What’s Cookin’ – Party Dips for Fruit and Veggie Trays

We had a party this past weekend.  We have large family gatherings and other get-togethers several times a year so we have a lot of different recipes and dishes and favorite things to make for them.

Since we were going to be traveling back and forth to the college town where we were attending our daughter’s graduation, we needed to prepare dishes in advance that would be ready to go when we returned.

Two of the things that we prepared were a fresh veggie tray and a fresh fruit tray.  I never even consider ordering the pre-made trays because it is not only cheaper to make your own, but you can customize the amounts and types of fruits and vegetables based on availability and preference.

For 25 to 30 people, you will need about 2 cups of dip and about 2 ounces of fruits or veggies per person (or 3 to 4 pounds total).  Of course, you will need a little more or a little less depending on what else you are preparing and serving.

You will want a variety of fruits and veggies in different colors to make an attractive arrangement.

Here is what I prepared for our party this past weekend.  We had around 25 people.

I have a great and extremely easy fruit dip recipe that I received from my sister-in-law, Jana.

Fruit Dip – two ingredients – cream cheese and marshmallow creme.  What could be easier?

Beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  Add the marshmallow creme and combine well.  Refrigerate until ready to prepare the fruit tray.

Our fresh fruit tray was colorful and seasonal.  It included red and green grapes (which I had also used in our homemade sangria), strawberries, cantaloupe, and blackberries.

How many pre-made trays include blackberries?  They were in season and on sale so they made it onto our tray.  We didn’t end up with fruit that wasn’t perfectly ripe or that people don’t eat.  We did end up with a totally customized fruit tray that was both beautiful and healthy.

All you have to do is to clean your fruit, dry, cut, and package in sealable plastic bags or containers.  It only takes a few minutes to put the tray together right before your guests arrive.

Tip on cleaning berries – Rinse berries under cold water.  Discard any overly ripe or bad berries.  Wash the berries in 1 part white vinegar (½ cup) and 9 parts cold water (4½ cups), rinse under another round of cold water, and pat or allow to dry.  Store in sealable plastic bags or containers in the refrigerator until ready to use.  This will wash off any mold spores and help the berries to last a little longer.

I have been making Beau Monde dip for fresh vegetables for many years.  Beau Monde seasoning is made by Spice Islands and its distinctive flavor is really good with vegetables, meats, and other savory dishes.

Beau Monde Dip ingredients.

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and chill for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld.

Select a variety of colorful vegetables.  Wash, dry, and cut them into bite sized pieces in advance and store in sealable plastic bags or containers.  If using mushrooms, clean them at the last minute.

Okay, I went a little crazy on the vegetable selection, but it turned out colorful and healthy.  I have plenty left over to make a vegetable stir fry for dinner this week and a batch of cauliflower soup as well as some healthy salads just in time to use with the spinach and lettuces that are ready in my garden.

I hope you enjoy these two dips and preparing your own fruit and vegetable trays for the parties in your future!

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