The key to a low maintenance party is selecting recipes that store well in the refrigerator or freezer. You may also want to make items that keep well at room temperature like snack mixes. If you absolutely must serve foods that need to be cooked or heated, locate recipes that allow you to make ahead and freeze, so you can just pop them in the oven come party time. Remember: food doesn't make a party great—company and good times do. Here are a few of my favorites.
Don't forget legumes. Try this easy red bean hummus. Combine garlic cloves, drained and rinsed canned red beans, and a little sesame oil and ground cumin. Process in a food processor or blender until smooth. Chill until party time and serve with pita wedges.
Fruit kabobs may be pre-made and refrigerated until guests start streaming through your front door. Skewer seedless red grapes, pineapple chunks, mandarin orange segments and strawberry halves. Serve with a pineapple dip made with plain nonfat yogurt, honey, minced fresh gingerroot and canned, crushed pineapple with juice.
Makes 2 cups
15 ounce-canned red salmon,
well drained, with bones and skin pieces removed
4 ounces dry curd cottage cheese
4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4-teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4-teaspoon white pepper
1/4-teaspoon dried dill
1/4-teaspoon dried chives
In a food processor, blender or with an electric mixer, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Fold into serving dish. Chill several hours before serving. Garnish with parsley or dill. Can be made a day in advance.
(Recipe courtesy the American Institute for Cancer Research)
Makes 2 cups
1 can (10-1/4-ounces) condensed New England clam chowder soup
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2-teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom pieces, drained
8 ounces (1 package) low-fat cream cheese, softened
Using a blender, food processor or electric mixer, blend all ingredients until just smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
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This page created January 2001
Copyright © 1998-2001, Lynn Kerrigan. No portion of this article may be reproduced for publication without express, written permission of the author.
This page modified February 2007
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