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Pineapple Salsa

This is the perfect summer salsa thanks to diced fresh pineapple, which is much easier to slice into than I used to think. Red bell pepper and red onion add color, and cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, and lime juice add mouth-watering flavor.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups Total time: 15 minutes

Mom’s Cranberry-Avocado Salsa

Salsa is standard party fare, but this fresh, holiday-themed version with chopped jalapeño, red onion, avocado, cranberries, and cilantro is a delightful surprise. It went quickly when mom took it to a recent holiday get-together.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 20 minutes

Caramelized Onion Dip

Last month we had an amazing vacation in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. After a day of hiking around Jenny Lake, we were ravenous and ended up at Signal Mountain Lodge for a very late lunch. We ordered their fried Brussels sprouts and French onion dip, which was better than any onion dip we’d ever had. Served with homemade potato chips, their dip was a creamy base filled with rich caramelized onions, like this recipe we ran across when we got home.

Yield: 2 cups Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Corn & Black Bean Salsa

Combine freshly shucked sweet corn, black beans, red onion, fresh jalapeños, bell pepper, cumin, and cilantro combine and enjoy with tortilla chips.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings Total time: 45 minutes

Super Smooth Hummus

Using dried chickpeas and baking soda, and cooking the chickpeas until very well done will result in a dreamy smooth hummus. If you’re making this for a party or if your crowd really likes hummus, double the recipe.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups

The Pioneer Woman’s Salsa

I prefer smooth (not chunky) salsa, and think that this recipe from The Pioneer Woman is perfect.

Yield: 12 servings Total time: 15 minutes

Crushed White Bean Spread with White Truffle Oil

The truffle oil means you’ll still be thinking about this otherwise humble bean dip long after you’ve licked the bowl clean. This was the perfect dressy appetizer to take to a birthday party for Jamy.

Yield: 1 cup Total time: 24 hours

Basil Hummus

This flavorful hummus is another delicious way to use an abundance of fresh basil from your garden.

Yield: 2 cups Total time: 20 minutes

Eric & Lee’s Hummus

For years hummus has been the center of dinner parties, knit nights, and cheese and nosh plates for our little group of friends. This version starts with canned chickpeas and is easy enough for an impromptu gathering.

Yield: 2 cups

Jamy’s Layered Goat Cheese Dip

Jamy shared this recipe with me in 2006 and again in 2014, so it must be a keeper, especially for someone who enjoys entertaining as much as she does. Layers of goat cheese and cream cheese alternate with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes for an impressive party dish.

Yield: 20 servings Total time: 24 hours