This past weekend one of my very best friends got married. It was a beautiful wedding, very casual and very ‘Rick and Shannon’. It was an evening ceremony followed by a cocktail party where guests were served an array of appetizers in lieu of a big formal sit down dinner. So today I’m offering three tasty cocktail party inspired recipes!

Smoked Salmon Dip

1 package light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup milk
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 TBSP lemon juice
4 dashes bottled hot sauce – more if you really like heat!
2 TBSP fresh dill
6 ounces smoked salmon cut into thin strips
Dill sprigs

Thoroughly mix the cream cheese and milk with a fork. Add green onion, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, and the 2 Tablespoons snipped fresh dill. Mix until well combined. Fold in the salmon. Cover and chill 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs and serve with crackers.

Roasted Potato Bites

12 small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 TSP extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and salt
1/2 cup crumbled goats cheese
4 slices bacon , cooked until crisp and crumbled
2 TBSP minced chives

Preheat oven to 350. Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water; bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.Once cooled, slice a small piece from the top and the bottom of each potato. Transfer to a medium bowl; toss with oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet. With a paring knife, score top of each potato. Top each with equal amounts of goats cheese and bacon. Bake until cheese melts, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.


Figs with Ricotta and Honey


1/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
8 dried figs
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 TBSP honey
Salt to taste

Toast the pistachios in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool, then chop coarsely.

Cut each fig in half crosswise and place the fig pieces on a serving dish, cut side up.

Make a small indentation into the cut side of each fig half with a small spoon or your finger. Put 1/2 teaspoon of the ricotta on each piece of fig and sprinkle with pistachios.

Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with salt,  and serve.

*Fig recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking