Last week, I hosted a Silpada party with a friend of mine who works as a rep. I love ANY excuse to throw a party, but it doesn’t hurt when you get to shop right in your own home while doing so!
It was a mid-weeknight type of gathering, so I kept the treats simple and to three items. It’s hard not to go overboard because I love to cook and set out dishes and basically just hostess it up. I kept myself reeled in, however, and stuck with three party-friendly dishes I’ve been dying to try. I didn’t have a chance to snap photos on anything but my iPhone, so instagram pics it is!
My goal with the food was to keep it all “self-contained” without any need to balance a plate full of items that could spill or roll off (and thus require more attention) I wanted very portable, easy to hold, items so guests could snack with one hand, and have the other free to shop and try on (or hold a wine glass). I know as a guest, I always appreciate – and reach first for – items like these so I’m not stuck in an awkward moment trying to shake a hand while not dumping a plate full of meatballs on someone’s carpet.
1. Bloody Mary Shrimp Shooters
We went to dinner with some friends a couple weeks ago and these were on the menu. They came served in a shot glass of spicy bloody mary mixed with cocktail sauce and a single shrimp skewered with an olive and a pickle. I had died and gone to heaven. They were delicious. And so easy! I suppose you could make a non-alc version (if you really wanted to!) but mine were as simple as a) mixing the vodka and bloody mary mix, b) adding a bit of cocktail sauce to thicken them just a tad, and c) skewering some bloody mary fixins and a couple shrimp across the top. I loved the originals in shot glasses, but I was trying to make some slightly larger portions so no one left hungry.
2. Baguette Veggie Dippers
This one I had seen all over Pinterest (of course). I picked up a couple different kinds of baguettes, and sliced/hollowed the pieces shortly before guests arrived, so the bread would stay as soft as possible. I spooned a couple dollops of dip into the bottom of each and added a handful of red peppers, pea pods, and carrot sticks into each. When the veggies run out, guests can either pass on the bread, or enjoy it with the remainder of the dip left inside.
3. Pumpkin Pie Shooters
I have been counting the days until I could try a dessert shooter. I love the idea that guests can get their little bit of “something sweet” without the calories or guilt of a full-out dessert (which many pass on for this very reason). I wanted to offer something in line with the season, although I really didn’t have a recipe for this one. I began with the ingredients used in a pumpkin pie dessert dip I’ve made before (a packet of vanilla pudding mix, some cool whip, a can of pumpkin) and instead of dipping nilla wafers, I crumbled them up as used them as layers in the shooters. I also set aside a little of the cool whip to top each one off and added a mini Nilla.
The one tip I haven’t found much of when I come across these shooter recipes is the best way to get them IN the tiny glasses and still keep them looking pretty. I had visions of trying to spoon them in, banging the spoon on the edge of the glass, and making a fling-induced mess. I quickly figured out the best way for me (Miss Impatient) was to spoon the dip into a large Ziploc bag, snip off a corner, and pipe it into each glass, stopping to sprinkle a layer of Nilla crumbs, pipe another layer, and top with a dollop of Cool Whip. Easy peasy.