Giada's Last-Minute Party Ideas

By: Nikhita Mahtani
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Summer is the time for get-togethers and cocktail parties. While having friends over on warm and sunny evenings is always fun, it can be a bit daunting when you find yourself strapped for time when guests plan to come over at the last minute. To help with that, Giada De Laurentiis has a plan. From a list of ingredients to keep on hand to a bunch of quick and easy recipes, here are Giada's best last-minute party tips.

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"I have a well-stocked pantry," stresses Giada. She says that the main ingredients to always keep on hand are canned beans — they help her whip up some hummus in no time. "It adds nice creaminess to the dip," she says.

GiadaDeLaurentiis_LinguineWithSunDriedTomatoesOlivesAndLemon_H

GiadaDeLaurentiis_LinguineWithSunDriedTomatoesOlivesAndLemon_H

Chef Name: Giada De Laurentiis Full Recipe Name: Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon Talent Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis’ Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon, as seen on Food Network’s Giada at Home FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: Giada at Home Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network,Chef Name: Giada De Laurentiis Full Recipe Name: Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon Talent Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis’ Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon, as seen on Food Network’s Giada at Home FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: Giada at Home Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Pasta is a fairly easy and much-loved party dish. To always be prepared, Giada keeps a stack of pasta boxes in her pantry, as well as her favorite canned sauces, which she can then doctor up by adding other pantry staples such as canned olives and tuna. "You can literally make a sauce in 15 minutes," she says.

CCEDI806_hazelnut-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe_s4x3

CCEDI806_hazelnut-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe_s4x3

"A lot of times I bake and freeze cookies," says Giada. "And then if somebody's coming over, I can stick them in the microwave for, like, a minute, to warm them through, and then I put them on a cookie platter." It's easy to be ready for a party when you only have to microwave pre-made desserts.

Want more party ideas from Giada? Click play on the video below.

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Giada's Last-Minute Party Tips 01:48

Giada's tips will turn even a last-minute party into a roaring success.
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