My parents right now are in the process of selling their home, they’ve lived in for 34 years. The house my brother and I grew up in. So it is a little sad but its a good change for my parents to move into a smaller, one story home. I’m probably having the hardest time with it, I am real sentimentalist and have a irrational attachment sometimes to inanimate objects.
Anyway they are having some trouble selling the house. Its in a good neighborhood with a really good school district, and its priced well. It’s move in ready and yet after great comments, there hasn’t been any offers. So this past week they took it off the market temporary and did a lot of updates. They put in new carpet, did some more cleaning out, some touch up work and got already for the open houses this weekend. I thought I could help by adding some food and drink for the open house. The house is a unique tri-level floor plan and it works great for holidays and parties. So I wanted guests to feel and see how this house works for parties. Another reason I’m a little sad, holidays won’t be the same any more when they are not at this house.
Assembling the Menu for the Open house
I wanted to keep it simple and affordable, so something salty, sweet and a beverage would be perfect. I want visitors to the open house to feel welcome and special but I didn’t want to serve a full meal. Also when designing the menu as the house has to be decorated in a style that appeals to most, the menu does too. I also considered allergies, especially nuts seem to be one of the most prevalent today. Note, just avoiding nuts is not enough, you have to read any packaged ingredients to make sure they are not packaged in a nut or tree nut facility. Food alone will not sell a house by any means but I think it helps make a house feel like a home to visitors.
Chocolate chip cookies, a classic, seemed like the best . I think most of the population loves a chocolate chip especially a warm one right of the oven. Also it makes the house smell awesome! I mean homemade chocolate chip cookies, not the refrigerator kind. I know they are more work but homemade looks like you put some care and effort into making them.
Of course if you have your own chocolate chip cookie recipe, by all means please use that. It will make it very special for your visitors. To be honest, I actually don’t have my own chocolate chip cookie recipe, most of the time I use they one off the Nestle chocolate chip bag. However I wanted to have soft cookies this time and adding cream cheese is a great way to do that. This is the recipe I used: Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from Averie Cooks. I doubled the batch and rolled up the balls and froze them ahead of time, so they were easy for the real estate agent to stick on a pan and bake.
Popcorn, this is store bought, right from a bag. In my opinion the pre-popped bag of just salted popcorn is the best. Unless you happen to have a popcorn machine, that you can borrow (I don’t) a bag is the next best thing. Air-popped popcorn doesn’t work well in my opinion unless you can serve it right away, its get stale too quickly.
Iced tea, seemed like the best overall well liked beverage to serve instead of just water, plus we’ve been having warm weather lately and something cold would be refreshing. Lemonade also came to mind but its not so great with chocolate. One thing to consider with tea however is the color, if someone spills it, could they ruin carpet or furniture? The other dilemma is whether to serve it sweetened or unsweetened. I decided to serve my favorite tea, I drink every day, Arizona Zero Calorie Green Tea with Ginseng. It has honey in it but in my opinion it it is not overly sweet. I also sliced some fresh lemons and froze them with wax paper between the slices. They add some lemon flavor and help to keep the tea cold without watering it down.
WHAT you need
Below is a list of everything I used to put this presentation together but use what you have, no need to buy anything other than some of the food ingredients. The list of food below, includes the ingredients for a double batch of Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- paper lunch bags
- basket / bowl
- freezer / parchment paper (needed if your basket/bowl isn’t food safe)
- beverage dispenser /pitcher
- plastic cups
- cookie plate/platter
- chalk label & chalk paint pen *optional
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- 4 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
- a few gallons jugs of Arizona Zero Calorie Green Tea with Ginseng
- a few bags of popped popcorn
- a few lemons
PREP & SET UP
You can prep the day before hand or the day of, but you’ll need about 2 hours, depending on how fast you work. The prep work involves:
- mixing up the cookie dough
- rolling up the dough into balls to freeze
- slicing the lemons to freeze for the tea
- cutting the paper lunch bags into snack size bags
Set everything up for your real estate agent, to make it easy. Besides setting up everything, I pull out cookie sheets, parchment paper, timer, spatula, and a cooling rack to make it simple for them to bake the cookies. I leave the tea in the fridge and lemons in the freezer so they can pour it and place it as close to opening time as possible. I also leave the agent a note with instructions, so they know how long to bake the cookies, how to turn the oven on, and where to find everything. Also one more thing, before you do all this, I gave them a heads up the day before the open house to let them know I would have all this stuff ready for them, just so they weren’t surprised when they got there.
Happy house selling!!!