My go to apps.

Appetizers that is. 😉 For summer entertaining, I like to keep things simple. I don’t want to be stuck in front of the stove or oven when I’m already hot. If it can’t go in the microwave or isn’t already cold, I’m not making it.

Image Credit: Betty Crocker

Up first, Roast Beef Garlic Bites with horseradish sauce. These take 10 minutes to make and are always a big hit! I don’t recommend making these more than 2 hours in advance.

You need garlic bagel chips. I’ve used everything from garlic Melba toast to regular garlic crackers or crisps. Pretty much anything that is a sturdy, crunchy cracker that has garlic in it will work. I use a half pound of London broil or roast beef – whichever is on sale at the deli. I get them to shave it for me so I don’t have to cut it or tear it into smaller pieces. Then, you mix the sauce. I typically double the sauce recipe. It’s 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish (I like Inglehoffer’s), and 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard. You mix that together until combine. Lay out the crackers on your serving tray. Top with the meat and then add a dollop of the sauce. You can sprinkle fresh parsley over the top if you like. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve. You can check out the full recipe here.

Image Credit: Betty Crocker

My second favorite is Artichoke Crab dip in a French Loaf. The original recipe came from Betty Crocker, but I tweaked it for my family and ditched the canned bread I had to bake. Again super easy to make. It comes together in about 10 minutes. You mix everything together save the bread and zap it in the microwave to melt & mix.

You need a loaf of French bread from the store. I try to grab the largest loaf I can find. Cut out the center of the the bread without cutting the whole way through. Pull out the piece and chop into bite size pieces for dipping. You’re going to put the finished dip in the while you created. For the dip, mix together 3 oz softened cream cheese, 2 tbsp. mayonnaise, 1 diced garlic clove (I use the minced garlic in a jar), 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese, 14 oz can drained artichoke quarters, chopped, and 12oz of lump crab meat, drained. Put all if it in a microwave safe bowl and heat 30 seconds at a time. Stir in between. Heat until cheese is melted. Then spoon in to you bread. I add extra crackers and some sliced baguette as well. I usually cut the bread and put the ingredients together hours ahead of time. I pop the dip in the microwave right before I’m ready to serve.

I like making a DIY salad bar as well. I chop up romaine lettuce and add it to a large bowl. I then cut up various vegetables and add them so smaller bowls for guests to grab what they like. You can also have croutons, almonds or walnuts, and dried cranberries. I set out a few types of dressings so guests can mix and match. Sometimes I’ll do a large Caesar salad instead. I mix croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese with the romaine lettuce and let guests add their own dressing. I prefer Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar.

Image Credit: Amazon

You can always make a charcuterie board. I love the book Savor by Kimberly Stevens for ideas. It also makes a fabulous hostess gift!! 😉

What do you make to entertain? Hot or cold? Can’t wait to hear from you!! Love, TC

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