The more insane things become.
The university is once again doing "Dinner for Twelve Strangers", an annual even that matches students (not necessarily twelve - an important fact) with host homes (faculty, staff, alumni) for a dinner. It's all volunteer (hosts volunteer, students sign up and our alumni relations group handles the matching).
This will be the third year I've hosted. The last two years, I've been assigned four or five students, all girls. An e-mail just arrived, asking me if I can take one more student, bringing my total for this year up to nine.
Yikes. I thought I said I could take up to six students...but I've been pretty out of it lately.
Except for sheer volume of food, it doesn't really change the plan at all. Country Italian Stew. Pioneer Woman's Rosemary Rolls. A do-it-yourself salad. Add another veggie or starch (I can't remember offhand if the stew has potatoes - if not, then Giada's mashed potatoes with mozzarella).
As is traditional for this dinner, the guests will help make dessert. Everyone peels and slices an apple for an apple crumble that bakes while we play a game (or sit and let dinner "settle" a bit). Ice cream and caramel sauce complete the dessert.
What I need from you, dear reader, are easy (emphasis on easy) ideas for appetizers. There is always cheese and crackers...but I'd prefer something warm. Any great warm dip recipes out there that are tried and true? I've a small (1 quart) crock to keep it warm in.
Let me know in the comments!