Archive of ‘Eat & Drink’ category

Summertime Plans + Poolside Grilling

With my Summer Thyme beverage in hand, I’m daydreaming about all the upcoming summer fun there is to be had (you know, in between w-o-r-k that is). With our two girls almost out of school, a great Memorial weekend under our belt, and the sunny CA sunshine — we’re about ready to kick into that summertime gear!

First up on our agenda is a week long getaway to Palm Springs.

 Palm Springs getaway | Thoughtfully Simple

 Is it time to go yet?

Palm Springs getaway

We’ll also see plenty of lazy beach days. When we have no plans on the weekend it’s pretty common that we just call decide to head to the beach (why not right?). This summer the Mr. and I are in the market for new beach cruisers so we can all go for a long Sunday beach strolls at the beach. And summer wouldn’t be complete without many casual backyard gatherings with family and friends — and of course, keeping up with our garden.

Here’s a new recipe that I’ll be serving up while we’re relaxing poolside in Palm Springs. What I love about it is that it tastes fresh and flavorful but it’s super simple to make.

hot dog appetizers

Grilled Hot Dog Bites with fresh Jalapenos, Tomatoes & Avocado Dressing

Grill your Hebrew National Hot Dogs and lightly toast the buns.

Slice the hot dogs, buns, jalapenos and tomatoes. Assemble and hold in place with a toothpick.

Serve on a platter with a bowl of your favorite avocado dressing for dipping.

See? super simple!

What fun summer plans do you have? 


Hebrew National tastes great because, for more than 100 years, we’ve adhered to the highest quality standards. Hebrew National Franks are made with premium cuts of 100% pure kosher beef, and contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no by-products, and no fillers. Premium taste and high quality every time, for any occasion. That’s our guarantee. Learn about even more reasons to love Hebrew National, and tell us why you love them, too! http://www.facebook.com/HebrewNational

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Cheers to Summer Thyme

It’s HOT and feels like summer and when the temp rises nothing else makes sense then pouring a cool and refreshing drink. The other day after work I mixed this baby up for a little cool down. My garden was my inspiration, I LOVE creating drinks from what I am growing (that means I’ll always have the ingredients on hand)! This is virgin, but you could also add a splash of vodka or gin to make things fun. I’m calling it the Summer Thyme.

sumemr cocktails

Summer Thyme

For each drink you will need:

-2 Strawberries

-Sprig of Thyme

-Lemon wedge

-Club soda

To make: Muddle the strawberries in the bottom of your glass. Add ice and club soda. Squeeze lemon wedge into glass and garnish with Thyme.

Simple and refreshing. Cheers!

Still thirsty? Check out these other summer cocktails.

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This is how we kick off summer

This past weekend the family and I escaped for a nice long Memorial Day weekend at one of our favorite places. Filled with sun, water and family — we couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop for an easy, simple, and fun mini-getaway.

Between water sports, beach time, grilling, and a little R&R — we had a fun filled trip. Here are a few pics of our weekend. See all of the pics from our weekend on Instagram tagged #99summerdays.

The sun was warm (which meant I was in my happy place). It really felt like a kick-off to summer.

Cruisin’ along side the river was in the cards as well.

No long weekend is complete (in my book) without a themed drink! This one was super simple: vodka, cherry 7-up and a few maraschino cherries to garnish. Also, cute straws are a must (these cute pinwheel straws came from Target).

Grilling was a must-do. Simple all-beef hot dogs hit the spot for easy grilling that pleased the crowd. Hebrew National had us covered (and they are the best hot dog in my opinion). Good, simple, food.  Plus they are easy to make and everyone is happy. Perfect for summer get-togethers.  I love pairing it with a veggie packed spaghetti pasta salad.

Tori’s  Summer Spaghetti Pasta Salad

-1 package thin spaghetti

-1 jar Zest Italian salad dressing

-1/2 jar Salad Supreme (look in the spice aisle)

-1/2 large red onion, finely diced

-1 green bell pepper, finely diced

-2 large tomatoes, finely diced

-2 cucumbers, finely diced

To Make:

Cook spaghetti and toss with bottle of dressing. Finely dice all veggies, put in a large bowl and mix in salad supreme. Combine dressed spaghetti with veggies, nix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (it gets better with time!).

 

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Hebrew National via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hebrew National.

