Keeping It Simple with Kings

Usually I’m relegated to last-minute appetizer prep and wine-opening duty on Thanksgiving, but I spent this past holiday with my future in-laws, and my help in the kitchen was more than welcomed. Wednesday, as the snow fell outside, my future mother-in-law and I spent the entire afternoon in the kitchen preparing casseroles and cookies. Around 6pm we were both exhausted and I thought there has to be a better way to prepare for a big holiday. And then I remembered there is!

IMG_2293A few weeks ago, my fiancé and I had the pleasure of attending a waterfront holiday tasting from Kings Food Markets and Verizon Wireless. They had prepared quite a spread and none of it required heating (unless, of course, we wanted to).

Usually I’m the first one to suggest making something from scratch (see the salted pumpkin caramel cookies I spent hours making) and I have a penchant for choosing complicated recipes. But creative cooking can be very time consuming and, in the case of the cookies, the final product fell short of my expectations. I felt I had wasted my time on the cookies and I wasn’t all that proud to serve them. But after tasting the salads, quick appetizers and fuss-free desserts from Kings, I’ve changed my tune a bit. Just because I didn’t spend hours in the kitchen or my “homemade” dish wasn’t made in my home, doesn’t mean it can’t be a hit at the holiday table. Plus, the non-heat options ensure we’re not stacking casseroles and playing Tetris in the oven, as we’ve done in the past.

The food prep team definitely cares about the quality they put out, which is also incredibly important to me. As a food writer and avid home chef, it’s expected that I won’t show up with a box of pre-made cookies. But knowing I could proudly serve fresh Winter Wheatberry Salad and fancy dessert cakes for one made by Kings’ chefs and instead of me…well I won’t tell if you won’t. They’ll never know. And if all else fails, they have a fabulous catering menu that won’t disappoint!

At the event I attended, the Salmon Petit Fours were my favorite. They’d be great as an appetizer or with a holiday brunch! And the best part is they’re already wrapped.

Smoked Salmon Petit Fours
By Spence & Co

Smoked salmon
Cream cheese
Sun dried tomatoes
Black olives

Kings Markets

Verizon Wireless

KarinNastawaPhotoKarin Nastawa grew up in the great Garden State, leaving only briefly to attend college in Philadelphia, where she developed a love for all things cheesesteaks. She has lived in Hoboken for over nine years, taking in the incredible dining scenes on both sides of the river and has a particular affinity for staking out interesting BYO establishments in Hudson County. She is the founder and owner of VinEatsi, a boutique wine & food digital marketing agency and has also studied wine and spirits extensively, receiving her advanced degree from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). Along with running VinEatsi, she is an avid cook and food enthusiast and writes about her wine & food adventures in the VinEatsi blog. She dreams of having a chef’s kitchen and a state-of-the-art wine cellar filled with Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Left Bank Bordeaux… someday.