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May 26, 2013 05:01 AM

Ickky Party Dishes

What appetizer dish do you see at parties and think, "Ewe, ickky--not for me!"

I'm tired of seeing Layered Mexican Dip. When it's first presented, it looks so yummy, but after a few people (especially those slobs who don't use a spoon), glob it up all over the dish, or even worse, double-dip, or let their chips break off and just leave them in the dip, I just can't bring myself to eat it.

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  1. I'm with you on the 7 layer dip. Never appealing. Bean dips in general never look good.

    1 Reply
    1. Anything that includes a packet of dried onion dip mix.

      14 Replies
      1. re: treb

        I adore plain old potato chips and onion dip made from Lipton's Onion Soup mix. I'll take that over fancy frou-frou canapes any day.

        1. re: Njchicaa

          Ditto here. In fact, at my friend's house yesterday she had a gorgeous spread of all kinda of appetizers... fancy cheeses, cured meats, crackers, crudite, hummus, and.... ruffles and onion soup dip... guess which disappeared first?

          1. re: juliejulez

            Same thing happened last month at our house: a gathering of law students had never before encountered the onion soup dip, and inhaled it. I had to make a second batch. Go figure.

              1. re: pikawicca

                Onion soup dip is crack and hence only served at the occasional family gathering.

                ETA: "Delicious" crack, that is.

                1. re: juliejulez

                  Ruffles? No, no, no...Jays! (of course, I'd eat the Ruffles if the Jays weren't available)

                2. re: Njchicaa

                  My kid has been mixing cheap ramen seasoning packets with sour cream for dip at parties. Says it gets practically inhaled.

                  1. re: sandylc

                    wonder why? could it be because its almost entirely salt? I have to say love that stuff ;:-/

                    1. re: sandylc

                      thanks for the idea. My kids eat ramen, but leave out the seasoning packets. I was wondering what to do with them.

                    2. re: Njchicaa

                      I love that dip too. I make it 2-3 times a year, buy bags of low salt Wise potato chips and dig in.

                      1. re: Njchicaa

                        Just made that on Memorial Day. We hadn't had it in years and I was craving it, or maybe just the salt and fat, but it was yummy.

                      2. re: treb

                        wow...onion dip made from the dried packet is one of my all-time favorites, but it _does_ need to be made a day (or preferably two days) in advance to give the onions and the dry components ample time to rehydrate.

                        I will agree that if made the same day, it's not so great.

                        I also prefer a slightly higher ratio of sourcream in the mix than typically recommended. Some of those soup/dip mixws can be mighty salty.

                        1. This is not considered an appetizer, but I go crazy when my relatives in northern Minnesota have high school graduation parties for their kids and friends. They always serve Snicker salad, a concoction with cut-up Snicker bars, Granny Smith apples, walnuts and Cool Whip. I guess it's what the kids like, but I still go crazy.

                          79 Replies
                          1. re: shoo bee doo

                            the name alone is such an awesome oxymoron!

                            1. re: shoo bee doo

                              That sounds strangely awesome and disgusting all at once.....

                              1. re: shoo bee doo

                                Egads that sounds like something a bunch of 10 year olds made up during a slumber party..

                                My Party pet peves
                                potato skins
                                veleteta cheese dip
                                anytime some one opens a bag of chips and doesnt bother to put them in a bowl and leaves the dip in a store bought jar

                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                  That sends me crazy. Is it that hard to put something in a bowl?

                                  1. re: girloftheworld

                                    If I never see a potato skin, I'll be fine with that.

                                    1. re: pinehurst

                                      Those still making an appearance? Potato skins were ubiquitous in mid 1990s. Good f'n riddance.

                                      1. re: globocity

                                        mid 80's. TGI Friday's back before they became a chain.

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          TGI Friday's has been a chain since 1971.

                                          1. re: JMF

                                            Awww, I had to look it up. I only knew of one on Newbury St. in Boston and assumed that was the first. I always assumed that was the first and the one in Faneuil Hall was the second. I wonder if I've been wrong all along about Legal Seafood and Boston Chicken/Market, too. I thought I knew the originals.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              The original was in NYC and the first "Singles" bar that started the singles scene in the 70's.

                                              1. re: JMF

                                                I knew it as a singles bar first, then potato skins second. I'm feeling a little like that Seinfeld skit when he said his mom thought the McDonald's she went to was the only one. "Ma, you thought that McDonald's sold half a billion hamburgers???"

