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Party appetizers

Bacon and Jam Pinwheel Appetizers

Friends, let’s chat about Super Bowl weekend. It is hands down one of my favorite weekends of the year! My parents always hosted a big party each year so it always felt like a holiday as a kid. Now that we host the game each year, I’m all about serving up a few good game day recipes. Today I’m sharing these bacon and jam pinwheel appetizers – they are the perfect Super Bowl party food!

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How to Make a Seasonal Summer Harvest Cheese Board

I’m pretty sure that a great cheese board makes the perfect party appetizer no matter the occasion. I’m convinced of it, in fact. In full disclosure, I actually think a cheese board makes the perfectly easy dinner, too! Just give me all the cheese, please. This cheese board is sort of an ode to late summer and the fruits and veggies spilling out of gardens and farmer’s market bins right now. 

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21 Super Tasty + Equally Easy Summer Party Appetizers

One of the most popular requests I receive (both here, on Instagram and from my friends and family) is for more party appetizers! People love an easy party appetizer recipe, so I decided I would take a moment today to round up 21 of the best summer appetizers perfect for all your upcoming summer parties.

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Epic Vegetarian Poutine with Easy Homemade Vegetarian Gravy

It’s Monday, so it feels like a good day to talk about poutine. Vegetarian poutine, specifically, made with an easy homemade vegetarian gravy that will leave you wanting for none of the flavor you love about gravy. Some of you may be wondering, “What the heck is poutine?!” In short, it’s a Canadian dish featuring fries layered with cheese curd and then smothered in gravy. Usually it’s beef gravy, but often it’s chicken gravy. Today we’re making it with vegetarian gravy so that your vegetarian pals (like me) can get down with the poutine goodness, too.

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Loaded Game Day Nacho Tots with Creamy Crockpot Queso Blanco

When we were kids our parents used to throw killer football game day parties. I wasn’t so much into the game back then (although I totally am now), but I found the energy and the fun so exciting and I grew to love Sundays! The food was always the best, too, which is why I’m a sucker for a good game day recipe. Today we’re talking loaded nacho tots smothered in the easiest, creamiest Crockpot queso blanco. Even if you aren’t an enthusiastic or skilled cook, these nacho tots are about to make you the talk of the town!

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Mac + Cheese Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers

I’ve never been a huge fan of traditional jalapeño poppers. You know the kind. They’re usually stuffed with cream cheese, sometimes they’re breaded, and in any case they’ve always just been a little meh for my palate. The exception to that is our buddy James’s homemade poppers! Now those are delicious. What’s even more delicious? Mac and cheese stuffed jalapeño poppers! They’re basically exactly what they sound like – jalapeño peppers stuffed with homemade mac and cheese and baked until golden around the edges. I like to sprinkle them with chives or parsley when they’re done, but cilantro would also be great if you’re a cilantro kind of person! (Does anyone else find it fascinating how polarizing cilantro is? Ha!) In my book of “sure bet crowd-pleasing not to be missed” appetizers, this poppers certainly rank right up there at the top of the list! They’re basically the very best kind of comfort food of all.

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Lemon + Herb Smashed Potatoes with Greek Yogurt

I’m a really big fan of simple ingredients that are perfectly paired together. I also really love potatoes. While those two things may seem completely unrelated, I’m here to tell you otherwise with these super tasty smashed potatoes! Don’t they look kind of fancy? Well they’re not! You just need to be able to boil water and operate your oven at a very minimal level and these beauties can be making your palate happy with just the teensiest amount of effort. They’re topped with fresh lemon juice, Greek yogurt, lemon zest and chives for a flavor combination that is light and refreshing and seriously delicious. I love these as a party appetizer! You can line them up on a tray so friends can just grab them and bite right in! Or they’d also make a great side to a weeknight or weekend dinner. I like boiling up a bunch of potatoes and then just smashing and baking off a few at a time during the week for breakfast or dinner. So good! And that, friends, is my ode to smashed potatoes. Try these! You’ll love them.

