Individual Mediterranean Dips & A Summer Party!

Individual Mediterranean Dips | cookiemonstercooking.comThis is a sponsored post in partnership with Pacific Foods. As always, all opinions and content are my own.

It’s party time! And what a party this was. Remember when I told you about how our air conditioning broke right before we had friends over? Yup, that was this day. But see, no one looks too sweaty or anything! It was alllll good (well, other than me just complaining about the heat).

I really did learn to roll with the punches for this summer party. We were planning on having the whole thing outside, setting up some cornhole, you know. Outdoor fun. And then it decided to rain all. day. long. For several days straight. Inside it was!

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Keep It Casual and Simple

As much as I love elaborate dinners and the like, when it comes to summer entertaining I want simple. Plain and simple. I’m funny, huh?

I picked as many things as possible that could be made ahead of time or required little prep work. A few easy appetizers and a build-your-own sandwich bar. So fun, right? Think mostly picnic-y foods. You’re going to want to eat it all – so good!

Summer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.com

Easy Appetizers

All the prep work for these dishes could be done a day or a few hours in advance. All I had to do was heat up the cheesy delicious dip and party!

Individual mediterranean dips (recipe at the bottom of this post!) served with plenty of pita chips. Sort of along the lines of a mexican seven layer dip but with mediterranean flavors instead! Including yummy Pacific Foods’ hummus and greek salad-esq veggies and feta!

Pacific Foods’ salsa con queso dip with bread cubes and sliced apples. Cheesy goodness combined with a little sweetness from the apples to get that sweet and savory thing going on. A must. The bread doesn’t hurt either. This platter was completely demolished in no time.

Individual Mediterranean Dips | cookiemonstercooking.comSummer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.com

Build-Your-Own Sandwich Bar

Below is what I served, but this is something you could easily switch up to your own preferences. I tried to pick a variety of options with plenty of combinations – you could go mexican with some tortillas, refried beans and salsa. Or classic, with some chicken and cheese. Or mediterranean with hummus, roasted veggies and mustard! Or you could really go crazy and be adventurous and make the sandwich your own.

Breads:

marbled rye
multigrain
flour tortillas

Proteins:

hummus, such as Pacific Foods’ organic hummus
refried beans, such as Pacific Foods’ organic refried black beans
sliced roasted chicken

Toppings:

roasted summer veggies (eggplant, squash, onion)
mango salsa
alfalfa sprouts
thinly sliced red onion
cheese slices

Condiments:

honey mustard
pepper jelly
plain greek yogurt

Side Dish:

strawberry quinoa balsamic salad

Build-Your-Own Sandwich Bar | cookiemonstercooking.com

Relax and Enjoy

I set up a few printed signs that clearly labeled all the food, put out a disposable tablecloth and everything was good to go. None of the food was anything that had to be attended to during the party, so I could just sit back and relax.

Emma also had a grand ol’ time.

1. Calming observing all the food set up on the table.
2. The agitated “why are you not giving me any of this” look.
3. Please? Don’t you see how cute I am!?

Summer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.comSummer Entertaining | cookiemonstercooking.com

Parting Words of Wisdom?

My advice for summer parties – keep everything as simple and easy as possible.

That way you can enjoy the company. Even if that means sitting inside on a rainy day in a super warm house. It will still be plenty of fun, I promise.

Individual Mediterranean Dips
 
Yield: about 9 individual cups
Ingredients
  • 2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 2 small green peppers, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 9 (9 ounce) plastic cups
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages Pacific Foods’ roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pita chips, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, add the cucumber, pepper, tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, vinegar, salt, oregano and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
  2. To assemble, in each plastic cup, spoon in some of the hummus and smooth into an even layer. Using a slotted spoon to remove any excess moisture, spoon some of the veggie mixture on top of the hummus. Top with a sprinkle of the feta. Repeat this process to fill the cup. Sprinkle the top with a touch of lemon zest.
  3. Place one pita chip in the cup for garnish if desired. Serve with additional chips.
Notes
You can make the veggie mixture ahead of time. Then all you have to do is assemble!

Olives would also be a great addition - I’m just not a fan!

