ARTICLE / RECIPE ROUNDUP

Party in a Blender Jar

A party in a blender! What an amazing idea — but can it be done? Sponsored by the new KitchenAid® K400 Blender.

Sponsored by KitchenAid and the new KitchenAid® K400 blender.

I always look forward to the parties my friend Dylan Landis throws. She’s an author who knows some fascinating people, and there’s always an amazing spread of food and drinks. But she doesn’t entertain as much as she’d like.

“It’s a daunting amount of work,” she said. A few weeks ago, we were talking about a party she gave last year. She recalled painstakingly creating platters of hors d’oeuvres while she watched her husband toss a few ingredients into a blender and whip up a gazpacho that was the hit of the evening.

“If only I could toss things in a blender and have a fabulous dinner when it was done, it would be life changing,” she said.

A party in a blender! What an amazing idea — but can it be done?

Oh, yes. And here’s how to do it.

Spiked Strawberry Slushies for A Crowd

Slushies aren’t just for summer anymore, especially when you kick things up a notch with this sophisticated cocktail. It’s made with vodka, frozen strawberries, orange juice, and agave — plus pomegranate juice to give the drink its grown-up tang and brilliant red color. All you have to do is blend the ingredients at high speed for about 30 seconds. Taste it before pouring to see if needs just a bit more vodka, then serve immediately. It’s an icy ice-breaker that’s sure to get the party rolling.

Spiked Strawberry Slushies for a Crowd

Mini Cheesy Spinach Puffs

Puffs are the perfect party treat — food to eat with one hand while you sip a cocktail with the other. And these cheesy spinach puffs are incredibly simple to make. Just whirl fresh baby spinach, cream cheese, Parmesan, eggs, and garlic in your blender. Pour the batter into a mini muffin pan and bake. That’s it. Then set out a platter and watch these tasty hors d’oeuvres disappear in a flash.

Mini Cheesy Spinach Puffs

Mexican Dips 4 Ways

Crackers and dip — my favorite food group. And the more varieties I can sample, the better. Here are four great dip recipes all in one place. They whip up quickly in a blender, but if you only have time for three I’d choose the guacamole, black bean, and Mexican corn dips. A recipe for chips is also provided, but for this quick-and-easy party, buying a bag of chips (or three) might be just the thing, instead.

Mexican Dips 4 Ways

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

Whether you do your grilling indoors or out, this main course is absolute perfection. And it’s a snap to make. Everything but the chicken — olive oil, green onions, lime juice, herbs, and spices — goes right into the blender for your marinade. Prepare it the morning of the party and let the chicken soak up those amazing flavors for 6 to 8 hours. Then grill, slice, and serve garnished with cilantro. The bright green contrasts beautifully with the crisp, golden-brown skin for a lovely presentation.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

Classic Caesar Salad with Asiago Caesar Dressing

Perhaps the most classic of all salads, the Caesar has been around since Caesar Cardini first created it back in the 1920s. Before we became wary of raw eggs, waiters used to bring the bowl to the table and whip up the dressing, including a raw egg yolk, table-side. But this recipe (sans egg) is more suited to today’s tastes. The magic is in the blender-made dressing which, as in Caesar’s original, has no anchovies. But if, like his brother Alessandro, you prefer them, try this anchovy dressing from Martha Stewart and toss anchovy pieces into the salad, too, if you like.

Classic Caesar Salad with Asiago Caesar Dressing

Lightly Lemony Blender Cheesecake

As a New Yorker, I used to be a purist about my hometown’s no-crust style, but I’ve come to love a good graham cracker crust, like the one in this fantastic recipe. Both the crust and batter are prepared in a blender, and to achieve the best result you will need a high-powered one, like the new KitchenAid K400 blender. After you bake the cheesecake, let it chill for at least eight hours. Then, just before serving, top it with sliced strawberries, raspberry sauce, lemon curd, or chopped roasted pistachios — they’re all amazing. But true to my roots, I still like mine plain.

Lightly Lemony Blender Cheesecake.00 00 00 00.Still002

No-Cook Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream

I bought my first ice cream maker this summer, and finding great recipes became an obsession. This one is just about perfect. With only six wholesome ingredients including half-and-half, cream, and sour cream, you’ve got a great creamy base into which you can add your favorite crisp cookie: ginger snaps, chocolate chip, or the superstar of cookies, Oreos. All you have to do is crumble the cookies in a blender, set them aside, and blend the base, which takes only a minute. Then you’re ready to churn, adding the cookie crumbles when the ice cream begins to thicken. The hardest part? Not nibbling all the cookies before it’s time to use them.

No-Cook Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream