Party Pleasing Recipes for any Occasion

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It’s always a good idea to have easy and fast recipes on hand for a party, whether it’s your party or you have been invited to one. Of course meatballs, lil smokies, fruit and veggie trays are always a big hit.  Think outside the box a little and surprise your fellow munchie buddies with something they wouldn’t expect. Look at your own stockpile for creative ideas.

A few months ago I stocked up on the Kraft Homestyle Mac n Cheese. A friend had decided to have a last minute party so I made 2 packages in a 9×13, added shredded cheese, sprinkled bread crumbs on top and baked it about 10 min. I came home with an empty dish and it cost me next to nothing.

Over the summer I also stockpiled a lot of  Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls because they were free. I turned them into bread crumbs and used them as breading for chicken bites and dip them  in a spicy sauce like General Tao. The sweetness of the bread and the spiciness of the sauce really compliment each other. Perfect party fare!

I came up with the idea of the Caprese Quesadilla to use up leftovers I had on hand from another recipe and as it turns out, it has become my favorite. It also makes a filling meal without the guilt. Here are some of my favorite party recipes:


Party QuesadillasCaprese Quesadilla’s
2 tortilla’s
1/2 cup fresh shredded mozzarella
2 roma tomatoes, chopped, seeds removed
4-6 fresh basil leaves torn or chopped into small pieces
Italian seasoning to taste
Assemble  and cook like any other quesadilla, drizzle with a little olive oil, cut into bite sizes squares.

Quesadilla Ideas –
Italian sausage, roma tomatoes, provolone, sauce for dipping.
Rotisserie chicken, chopped broccoli, mexican or Italian blend cheese, ranch dressing for dipping.
Buffalo chicken, minced carrots, celery, pepperjack cheese, blue cheese dressing for dipping


Italian Stuffed Meatballs

Italian Stuffed Party Mushrooms
24 medium whole mushrooms, stems removed and set aside
12 oz Italian sausage, sweet or hot, casings removed (about 4 links)
2 shallots, diced
1 cup stuffing mix (like stovetop)
1/2 cup chicken broth, heated
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp sage
olive oil/olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 350, lightly oil mushroom caps set aside. Chop up the stems and saute about 1 min, add sausage and cook about 3 minutes crumble meat as it cooks. Add shallots, garlic and sage. Cook until meat is browned, remove from pan and set aside.
Meanwhile mix stuffing and broth in a medium bowl, let sit about 2 minutes to soften. Stir in sausage mixture and 2 Tbs Parmesan cheese, fill each mushroom, arrange on an oiled cookie sheet, sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top and bake 20-25 min


Taco CupsTaco Cups
1 can re-fried beans
1/2 lb cooked taco seasoned ground beef or turkey, drain well
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 bad Tostitos scoops
Place chips on a large platter, layer with beans, meat, cheese, salsa, sour cream and olives


Pear Salad

Baby Greens and Pear Salad with Gorgonzola Dressing
4 cups baby arugula
4 cups spring mix salad
2 cans pear halves, drained, largely diced
6 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs honey
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups Gorgonzola cheese
8 Tbs walnuts
Add greens, walnuts and pears to a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently toss with salad or serve on the side

Chinese party meatballs


Chinese Party Meatballs w/ Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
1 lb ground turkey
2 Tbs diced onion
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs canola or olive oil
2 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten

Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat oven to 400. Mix all meatball ingredients together, form into golf ball sized meatballs. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake 20-25 min. Meanwhile add all sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan and simmer until sugar dissolves and sauce starts to thicken.


Chili cheese dipChili Cheese Dip
1 can chili, no beans
1 lb Velveeta
Add both ingredients to pan, stir until cheese is melted. Serve with Fritos Scoops


party crab dipHot Artichoke Party Crab Dip
1 jar marinated artichokes, drained
8 oz crab meat
1 Alouette or Rondel artichoke OR garlic and herb spreadable cheese
1 cup Italian blend cheese
1/4 Parmesan cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup cream (or milk)
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbs lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 about 20 min or until melted.

Let me know if you try any of the above for your next party. These are some of my favorite “go-tos” and I hope some of them will be yours as well. Make sure to leave a comment with your favorite recipe!


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