Cheesesticks :: 4 Quick and Easy Recipes for Dinner With Friends
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4 Quick and Easy Recipes for Dinner With Friends

The thought of hosting a dinner party with friends seems like a good one at first. However, if you’re not super confident in the kitchen, and the thought of cooking for a group of people makes you nervous, you may feel the desire to revoke the invitations you already sent out. Don’t do it! Cooking for a group can be easy if you find the right recipe. Your friends won’t have any idea how easy it was with how good these four recipes will taste.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Appetizer

This recipe is courtesy of the Food Network. The hardest part of this recipe is measuring the ingredients, so you shouldn’t have any issues with throwing it together. The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
  • 1 ½ cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Boil the thawed spinach and artichoke hearts in one cup of water until they are tender, and then drain. Heat the cream cheese in the microwave for approximately one minute, or until it is hot and soft. Stir all of the ingredients together and serve hot. Melting Parmesan Cheesesticks would taste wonderful with this hot dip.

Southwest Salad

Salads are great as a precursor to the main meal, but if they are hearty enough, they can pass as an entree as well. Another bonus is how easy they are to make. They just require a little bit of chopping, and that’s about it! This Southwest salad can be beefed up, literally, by adding some cooked ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup canned sweet corn, drained
  • ½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup Smoked Jalapeno CheeseCrisps

To assemble the salad, put the chopped Romaine in a large bowl and top with the corn, beans, tomato, and cilantro. Pour in a salad dressing of your choice and toss to combine. Stir in the avocado, and garnish with the cheddar cheese and CheeseCrisps.

Golden Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Casseroles are excellent easy dishes because you can just mix everything together, throw it in the oven, set a timer, and forget about it. While macaroni and cheese may seem like a kid dish, this version from MyRecipes is so good your friends won’t even care. You can kick this dish up a notch by adding in diced ham or sprinkling it with crumbled bacon. The ingredients are:

  • 8 oz. package elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 20 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup butter, melted

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions and drain. Put the milk, flour, and onion salt together in a quart jar. Cover tightly with a lid and shake well for about a minute. Stir together the flour mixture, cooked macaroni, and 3 ½ cups of the cheese. Pour the macaroni mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs and remaining cup of cheese. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake the dish at 350* for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Easy No-Churn Ice Cream

Telling your friends you made them homemade ice cream is sure to impress them, but you don’t need to share that you only used two ingredients, or that it was nearly the easiest thing you’ve done in your life. Instead of a spoon, try using Dutch Chocolate SweetSticks, and you’ll be in dessert heaven. For the ice cream, you’ll need:

  • 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, mint extract, or almond extract (optional)

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl and mix in any flavoring you’re using. In a mixing bowl, pour the heavy cream and mix with a hand mixer until it holds stiff peaks, about three minutes. Gently stir a dollop of the whipped cream into the condensed milk. Doing so makes it easier to fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Gently fold the rest of the whipped cream into the condensed milk and stop when you see just a few small lumps. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer container and freeze for at least six hours and serve within two weeks.

These quick and easy recipes should make hosting dinner parties a breeze, and they are delicious enough that you won’t lose any friends in the process. Thanks for reading our blog. If you would like to try some of our gourmet cheese snacks, please click here.