October 21 – Part 1: Hostess Gifts and Appetizers

As the More is More Mom, I am all about….more hostess gifts and appetizers! I live for manufacturing opportunities to celebrate life with our family and friends. While I love to play hostess, sometimes it’s nice to be a guest too. As someone who entertains frequently, I truly appreciate the amount of thoughtfulness, time, effort and expense that my host incurs when throwing a fabulous soiree. That is why it is important to be a good guest!

This past weekend, Chuck and I were invited to our friends for cocktails and appetizers. Yay! Snicky-snacks and Splishy-splashes….. I insisted on bringing an appetizer that I’ve been dying to try (so many recipes, so little time). The one thing I personally HATE as a hostess is for a guest to bring a dish to share that needs to be prepared upon their arrival. How irritating is that? Like your hostess isn’t up to her eyeballs in work, and then someone shows up with more work. Just awful! No, the only way for that to ever be acceptable is for the item to arrive prepared (other than a quick trip through the microwave) and with its own serving dishes. The hostess should never be bothered with inane questions like, “Do you have a platter? A bowl? A Crock-pot (I was actually asked that once)?” Even if you do bring along your own serving pieces, there is the matter of washing it up and bringing it home at the end of the night. What a total hassle.

The solution, however, is quite simple… purchase a lovely serving piece for the dish that you have prepared, and leave that new serving piece as your hostess gift.


There are so many possibilities to suit every price range. I like to consider several factors when searching for that perfect gift; the personal style of the hosts, the theme of the event and the season. Since I was making a dip that I would be serving with crackers, I knew I wanted either a small bowl and platter or two bowls. I searched my favorite spots first; HomeGoods and Target, but I didn’t find quite what I had in mind. I then zipped over to Kohl’s and found the perfect set of autumnal, nesting, leaf bowls. What I loved about them is that they are practical and pretty and made a lovely gift.

While a thoughtful and beautiful presentation is always high on my list, if I’m bringing some nibbles, they have to be tasty too. You have to try this dip.

Caramelized Onion with Smoked Salmon Dip:

You’ll want to make this a day in advance so the flavors have a chance to mingle to mouth watering perfection.

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, melt;

2-3 Tbsp of butter


2 cups of chopped onion

Cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring frequently

Add the cover and cook for another 5-8 minutes

Uncover and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until they are golden and soft

In a mixing bowl, beat;

1, 8 oz package of whipped cream cheese


1/3 cup of mayonnaise

1/3 cup of sour cream

2 Tbsp lemon juice (I think bottled is just fine)

1 ½ Tbsp capers, drained

1 Tbsp fresh, chopped dill

Beat until nice and creamy



Caramelized onions

4 oz of smoked salmon, coarsely chopped

1-2 tsp cracked black pepper (for a little kick!)

Stir until well blended

Cover and chill in the refrigerator over night


This dip is equally delicious on toasted crostini or even crackers. I preferred a hearty cracker, like a Triscuit, but that is entirely up to you.

When I got to my friends house, I gave her the nesting bowls and a hand written note thanking her and her husband for their generous hospitality. I then unwrapped the bowl, dished out the dip and crackers and added it to her autumnal buffet.

More delicious appetizers, more gracious hosts,, more evenings with friends…..


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Filed under Entertaining, Hostess Gifts, More is More Mom, Recipes

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