Get This Party Starter

4 Apr

Well friends, I’m having a party.

Image sourced from Wikimedia.com. Granted, there's no way my party will be this cool. But hey, a lady can dream.

Image sourced from Wikimedia.com. Granted, there’s no way my party will be this cool. But hey, a lady can dream.

No, this isn’t a party to relive one of the best comedy films of the nineties. Young Kid and Play got me beat on the cool scale. However, this one should be just as fun, because it’s a birthday party! And you, lovely readers, are invited to join in on the fun.

Image sourced from tumblr.com. Here's hoping I can pick a b-day outfit that's as cute as this corgi.

Image sourced from tumblr.com. Here’s hoping I can pick a b-day outfit that’s as cute as this corgi.

Yep, I recently celebrated my birthday, and while being at home with my family was half past fabulous, I thought I’d have a little shindig here in the DMV to celebrate with friends. Tomorrow night’s the big night, and right now, there’s only one variable to figure out:

The menu!

What to serve to a small crowd of foodie guests with good taste? What sorts of snacks might be GKG signatures? You guys know what I like — veggies, Italian-influenced food, easy and straightforward recipes, and a healthy helping of cheese. With these “rules” in mind, here are my thoughts for this appetizer-and-cocktail evening:

Baked Ricotta with Pesto-Garlic Crostini

Image sourced from flickr.com.

Image sourced from flickr.com.

This Chow.com recipe for baked ricotta looks so simple, easy and delicious that I couldn’t resist adding it to my party menu. Having seen this recent post on The Kitchn all about the joys of baked ricotta dips, I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m planning to serve the baked ricotta with Pesto-Garlic Crostini — a fancy way of saying I’ll spread a thin layer of pesto and rub a garlic clove on oven-toasted slices of French bread. Yum-o!

Broccoli Bites

Image sourced from Kim's Healthy Eats. Nommy nom nom.

Image sourced from Kim’s Healthy Eats. Nommy nom nom.

Yup, these gems came from Pinterest, and oh-holy-cannoli do they look good. And EASY! Given that the recipe combines all ingredients (veggies, cheese, breadcrumbs, spices) in one bowl, rolls the mixture into balls and bakes the bites in the oven for 20 minutes, I think it’ll be hard to mess this one up! Plus, my love of broccoli knows no bounds.

Chips with Semi-Doctored Salsa

Image sourced from Two Peas and Their Pod

Image sourced from Two Peas and Their Pod

Sometimes, you want to make everything from scratch. And sometimes, you don’t. This is one of those times. 🙂

My plan for a simple, fruit-and-veg happy dip is to take some store-bought salsa (Giant’s “garden salsa” variety is really, really good. And low in sodium! What-what.) and toss in some mix-ins. My top choices? Pineapple chunks, mango chunks, and fresh chopped cilantro. Depending on what I find in the grocery store tonight, I’ll keep you posted.

Here’s to easy and simple party planning! What sorts of treats and goodies have you served to guests and your parties? Do y’all like entertaining, or does the thought of cooking for people other than yourself send chills down your spine and shivers through your saute pans? What are your tricks of the entertaining trade?

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4 Responses to “Get This Party Starter”

  1. Cheryl April 5, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Have fun and enjoy the good eats!

    • galleykitchengal April 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Thanks! We definitely had some good (and tasty) times! 🙂

  2. plhuyoung April 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Lots of crock-pot things that can be kept warm and prepped ahead of time and dips! I made a mistake once of trying to have all these complicated yummy little appetizers at a party and they had to be cooked at different temperatures, and I was running around like a crazy woman! Have a great party!

    • galleykitchengal April 13, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      LOVE me some crock pot recipes! I made a crock pot chili for my birthday last year — sweet potatoes, all sorts of veggies, chili and cocoa powder — and it was fab. Smart idea prepping things in advance, too! Thanks for reading!

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