party food

Birthday paella

For my daughters first birthday we were having about 30 adults and 10-15 children. I decided to make paella which is a dish that goes a long way and is festive and great to look at. This is a classic … [more]

Pecan Encrusted Grapes

These little cocktail sized cheese balls are delightful when you find that sweet, hidden grape at the center. [more]

Italian Cheese Puffs

These little bites are addictive. They make a great appetizer or nibble with a good wine. This is basically a savory pate choux. This recipe makes about 3 dozen. [more]

Chicken meatballs

This recipe is my attempt to replicate the yummy chicken meatballs I’ve had at several japanese restaurants. While I don’t think I’ve wholly succeeded, these seem to be a crowd … [more]

Mini Crab Cakes

These tasty mini crabcakes will have your party guests clamoring for more. For big parties I make them up to a day before and simply reheat in the oven when it’s time to serve. [more]

Firecracker shrimp

This festive appetizer, which is great for a Fourth of July gathering or a Chinese New Year celebration, looks just like a firecracker. In China firecrackers light up the sky on New Year’s Day. … [more]

White Trash Toffee

I can’t even begin to imagine how this recipe began but butter, sugar, chocolate? I’m in! With its salty sweet goodness, this is a major crowd pleaser. [more]

Chesapeake Crab Fritters

These little fritters pack the taste of the Chesapeake Bay region into tasty little morsels. This recipe makes about 8 servings. [more]

Cheese Fondue

Nothing like a bunch of people jockeying around a pot of molten cheese brandishing sharp implements impaled with food to get conversations and laughter started. [more]

French Blue Cheese Galette

This is one of my favorites to serve with wine and fruit. It’s a nice change from just a regular cheese plate. [more]

Chocolate mousse

Truly one of my all time favorites, this dessert is all about lots of air and bowls. Even the French word mousse means “lather” or “foam”. Properly made, it is light, airy and dissolves into … [more]


The word “ sacristain ” refers to puff pastry dough that is formed into the shape of a twist, sprinkled with stuff, and then baked off. I made sacristains using fresh rosemary and thyme. … [more]

Roquefort Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

This is one of my favorite variations of Devils-on-Horseback. But instead of prunes, dates are used and pungent blue cheese is added for a counter to the sweetness. Make about 24. [more]

Pig, Fig, and Melon with Balsamic Dipping Sauce

This simple tapas inspired nibble is a great addition to tapas menu or served as an appetizer with cocktails. A nice balance of saltiness, and cool sweetness. This makes about 12. [more]

Lemon-Tahini Sauce

This tangy, classic Middle Eastern sauce is great for falafel , and over grilled vegetables or crudités. [more]

Spiced Coconut Shrimp with Tangy Orange Dipping Sauce

I adapted this recipe that my chef friend, Chris, passed along to me.This has become one of my favorites. The spices counter balance the sweetness of the coconut. When this is dipped into the orange … [more]

Basil Pesto

Here is a classic pesto. Great tossed with your favorite pasta. Top soups and bread. It is a must have for the pantry. [more]

Super Fast Prosciutto & Basil Flatbread

Too many dishes, and a truncated schedule equals a crazy off the wall experiement that turned out brilliantly. I’m 100% sure I’m not the only person to ever make it, this is just a super … [more]

Carmen's quesadillas

This is a quick and easy recipe that works great as a meal, a snack or party food. Kids and adults alike love these quesadillas — the olive oil adds nice flavor besides making a nice crispy … [more]

Scalloped Goat Cheese and Garlic Potatoes

These potatoes are great with roasted meats. I would consider it a frontrunner in the comfort food division. This recipe makes about 6 servings. [more]

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