Tag Archives: party

Recipe Review {Party Edition}

In addition to a weekend full of mountain biking and helping Abbie with her move in to her new apartment in Dallas (hooray!), Brian and I co-hosted an engagement party for our friends in our home. We were so excited to share in their celebration, and loved being able to open our home for the party.

I also loved perusing my favorite food blog for recipe ideas, and, as always, she did not disappoint! I was able to snag two delicious recipes from the blog, and I am sure I will be making them both again in the near future.


Because of the craziness of preparing for this party after a work day, I was unable to snap any pics pre-party. This is the best I could do. The aftermath. We had Pirouline cookies, Popcorn Chocolate Crunch, Toasted Almond Parmesan Dip, Spinach Artichoke Dip (both served with pita chips), Bruschetta, Oreo Cake Balls and a Cherry Whiskey Smash cocktail. {I was going for equal parts cozy and festive with the menu}

Toasted Almond Parmesan Dip

Yields 1 1/2 cups (I doubled the recipe to accommodate our party, and it was a cinch)

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ounces mascarpone cheese (I used 8 ounces of cream cheese in lieu of macarpone…gotta work with what you have, people!)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (I was generous with this flavor-enhancing ingredient)
  • pinch of salt
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mascarpone, salt, pepper, nutmeg, parmesan and 1/2 cup almonds. Mix with a spoon to combine, then press into a baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining almonds. Serve with crackers and pita chips!

This was delicious and incredibly easy! Perfect for any party.

Florentine Artichoke Dip (courtesy of Karen’s Kitchen)

Yield: 4 cups

spinach artichoke dip

  • 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2 (6 ½  oz) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 ½ (8 oz) pkg. light  cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Drain spinach; press between layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture. (I just squeeze out the moisture through a colander or sieve). Combine spinach, artichoke hearts, and next 5 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well.  Spoon into a lightly greased 11” x 7” baking dish.  Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  Serve with assorted crackers, bagel chips, or bread sticks.

karen's dip

This recipe is another Mahoney Family favorite, and will definitely make you think twice about ordering spinach artichoke dip off a restaurant menu in the future.



Unfortunately, this is a secret family recipe from Karen’s Kitchen…and I did not even get a chance to grab a picture of the finished product before it disappeared. But, come over anytime and I will make you this delicious hors d’oeuvre!

Oreo Cake Balls

oreo cake balls

These are just wow.

And could not be easier. Seriously.

melting chocolate

  • 1 package regular Oreos
  • 1-8oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • (Godiva dark chocolate–I accidentally picked up the peppermint crunch version–it was a hit!)


In a food processor, mix Oreos until they become crumbs. Add cream cheese in chunks and process until you have a dough. Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet. Set in the freezer or refrigerator to harden for 1-2 hours.

Once Oreo balls are set, dip in melted chocolate – chocolate, peanut butter, white chocolate, etc. Add any decoration on top.

Store in the freezer and serve cold.

cake balls

And finally, for the booze. We served beer, wine, champagne (of course!), and this cocktail. Again, going for a festive flavor, annnnd again, no pics.

But delish!

Cherry Whiskey Smash Cocktails

Yields one, is easily multiplied (you bet we did!)

1 ounce jack daniels
1 ounce cherry juice
1/2 ounce amaretto
1/2 ounce ginger brandy
2 ounces cherry cola
5 maraschino cherries

Add cherries to the bottom of the glass and muddle until smashed.Add ice.In a cocktail shaker add jack daniels, cherry juice, amaretto and brandy, shaking for 15 seconds – to combine.Pour over ice, then top off with cherry cola and stir.Serve with additional cherries if desired.

Super simple; super sweet.

All in all, it was a great hosting experience. I learned a lot (many “how-to’s” as well as many “what not to do’s”) for future entertaining; and I’ll be sure to share my discoveries in upcoming posts. Until then, cheers!