Between our monthly Girls Nights and the random evenings entertaining all the guy friends coming over to the condo, I have amassed a little stack of go-to appetizer recipes that please a crowd while keeping me out of the kitchen. You may remember the guac bites; they may reign as one of the all-time favorites amongst my family and friends. I also love anything that I can put into a puff pastry cup, like this great Southern Living recipe that fills them with red pepper jelly and goat cheese. Yum!
Since I highly recommend you take advantage of the summer and host more friends in grown-up gatherings at your place, whether by the pool or by the grill, I want to share another easy and tasty appetizer recipe that is sure to wow the crowd. This one is perfect with pita chips (make your own by slicing up pita or flatbread and baking until crisp!), pretzel sticks or tortilla chips. I love the added bite of the hearts of palm; it upgrades your basic spinach dip into something special.
Caveat: this one may not be 100% WW-friendly once you realize you want a lot more than the serving size :)
Recipe amended from Cooking Light, March 2005
WW points per 1/4 cup with 8 pita chips: 3
2c. shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend - the one with Asiago, Parmesan and Mozzarella
1/2c. fat-free sour cream
1 14-oz can hearts of palm, drained and chopped
1 10-oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 8-oz block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 6.5-oz. tub light garlic and cheese spreadable cheese (like Alouette Light)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients, reserving 1/4 c. of shredded cheese. Spoon into a 1 1/2 quart greased baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly.
Note from KJM: I didn't have time to soften the cream cheese, so I cut it into blocks and just stirred it to blend together once it had baked. Then I sprinkled the remaining cheese on top at the end, instead.