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Every year, I set a new food resolution. Last year, I resolved to waste less food in my home. This went well — I started cooking with my broccoli stalks, I made a lot of non-traditional pestos, and I made a “clean out the fridge” meal at least once a week. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I made a big step in the right direction. At the same time, I made a valiant effort to reduce using plastic in the kitchen. I got some beeswax wrap, mesh produce bags, and I’m never without a reusable grocery bag in my purse. (PS: These products are amazing and I highly recommend them all!)
The year before, I resolved to try cooking 5 new things I had never made before. I cooked lobster for the first time, made bread (from the Hot Bread Kitchen cookbook, of course!), and experimented with totally new cuisines. I had been stuck in a bit of a culinary rut, and this helped inspire some more creativity, passion, and ultimately — this blog.
The New Resolution
This year, I am resolving to cook for others more often. As much as I love to cook and love that it can bring people together over a table, most of the time, I’m only cooking for my husband and I. It’s a very safe place to be — he likes anything I make! Despite cooking almost every day, when it came to potlucks, I usually brought a ‘safe’ item like wine or a boring dessert.
However, I know that staying in my comfort zone is not the best way to grow. I hosted Thanksgiving this year, and to be honest, I was a little nervous. Then, I had a blast preparing the food and sharing it with my family. Now, I want to go a step further.
One way to cook for more people is to have more people over! I asked bloggers from around the world to share their favorite recipes for entertaining, and put together this list to help me menu plan for future parties. I threw a few of my old stand-bys in as well!
Appetizer and Finger-Food Recipes
One of my favorite things about gatherings of family and friends is that you get to eat snacks for dinner (or lunch! Or brunch!) These appetizer recipes are both bite-sized and substantial — a few of these on your menu will leave your guests happy but not over-stuffed.
Whipped Ricotta and Pomegranate Crostini (She Loves Biscotti)
Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini with Pancetta (Chef Sous Chef)
Crostini with Fig and Prosciutto (Pass Me Some Tasty)
Herb and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Bites (Delicious on a Dime)
Bacon Wrapped Smokies (Cook Eat Go)
Curried Turkey Stuffed Crescent Roll (Went Here 8 This)
Bacon-Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Cherry Peppers (Platings and Pairings)
Healthier Deviled Eggs
Sticky Spicy Cauliflower Wings (Easy Cooking with Molly)
Baked Chicken Meatballs (Sweet Caramel Sunday)
Crispy Chinese Chicken Wings (I Heart Umami)
Cocktails and Mocktails
Every party needs drinks! For parties I like making batch cocktails to serve along, wine, beer, or soft drinks. If you or your guests don’t drink alcohol, serve a fun mocktail to mix things up.
If you want to have some light snacks along with your appetizers, or if you plan to serve a full meal (go you!), try one of these recipes out. They are crunchy, pretty quick and easy to make, and are sure to be a hit.
Honey Roasted Nuts (Sue Bee Homemaker)
Dill Pickle Chex Mix (In Wealth and Health)
Seasoned Oyster Crackers (Mom’s Dinner)
Baked Cheddar Parmesan Crisps (Wholesome Yum)
Sriracha Roasted Almonds
Maple Spiced Walnuts (Sweet and Savoury Pursuits)
Party Dip Recipes
Ok ok I know I said my favorite thing about parties was appetizers … but that’s not entirely true. My REAL favorite thing is dip! I love anything you can dunk a chip, cracker, or toasted bread into. I’m looking forward to trying a few of these this year!
Smoked Trout Mousse (What A Girl Eats)
Caramelized Onion Dip (Salt and Baker)
Whipped Artichoke and Feta Dip (Delicious on a Dime)
Authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue (Earth Food and Fire)
Rosemary, Truffle Oil, and Ricotta Dip (The Boozy Oyster)
Easy Baked Brie with Fig Jam and Walnuts (Masala Herb)
Party Platter Recipes
For a real party showstopper, try making a platter. A lot of the ingredients can be made or purchased ahead of time, and they always look great on a table or counter. Bonus: they are totally customizable!