The kitchen has some sort of magnetic force. You can put the food and goodies all over the rest of the house, but people will just pick up their plates and move back into the kitchen.
I, for one, have given up. My kitchen is where the action is, so I just make it — and some delicious appetizers — the center of all of my get-togethers. It’s certainly easier than trying to constantly herd folks into other rooms!
Juggling food prep while engaging in witty repartee with friends is not always easy to do, and potentially very dangerous. If you are distractible like I am, you could end up with burnt food or body parts, neither of which makes for a particularly enjoyable party. I like to avoid potential disasters with make-ahead recipes that require no cooking once friends have arrived. That way, the food is ready and the prep dishes are washed and out of view, so I can relax.
Think easy to serve and especially to eat, like a counter or a table full of appetizers that people can nibble on while chatting. Kitchen entertaining is at its easiest when no one needs to sit down with a fork and knife to eat their food.
Appetizers can also easily be the whole meal, if they are plentiful. Lots of little bite-sized goodies is actually my favourite way to eat, so I can enjoy many different flavours in one meal. We hosted just such an event this past weekend, with everyone bringing a few of their favourite appetizers. I made this Low-Carb Smoky Bacon Cheddar Dip and served it with endive leaves for me and tortilla chips for everyone else. It was a huge hit.
So if your friends and family tend to head to the kitchen from the moment they arrive at your house, consider making it the focal point of your party. Gather a few easy-to-serve recipes, grab a drink, relax and enjoy the time spent with good people and good food.
Smoky Bacon Cheddar Dip
This creamy cheddar dip with bacon is a delicious low carb appetizer when served with veggies or endive leaves. Gluten-free too!
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- In large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving bacon grease.
- Combine cream and half and half in a large measuring cup. Stir in arrowroot powder until dissolved.
- Add cream mixture to pan with bacon grease and continue to cook over medium-low heat. Whisk in xanthan gum briskly.
- When mixture begins to thicken, add grated cheese on handful at a time, whisking in to melt.
- Add salt and peper and stir until smooth. Remove from heat
- Chop bacon and stir into cheese mixture.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve.
Serves 20 (can easily be halved). Each serving has 2 g of carbs.
Other Nutritional Info: 120 Calories; 11g Fat (80.3% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 35mg Cholesterol; 174mg Sodium
Other Delicious Low Carb Appetizers:
Zucchini and Feta Fritters
This post is part of BlogHer’s Kitchen Entertaining editorial series, made possible by KitchenAid.