Appetizers & Dips, Party, Recipes

favorite party appetizers: tater tot bar, sweet + sour meatballs and ham + cheese sliders

First off, I want to say a big hello and welcome to the new followers who have jumped on the meatloaf train after the folks at WordPress were lovely enough to include me in a discovery campaign!

It was such a nice surprise and I’ve had a blast chatting it up with all of you!

In the spirit of celebration, I thought why not share some of my favorite party foods? If you hang around these parts long enough, you’ll realize that Sir Dave and I need little excuse to have friends over, whip up some apps, chill some beer and throw something on the grill for a little shindig. Party proof below:


I’ve rounded up my favorite snacks to share below and luckily they are all very easy to make and our pals seem to love ’em! So let’s get this party started, shall we?

Tater Tot Bar
I saw a tot-bar in our work cafeteria one day and knew immediately I should rock one for our next soiree. I did, it was awesome, and so this will be a go-to from here on out. Swish.


tater tots
nacho cheese (I used tostitos brand)
ranch dressing
sliced green onions
cooked + crumbled bacon
other ideas: ketchup, bbq sauce, salsa, diced green chilies, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, chives

Simply cook up those tots until crispy and golden, and serve up with all the fixins your heart desires. I’m telling you the ranch / nacho cheese combo is something not to be missed. 😀

Sweet + Sour Meatballs
It isn’t a party unless there are meatballs! My pal Adrienne introduced me to this recipe, and while the ingredients sound a bit wacky, this is always the dish that is completely gobbled up by the end of every party.


2 32 oz. bags of frozen bite-size meatballs
1 32 oz jar of grape jelly
2 12 oz. jars of chili sauce

Get a crock pot set on low heat and add the meatballs. Mix the grape jelly and chili sauce together and pour over the meatballs and stir until meatballs are well-coated. Cook for about 4 hours on low until heated through. Voila! Easy party meatballs!

Ham + Cheese Sliders
I just recently tried out this recipe that I found from King’s Hawaiian and they were oh-so-yummy, I’ll definitely be making them again soon. I kind of wish I had 3 or 7 in front of me right now…


2 lbs of shaved deli honey ham
12 slices of swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbs poppy seeds
1 1/2 tbs dijon mustard
1/2 cup butter melted
1 tbs onion powder
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 packages (12 count) king’s hawaiian sweet dinner rolls

First cut the rolls in half and place the bottoms on a baking sheet. Next, spread mayo onto the bottom side of the bun and then start stacking the ham and cheese. Plop the top of the buns on. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together poppy seeds, dijon mustard, melted butter, onion powder and worcestershire sauce. Pour the sauce over the top of the rolls. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can assemble these ahead of time, cover, refrigerate and bake right before your guests show up.

When you’re ready to bake them, heat the oven to 350 degrees, cover the sliders with foil and pop them in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted, then remove the foil to cook an additional couple of minutes to that the tops are slightly browned. Serve warm!

Cheese Board
Last, I also wanted to share my favorite cheese board, which I put together and eat for dinner regularly – yes, I love it that much. But of course it works well for sharing with guests too, if you must.

annie-bday-17*Photo snapped by my friend Dana at my 35th birthday last summer

1. Camembert or brie with honey – no brainer, right?
2. Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog – this creamy goat cheese paired with plum preserves is my absolute favorite!
3. Red Leicester – this super sharp tangy cheddar-like cheese has an extra zip to it that has me addicted.
3. Spanish Iberico Cheese – really mild, but rich flavor that is fabulous paired with a slice of chorizo sausage.

What’s your favorite cheese? I’m always looking for new ones to try, so would love to hear from y’all!

And that’s a wrap folks!

Have a great week – hopefully they’ll be a party at the end of it. 😉

16 thoughts on “favorite party appetizers: tater tot bar, sweet + sour meatballs and ham + cheese sliders

  1. Hello! How did you keep the tator tots warm and crispy? I am have a tot bar for my sons birthday and wondering if I can cook and then put in a crock pot to keep warm, or if that will make them soggy and I need to cook right before we eat, which will be hard in the middle of the party.

    1. Hi Leah! Honestly, I did make them during the party so they were hot and fresh when the tot-bar opened up, which was pretty easy since they just go in the oven on a baking sheet. Otherwise, I’d say maybe one of those sterno cans may work under a metal dish? I think they may get soggy in the crock pot smushed all together? Just my two cents! Hope the birthday party is fab!

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