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2 Perfect Dishes to Serve at a Summer Party

It's the perfect time to host an outdoor get-together, and you can cater your own events in a breeze with some helpful tools.

First off, make sure you have your trusty Crock-Pot® Hook Up® 3-Piece Set. It will streamline your cooking prep, keep your foods hot and tasty throughout the party and it even looks like something a professional caterer would use. When you're hosting a lot of guests, that can mean a lot.

Use at least two portions of the slow cooker set to prepare these items, and a successful party will be a sure thing.

Honey Sriracha Chicken Cheese Dip

A dip with a little sweet and spicy kick - that's something any guest can hop on board with. If you've ever made pulled chicken, you already know 95 percent of the prep for this dish. Here's the breakdown:

  1. Add boneless skinless chicken breast to the slow cooker with chicken broth and a few tablespoons of Sriracha and honey. The proportions can be even, but go a little heavy on the Sriracha if you prefer the spice.
  2. Cook on high covered for around 4 hours and pull the chicken apart with two forks after.
  3. When the chicken is cleanly picked apart in little shreds, add chicken and sour cream to give it a little more consistency. Put the lid back on and set to a low simmer.
  4. Stir and serve when the the cheese is completely melted. 

This recipe is great for creative cooks. Switch the Sriracha with your favorite hot sauce or add a few minced hot peppers, like Serranos or jalapenos. Vary the proportions of cheese, sour cream and chicken to create a smooth dip or something a little more savory. Serve with chips and veggies.

Slow Cooked Vegetarian Pasta Primavera

Whenever you're hosting a crowd, you're going to find someone who's a vegetarian. Watch that person's face light up when you show them this dish made just for him or her. And don't worry, it's a real hit with meat eaters, too.

The only prerequisites for a good pasta Primavera are a nice white sauce, pasta and a whole mess of veggies. For parties, use penne because it's easier to scoop than linguini or angel hair. Try a white pasta sauce to keep it light or use Alfredo for something a little more savory. When it comes to the veggies, you can go to town with whatever you'd like, but here are a few suggestions:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Summer squash
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Chopped bell peppers
  • Zucchini 
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower.

Prep couldn't be any simpler, either. Just combine all the ingredients - sauce, pasta, veggies and all - in the slow cooker, set to low and kick back for seven or so hours while it simmers. Just make sure there's enough sauce to coat all the uncooked pasta and veggies. Serve with a shaker of Parmesan cheese on the side.



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