Entertain Your Guests With These Summertime Snack Trays

People often do a bit more entertaining in the warmer months, so if you're planning on having a few friends over to enjoy the summer weather, you'll want to set out light, tasty snacks for them to enjoy. Here are just a few creative ideas for summertime snack trays that everyone will love.

  • A variety of skewers. Stick a few tasty combinations of small skewers to give your guests a handheld snack. Try adding mozzarella, tomato and basil, or add a variety of summertime fruits to another. If you want to get creative, you can even add cake bites for a sweet treat.
  • A fruit platter with dips. While many people think of vegetables when they think of dips, fruits are a bit more refreshing in the summertime. Make your own yogurt dip, add a bowl of peanut butter or even add melted chocolate for a fondue-style snack.
  • Make a multi-layer taco dip. Layer ground beef, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato in a large bowl, and serve the dip with crunchy tortilla chips.
  • Dress up your popcorn. Think popcorn is only reserved for movie nights? Think again! Add a zest of lemon, a bit of parsley and some fresh sea salt to your popcorn to give it a gourmet flavor that's anything but ordinary.

Easy Appetizers: 15 Summer Party Picks [Food.com]

Sate Your Craving for Chocolate With These Molten Lava Cake Recipes

Molten lava cakes are the ideal dessert for a dinner party or other social gathering because their individual sizes give each person a little cake of their own to enjoy. When you cut into these warm, moist desserts an explosion of hot chocolate sauce spills out, which gives the cakes their fun name. If your mouth is already watering, try one of these molten lava cake recipes for dinner tonight.

Molten Chocolate Cakes [Food and Wine]
Food and Wine’s gourmet spin on the dessert classic brings an air of sophistication to the usual molten lava cake. Bittersweet chocolate and unsalted butter provide a rich, complex taste, and the thick chocolate inside is just the icing – or, rather, the lava – on the cake.

Molten Chocolate Cake [Pioneer Woman]
This recipe from the Pioneer Woman is just as indulgent as her other recipes, and the addition of an extra egg yolk ensures that the inside is even more runny than most lava cakes. Serve them with homemade whipped cream for an extra special treat.

Red Velvet Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes [Half Baked Harvest]
This recipe not only uses a red velvet cake exterior, but a chocolate ganache center as well. If that doesn’t already sound decadent enough, a coconut whipped cream topping should do the trick.

What Are Your Favorite Spring Recipes? Here Are a Few to Try This Season!

As the days get longer and springtime (finally!) rolls around, you likely start to crave lighter meals made with bright, fresh ingredients. Retire your usual favorite spring recipes in favor of something new and exciting with these delicious dishes from around the web.

Grilled Artichokes [oprah.com]
Create a tasty side dish for chicken, steak, or fish with Oprah’s recipe for flavorful grilled artichokes. Grilling these layered veggies on a stovetop grill gives them a bit of a blackened taste, and the homemade dipping sauce that goes with them adds even more flavor.

Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns [localfoods.about.com]
Fiddlehead ferns come into season during the spring, which makes this dish very fresh and delicious. This recipe also takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook, so it makes quite a quick last-minute side dish on busy weeknights.

Risotto With Prosciutto and Peas [realsimple.com]
If you’re looking for something heartier and more filling, this rich, creamy risotto recipe is the perfect choice come spring. Thin prosciutto adds a salty taste, while the sweet spring peas make it perfect for warmer weather. Cook the risotto in white wine and chicken broth to add a deep, complex flavor throughout, then serve it with your favorite grilled meats or as an entree with a fresh salad.

Two Great Websites for Fall Recipes

With so many festive fall activities on your calendar, you'll need some warm and filling recipes to entertain your guests and keep your family healthy. These creative websites are full of both unique and classic cold weather foods that you can easily make at home.

All Recipes’ Fall Seasonal Cooking
Popular cooking website All Recipes organizes many of its dishes based on season, and its Fall Seasonal Cooking section will surely become a go-to tool when the weather gets chilly. With recipes such as Autumn Pork Roast and Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake, you’ll never run out of meal ideas with the help of All Recipes.

Food & Wine’s Fall Flavors
Blending the classy, tasteful feel of Food & Wine magazine with the convenience of a cooking website, this site has created a page devoted to the magazine’s best fall foods. Browse sections like Warming Drinks and Fiery Foods for Cold Weather to find hearty, elegant meals that are sure to excite your tastebuds.

Fresh Rosemary Steals the Show in These Mouthwatering Recipes

Though rosemary is just a simple herb, it often becomes the major flavor in the dishes that it seasons. If you love the taste of pine-like rosemary and want to find more recipes that incorporate it, things like salts, meats, and vegetables are all perfect pairings. Check out these recipes that really let the rosemary shine!

Rosemary Chicken with Zucchini [Real Simple]
Chicken is one of the very best foods to season with fresh rosemary. This recipe creates a fast and easy dinner in just one simple step because it involves seasoning the vegetables, chicken, and potatoes beforehand and freezing them for up to three months until you're ready to cook.

Rosemary Sea Salt [Martha Stewart]
Martha Stewart’s rosemary sea salt enables you to sprinkle fresh rosemary onto just about any dish that needs a boost of flavor. All it takes is one box of kosher salt and two bunches of fresh rosemary to create a long-lasting supply of this savory seasoning.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes [Food Network]
When it comes to herbs, why mess with a recipe that works? These roasted potatoes are one of the most commonly used rosemary recipes, but that’s because it just takes so perfect. Simply toss some small red potatoes in olive oil, salt, rosemary, and a few other common seasonings to create a versatile side dish that’s great with any meal.

