appetizer

Peach Caprese

Summer grilling season is here and we are rejoicing at being able to to take the Sparkle Kitchen to the patio for the next few months. Citronella candles set the mood and the never-ending symphony of dogs barking at each other or making intense eye contact while panting provides the perfect ambiance while the mosquitoes treat themselves […]

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Caprese Dip with Pesto

This isn’t a recipe that I’m sharing because I’m proud of a fancy ingredient or a revolutionary cooking technique. Nope. I’m sharing the recipe because it is one that I fall back on time and time again when I’m cooking for friends. This dip is a real-life, everyday recipe that takes under five minutes of prep […]

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Mexican Street-Style Corn Salad / Dip

Happy Cinco de Mayo! So perfect that this lovely day for margarita patio-drinking is on a Monday, isn’t it? Since I’m assuming that all Sparkle Kitchen readers are responsible adults with jobs, this year I’m sharing a side dish recipe instead of a more tequila-inspired one.  This is a take on the Mexican street food […]

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Thai Curried Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of those basic dishes that is subject to endless tinkering. I’ve experimented with countless iterations of chicken salad, adding this and swapping that, and I’ve shared several alternative chicken salad recipes on this blog (classic chicken salad with chevre and chicken salad with avocado and lime).  I wanted to try an Asian […]

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Balsamic quinoa with sautéed asparagus and a creamy pesto-marinara sauce

Impromptu nights with friends are so much fun. When you have an hour to get ready and no one is expecting much, it’s always a great time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I’m terrible about putting so much effort into every cocktail party that I often lose sight of the reason that I […]

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Italian Goat Cheese & Zucchini Dip

I was nervous to serve this dip to friends this weekend. I like to try a recipe out a couple of times at home before I’m ready to share it with the world (or just four other people). I provided disclaimer after disclaimer for the spread to my sweet friends. Once this gooey, Italian-inspired veggie […]

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Chorizo, Corn & Onion Queso Fundido

We had plans for Super Bowl Sunday. We were going to go to a party hosted by an awesome cook who told us that his plans included “all the dips.” All. The. Dips. Oh was I excited. But the weather had different plans. It started snowing early on Sunday and kept up all day long. […]

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Cranberry Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Crust

Crab Rangoon is such a delightful little decadence. I love the hot, fresh-from-the-oil crunch of the wonton wrapper and the smooth cream cheese-based filling. I also thought that those same flavor factors would be perfect to serve at a cocktail party to keep people from finding themselves overserved too soon into the evening.  However, I […]

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