Oh, my God, my husband’s bringing home the boys! (Make THEM bring the beer, meanwhile….)
Always keep a couple of pounds of edamame in the freezer. With some shoyu, hoisin, chili sauce, garlic, Hawaiian salt, you can make stir-fry the boiled soybeans for a lightning fast pupu.
Always keep tortillas on hand. Cut into quarters. Spray with nonstick spray. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and chili powder. Bake at 375 degrees until crisp.
If you’ve got a square of tofu, drain, place on a serving plate, pour ko chu jang (Korean hot chili paste) or kim chee juice over or scatter chopped kim chee over. Serve with toothpicks.
Pantry essentials for quick pupu: A tub of almonds or whole mac nuts in the freezer. A bottle of olives in the pantry. Sharp cheese to cut into chunks. Crackers. Cans of tuna (drain and make a tuna spread; if you’ve got lemons or limes, squeeze juice over and stir in finely grated rind of lemon or lime). Sun-dried tomatoes in oil. Capers.
If you’ve got a baguette or a loaf of crusty country-style bread on hand, slice, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with finely chopped garlic, throw some sundried tomatoes and capers in a mini food processor or chop fine, scatter over bread and bake at 375 until crisp and heated through.
There’s no dessert!
Keep a pound cake in the freezer and some kind of dessert sauce (chocolate or caramel) in the fridge. Or keep a Hawaiian Happy Cake in the freezer; slice thinly, toast, serve with a dollop of ice cream (www.happycake.com).
Dried fruit keeps for a long time. Serve a bowl of raisins and nuts or scatter them over ice cream. Dip dried apricots in microwave-melted chocolate; chill until firm.
Keep a tub of whipped topping in the freezer and a few plain chocolate Hershey bars in the fridge. While the whipped topping is defrosting gently in the microwave, crush whatever cookies you have on hand; stir them and chopped or grated chocolate into the softened whipped topping and serve in little cups. Or make a quick-as-a-blink mousse: Defrost the whipped topping. Melt a bar of chocolate (anykine). Stir together (the whipped topping MUST be completely defrosted or the chocolate will sieze) in a bowl with a few drops of whatever liqueur you’ve got (or skip this step). Serve. Look smug.