Serious Entertaining »

Seasonal menu planning for the perfect dinner party.

Serious Entertaining: I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

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[Photograph: Helen Jane]

It's no secret that crudite are just a vehicle for delivering creamy dips straight to your face.

The same goes for tiny toasts, pita or tortilla chips. They are our workhorses. We love them for carrying all the flavor. But we can't help but love dips more.

Can you tell? It's dip season and I couldn't be happier.

Dips save dishes, time, and effort. We don't need to sit to eat dip, we can stand and drink and talk. We can make dips ahead of time so there's time to relax with a drink before guests arrive. Dips can be stretched even further as you consider their potential as toppings for crostini or bruschetta.

My three go-to dips are surprising with their big flavors, but they're familiar enough that guests know what they're getting into.

Dip Tips

  • Save time by having the bakery department at your grocery store slice long loaves of french bread into slices for you.
  • Let hot dips cool a bit before serving to hungry guests.
  • Serve small plates or cocktail napkins to catch drips.
  • Put hot sauce on the table for those who like to customize their dips.
  • Play this song for a little dipspiration during preparation.

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