capers in the fridge. But these peppers from Whole Foods (I get mine at the olive bar station) always draw rave reviews. They're sweet and slightly spicy, and complement sharp cheddars and aged goudas perfectly.
Gourmet Ice Cream Sauce - While I eat plenty of ice cream, I'm not a huge fan of over-the-top sundaes. I prefer to keep my dessert simple, but I make an exception with these sauces. My friend brought these as a thank you gift when she stayed with us and they make any dessert better. And for those in-between times, they're also excellent eaten straight out of the jar.