Tricia Yearwood has written her own cookbook called "home cooking with Tricia Yearwood". One of her recipes is just wonderful for those occasions that you need party and dip type foods. Her spicy edamame dip is a great healthy and yummy alternative to cheese spread type dips.
4 large cloves of garlic
Shelled edamame beans (about 2cups)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of salt and pepper
4tbs. Olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro pita chips for dipping.
Cooking directions: in a skillet over medium heat, roast the garlic,
turning frequently, until light brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the
heat, cool, and then slip off the skins. Set aside. Bring about 8 cups
of water to a boil in a saucepan and drop in the beans. Bring back to a
boil and cook for 5minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water before
draining. Drain the beans and cool. Transfer the garlic into a food
processor and chop coarsely. Add the beans, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt,
pepper and process in the food processor. Add the olive oil, lime
juice, and cilantro and pulse to combine. Add the reserved water a
little at a time until smooth (you may not need to add all of the
water). Use pita chips for dipping.