Tis the season of snacking. It is also the season of guests, both expected and unexpected. Most of my family is scattered around the world at this point. Travel is always interesting. Some sections of my family will skip a year of traveling, staying home and communicating through the electronic ether instead of in person and then plan a huge trip with multiple stops along the way to grandma’s house.
It means that starting, well, about now, we will get phone calls about people passing through our area. A lot of my family seems to book flights to major airports and then rent cars to just meander and catch whoever they can on the way. My house is located along the way to a lot of places it seems so we will have people staying a night in the guest room or just stopping by for an hour. Sometimes we get family dropping by for coffee and maybe a snack, other times lunch, dinner and those strange in between times that are neither.
Which means we always have snacks and the makings of a quick cheese board, veg plate and possible charcuterie on hand. With the veg plate I always have two dips on hand for those who don’t do meat or dairy – it is my excuse to make fresh hummus as much as possible. And if they give some advance notice, my favorite battered and fried mushrooms, but that is a different post.
One of my favorite places to stock up is igourmet. During much of the year i will order cheeses from them simply because I like cheese and they have a really good selection of things I can’t find near me (They have a truffle cheese that is fantastic. They sell out a lot, so I sort of stalk the website lying in wait). My babydoll loves their sausages so we often pick a few of those up as well. And while we shop one cheese or sausage at a time when it is just us, we also make lists of our favorites as well as lists of who might be stopping by (No surprise that my family leans heavily towards the cheese board while his leans more towards the sausage).
Sometimes we will order a long list, but often times it is actually easier to order a couple of their gift baskets. The one pictured at the top of the post is their International Snacking Extravaganza box in case you are wondering. Out of this box I have tried the Sweet Sangria olives and absolutely love them. They can really add a great dimension to a simple bowl of snacks. I adore olives, as do many of my relatives and there is usually a bowl of marinated ones out. I make one that has lemon and rosemary in it. These Sangria ones are just easier to buy. They have sweet slightly fruity notes that blend really well with the briny olive and always disappear fast. The brine is a fantastic twist on a dirty martini as well.
Also included in this box is Righteous Felon Jerky. While the Victorious B.I.G. is good, I have to confess my favorite is the Darth Garlic That one and Voodoo Chile are the two we order a lot. The Voodoo is a little too spicy for me but my babydoll loves it. And if we order both then we each get our own bag and i don’t have to share the Darth Garlic.
But beef jerky is another post.
Gift Boxes from iGourmet are a great way to stock up on a variety of items for incoming guests. They also make great gifts. They have boxes that focus on locales like France or Germany. They have cheese centric boxes, charcuterie centric boxes, even a box completely focused on nuts, appropriately named The Nut Case. There are bundles of olive oils or even Barbeque Sauces available. In essence you can find pretty much anything for the food, wine or beer lover on your list.
And to be honest something like the Ultimate Party Collection not only makes a great gift, but can really help you out when you know you have multiple people stopping by and don’t have a lot of time to source a lot of different things. At this time of year, it can be a life saver just to know you have something on hand for whoever ends up stopping by.
Wheter gifting or stocking up for company, iGourmet is well worth checking out this holiday season.