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Vanessa's Party Menus
and Recipes Blog

Vanessa Druckman

Vanessa, also known as Chefdruck, is a foodie, writer and mom living in Chicago with her husband and four children. Whether you're planning a holiday dinner party or small impromptu get together with friends, Vanessa has easy menu ideas and helpful tips to minimize your time in the kitchen so you have more time to spend with your friends and family. Vanessa's personal blog can be found at chefdruck.com

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Appetizers & More

town house crackers
chicken almond canape spread

This Chicken Almond Canape Spread takes only 10 minutes to make.

Summer Party Appetizers in 15 Minutes or Less

When I was a kid, I spent my summers shoeless and with little else than a bathing suit and t-shirt, playing at the beach until sunset. I try to make my children's summers be as carefree and unscheduled as I remember mine. We schedule very little once school is out, and live in the moment, drifting between the pool and the playground. More often than not, friends come over, and we end the day with spontaneous cookouts and parties, easy socializing for the whole family.

I have a roster of quick appetizer recipes that I turn to when friends come over in the summer time. Each recipe comes together beautifully in under 15 minutes, leaving me plenty of time to enjoy being with our friends in the summer twilight.

My favorite dish to throw together is this colorful Avocado and Mango Salsa. It's fresh flavors are what everyone craves on a hot summer night. For a nice contrast in texture and color, I like to serve it with this Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Spread.

If my guests are around near lunchtime, I like to offer up a little protein in my appetizers to help keep everyone going and playing in the sun a little longer. When only ladies are present, I prepare these Chicken Almond Canapes which are elegant. On the weekends, when dads are around, I jazz things up with these Steakhouse Bites. Men are known for their love of steak and I’ve found that they go crazy for these tasty appetizers.

Thanks to these no-stress recipes, our house is a happy playground all summer long, filled with the happy bustle of friends and family.

Avocado and Mango Salsa

Avocado & Mango Salsa

Total Time to Serve: 15 Mins

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Total Time to Serve: 10 Mins

Steakhouse Bites

Steakhouse Bites

Total Time to Serve: 15 Mins

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