Affordable Entertaining at Whole Foods – Cambridge

This week, the Whole Foods on River St. in Cambridge hosted a small group of food bloggers to share all they have to offer for holiday entertaining.  Whether you are the host or the guest, Whole Foods has what you need.  The broad assortment of both fresh and prepared foods was no surprise to me.  The surprise was that Whole Foods, an upscale and rather pricey food store, wanted to provide us with information on affordable entertaining.  Before attending this event, I was curious what Whole Foods would suggest as an affordable option.  Of course, the term affordable is relative to what one can afford.  However, based on my personal experience, Whole Foods prices are typically twice as much as other grocery stores (read: Trader Joe’s).  That being said, the benefit to paying higher prices is usually obvious in their fresh produce, unique products, and outstanding customer service.

This event took place in the Community Room, a small private room next to the cafe.  We checked in with the friendly staff and gathered around the cheese table for the first presentation.  A very knowledgeable cheese enthusiast explained everything on the table.  There was a cheese platter, which can be made to order.  There were goat cheese logs, which you can prepare at home by rolling the log in crushed nuts.  There were goat cheese rounds, which you would also prepare at home by slicing a goat cheese log and rolling each circle in Panko breadcrumbs mixed with a seasoning of your choice and baking for about 12 minutes. The rounds were my favorite cheese item.  Fried stuff with cheese is always a party winner!  Whole Foods also prepared three goat cheese dips and had an assortment of crackers and pita chips to go with the cheeses.  I came to this event hoping to find a simple recipe I could prepare for a potluck lunch this weekend, and I decided to make the goat cheese discs.  I purchased two Chevre logs after the event.  I must admit that TJ’s also carries Chevre goat cheese logs for about $2 less, but I paid for the convenience of already being at WF.

After I had had enough cheese, I moved on to the beer and wine table.  Here’s where the word affordable is best applied.  WF’s  new wine brand Three Wishes sells for $2.99.  I would never guess this wine was so inexpensive based on looks or on taste.  I tasted the Cabernet and it was delicious!  TJ’s “two buck Chuck” has some serious competition.  I also tried Santa’s Beered, which was also really tasty.  I would be happy with this deep, dark beer at a holiday party (or any time).

I skipped the hot prepared foods table as it all contained meat, but it did look tasty!  If you prefer not to cook for your parties, let WF do the cooking for you.

I went for the final table: the desserts.  A delightful display of mini pastries stood before me and I didn’t know where to begin.  This was the perfect opportunity to try a little of everything.  I tasted the plain cheesecake and had a mini cupcake.  Both were appropriately creamy, sweet, and fresh.  No party should be without desserts and WF has several options to make any sweet tooth swoon.

Before I left, I received a very generous swag bag, packed into a reusable bag.  Inside the bag, I found samples of products, coupons, recipes, and kitchen tools.  The most useful item to me is the pamphlet with five vegetarian recipes.  The ingredients for all five recipes cost $40 and each recipe serves four.  These recipes are helpful for feeding a family or for hosting a dinner party.  I can’t wait to make the red lentil artichoke stew!

Thank you, Whole Foods, for welcoming us into your home and teaching us that you too have affordable entertaining options.

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  1. MelissaNibbles
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

    Looks like a delicious event. Cheese makes everything good though :)

  2. Emily
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    It was a great event – and I was impressed with the 2.99 wine! Very non traditional WF pricing!

  3. Michelle
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    It looks like it was a great event!

  4. jaime
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    the goodie bag was great! i want to make one of the dips with pepperdew (not sure name/sp? lol) peppers- sara and i bought them…soo yummy. the santa beer is such a fun bottle!

  5. Megan
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this event. It was fun learning all the different things to do with a goat cheese log. Wish we had gotten to catch up more!

    (And I totally missed that that wine was only $2.99. Wow!)

  6. Sarah
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    I LOVE Whole Foods. I practically live at the one in Union Square in NYC. Sounds like a fun event :)

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Tweets that mention Affordable Entertaining at Whole Foods – Cambridge -- on December 10, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Foodies@work, Julie Rose. Julie Rose said: Affordable Entertaining at Whole Foods – Cambridge: This week, the Whole Foods on River St. in Cambridge hosted … [...]

  2. By Food, Friends, & Fun on December 17, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    [...] to try it! I also prepared another cheese appetizer.  I had the goat cheese I purchased after the Whole Foods event and decided a goat cheese surprise would be a good start to the night.  I attempted to make [...]

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