Happy Hour Honey: Snacks Worthy Of Your Next Girls Night
Food to fight your ladies' wine munchies.
Last week we talked about wine shops worthy of your next Wine Wednesday (or any girls night, for that matter.)
But, as much as we all love wine, you really can't have a successful evening without snacks. Forget them and things will get ugly. Trust me.
Like I mentioned last week, when the girls and I get together on Wednesday nights, it's the hostess's job to provide the food. You'll also remember that it's very important to make Wine Wednesdays as stress-free as possible. With that in mind, here are my suggestions for simple ways to to satisfy your ladies' wine munchies.
The Back Bay Trader Joe's and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. I love TJ's because, well, its awesome. Basically a food mecca for the culinary challenged (like yours truly.) The hate part comes from the fact that this particular TJ's does not sell wine and beer. Super lame.
But even if the Back Bay TJ's doesn't offer any Two-Buck Chuck, it's still a great place to pick up snacks. Some of my favorites include TJ's hummus, available for only $2.99 in such flavors as classic, roasted garlic and roasted red pepper, served with pita chips ($1.99 per bag.) There's also a great selection of frozen appetizers. We like the taquitos ($3.99), arancini bites ($3.69) and the pastry bites with ham and cheese or feta and caramelized onions ($4.99).
If you've got a resident sugar fanatic like we do (hi Anna!), you might also want to pick up some shortbread cookies with chocolate filling (warning: they're majorly addictive) or a New York cheesecake ($6.99).
When Shannon and I host Wine Wednesdays at our place, one of our favorite things to serve is homemade pizza. And when I say homemade, I mean we buy those Boboli pizza crusts and gussy them up with tasty toppings like caramelized onions, gorgonzola and prosciutto or pesto, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. So easy and so good.
Admittedly, this place is a little out of my price range but I think it's a cool concept so I'm including it anyway. Boston Olive Oil Company is a olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar that offers 10 different varietal olive oils, 14 flavored olive oils (like Tuscan herb and chipolte), and 21 balsamic vinegars (like blackberry ginger and espresso).
Bottles go for $18.95 and the idea is that you'll come in with a meal in mind and the staff will help you pick an oil and vinegar that not only complement each other, but also enhance the meal that you're serving them with. They don't offer the same pairing services based on wine instead of food (at least, that's what they said when I stopped by) but I don't think you should let that stop you. A good red, some nice crusty bread and artisan oil and vinegar definitely qualifies as going above and beyond when it comes to Wine Wednesdays. You so fancy.
The first time I met my friend Erica was at a Wine Wednesday when she had the foresight to pick up some fresh goat cheese from Copley Square the day before (the market is open on Tuesdays and Fridays).
That goat cheese is pretty much life-changing and, needless to say, Erica and I became fast friends. The goat cheese goes especially well with bruschetta. Erica's recipe involves slicing up some french bread, spreading on butter, toasting the bread and then topping the slices with goat cheese and a mixture of diced tomatoes and fresh garlic.
One-stop shopping is always preferable when you're trying to keep things low-key and that's what I like about DeLuca's. You know from last week that it has a great wine selection and, in addition, it also offers a number of snack options. Pasta, potato and fruit salads go for $2.99-$6.99 per lb and the day I stopped in, there was a mozzarella, tomato and cucumber salad for $7.99 per lb (a little pricey, but it looked like it was worth it.) DeLuca's also has a large selection of cheeses, salami and crackers.