I think it's always good to have items on hand that can be tossed together at moments notice in the event that unexpected guests drop by. It does seem to happen a little more this time of year, so it's nice to have an ace in your pocket just in case you get that call that starts with "we're in the neighborhood and thought we'd stop by!"
Jars of roasted red peppers and olives are great examples of things to have hanging around in case of an emergency. Although, to be honest, I made this spread mostly because I wanted to take pictures of the garlic-stuffed olives and not because someone dropped by for a chat.
Aren't they cute? Here they are from another angle...
However, if we did get some unexpected visitors I would definitely make this again. It's so easy to do and took less than ten minutes from start to finish. It's as simple as taking 8 ounces of cream cheese, 4 or 5 olives (preferably the ones marinated with herbs and stuffed with garlic), and a small roasted red pepper from a jar. First chop up the olives and red pepper in a small food processor, or by hand with a knife.
Then just mix the olive and red pepper mixture with the cream cheese until combined.
That's it. Totally easy.
Serve it with some crackers and you have an instant appetizer/afternoon snack for your visitors.
Or, if you don't have any visitors stopping by, enjoy it on some toast like I did.