This is a sponsored post, of course all thoughts are my own.
It’s that time of year again, when we all have to plan what to serve guests, bring to a potluck, or prepare for our holiday entertaining. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s frustrating trying to come up with something new and delicious. Well friends, I bet it’s safe to say you haven’t thought of this one yet. If you’re looking for a new party food idea that is delicious, creative, and simple to make … you’re in luck.
Today I’m sharing easy bacon appetizers and party food ideas! You in? Okay, get ready to recreate at home – a “Bacon Bar!” (Plus I’m giving one of YOU bacon for a year! More at the end….)
Who doesn’t love bacon? The Smithfield Bacon Bar makes bacon the star and if a fun twist on typical party food. You can mix things up with different Smithfield bacon varieties like Peppered Brown Sugar, Sea Salt Caramel (Yes, FOR REAL), and Caramelized Bourbon Bacon. Talk about your food becoming a conversation starter. YUM.
There are so many ways to set up your bacon bar and it will work any time of day. Serve some warm flakey biscuits and set out some bacon jam guests can spread on top (YUM), add it to a Bloody Mary (best cocktail garnish EVER), use as topping on you’re favorite side dish–really you can get creative. Seriously, are you drooling yet? You’re guests are going to LOVE the unique flavors!
This bacon also really elevates any traditional dip recipe you might be serving. Here, this cheese dip became instantly upgraded when I added bacon crumbles to it!
Or, you can just eat the crumbles because……bacon.
I also like the idea of serving a flight of bacon with all of the different flavors guests can sample. Then have them vote on their favorite! Be sure to label each one and give guests paper and pencil so they can cast their vote.
Visit Smithfield.com/BaconBar for free printable labels, décor ideas, and recipe inspiration to give your Bacon Bar a personal touch and let guests know what each flavor is.
My head is pretty much on overdrive thinking of all the ways to set up a bacon bar. I’m pretty sure we could set this up for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert and guests would love it. What do you think? You better start planning because I have an amazing giveaway for you!
*I’m giving one lucky reader Smithfield Bacon for a YEAR! Want to win this tasty prize? Check out Smithfield.com/BaconBar and browse the different easy bacon appetizers and recipes, come back here and comment telling me your favorite Bacon Bar recipe in the comment section.
I’ll pick one winner and they will receive a coupon booklet for free bacon for an entire year. Giveaway closes 12-14-2016. This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Smithfield. All thoughts are my own.
If you’re looking for unique fall salad recipes, be sure to jot this one on your list (or better yet, save it to Pinterest so you can easily find it later)! This Asian Slaw will be an unexpected burst of color and flavor at your next fall dinner.
I love to entertain during the fall season, and especially love to host Thanksgiving. In fact, it’s my favorite holiday to play the role of hostess. There’s just something about a holiday where the food is the star and the atmosphere is typically low-key and joyous that makes my heart sing. Every other year I get to host my family for Thanksgiving dinner (the other years, we head to my in-laws house in the neighboring state). One thing that trips me up when I do host is what to serve for lunch on Thanksgiving Day. I mean, we’re spending the entire day cooking in the kitchen for our feast and the last thing I want to do is make a big lunch that guests will fill up on. But, a crowd’s gotta eat, right? I decided that a fun and flavorful salad was the perfect option for a light, but satisfying lunch. And this recipe in particular is great because the flavors are complimentary to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner we’ll enjoy later, but just different enough to feel special and unique.
The salad is made up of a few fresh and bright veggies. Red and green cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and red bell peppers are tossed with a dressing made with Kikkoman Soy Sauce, which gives the salad a great Asian flavor. I like to offer the dressing on the side so guests can add their own desired amounts. Plus, if there is salad left over, you can store the salad and dressing separately and enjoy later (if you store the salad tossed with the dressing it will get soggy). Of course, if you don’t expect to have left overs, you can toss the dressing into the salad right before serving.
I also topped the salad with some fried wonton pieces, which gave it a great crunch.
What I love most about this fall salad recipe is how much flavor it packs. It would make a great addition to any fall or holiday dinner.
The dressing is actually really versatile. I can see enjoying it drizzled over fresh fish as well.
I just realized Halloween is creepin’ up on me (ha, get it!), and I almost started to stress about. I mean, what cute treats am I going to make this year? What adorable crafts will I think of? Who knows (really), only time will tell. I’m totally last minute lately but instead of freaking out, I ‘m just sort of rolling with it.
The good news is, I have a few great Halloween treats already here on the blog for you. I bet you’re nothing like me, and totally ahead of the game.
So, if you’re looking for something cute to make the kiddos, or prepping a party and looking for Halloween party food–I’ve got you covered with these four ideas. They are really easy to make (and you can even cheat and buy store bought cupcakes like I did!). Just click the links at the bottom to go to the individual recipe.
