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The Party Plates

Everyone has those ‘go-to’ recipes that they make for parties and potlucks … the favorite appetizers, salads, and snacks. For me, it seems like every so often I’d go to a gathering, and maybe every year or two I’d come across something new that I hadn’t heard of before, but it wasn’t that often. I’m not complaining, I’ve got the backside to prove I’ve never met an appetizer I didn’t like, but there are definite trends that we cycle through with party foods.

Lately, with the advent of websites like and, it seems like the options have blown wide open! I keep four food related boards on Pinterest:

  • Recipes to Try – currently at 300+ pins
  • Recipes I’ve Tried – recipes from the ‘to try’ board get moved here after I’ve made them. currently at 26 pins and counting
  • Favorite  Cookbooks/Food Sites – an idea I got from one of my favorite food bloggers, Laura Levy of Laura’s Best Recipes
  • Get it Together, Fatty – pretty sure that title is self explanatory

If you like to cook, and you haven’t checked into Pinterest or Foodgawker, you’re missing out. They are a boon of recipes from all over the web and from other sources, all together in one spot. Several times now, a click on one recipe takes me to a blog I never knew existed, and I find one great dish after another! I can definitely say that in discovering these sites, I may not live long enough to try all the dishes I come across, but dammit, I’m gonna try! And some of those I have made will now be rotated in as some of my staples like Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Swedish Meatballs, and even Buffalo Chicken Dip will get at least a short term (two, three days tops!) hiatus.

So what are some of the new favorites I’ve made as of late? Here’s a list:

Jalapeno Popper Dip – found on Pinterest, and it originates from a food blog that’s rapidly becoming another favorite, Big Red Kitchen. My caveat to you on this recipe: either shore up your will power or make a second pan and grab a big spoon. It’s impossible to resists! I get a larger (14 oz.?) jar of peppers, and I use just over half of it with about 1/3 of the juice in each batch, and serve it with tortilla chips. This has quickly become the recipe everyone asks me to bring when we have gatherings.

Cookie Dough Dip – from Add a Pinch, this is a great sweet treat. I’ve seen variations on it, some with chocolate chips, some with both chips and either Heath or Butterfinger crumbles blended in. Good stuff!

Healthy Sweet Potato Skins – another Pinterest find that originates from A Pinch of Yum,  it’s on the “recipes I’ve tried” board, but could easily fit in on the “Get It Together, Fatty” board. These were so yummy, healthy, and really filling!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread – last fall, a coworker brought in a pumpkin and cream cheese spread she found at Aldi for us to have with some mini bagels. It was such a great spread I wanted to get some for home. I went to Aldi, and …. GONE! Sold out, and it hasn’t been back since. Unacceptable! My guess is it’s a seasonal item, so, being a resourceful foodie, I found this recipe from a food blog called LaLoosh instead! It is very good, and definitely fixed my craving!

And lastly, a salad that is so full of flavor it’s amazing … and it’s healthy! It’s a Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado, and a Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette from food website Once Upon a Chef. It was another (you guessed it) Pinterest find that I’ve made it twice now, and have everything in the house to make it again this week. It rocks. I am absolutely certain this and my salsa (that’s an upcoming blog) will be my go-to recipes for summer parties this year!

We all get ideas from each other … I’d love to hear some of your favorite go-to recipes for parties! Bet my other readers would, too!


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5 thoughts on “The Party Plates

  1. Jeannie on said:

    Hi Becky, what a great idea to list your recipes, ‘those you want to try, and those you did try’!!! Love that idea, I need to go back to my personal Pinterest site, and change my categories. I tried a new recipe yesterday from a recipe I found on Pinterest, called Gnocchi Mac and Cheese! it was delicious, I will definetely make it again!!! If you want to try it, follow me, it would be listed under food and drink, (Until I change my categories like you did- then it will be under ‘recipes I tried’).

  2. My favorite appetizer to make, and eat, is Greek Bacon Shrimp (my own recipe). Unfortunately for my weight, I began making pastas about 6 months ago and love to prepare (although it is alot of work) a Garlic Herb Pasta dish that I’m told rivals Olive Garden. My specialty is Chili but I like to make new things all the time.

    • You both are giving me an idea for a future post — I would love to have followers send me your favorite or most raved about recipe (if you’re willing to share) and if I can compile a good handful of them, I’ll put together a blog entry to share recipes among friends!

  3. Alrighty then…….. Seems I am always making my zucchini dip (loaded with garlic).

    3 T butter
    at least 3 cloves garlic pressed
    1 small zucchini grated (leave on the green)
    1 8 oz cream cheese

    Throw the butter in a medium saute’ pan over medium, add the garlic.
    Add the zucchini and saute a bit
    Then add the cream cheese and get it all mixed up.

    Serve with Doritos scoops.

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