entertaining

Throw a sensational 'spring is here!' party 

April 5, 2014 at 11:24 AM ET

The long, cold winter feels like a distant memory now—time to celebrate with a spring cocktail party! We’ve rounded up 10 irresistible, easy recipes for festive appetizers, drinks and desserts that make excellent use of our favorite seasonal ingredients.

Roasted asparagus and grilled cheese sandwiches

Roasted asparagus grilled cheese sandwiches
apronstringsblog.com

Combine creamy Monterey Jack, Parmesan and ricotta cheeses with crispy, fresh asparagus spears to create a party bite that will have guests snagging seconds (and thirds). 

Blue crab toast with harissa aioli and grapefruit

Blue crab toast with harissa aioli and grapefruit
theeffortlesschic.com/Stephanie Godfrey

Delicate mounds of blue crab get a kick from spicy harissa and tart grapefruit—and chopped chives on top make a flavorful garnish. 

Grapefruit mojitos

Grapefruit mojitos
bloggingoverthyme.com

Ruby-red grapefruit gives this minty cocktail a bright, citrus taste and an elegant dash of pink. 

Asparagus and corn cakes

Asparagus corn cakes
ahouseinthehills.com

Transform a bundle of spring’s first asparagus stalks into these corn cakes, seasoned with thyme, dill and lemon juice. Serve the crispy bites with a dollop of crème fraiche or an herbed aioli.

Parmesan-artichoke bites

Parmesan-artichoke bites
sugarandspiceglutenfree.blogspot.com

Step aside, pigs in a blanket: These parmesan-artichoke bites are sure to win over your spring party guests. Bonus: They’re super-easy to make. Just find 12 free minutes and a mini muffin tin, and you're good to go.

Vodka lavender lemonade

Vodka lavender lemonade
Melissa Valladares/theeffortlesschic.com

Aromatic sprigs of lavender add a gorgeous touch to these sweet-tart Meyer lemonade and vodka cocktails. 

Carrot zucchini bread

Carrot-zucchini bread
cookingclassy.com

This carrot-and-zucchini-packed bread—flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar—tastes more cake-like than bread-like thanks to its moist texture and decadent cream-cheese frosting.

Honey-roasted citrus and thyme popsicles

Citrus and thyme popsicles
vegetarianventures.com

These incredible homemade popsicles pack more flavor than their store-bought counterparts—and they'll impress your guests. Just roast lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit with a touch of salt, honey and thyme, then puree the mix and freeze it to create these refreshing treats. 

Raspberry mousse

Raspberry mousse
wayfair.com

You know spring is on the way when berries finally turn sweet—not sour or watery, as out-of-season supermarket berries sometimes taste. This creamy, colorful mousse celebrates beautiful, bright-red raspberries by packing in two full pints per batch. 

Rhubarb meringue cups

Rhubarb meringue cups
bloggingoverthyme.com

Rhubarb only comes around once a year. Make the best of it with these lovely special-occasion desserts. Just ladle baked rhubarb over piped meringues and top with vanilla-bean whipped cream. 

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