This post is sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
Setting up a build-your-own bagel bar might be the best idea I’ve had in a long time. It’s the perfect breakfast or brunch spread when entertaining (think book club, bridal shower, baby shower), or when hosting out of town guests. Imagine your in-laws waking up to this spread! The whole thing really looks and feels so fancy when in reality it all takes only about ten minutes to set up (and requires zero cooking!). But, you don’t have to tell anyone that.
Plus, with a variety of toppings, there is sure to be something for everyone.
I like the idea of using mini bagels because then you can make a few different versions and get creative with your toppings without having to commit to a full bagel and be too stuffed to go back for another.
I also opted not to toast the bagels (if you can’t get on board with that I totally understand) because I like them a little soft and not warm when I pile my toppings on. You can set a toaster nearby if you want to give guests the option to toast theirs.
The secret to a good build-your-own-bagel creation is a good base of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It’s Spread it on the bagel before you add your toppings. Made with fresh milk, real cream and no preservatives, nothing else tastes like Philadelphia Cream Cheese so be sure to be generous with it.
In the next step you just can’t go wrong–add as many or as few toppings as you’d like.
My advice is to make a couple different creations and experiment with the flavors. My favorite combo ended up being topping my bagel and cream cheese with smoked salmon, cucumber, red onion, and chives. YUM. You really can’t ever go wrong with avocado either if I’m being honest.
What do you think? Ready to impress guests with this easy bagel bar idea?
Serves: 8 Servings (One serving equals one mini bagel or two halves)
8 Mini bagels
8 oz PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Brick, softened
1 Avocado, sliced
18 Cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
½ Red inion, thinly sliced
1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
8-ounce Smoked salmon
Fresh dill and chives for garnish
The purpose here is to have guests create their own bagels adding their favorite toppings. So, you’ll want to set out all the ingredients in a nice spread. Remove the softened PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Brick and place it in a bowl so guests can easily spread the cream cheese on their bagels. If the bagels are not already pre-sliced, you’ll want to slice them ahead of time. Set all of the other ingredients out in small bowls or on platters.
For all of your entertaining needs, turn to Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Always have it on hand to create fun appetizers and desserts that pop. I had a great time developing my build-your-own bagel bar
for out of town guests. For more creamy, delicious recipe ideas, click here.
This post is sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
If you’re looking for a simple appetizer to make this summer, try these cream cheese stuffed peppers. You’ll need just a few ingredients, they require no cooking, and (I promise) you can’t mess them up! Easy, foolproof, and delicious? Cheers to that!
Another reason that I love this recipe? These peppers are so colorful which means they look gorgeous on a platter. This makes them perfect for entertaining. Whether it’s hosting game night or a family dinner, this appetizer looks as good as it tastes. I also love that you can make these up to a day ahead of time (if you’re expecting guests) but can also whip them up in ten minutes (should you have impromptu guests). I recently made this for a family game night and they were gone in a flash!
The first step is gathering your ingredients: mini sweet peppers, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, fresh dill, and fresh chives. Don’t grab the dried herbs here, fresh is the way to go. The flavors of the fresh herbs pop so well in the cream cheese.
I love when recipes are easy enough to remember without pulling out a cookbook or opening up Pinterest, don’t you?
Once you’ve gathered all of the ingredients, it’s time to whip them up. First, I start by making the cream cheese mixture. Philadelphia Cream Cheese is the base (and it’s delicious because it’s made with fresh milk and real cream and no preservatives), then you mix in the fresh dill and chives (see recipe below). Next, cut the sweet peppers by removing the stem and cutting them in half. Be sure to remove any seeds as well.
The final step is to simply spread the cream cheese mixture into the sweet pepper halves. Serve them on a platter and you’ve got yourself the perfect (and easiest) summer appetizer!
16 Sweet Peppers, halved with stems and seeds removed
8-ounce PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Brick, softened
2 Tbs Fresh dill, finely chopped
2 Tbs Fresh chives, finely chopped
In a medium bowl, combine softened PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Brick and fresh herbs.
Cut sweet peppers in half and remove stems and seeds.
Spread ¼ oz of cream cheese mixture onto each pepper.
Serve on a platter.
You can make these up to a day in advance, just store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
For all of your entertaining needs, turn to Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Always have it on hand to create fun appetizers and desserts that pop. I had a great time developing my cream cheese stuffed peppers for family game night. For more creamy, delicious recipe ideas, click here.
This post is sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
I’ve been on a donut-making kick lately because you can make so many variations and they are pretty easy to make. Especially if you’re like me and you take shortcuts. I love baking but don’t have a lot of time, so I often think of ways I can make recipes easier and faster. These strawberry shortcake donuts were so simple to whip up! I decided to make them for a brunch I recently had. A few friends and I gathered one Saturday morning to visit and have a little time just chatting over coffee. These donuts went perfectly with our tea and coffee, and they were simple enough to whip up that morning before guests arrived.
My secret weapon for homemade donuts is boxed cake mix. I pick a flavor (here I used pink velvet) and then jazz it up a little. By placing sliced strawberries right into the batter, I made these donuts seem extra special. (more…)