Category Archives: Appetizers

“Mini” Party Menu

I recently hosted a couples shower for my friends who adopted a little boy. The event was to be all-grown-ups, in the evening and…over DINNER!  To host a party over dinner is a big undertaking in my mind because I am Filipino. Our culture is all about feeding your guests – and that’s regardless of meal time! So having an event right over a meal (6:00) meant lots and LOTS of food.

My co-host came up with the idea to have mini bundt cakes instead of a traditional cake or cupcakes.  This turned out to be a BRILLIANT idea (and ridiculous moist and delicious).  The “mini” spawned the idea for the rest of my menu.

Pictures now, recipes to follow 🙂

I did forget to get pictures of the Steak Nacho Sauce and Chip station (where I put salsa in a giant margarita glass in the middle of an extra large, wide mouthed wood bowl and found small nacho trays, perfect for single-person munching!  AND I forgot to get a picture of the Mini Hot Dog station – adorable.  Hawaiian mini buns, hot mini weenies, and the works of condiments. Yummm. Hit!

*Chocolate chip cookie dough dip  -served with graham crackers and animal crackers for dipping
*pastry balls in chocolate sauce on individual spoons
*mini bundt cakes
*cranberry cherry cream jello flutes
*guacamole and goat cheese toasts
*antipasto skewers over olive oil and cracked pepper
*red apple “jubilation” (apple, berry citrus, champagne punch)
*shrimp cocktail in mini footed bowls
*chicken bacon artichoke flat-bread
*pepperoni flat-bread

image_2 image_3 image_4 image_5 image_6 image_7 image_8 image_9 image_10 image_11 image_12 image_13 image_14

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers

High-Fiber Bean Dip

I originally looked at this recipe and thought, “ew…kidney beans?”, but I’ll give any food a second chance. Now I know I don’t have to settle for the high-calorie bean-dip counter-part ever again – this was just as easy and doesn’t give me a heavy feeling after a chow-down 🙂

1 x 15 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
1 1/2 ts extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 ts[ oregano
1/2 small onion, minced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste


Blend the beans and oil until the mixture resembles a paste.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Prep time 17 minutes
Cook time 0 minutes
Makes 36, one-Tbsp servings

[Recipe Source: Tosca Reno, The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook]


Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Dressing, Eat-Clean, Garnishings, Recipes, Sauces, Spreads, Salsas, Vegetarian

Broiled Baby Eggplants with miso dressing

Miso has nutty and salty tones which is why it works as such a great complement for the subtle eggplant.

12 baby, or 4 small eggplants
2 Tb vegetable or olive oil
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp sesame seeds
4 scallions, chopped, to garnish

1/3 C miso paste (preferably light-colored)
3 TB sugar
3 Tb sake
Juice of 1/2 lime AND 1/2 lemon
1/2 ts chili pepper flakes OR
1/2 fresh red chili pepper, finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  If using baby eggplants, slice in half lengthwise, leaving stems on. For larger eggplants, cut into 1-in slices.  Cut a crisscross pattern into the flesh.  Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden.
  2. Preheat the broiler to high.  In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, mixing well.  Spread the mixture thickly onto the eggplants and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.  Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.  Serve garnished with the scallions and accompanied by any leftover dressing as a dip.

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 22 minutes
Makes 8 servings

[Recipe Source: Jennifer Joyce, Small Bites:tapas, sushi, mezze, antipasti, and other finger foods]
10 Days of Veggies


Filed under Appetizers, Sides, Vegetarian, Veggies