                                                1. re: JMF

                                                  That's right, singles were brand-new as of the 1970s.

                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                    Actually "singles" bars were a new thing. Many bars didn't allow women, and definitely not single women. A bar would have an attached lounge where women/couples would go. Heck, McSorley's didn't allow women in until 1970. So the concept of a "singles" bar, where women and men could go to meet, was very different concept for bars and started in the 1960's.



                                                    1. re: JMF

                                                      Yes, I see your point ... so pleased I'm too young to have experienced being unwelcome anywhere by myself. Well, there's the occasional snotty hostess at a restaurant, but I've certainly never had anyone look at me with the suspicion I might be a call girl ... it's good to be alive at this particular point in time.

                                              2. re: JMF

                                                and began in 1965, by the same guy who later started smith & wollensky.

                                            2. re: globocity

                                              Good. More for my wife and me. We enjoy them, now and again.

                                              1. re: globocity

                                                When well-made, they're delicious - just like many other foods.

                                                I think they date back a bit more - they were a pretty big deal in the mid-seventies through early eighties.

                                              2. re: pinehurst

                                                Potato skins always sounded a lot better than they usually turned out.

                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                  True. I've had some very good ones, but more often than not, they're overdone and awful.

                                              3. re: girloftheworld

                                                but . . . . but . . . . .but potato skins are the food of gods and emperors

                                                1. re: Sparkina


                                                  At least since I've been a wee child and we grew our own potatoes. After they were baked and the insides eaten, we would glom the crispy skins brushed with butter and broiled.

                                                  That was in the late 60's, and we didn't think of sour cream on potatoes - we were not fashionable.

                                                2. re: girloftheworld

                                                  Velveeta is always the first thing to go no matter how sophisticated the palate.

                                                  1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                    My first thought was "eeww" but it's chocolate, caramel, apples and nuts Not a bad combination. And, it's granny smith so there is some tartness to it.

                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                      Yabbut, then there's the Cool Whip. Yum. Not.

                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                        it could be worse....I was sitting here thinking... what coulld you use? I thought a cream cheese mascorpne might work. with some powderd sugar an a touch of rum... and then my sister said "WHAT ABOUT MARSHMELLOW FLUFF" i told her she was going the wrong the way

                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                          Yeah, I was trying to ignore that part.;-)

                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                            I was raised on Cool Whip. No matter how hard I try, mom's pumpkin pie and no bake cheesecake don't taste the same without them.

                                                          2. re: chowser

                                                            chowser. Only if it a bad (typical) Granny Smith. Not tart, but coarse and green tasting. Granny Smith is a sweet apple. But who can tell on the supermarket table? And everybody in the whole supply chain is so much happier if it is picked early. Real early.

                                                            1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                              I've always considered the Granny Smith to be somewhat tart. I think the Pink Lady would be considered a sweet supermarket apple.

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                Sorry, but that's only because you haven't had a good one.
                                                                Pink Lady is a hussy if not a tart. Curiously good for an apple in Israel of all places, where it is not cold enough for almost all apples.

                                                                You can tell whether a Granny Smith is ripe, but only if you have seen ripe ones before , and I bet no one has. The apple has a glossy waxy shine , a lighter shade of green and yellowish shoulders . A bushel of ripe ones looks very different from what gets sold.
                                                                Why not delay picking and sell ripe ones? That will only make trouble.

                                                                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                  I also would consider the granny smith a relatively tart apple. Surprised, actually, to read someone who thinks otherwise.

                                                                  Pink Lady in Israel? You mean growing there, I guess. It is not of Israeli origin.

                                                                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                    I am lucky enough to be in Minnesota where we get local Honeycrisp apples as they were meant to be grown. I looked it up, and the Pink Lady is described as tart and crisp. Apparently, the Pink Lady apple tree likes a warm climate (unlike the Honeycrisp.)

