I teamed up with 7UP to host a party that combines three of the best things in life: travel, drinks & friends! Let me teach you everything that you need to throw your own travel-themed party, featuring dips & a new cocktail inspired by my fave destinations.

Cairo – Beetroot Tahina

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: about an hour
Makes: 2 ½ cups

  • 1 ½ pounds red beets, washed and stems trimmed
  • ¾ cup tahini paste
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

To Serve:

  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Toasted, Crushed Walnuts
  • Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
  • Mint/Parsley leaves


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prepare beets by placing in a shallow baking dish along with 3-4 tablespoons water. Cover tightly with foil and roast until fork tender, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Remove skins between two paper towels and place beets along with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a food processor and blend on high until smooth.
  • Place labne and olive oil in another bowl
  • To serve – spoon mixture into a dip-size bowl and garnish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil, crushed walnuts, pomegranate seeds, mint and parsley. Serve with warmed pita and assorted veggies.

Tokyo – Red Miso Eggplant Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook TIme: 25 minutes
Makes: 2 ½ cups

  • 4 Japanese eggplants (or 1 large eggplant, about 1 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons cup red miso
  • 1” piece of ginger, grated fine
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  • Place eggplants directly on a gas burner, cooking over medium-high heat. Cook until tender and charred, turning occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and place eggplant in a shallow bowl, covering tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare miso by heating a skillet over medium high heat. Add red miso, garlic, ginger and sesame oil to the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes until toasty brown and caramelized. Remove from heat.
  • Remove plastic wrap and carefully slice down the middle lengthwise, scooping out the flesh of the eggplant. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
  • Place eggplant in a food processor along with caramelized miso mixture and remaining ingredients. Blend mixture until smooth. Pour into a dip bowl and garnish with toasted sesame seeds, fresh shiso and serve with rice crackers or cucumber slices.

LA – Dungeness Crab and Spinach Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes: about 3 cups

  • 2 tablespoons butter for buttering baking dish
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 shallot, minced fine
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 4 cups spinach, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 8 ounces Dungeness Crab, jumbo lump picked-through
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
  • Garnish with chopped parsley


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 1-quart baking dish or small cast iron.
  • In a bowl whip cream cheese until smooth, stream in heavy cream and mix again until creamy.
  • Stir in shallots, garlic, spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, heavy cream, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, dungeness crab, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine, seasoning with salt, pepper and hot sauce if using.
  • Spread mixture evenly in prepared baking dish and top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. Serve hot with sourdough baguette slices or fresh tortilla chips.

The Wayfarer Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 2 cocktails

5 ounces Choya Umeshu (Japanese Plum Wine)
2 ounces fresh cane juice
1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice
1 ½ ounces Mezcal
Ice for shaking
1 – 12 ounce can of 7UP
Saladito (Chili Plum Candy) for garnish, optional


  • Place choya umeshu, fresh cane juice, lime juice and mezcal in a shaker. Top with ice to fill and shake vigorously for 10-12 seconds.
  • Pour mixture into 2 margarita glasses top with more ice, 1-2 ounces of 7UP per cocktail and garnish with saladito. Enjoy immediately.
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