Looking for new flavors to bring to your next party? Here are four easy recipes for dips and spreads that all be done ahead of time. Serve with fresh or roasted vegetables, breads, crackers, pitas, or tortilla chips!

OLIVE & TOMATO TAPENADE

Ingredients:

-2 cups Kalamata olives, pitted

-4 Roma tomatoes, medium diced

-1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced

-1 tablespoon capers

-2 small or 1 large garlic clove, chopped

-1 t lemon zest

-1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

-1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients.

Using the pulse button, process until coarsely chopped and well blended. Season to taste before serving.

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BLUE CHEESE MOUSSE WITH WALNUTS

Ingredients:

-1 c Cream cheese, softened

-1 c Blue cheese crumbles

-1 T Tarragon, chopped fine

-¾ c Walnuts, chopped

>Directions:

Blend cream cheese and blue cheese in food processor until creamy. Add water as needed.

Fold in tarragon and walnuts and mix by hand until well incorporated. Serve.

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WHIPPED BEER CHEESE DIP

Ingredients

-2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

-1/3 cup beer (a lager or medium-bodied beer works well)

-2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

-Pinch ground nutmeg

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

Using a food processor, blend all the ingredients together until smooth. That’s it. Serve cold, or you can heat it on the stovetop or microwave, stirring occasionally. Serve with pretzels or toasted baguette. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.

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SUNFLOWER HUMMUS SPREAD

Ingredients:

-2 cups sunflower seeds, toasted

-1/4 cup tahini

-1/4 cup lemon juice

-1 clove garlic, chopped

-1 1/2 tablespoons tamari

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-1 stalk celery, diced

-1/4 c diced onion

-1/2 cup water, or as needed

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into the food processor and blend. Add water as needed.

Season to taste. Refrigerate up to a week.