                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                      You are so right!
                                                                      Honeycrisp is the rage here in Toronto -$3 a lb- but they are nothing here. Grown in a temperate climate. Just rough, not integrated (what is the wine word?), no depth or top notes of flavour. But they do have a sweet character which I think misleads consumers. Similarly. MD20/20 is a great wine if you like the alcohol content.
                                                                      Honeycrisp was developed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
                                                                      Pink Lady was developed in Western Australia. It is a real hot weather long, long growing season apple - 200 days - very early flowering -dream on Minnesota. Developed in Western Australia.
                                                                      In Israel the weather is great for drying laundry and growing Pink Lady. It's all in the terroir!
                                                                      Local Honeycrisp is to be relished when you live in Minnesota, or South Dakota as I did, the same way that homemade wine is to be relished in a strict Muslim country. (But see Chateau Musar, in the Bekka Valley (Lebanon), which is the stronghold of Hezbollah which scarcely is easy going.) The appreciation outweighs the criticism. Particularly when the alternative is Pommela Lee apples from Washington that make one gag. I think that I have seen Washington Honeycrisp in Toronto
                                                                      Granny Smith is excellent in Israel if it is left to ripen on the tree. But hey,the apple is always green, so we can get away with it. Pink Lady is crisp like a late season apple but greenish tasting like an early season apple and in an early apple one is more accepting. Not tart. (I think people say tart when the mean green and coarse). The flavour profile may not get you very far if found in a wine , but for an apple in Israel it is great.

                                                                      What may be the best in the world in Israel are local bananas. Unfortunately, wine grapes are grown in the next fields.

                                                                      What was a really good local apple for me in South Dakota was Haralson. It would have been good anywhere in any comparison. Do you see it much in stores?

                                                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                        I never thought of Israel and bananas! Learn something new every thread on chowhound!

                                                                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                          Haralsons are all over the stores in autumn in Minnesota. It is one of my favorite apples.

                                                                          I was unaware that bananas are grown in Israel. Are they grown in green houses? I would think Israel would be too dry for bananas.

                                                                          Honeycrisp were actually a product of the University of Minnesota. They also have a newer apple called Zestar!

                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                            Haralsons are also created by the University of Minnesota. They are my favorite apple here in the Twin Cities.

                                                                            1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                              I just looked it up. The Haralson came out in 1922. I remember some other varieties from my youth such as the Fireside, also developed years ago at the U.

                                                                            2. re: John E.

                                                                              Much of Israel is too dry for much of anything other than drying laundry. Israeli agriculture depends on irrigation and every kind of water is used. Desalinated (partially brackish water makes produce sweeter!), artesian, recycled (grey water), Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). However for some time now Israel has not obtained water by smiting a rock with a staff.
                                                                              Israel invented modern drip irrigation, which is water and fertilizer efficient, by inventing the emitter on the hose; it is a world leader in its development and use.

                                                                              I have seen bananas grown extensively along the Mediterranean coast from about Caesarea to the Lebanese border. One stretch is a drained swamp, which had been Israel's second largest swamp after the Hula swamp. It is there that I see in fields next to each other, lying like the lamb with the lion, bananas, wine grapes, dragon fruit, avocados, stone fruit and then fish ponds. To say nothing of vegetables. And Roman ruins, including aqueducts. It sure is different from when I was living in South Dakota.

                                                                              Not everything grows with the same success though; when they lie together in this part of the world it is better to be the lion rather than the lamb. So only recently has Israeli wine been good for something other than inducing diabetic shock. Israel now produces world class wine but from the north, from the Golan.

                                                                              Bananas plantations are grown inside net enclosures to abate the sun and to protect the fruit. The dangling reproductive portion of the plant is further encased in a plastic sheath to make it safe.

                                                                              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                Thank you for posting such interesting information. My father has a drip irrigation system in Arizona for his citrus trees. When I was a kid in rural Minnesota he always had a large garden. The local city water was expensive so he pumped water out of the lake for his garden and lawn watering. In what part of South Dakota did you live?

                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                  The banana belt. Vermillion.
                                                                                  I have a lot of good feelings for South Dakota and its people.

                                                                                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                    Ok, I have to ask, why do you refer to Vermillion as the banana belt? Is it because of the way it pokes down into Nebraska and Iowa? I have never heard that term before. I grew up in SW Minnesota. We frequently ventured into Sioux Falls and of course went on camping trips to the Black Hills. (We never did stop at the Corn Palace.)

                                                                                    We almost moved to Yankton when I was a teen. I told my parents they could go, but I would not be joining them.

                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                      I'm not familiar with that area of the country, but when I've heard about "banana belts" it's usually a warmer than usual strip. Here in Oregon, part of the southern coast is referred to as a banana belt due to the warmth generated by ocean currents.