Make Mouthwatering Meatloaf 4 Different Ways

Ever since you were a child, meatloaf has always been a dinner staple that united the whole family. There are a variety of new and improved ways to prepare this classic dish, but they still maintain the same hearty taste that you’ve always loved. Here are some of the best meatloaf recipes, just in time for dinner tonight.

Easy Meatloaf [Allrecipes]
When you don’t have much time between your daily tasks and your family’s dinner, this easy meatloaf recipe is a great option. With just nine common ingredients, you can create a nutritious meal with a rich tomato flavor.

My Favorite Meatloaf [Pioneer Woman]
The Pioneer Woman’s favorite meatloaf recipe is wrapped in crispy bacon, adding a smoky, salty flavor that meat-lovers will adore.

Home-Sweet-Home Meatloaf [Hunts]
If you want the traditional taste of meatloaf with a bit of added flavor, this delicious recipe is infused with brown sugar and sweet onion that perfectly complements to heartiness of the ground sirloin beef.

Layered Creamed-Spinach Meatloaf [Delish]
This recipe offers a gourmet twist on meatloaf, perfect for a holiday or other special occasion. Chopped spinach, zesty spices, and Romano cheese form a decadent layer in between the meat, giving the simple dish a bit of complexity.

Three Tasty Veggie Burger Recipes

Whether you’re a vegetarian or you simply enjoy the health benefits of meat-free meals, veggie burgers are a delicious alternative to your regular greasy beef patty. These simple, nutritious veggie burger recipes offer a variety of different takes on the classic vegetarian dish.

Open-Faced Falafel Burgers [MyRecipes]
Middle Eastern falafel is normally stuffed inside of a pita, but this recipe adds an American spin by preparing it like a burger. The falafel patties are filled with nutritious veggies and spices like cumin and coriander. Top the patties with a light, refreshing tahini sauce for a unique dish that will excite your taste buds.

Best-Ever Veggie Burger [The Kitchn]
Most veggie burgers lack the protein-fueled umami taste stimulated by meat burgers, but not in this particular recipe. Even vegetarians can enjoy the hearty, savory flavor that meat provides with this complex veggie burger, created by roasting the ingredients and using the perfect blend of smoky spices.

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burger [AllRecipes]
Add a taste of the Southwest to your burger night with this flavorful black bean version. It takes just a few common ingredients and 35 minutes to create these healthy, delicious veggie burgers right in your own kitchen. You can even toss them on the outdoor grill for a traditional summer barbecue taste without the usual meat.

Deliciously Easy Meatloaf Recipes That Taste Anything But Basic

If your earliest memories of meatloaf are dry, bland, and boring, this post is for you. These three meatloaf recipes turn the old fashioned favorite upside down, but they’re still just as easy to make.

Paula Deen’s Old Fashioned Meatloaf [foodnetwork.com]
Don’t be fooled by the name; this perfectly moist, endlessly flavorful meatloaf recipe is a world away from the outdated dinner entree. Quick-cooking oats create a hearty base for the beef, while simple seasonings and some all-American condiments enable you to make a delicious sauce from things you already have in the fridge.

Simple Meatloaf Recipe [southernfood.about.com]
Because this recipe requires more oven time than prep time, it leaves you with extra time to do whatever you please. Just top it with a blend of ketchup, mustard, and maple syrup once it’s all done.

Turkey Meatloaf [realsimple.com]
Save a few calories and grams of fat while still getting a hearty dose of protein by using ground turkey instead of the usual beef. Plus, this meatloaf is filled with herbs and spices for a truly flavorful taste and a wonderful aroma while it bakes in the oven. Serve it with some classic mashed potatoes for a delicious dinner just like mom used to make.

Dig a Spoon Into These Hearty Chili Recipes

Few things taste better on a chilly fall day than a warm bowl of hearty chili, but your staple recipe may start to get a bit tired after a few seasons. Here are three tasty new chili recipes that are equally as comforting but a bit more creative.

All-American Chili [myrecipes.com]
Whether you use it to top grilled hot dogs or to eat right from the bowl on a cold afternoon, it doesn’t get more all-American than this chili recipe. Ground sirloin and hot Italian turkey sausage give this a flavorful, meaty taste, while a hefty splash of merlot makes a delicious secret ingredient that your guests are sure to ask about.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup [allrecipes.com]
Add a Mexican flair to your usual chili with this hearty chicken taco soup made entirely in the slow cooker. Serve it topped with sour cream, green chilies, tortilla strips, or healthy avocado for even more flavor.

Turkey and White Bean Chili [marthastewart.com]
If you prefer a chili that’s a bit lighter than most, this recipe is the perfect choice. Lean turkey and mild white beans are the base ingredients, but jalapenos and ground cumin give it that slight kick that you love about spicy chili.

Dip a Chip Into These Scrumptious Summer Salsas

Chips and salsa are staple dishes at many social gatherings, and you’ll often find your guests crowded around the salsa bowl with an overflowing tortilla chip in hand. If you want to give your friends and family a different salsa to try at your next dinner party, opting for a sweeter recipe is a great choice. Here are three fruity salsa recipes that your guests will simply adore.

Annie’s Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips
Not only does this recipe add a wide assortment of fruits to your usual salsa, it also includes cinnamon flavored chips to go along with them. This dish is much sweeter than it is spicy, and it even makes a creative dessert for an outdoor dinner party!

Mojito Melon Salsa
If you like mojito cocktails, you’ll love the sweet, minty flavor when it’s used in a fresh and fruity salsa. This recipe for Mojito Melon Salsa uses a juicy combination of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew tossed with some onion and spices, while a generous helping of mint leaves gives it that signature mojito taste.

Watermelon Fire and Ice Salsa
Give the usual tomatoes a rest and try this fruity salsa that uses watermelon as its base. The rest of the recipe is the same as traditional salsa, which gives it a wonderfully complex combination of spicy and sweet.

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