Pick and choose from these delectable recipes for an event everyone is sure to remember.
Recipe: Sparkling Punch
Parties require a great punch, and this 3-ingredient, pretty pink version is hard to beat. Make it with club soda or Champagne to suit your taste—it’s delicious either way.
Cream Cheese-Olive Spread
Recipe: Cream Cheese-Olive Spread
Olives lend bold flavor to this creamy spread. You can make cream cheese mixture up to 2 days ahead, and then roll them in pecans and and chives just before serving.
Recipe: Mini-Caprese Bites
These tasty skewers are easy, colorful, and contemporary. The yield will vary depending on the size of the tomatoes, but a container of mozzarella balls contains more than enough to compensate.
Recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut Tartlets
They may be rich, but they’re so heavenly your guests will go back for seconds, so be sure to make double batch. Make the tart shells ahead and fill them just before the party.
Avocado Fruit Salad
Recipe: Avocado Fruit Salad
If you are only doing finger foods, serve this with wooden picks, but it works best as a salad. Avocado Fruit Salad pairs wonderfully with chicken salad, ham biscuits, and cheeses.
Steamed Asparagus and Green Beans With Lemon-Basil Dip
Green veggies are a welcome addition to any party menu, and beautiful asparagus and green beans look lovely as well. Spread leftover dip on tomato or roast beef sandwiches.
Recipe: Fresh Limeade
Fresh lime juice makes this a wonderfully refreshing spring beverage. To get more juice, prick the limes lightly with a fork and microwave at HIGH for 10 to 20 seconds. Let stand a few minutes, and then roll on the counter with your palm before juicing.
Party Chicken Salad
Recipe: Party Chicken Salad
Two of the season’s favorite fruits—peaches and blackberries—and basil brighten this colorful salad. Serve it on a bed of greens with peach slices and blackberries for a beautiful presentation.
Recipe: Lemon-Basil Antipasto
This zesty appetizer tray requires no cooking and is great for a more casual shower. We like the flavor of regular provolone over that of the reduced-fat versions and Genoa salami rather than hard salami.
Ham-Stuffed Biscuits With Mustard Butter
Yeast biscuits—also called angel or bride’s biscuits—hold together well, so they’re a good choice to serve at gatherings. The so-Southern combination of ham and biscuits is always a hit!
Recipe: Bacon-Onion Dip
Plan on this dish being scraped clean—few people can resist the combination of bacon, onions, and sour cream. Make a day ahead, and serve with a tray of colorful veggies.
Spicy Boiled Shrimp With Creamy Buttermilk-Avocado Sauce
Here’s a clever way to refresh purchased cooked shrimp—blanch them in a pot of water seasoned with lemon juice, hot sauce, and Creole seasoning. Serve with a yummy, creamy sauce and people will be clamoring for the recipe.
Make a Cheese “Cake”
This pretty centerpiece made of wheels of cheese is drop-dead easy. Choose pretty flowers and herbs in season—lavender would be perfect. Serve with your favorite crackers or French bread rounds.
Chicken Salad Crescent Rolls
Recipe: Chicken Salad Crescent Rolls
Use purchased chicken salad or make your own for these clever roll-and-bake appetizers. Bake them just before guests arrive so they’ll be warm and crusty when you serve them.
Recipe: Hat Cookies
Your guests won’t be able to resist these buttery, girly cookies. Frost them in colors that complement your decorations. Freeze the un-iced cookies, tightly wrapped in foil and then placed in a freezer bag, up to 1 month.