                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                        The little southeastwardly wiggle of SD is supposed to be a bit warmer, so as tracylee says, banana belt. But winters were so cold! So cold that one February day I saw a lawyer walking down the street with his hands in his own pockets! However I couldn't bring myself to think that Vermillion was warmer than anyplace else in SD, but rather that other places were colder.

                                                                                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                          I enjoy your sense of humor! I'm a USD grad and as such spent four of the happiest years of my life in Vermillion.

                                                                                          Keeping this food focused, I still crave an R Pizza hoagie, fried chicken from Toby's in Meckling and a Short Stop burger.

                                                                                          Your environs have certainly changed from good old Verm town.

                                                                                          1. re: justalex

                                                                                            You ain't seen nuthin yet. I now sort of live in New Zealand.
                                                                                            Life would have been quite alright in South Dakota and I sometimes think that I should have stayed. But Vermillion tomorrows did all fade away.
                                                                                            I have the greatest respect for the good people of South Dakota.

                                                                                            My favourite place was a prime rib restaurant in Sioux City. Ports of Call or something I think it was called . It would have been considered excellent anywhere.
                                                                                            This dates me!
                                                                                            Then there was the steakhouse in Dakota City ,I think, in the shadow of the IPB plant, with the huge indoor BBQ pit, and my wife would order......chicken.

                                                                                            1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                              You'll be much warmer in New Zealand, Vinnie. Silly me, I went further north to the Twin Cities. ;)

                                                                                              Port of Call sounds about right. I worked at a television station in Sioux City for a short bit in the mid '80's. Unfortunately, that employment situation didn't afford me the funds to dine there being a just out of college, low level TV producer. Enjoyed many a 'greek-style' hot dog at I think what was called Milwaukee Hot Dogs. On fancy nights, it was the Marina. Thanks for jogging some great memories. It's so interesting that Chowhounders blanket the globe. I get to travel the world through words and love it!

                                                                                          2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                            I remember playing in a high school marching band festival at a USD homecoming once. I didn't think it was real hot, the temperature was in the 40s.

                                                                                            Although I grew up in Minnesota, some of my favorite memories of going to Sioux Falls include eating at the Hamburger Inn. I think it is now closed for good.

                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                              I'm pretty sure it is now just a memory. I haven't been back to Sioux Falls for a few years now, though I did grow up there.

                                                                                              Many a Saturday morning during my early teen years, my friends and I would walk the several mile trek to enjoy a burger at Hamburger Inn. If we had enough money, we'd catch a movie at the State Theater and have a chocolate phosphate at the Nickel Plate afterwards.

                                                                                              1. re: justalex

                                                                                                In Sioux Falls I loved the big commercial illuminated signs on pylons in front of businesses. From the sixties-seventies I think. (Anyone know?) Robert Preston must have come through town on another gig. They should get some sort of historical designation.

                                                                          2. re: John E.

                                                                            This is from a New Zealand nurseryman's catalogue

                                                                            Granny Smith
                                                                            Another well remembered apple by those lucky enough to have been able to have a tree ripened version! These apples taste so good when they have been left on the trees to tree ripen, when the skin goes yellow with a browny tinge, and the flesh goes super sweet and juicy. These apples were bred originally in Australia and they grow well in northland. Next year we’ll grow some on Northern Spy rootstocks as they taste particularly good on it. Large round bright green skin, crisp, sweet tasty/acid tangy flavour.

                                                                            1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                              I would like to try a tree-ripened Granny Smith, but I'm sure I won't get the chance. We have a lot of apple growers in Minnesota, but I don't think any of them would grow what has become a common grocery store apple.

                                                                              The most recent successful apples developed by the University of Minnesota are all super sweet varieties, the Honeycrisp, Zestar! and SweeTango.

                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                I would think that the Minnesota "terroir" makes Granny Smith
                                                                                impossible to grow. It is a hot climate, long season, temperate winter apple.
                                                                                There is (snow) skiing (sort of) in northern Israel on Mt Hermon and Granny Smith is grown in the area, but winter is mild. People go to Mt Hermon in the winter mostly as tourists to look at the snow. Imagine!

                                                                        1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                          That sounds horrifyingly gross although I guess it's like a deconstructed chocolate covered apple...perhaps

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            Sounds like at least 1/2 the recipes I've seen on Pinterest.

