Party Panache, Cook Your App Off Party!


Welcome to the “Cook Your App Off!” party!

The guests for this party were given a list of 10 ingredients and asked to choose one or more to use in an appetizer dish. The list was made up of random ingredients, coconut, peanut butter, pretzels, tomatoes, sweet potato, artichoke, bread, beer, spinach and pear.  What would you choose to base your dish on?

I must admit, some of the dishes were a little sketchy on their use of a featured ingredient, but everyone put forth such a stellar effort!  The part I really loved was how many couples created their dish together and everyone was so proud.  This makes for an instantly successful party because the conversion is effortless and all the guests are participating and involved in the whole process.

Tonight we will be tasting and enjoying all these wonderful creations and voting for our favorites.  Who will be this year’s “Best Chef?”

cook your app off wreath 1

Come on in, appetizers go in the kitchen, and there are beverages and ice outside on the deck


Please write the title of your dish on one of these cards


Put your dish on the table with a name tag

appetizer table

Everybody is gathering on the deck, it’s right through here





beverage server thepaintedapron,com


It’s not even hot tonight, 80 and low humidity, this is UNUSUAL for Birmingham Alabama.  DD & NG also have the greatest breeze on their deck, we are always asking them how much it costs to air condition their backyard!



The table looks empty now, but it will soon be laden with creative delights and culinary morsels

app party centerpiece

The centerpiece is a mock up of the original one that was photographed for the invitation, and the shell holds all the featured ingredients.


DD loves hydrangeas, they are her signature flower~

flower arrangement

One bloom in a ceramic pot with a single gladiola looked stunning in the master bathroom

party favors

Party favors sit waiting to go home with departing guests

sand dollar dessert

and a sweet treat is ready for the final bite

shell place runner

The kitchen table was covered with burlap ruffled place runners

party table 1

A tin holding plastic plates, forks and napkins is ready for the hungry tasters

app party 1

The 4 ingredient Prosciutto Rolls, on the far left in the above photo, were made with pear, spinach, cheese and bread crumbs in a beer based orange sauce! It was quite a bite!  I wish everyone could have won!


Sundried Tomato Pesto Rounds with Goat Cheese and Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Garden Cherry Tomatoes were so pretty and very inviting…

sweet potato stacks

How about these gorgeous Sweet Potato Stacks?

lamb sliders

Tiny Kingdom Sliders were made with ground lamb with a mint pepper jelly sauce, garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs.  Yum!  They looked great plated on a large carving board.  “Tiny Kingdom” is the local nickname for DD’s neighborhood.  This dish was made by her brother, HHjr, who like all brothers,  likes to tease his sister.

artichoke dip

This Cheesy Artichoke Dip was gobbled up before I got a proper photo so I had to source this one…I wish I had photographed the cute red tomato dish the crackers were in! Good job VM!


The Haves and the Have Nots is a term used on a popular television show, it was explained…I’m not familiar with the show but those in the know thought the title was hilarious! I thought it was cute anyway since the dish was two versions of a filled wonton cup.  They were both tasty little bites, one with a spinach and cheese filling and the other full of  warm & spicy cheese and tomatoes.


The guests voted for their favorite dishes in 4 different categories by placing the appropriate token in the labeled plastic cup by the dish.

pear pizza poppers

Grilled “Pear Pizza Poppers” won this Most Original award.  This cute, non-cooking couple put their heads together and came up with a winning dish of grilled flatbread topped with fresh mozzarella and pear.  The grilled bread added a great smokey flavor!


“Hugh’s Soon to Be Famous Guacamole” proved to be appropriately named

Hugh's guacamole

when it won the most votes for Best Presentation! The simple basket lined with lantana and fresh cilantro was knock-out!


The same couple won this category last year with their Gold Medal Olympic Pepper Poppers!  This year’s entry was “Tenderloin Poppers”

tenderloin pepper rolls

These tenderloin mini sandwiches gave an unexpected burst of flavor with the sweet pepper jelly filling inside.  This is the couple to beat next year, I wonder if they will go for a third version of poppers!


Whoops, not really meant to insult anyone, it is all in good fun, and I personally loved this one!  It was full of a warm cheesy artichoke mixture.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 5.33.24 PM

The Captain Obvious Winner was  “Artichokes in a Blanket. “   It might have been simple, but everyone thought it was delicious!  In fact, I had to source the photo for this one too because they were gone before I got a picture.


The grand winner, “Best Chef 2013,” is a sweet darling girl who just happens to be the mother of twin 1 year olds, and a busy 4 year old, all boys! And she wins the grand prize! Now, that’s impressive!

artichoke mystery bites

Her winning recipe was Artichoke Mystery Bites!  These were small balls of satisfying flavor.  Stop back by tomorrow and I will share this and some of the other great recipes with you.  Later this week I will post a tutorial about the table runners and party favors we made,  and show you how to wow your guests with the eye popping Sand Dollar Dessert!

Thanks for coming to the party today!  What is your favorite kind of party, DD & I would love to know, we are always looking for new ideas~


for more information about this party concept and the how to on the wreath click here

turquoise square plastic plates and zebra napkins from Party City

turquoise key print fabric, burlap ribbon and shells from Hobby Lobby

turquoise divided serving tin from Target

painted appetizer and flip flop platter are from JMdesigns, was there some judge influencing going on?

hydrangeas from Whole Foods because mine have sadly NOT BLOOMED YET!


I’m joining these parties:

A Stroll Thru Life

Clean & Sensible

Savvy Southern Style

Worthing Court

Cuisine Kathleen

Between Naps on the Porch

The Tablescaper

It’s Overflowing


6 Responses to “Party Panache, Cook Your App Off Party!”
  1. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life says:

    Wow, this is unreal. I wish I had been there, so many fabulous treats and everything is served and displayed so beautifully. Wonderful. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty


  2. All I know….is I wish we were neighbors♥ I sure wish I could enjoy all these fab parties you throw. My favorite food party that I enjoyed myself at was years ago at a progressive dinner party.


  3. rachel says:

    What a great idea! I love entertaining too. And I see that you don’t live too far from me. 🙂 Gorgeous flowers btw.


  4. Judy says:

    Wow, oh wow, the table is beautiful. Each and every treat looks perfect for tasting. Sure wish I was at the party. I would have chosen tomatoes for my base.


  5. What a fun idea! Might just have to steal it for our next neighborhood gathering. I’m visiting from the It’s Overflowing link party.

    Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life


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