Warm artichoke dip

Easy to throw together and a crowd pleaser.

Smoked salmon pizza with capers, red onion, and cream cheese

Start with the pizza crust recipe. For the smoked salmon pizza as an appetizer, I like to make the pizza a little smaller and thinner; therefore, one pizza crust recipe will make about 2 smaller pizzas. Incorporating some dill into the pizza crust goes particularly well with this one.

Smoked salmon dip

So easy to throw together and always a crowd pleaser. Goes great on a charcuterie platter with an assortment of sausages, olives, crackers, etc.. It’s easy to smoke your own salmon or simply buy some good quality stuff at the store.

Mom’s rosy pickled eggs

I love pickled and briny stuff. This recipe may be the reason why. My mom has been making these for years and I truly enjoy them. The pickling liquid imparts a great flavor and the beets make for some curious coloring. Growing up, it was always difficult to explain to friends how these eggs could be good. As an adult, I have learned that they go great with beer and other drinks. You just have to try them! You need a one gallon container with a lid, preferably glass for this recipe. You’ll also need a ton of eggs, but they keep a long time in the briny vinegar.

Lamb lollipops

My friend Holly makes the most delectable little lamb chops, or “lollipops”as we like to refer to them.  There’s something about this dish which brings memories of warm summer evenings with friends. A little time in the marinade  and a short stint on the grill and you have heaven on a stick. When choosing your rack of lamb, plan for at least a couple bones per person. Here’s how she does it:


While I realize that I have placed this in the ‘appetizer’ section, we have been known to make an entire meal of these Japanese style potstickers. In fact, we are known to plan entire parties and get-togethers around this simple food. Over time, we have established quite an efficient system for cranking out hundreds of gyozas. We plan a time to get together, divide up the ingredients and show up at our designated gyoza production home. Part of the fun is making them in a group setting. Usually, we’ll have a table dedicated to creating the potstickers with a bowl of the meat mixture in the center, several small bowls of water distributed around the table along with the wonton wrappers. Someone else will be at the stove frying the little critters as they come off of the assembly line. Additionally, through strict scientific examination and clinical trials, we have discovered that sparkling wine pairs exceptionally well with fried gyozas.

We like to dip them in various asian sauces we either create for the gyoza party or simply grab at the store.
The recipe below makes enough gyozas for about 10 hungry adults who make an entire meal of them.

Chipotle hummus

We used to make this one in the restaurant a lot. Easy, spicy, good! Serve with pita chips or other chips.