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

Looking for more party ideas? You can check out the Pacific Foods Pinterest board all about foodie parties!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Pacific Foods. As always, all opinions and content are my own. Thank you for reading and letting me share companies that I love. These partnerships help support this blog and allow me to continue to create new recipes and content to share with you!

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Individual dips are such a great idea, Ashley! No double dipping 😉 I do love pacific foods stuff -mainly because it’s one of the few packaged food brands that doesn’t have the long list of ingredients that I try to watch out for. I’ve never seen their hummus! So cool. That’d be great for travel actually. A sandwich bar is perfect for a party -everyone can make whatever they love/feel like! I may consult this post for a future gathering. Must pin! Must make! Must eat!

  2. says

    Great post and I really love all of your tips. Pre-planning and pre-preparing is so much better than running around like a crazy person trying to get things done before guests arrive. I love those individual dip cups and your doggie is too cute.

  3. says

    I love Emma!! She is so adorable! I don’t think I could help but give her piles and piles of food! I always get these grand party ideas, but I never seem to go through with them. In the end it just seems like so much work, but I love parties and your photos are making me want to throw one! I love all your options! I will have to keep them in mind for next time :)

  4. says

    What a great post, Ashley! Great ideas for a summer party!
    It looks like you had a fun party! It’s so nice to be able to relax at your own party! Normally we have to take care of so many thing that you don’t have time to enjoy.
    Emma is so so so cute 😉

  5. says

    It looks like such a fun party! You did a great job with all the details and these little cups are adorable! Love how simple and easy they were and so glad they helped cut down on some of the prep work so you could have more time to enjoy :) Love the sandwich bar idea too!

  6. says

    You make it look easy, Ashley. Broken A/C, then rain…you certainly can roll with the punches! : ) Your party looks really lovely and well-organized. I particularly love that sandwich bar and the individual dips is such an excellent idea!

    • Ashley says

      haha my husband would tell you that I *may* have gotten a little antsy when everything had to be pulled inside… :)

  7. says

    I love Pacific Foods products and I think you did a fabulous job putting together easy snacks for the party! Everything looks so tasty and perfect for a super warm indoor party, haha.
    I’m sure Emma got to try a few things too, huh? I can see how it’s hard to say no to that face. She’s so precious.

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Sarah! I have a feeling Emma got slipped a few things … people find it hard to resist the begging pose she does! lol

  8. says

    Emma is so adorable! It looks like you had such a fun party, it’s so nice to be able to relax when you have company over and not be running around, taking things out of ovens, etc. I love the labels, too!

  9. says

    I love how you can make the food a day ahead of time and it’s still perfect and fresh, for me, that’s essential for any entertaining! Because then I can do the prep work after the kiddos have gone to bed but still serve up something really nice like you did!! I love your individual med dips, so grab and go. No worries about having a spoon or the food getting manhandled (I am such a weirdo about summer parties and how food gets handles, I won’t even take my own leftovers home for fear they’ve been too overhanded, I know, weird!) But these cups seem so sanitary to me, you could even do fruit this way. And your sandwich bar? How cute is that. You got your bread, proteins and awesome topping….might have to add the olives though, hehe. Have a great week =)

    • Ashley says

      Thanks so much Laura! haha no I totally get it – I get weird about that stuff too. The little cups prevent so much of that!!

  10. says

    I love the dip cups! That’s such a great idea. My friend’s mom did something similar with 7-layer dip for her bridal shower and it was actually a little mini party in itself with the bridesmaids assembling 60 of them, ha. This looks like a great way to keep yourself free while still feeding everyone — I’m a big fan of the sandwich bar!

  11. Donna S. says

    I just love Emma! she is so cute – If there is one thing about a Beagle, they sure do love to eat! and that food looks good

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Donna! Oh my gosh I know. She is soooo food focused! Which is good for when we need to train her but all she does is beg! haha

  12. says

    Simple parties are the best parties, because then you — the hostess — have more time to party! :) I love these fresh little Mediterranean dips, and I love Pacific Foods products! Happy Monday, Ashley!

  13. Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe says

    I love easy and simple parties like this one. I would have loved to be there, too! But, to be honest, my favorite part of the post are the pictures of Emma, I mean…how adorable is she?! My little Maya acts exactly the same when there’s food around and she isn’t allowed to eat anything. And it’s so hard to resist those big eyes!

    xo, Elisa

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