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A Trio of Fondue Recipes for Your Next Cocktail Party

Back in October (actually just a few days after our wedding), I joined a group of my fellow bloggers at the Food52 test kitchen in New York as guests of Delta® Faucet. It was an amazing day of food, design and camaraderie where we got to try our hand making a few fun appetizers and check out some gorgeous faucets from Delta Faucet featuring their new ShieldSpray™ Technology. You may even remember seeing a sneak peek on Instagram while I was there! Today I am sharing a trio of easy fondue recipes that I created in partnership with Delta Faucet to (a) help inspire a little food fun at your next cocktail party and (b) to give you a look at the beautiful new faucet that now lives in my kitchen and how it has seriously elevated the game of my nearly 60 year old sink. Be sure to watch to video too, where you can see these fondues in action! (This is one of my favorite party appetizers to date, and that’s saying a lot.)

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17 of Your Favorite Posts from 2017

Happy 2018, friends! As I’ve done for several years in a row now, I’m easing into January today with a little look back at some of your favorite posts from the year before we jump into the New Year. I usually like to start January a bit slower, spending more time with Baby E, reading a good book or two, and taking time to reflect, make plans and dream up ideas for the year ahead. In so many ways 2017 was truly a banner year, which I’ll ruminate on more later, so I loved taking a look back and digging very unscientifically into the archives to come up with the best of 2017. It’s hard to believe but The Sweetest Occasion turns TEN YEARS OLD in 2018 so I have every intention of making this year the very best one yet in terms of the content we’re producing, the ways I’m connecting with you and in general just trying to take things to the next level this year. I have no clue what that means just yet, but I’ll be working on it! In the meantime, here are 17 of your favorite posts from the last year. Enjoy!

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How to Host a Simple + Chic Holiday Cocktail Party

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, things are about to get decidedly merry around these parts! Tis the season for entertaining and I, for one, could not be happier to host family and friends as often as possible over the next several weeks. Today I’ve teamed up with 34 Degrees to share a few easy tips and inspiring ideas for hosting a simple yet super chic holiday cocktail party. I think this is truly the easiest way to entertain over the holidays and oftentimes the most fun, too! You won’t have to spend hours prepping, cooking and then cleaning the kitchen and with a stash of 34 Degrees crisps at the ready, you can serve up tasty gourmet bites in a flash. Plate them alongside a selection of delicious cocktails, crank your favorite holiday playlist and you’ve got a hip holiday party waiting to happen.

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A Bread + Oil Appetizer Dipping Station

It’s no secret that I love a good party appetizer, and I think the best are ones that are simple to pull together that still allow guests to try out a few different things. Enter this super easy bread and oil appetizer dipping station! You know those restaurants where you get to munch on great crusty bread and delicious flavored oils while you wait for your meal? That’s totally the inspiration here. All you need is a few baguettes sliced up, olive oil and a bunch of yummy flavors to add into the mix like lemon zest, red pepper flake and minced garlic. Here I’m sharing a few of my personal favorite flavor combinations, but you should absolutely mix and match to your heart’s content using your favorite herbs and spices. To serve everything, cute little bowls for each oil concoction (I’d suggest at least two or three) and a pretty wooden board piled high with bread will do the trick.

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The Ultimate Caprese Salad Board

Over the last few years I’ve been really into arranging a bunch of food on a board and serving it up as a casual weeknight dinner, a great party appetizer or a delicious mid-afternoon snack on a weekend. Something about food on a board is just so damn enjoyable, and people naturally seem to love food that’s interactive, which is why this one would make such a good addition to your next party. People love a great cheese board, but this is spin on the classic is even better with an excess of good fresh mozzarella and burrata, loaded up with a variety of tomatoes. Drizzle everything with a good olive oil, max out on fresh basil, then sprinkle the whole mess with yummy coarse grain sea salt and you’re in business.

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