buffalo cauliflower bites

buffalo bites, final

cauliflower pre-buffaloEvery Super Bowl party has that one annoying person who shows up with something healthy and this year, I was that girl. Or at least that’s what I was worried about, until everyone dove into the buffalo cauliflower bites. “These are a vegetarian’s dream,” Haley, my friend Brooke’s niece, said. Relief! She was ecstatic because like me, she doesn’t eat meat, but the smell and allure of buffalo wings —  especially piled high on a platter on Super Bowl Sunday — can really mess with your senses.

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scorching scallop ceviche

ceviche, servedThe first time I ever cooked for B — back on Valentine’s Day 2012 — scallops were on the menu. They’re his favorite, so I’m always looking for new ways to cook ‘em. Inspired by a photo I saw recently of someone serving ceviche in a martini glass, I decided to buy the goblets I had been eyeing for months at Anthropologie and use them as the base for my appetizer. The bottom of these glasses were somewhat deeper than I thought, so I crumbled up some tortilla chips to fill in that area. What was at first a move for pretty presentation became a delicious surprise for our guests upon finishing the ceviche.

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stuffed veggie spring rolls

brian eating spring rollsWith huge risk comes huge reward. That’s what they say, right? Such was my first venture into the world of homemade spring rolls. As I told Grub Street last month, I never leave Whole Foods without picking up their delicious pre-made version from the sushi counter — so I was determined to create a similar version as an appetizer for my dinner party guests this past Saturday night. I was petrified, having never done this before and wondering how difficult it would be to handle the gelatinous papers. But guess what? The spring rolls were much easier to assemble than I expected, and B (and all of our friends) loved em! I know he doesn’t look thrilled in the photo, but trust me, he liked em.

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darcey’s corn + black bean dip

dip aloneNeed a simple, healthy appetizer for your dinner party this weekend? Having some friends over for drinks and want to put something out for them to eat, without slaving over a whole smorgasbord? Sick of the same old cheese platter? Behold, your solution: Darcey’s Corn and Black Bean Dip. Though to be fair, it’s actually Darcey’s Aunt Sue’s Corn and Black Bean Dip — but that’s a mouthful, and you need room to eat!

I’m here all week.

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roasted carrots with yogurt onion dip

raw carrots on towelCarrots are totally underrated. Those pre-chopped baby ones you see in the supermarket give the whole family a bad rap. These carrots — full length, stem-on, roasted deliciousness — are glorious. They may not be what you expect to see when you walk into a dinner party in the middle of February, but pluck one from the jar, glide it through the tangy, but zingy dip — and you’re transported to a summer paradise.

Stand ‘em up and serve ‘em in a mason jar as I did, with the dip on the side, and score extra points for cutest appetizer presentation.

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chile-lime cashews

cashews MAIN

Last night I threw a dinner party — a Mexican fiesta, if you will — and I kicked it off with a new snack recipe that I found in Bon Appetit. Don’t worry, there was guacamole too — no Mexican feast is complete without it — but right now we’re focused on these chile-lime cashews. They’re super simple to make and delicious, too. Just don’t eat the chiles — they’re H-O-T.

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