                                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                                              Agreed. I like following certain things on Pinterest, but just hitting food and drink gives one a very alarming glimpse into people's heads when it comes to "the best thing you'll ever make". That's how I discovered that buffalo chicken dip even existed. I'd rather get a root canal than dig into that crud.

                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                Yeah, I know I have the sweet tooth of a 10 year old, but even I can't believe some of the desserts I read about on Pinterest. Don't think I've even gone to the site in over 6 months--just gave up on the food listings. YMMV.

                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                  I love Pinterest for storing recipes I find, but I rarely just cruise through the food & drink section.... I have zero interest in making 95% of what's on there. And, who knew there were so many ways to use Pillsbury crescent roll dough?

                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                    my mom has a board on Pintrest called "grossfood" . she has probally offended some people by re pinning some of their "so cute for a baby shower" recipes on it

                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                        I agree. I use it for my food only. Once in a blue moon I will search something specific but you have to sift through the garbage.

                                                                                      2. re: alliegator

                                                                                        Not that two thirds of the stuff people post on Pinterest was ever made or eaten...

                                                                                        1. re: Divalicias

                                                                                          my aunt made some "garlic" bread that included a step which said Stir mayo with the margarine.

                                                                                          1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                            YES! I had an aunt who used lots of mayo on her garlic bread. ??????

                                                                                            1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                              mayo grills wonderfully, have you never seen Paula Deen's grilled cheese on mayonnaised bread?

                                                                                              Done correctly the mayo can add a smooth richness. I don't do it often but honest, its not nearly as awful as it sounds.

                                                                                              NOW margarine instead of butter . . . thats questionable.

                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                +1 on the yumminess of adding mayo to something grilled.

                                                                                                Though I am revolted by the idea of a tuna melt.

                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                  hot tuna grosses me out too, but i do put mayo on the outsides of bread when i am grilling sandwiches for the b/f. grilling is the wrong word though, since we don't have one. pan-fried, really.

                                                                                                  and yeah, they come out awesome.

                                                                                                2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                  I ALWAYS use mayo on my sandwich melts-- on the cheese side. I use mayo and Dijon and they melt into the cheese to bring the sandwich to another level.
                                                                                                  DH always swoons over my grilled melt sandwiches.

                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                    I only use Mayo for my toasted tuna sando's - it's spreads easier and I don't detect any diffrence.

                                                                                              2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                Um, buffalo chicken dip is actually pretty good in a cheesy party food sort of way. No pun intended.

                                                                                                1. re: jme90

                                                                                                  I've served it and people stuff their faces with it!

                                                                                                2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                  I have never had it, but regularly fantasize that I will cross its path at a party.

                                                                                            2. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                              I would not have believed that was a real thing until I saw it served at a block party in Texas (brought by a Minnesota transplant). People loved it, but it looked so gross and sweet I couldn't bring myself to try it.

                                                                                              1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                                Someone brought that to our office potluck. I was the only one who was appalled. Everyone else wanted the recipe. I wanted the Moroccan carrot salad recipe that the school nurse had made.

                                                                                                1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                                  That reminds me of the first dessert I made from scratch and from my own "recipe." Cut up apples, loads of brown sugar, a splash of vanilla (imitation vanilla, likely), and cool whip. I was about 5 or 6, so I'm pretty proud of the addition of the vanilla.

                                                                                                  It was disgusting, of course. Not even my mother would eat it, and she was great about eating the horrible food we kids made.

                                                                                                2. I hate that Chex party mix. Lately it seems to be making a comeback in my area.

                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: baseballfan

                                                                                                    My mother's version of that can be so spicy it will singe your eyebrows. Lots of tabasco and chili powder and absolutely no pretzels (they don't absorb the flavor).

                                                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                      If you would be so kind as to post her recipe, I would really appreciate it! I love Chex Mix but I avoid the pretzels like the plague! Just the Chex and the bagel chips for me, please!

                                                                                                      1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                        Sounds like her version is much better. I also hate the pretzels. Please post her version if you get a chance.

                                                                                                      2. re: baseballfan

                                                                                                        Love the homemade version -- and in the oven, not microwave. For some reason, I make about two batches near The Holidays, but never the rest of the year. Probably because that's the only time my mother made it.