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Long time, no post, huh? I know I keep saying this but if you can just hang with me a little longer I promise that I will be back to posting 3-4 recipes a week. Promise.

Now, the occasion for this post…I’m participating in my very first virtual baby shower! A group of food bloggers are celebrating the upcoming arrival of Josie’s baby boy! I couldn’t be more excited for her. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know how much I love Josie and her blog, Pink Parsley. We’ve never met in person but for some reason I just know that we would be such good friends if we were close to each other. Josie  lives in the Atlanta area so I’m hoping we can finally meet sometime very soon when I’m down there visiting my parents.

Since I’m a fellow Georgia girl, I wanted to make a Southern-themed recipe for the virtual shower. I actually grew up about 45 minutes from Vidalia, Georgia so when I spotted this Baked Vidalia Onion Dip in my Southern Living Cookbook, I knew it was the perfect thing! You can’t have a party without a dip, right?

The dip was so easy to assemble and I know it would be a crowd-pleaser at any get together (especially with football season coming up!). Since you sautee the onions first, it really tones down the onion bite and really brings out the sweetness in  them.

The original recipe did not call for a breadcrumb topping but I thought it would be a nice addition. We enjoyed the dip with crackers but you could also try tortilla chips. Play around with the cheese mixture – I used a combination of cheddar and an Italian blend but I think it would be especially delicious with pepper jack or Swiss.

Big thanks to Annie for organizing the virtual baby shower! Please check out her blog to see all of the amazing things that everyone contributed!

Baked Vidalia Onion Dip
(Recipe adapted from The Southern Living Cookbook)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
3 Vidalia onions, diced
2 cups cheese (cheddar, swiss, jack, a mixture, etc)
1 cup mayonnaise (light is okay)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
Dash cayenne pepper, optional for a little added heat
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup panko tossed with 1 tablespoon melted butter (for topping, optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a two-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Add onions and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

In a separate bowl, stir together sauteed onions and garlic and rest of ingredients. Top with panko/melted butter mixture, if desired. Bake for 25 minutes and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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corndip

While we were living in Birmingham, this corn dip seemed to pop up at a lot of parties. Who would think that a cold, creamy corn mixture would be delicious and addicting with Fritos Scoops? Yes, you heard me right…I said it – Fritos!  This dip is a cinch to put together and will bring people back to the dip bowl over and over…and over…and over.

This week I volunteered to bring appetizers to a family barbecue and I knew this dip was the perfect thing! My friend Lindsey from Birmingham sent me the recipe. As I expected, no one in the Charlotte crowd had tried the dip before but they all loved it.

Bring this dip to your next party!

Summer Corn Dip
(Recipe source my friend Lindsey)
Printable Recipe: Corn Dip

Ingredients:

1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup light mayo
2 cans Mexi-corn, drained
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup red and green peppers, finely diced
Directions:

Mix together and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with corn chips – recommended Fritos Scoops.

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I saw pina colada cupcakes last year and have been waiting for the perfect occasion to make them (yeah, maybe that’s a little sad but I get excited about things and add them to my “to make” book)! I thought the presentation was so cute! Well, the perfect occasion finally presented itself with my co-worker Courtney’s Stock the Bar shower. Everyone loved these cupcakes (taste and presentation) and they complimented the shower theme perfectly!

Now, I will admit that the first batch of cupcakes I made was a complete failure. And by complete failure I mean had no hope of being salvaged. I abandoned my original recipe (source will not be disclosed) and tried this one from Beantown Baker. They turned out great. In fact…I think I’ll enjoy the very last cupcake after I finish this post!

Pina Colada Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Beantown Baker, originally from Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CUPCAKES
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature (I used whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
4 egg whites
2/3 cup shredded coconut

FOR THE FROSTING
2/3 cup fresh pineapple chunks or canned crushed pineapple
8 ounces cream cheese (one block), at room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

GARNISH
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Maraschino cherries with stems, drained and dried
Straws, cut down to a shorter size

Directions:

FOR THE CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners (the recipe makes about 18 cupcakes).

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat  butter on high speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until lightened in color and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions. Alternate the flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just blended. Still on low speed, add in the vanilla, coconut extract and shredded coconut. Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Wash and mixer bowl (alternatively, if you have a hand mixer you can use this and skip transferring the batter).

In the mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer on high speed), beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold ½ cup of the egg whites into the batter until smooth. Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites until smooth and blended (do not  over mix). Fill cupcakes pans about 2/3 of the way full with the batter.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on the rack to room temperature.

FOR THE FROSTING
If you are using fresh pineapple you’ll want to puree the chunks in a food processor a bit. If you’re using crushed pineapple, this step is not possible. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Mix in powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Mix in pineapple and beat on low speed to combine.

TO ASSEMBLE CUPCAKES
Spread a thick layer of frosting over the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with a generous layer of shredded coconut and top with a cherry. Insert straws. Enjoy :)

pinacoladacupcakesgroup

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