These fabulous no-fail recipes ensure that you enjoy the party, too.

By Real Simple
Updated March 07, 2006
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Table setting
Credit: Bob Hiemstra

Having a party doesn’t have to be panic inducing. Expert chef Kathy Gunst, author of Relax, Company’s Coming!: 150 Recipes for Stress-Free Entertaining (Simon & Schuster, $25,, suggests preparing a quick and easy gourmet buffet with simple, stunning snacks that’ll impress your guests and, better yet, leave you free to enjoy the party. “The beauty of this,” she says, “is that when the doorbell rings and the first guest arrives, you’re there!”

Charcuterie Platter

  • Sausages
  • 3 cheeses
  • Caper berries
  • Olives
  • Gherkin pickles