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Friends, Appetizers and Four Kinds of Dessert

You really can’t go wrong with four kinds of dessert. Especially when those desserts are things like, well…I’ll tell you in a minute.

It was a beautiful sunny evening as my cooking group friends descended on Don’s kitchen in a whirl of chopping and stirring and slicing and tasting. We had decided on a menu of cold foods and ended up with a delectable array of appetizers and toothsome desserts. With plates piled high, we headed out to the lamplit deck, cramming in as many chairs as we could fit so everyone could contribute to the stories and share in the laughter.

We started with a selection of crackers mounded with Selwyn’s oh-so-creamy Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Dip and  Mango Ginger Habenero Dip.

Mike served up lovely grilled toasts topped with shaved ham, roasted tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil.

Jenny made a massive bowl of fabulous pasta salad, savory with salami, Parmesan cheese, olives, bell peppers and juicy little cherry tomatoes.

Don brought out heavenly smoked salmon and we perched it atop cream cheese spread on crackers.

I made a Ceviche Spring Rolls, tucking in plump pieces of shrimp marinated in lime juice and drizzling with spicy peanut sauce.

Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly eat any more, out came those amazing desserts.

We began with Toby’s Coconut Gelatin with Caramel, so beautifully creamy and delicate.

We followed this with two versions of mini-cheesecakes by Deb and Jon. The first one was a sprightly apricot, followed by…

… a spiced plum. Deeeeelicious!

By the time we got to Darren’s Coconut Pineapple Ice Cream with Rum Sauce we were eating by lamplight and enjoying every last morsel.

What are your favorite cold foods?

This is my contribution to Wanderfood Wednesday.

Selwyn’s Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Dip


1/2 cup Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Grilling Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened


  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally.

Selwyn’s Mango Ginger Habenero Dip


1/2 cup Mango Ginger Habenero Grilling Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened


  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally.

Krista’s Thai Peanut Sauce


1 1/2 cups creamy natural peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
3 gloves garlic, minced


  1. Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Taste. Add more hoisin sauce if not sweet enough.

Krista’s Fresh Ceviche Spring Rolls

1 cup shrimp, soaked overnight in lime juice
8 round spring roll sheets
1/2 cup cooked, shredded chicken
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cups fresh Thai basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 bundles vermicelli noodles, cooked, drained and cooled


  1. Pour lime juice over chicken and stir to coat.
  2. Soak one spring roll sheet in warm water 5-10 seconds. Place on clean counter top.
  3. Down center of sheet place shredded chicken. Top with vermicelli noodles, mint, basil, and cilantro.
  4. Grasp edge of sheet closest to you and fold over mixture, tucking edges under. Fold each end piece over, then continue rolling until spring roll looks like a burrito.

Toby’s Coconut Gelatin with Caramel Sauce

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Chaya - I think, I am moving in with you, just to see scenery and food through your eyes. I will eat too.

What would my husband say if I left?

Sarah, Maison Cupcake - Well it’s midnight here and five hours since I ate and I am STARVING now after reading this!! You are very lucky to have foodie friends to share stuff with, mine (apart from the bloggers!) are dead fussy or vegetarian which makes dinner parties very restrictive.

Joanne - Four desserts? My kind of meal! All of them look good enough to INHALE. And I WANT/NEED that spicy peanut sauce!

Kitchen Butterfly - What a lovely spread. You guys have so much fun! I think my fave cold food fluctuates between baba ghanoush and yogurt/jam/almond combo!

Duchess - Oh boy! I am no great fan of cheesecake… but for apricot-y goodness? I’d make an exception!

Wanderluster - Those cheesecakes look like sunflowers — beautiful!

Rosa - Mmmhhh, a great meal to share with friends! Those dips and that grilled toast look soooo good!



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Mary - You and your friends know how to make the evening merry :-). Everything looks delicious. I hope this day treats you well. Blessings…Mary

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