Since we all need to stay at home these days, why not make the best of it. You know, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade (or in my case limoncello).
Friday nights used to be Date Nights for my husband and I before the Corona Virus appeared. The first few weeks of our Stay At Home order we struggled a bit to figure out how to improvise. We came up with Stay at Home Happy Hours which almost seem normal to us now. I just try to plan some options for an activity as well as a few snacks and drinks.
Any good Happy Hour has to have some nibbles (as my husband calls them). Charcuterie boards are my favorite Happy Hour snack. They are quick and easy to put together plus the options are endless. Here are some of my favorite go to items:
- salami or sliced Italian sausage
- cheeses or cheese spreads
- fruit like grapes, apple slices or cranberries
- a variety of crackers
- condiments like grainy mustard, chutney or olive tapanade
- baguette slices
I always start with an assortment of meats, cheeses and crackers or bread. The rest depends on the day. Last week I created these fun Caprese Bites. They looked kind of fancy but were super easy and I had all the ingredients on hand. The week before I had a sleeve of smoked almonds and some really good olives.
My friend at One Delightful Life made “Charcuterie De Covid” the other night. She called it a what-we-had-on-hand board, and served it with boxed wine. Hey whatever works right now. I think it looks divine and I love the ingenuity!
You can check out One Delightful Life @OneDelightfulL on Twitter or on Instagram at onedelightfullife .
Other Fast and Easy Happy Hour Nibbles:
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Cheese Sticks
- Tortilla Chips and Guacamole or Salsa
- Popcorn or Mixed Nuts
- Flat Bread Pizzas
Rummage through your freezer to see if there are some frozen snacks hiding in there that can just be popped into the oven.
Of course what you serve for drinks is completely up to your taste. My husband likes a nice cold beer, but I prefer a glass of wine or a cocktail. Maybe you have a favorite cocktail that you want to serve or you could be adventurous and give something new a try. One of my friends has been having fun trying out some new drink recipe’s and posting photos of her finished product on social media. Not only do they look amazing, I applaud exploring something new. Double check the recipe for your cocktail a day or so ahead of your Happy Hour to make sure you have all the ingredients on hand.
Don’t fret if you are missing one ingredient. Check to see if there is an alternate recipe, an easy substitution or if you can make that item yourself. I recently made a drink that called for Honey Syrup. Not something I usually have on hand. But I went out to Pinterest and found a recipe and it was not hard to make. I had everything that I needed to make the syrup so I prepared it in on Wednesday and stored it in a jar in the fridge until Friday.
Our Happy Hour rule is to put away our phones! This is our time to really connect and well, be happy. We also try not to talk about work or Covid19 if possible and keep things more upbeat. So for Happy Hours at Home, it’s good to plan some kind of activity.
A lot of people have started working on puzzles together. We like to play games like Scrabble or Wine Wars (a wine themed trivia game) or Milles Bourne. I even have some crazy friends who built a model rocket together. You just have to get Creative.
The Take Away
The key is to just have some fun and forget about all the other madness for just a little while. Don’t worry if you don’t have a someone at home to share your Happy Hour with because Zoom and Facetime have made it possible to have fun with your friends online. It only takes a stretch of the imagination to put something together to start your weekend , or any night really, off a little happier!
Stay at Home, Stay Safe, Be Happy, Cheers!