Hebrew National tastes great because, for more than 100 years, we’ve adhered to the highest quality standards. Hebrew National Franks are made with premium cuts of 100% pure kosher beef, and contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no by-products, and no fillers. Premium taste and high quality every time, for any occasion. That’s our guarantee. Learn about even more reasons to love Hebrew National, and tell us why you love them, too! http://www.facebook.com/HebrewNational

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Decorating Cupcakes with Chocolate Flowers

I used candy melts in so many ways: creating chocolate covered pretzels, dipping strawberries, making chocolate candy molds…it is so useful! Last week I shared over on the  SCJohnson.com blog, how to create cute cupcake toppers for spring.

Here’s a peek:

Decorating Cupcakes with Chocolate Flowers

 

Creating this spring flowers took less than 15 minutes total! Not only are they simple, but you can really get creative with the chocolate and make different sizes and styles of cupcake decorations.

Be sure to check out my full post for the step-by-step photos and create your own spring cupcakes!

I am a Guest Blogger for SC Johnson and this is a sponsored post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

 

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(Single serve) summer salads

Single serve summer salads. Say that twice.

It’s barely spring but the warmer weather just makes me even more anxious for summer to arrive. One thing I love to do in the warmer months is to entertain outdoors (who’s with me?). One thing that is always tricky to dish out at a casual backyard gathering are salads. Rather than having guests pile up the leafy greens on their way through the potluck line, why not have individual serving sizes ready for them to grab and go?

I also really like this idea because it opens up to the possibility of serving salad as an appetizer! Small portions in a simple to grab and eat basket would make salad  a perfect appetizer at your next party.

Salads, the new party appetizer? Who’s with me?

Single Serve Salads | Thoughtfully Simple

What you’ll need:

Cardboard berry baskets (I got mine here).

Wooden forks

Parchment paper or other food-safe craft paper

Your favorite summer salad recipe (you could serve up a pasta salad this way as well)

What summer salad would you serve up? I’ve been pinning some favorites to try on my Pinterest board but would love to hear your favorite recipes! Tell me about it or leave a link below!

 

 

 

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Simple Easter Brunch

If your Easter morning is anything like ours, it’s full of giggles and kiddos running around collecting eggs in their Pajamas and slippers. Some years we have Grandma and Grandpa over in the morning and other years it’s just us. One constant is that we are busy — very early in the morning.

I wanted to share with you some simple ideas for your Easter breakfast or Easter brunch that won’t require you to be stuck in the kitchen (missing all the fun). My advice is to make it easy on yourself. You can create an impressive morning spread without all the hassle, check it out:

Easter Brunch

Gather  items you already have in your home to create a central display. Adding different elements and  displaying your breakfast items in a unique way will give your Easter brunch a more pulled together look. Here, I’ve simply moved this hutch out on our patio and set up all of our breakfast items on it. I grabbed an Easter bunny decoration and chalkboard from inside to give it a more “Easter themed” feel.

Easter Brunch Ideas

Nothing I am showing here is homemade — I’ve simply taken store bought treats and gave them a little makeover. Above we have mini cookies in a strawberry basket and donut holes on lollipop sticks!

Simple Easter Brunch

Above:

  • Champagne served with frozen blueberries
  • A cake stand displaying store bought donuts
  • More donut holes adorned with festive lollipop sticks
  • A store bought bundt cake on cake stand
  • A chalkboard welcoming hungry guests

Easter Brunch

There you have it, a simple Easter brunch display featuring all store-bought treats. Simple, right?

Be sure to also check out this Easter breakfast idea I shared (plus free printable!).

*Cute lollipop sticks from Sweet Shop LuLu

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Want more Easter and Passover ideas? Join me and a group of other fabulous party hostesses as we share ideas, recipes + more! Visit the links below AND follow us on Twitter using #HolidayHQ. We’ll be hosting a live chat this Wednesday, the 4th at 8pm EST -join in the fun!

#HolidayHQ Twitter Chat

Valley & Co.   | Table Top Elements for Marvelous Easter Brunch
Housewife Bliss  |  Easter Brunch for Chocolate Lovers
Celebrations At Home | Spring Garden Tablescape
SkimbacoLifestyle.com |  European Easter Traditions Galore
The Partybluprints Blog   |  “Little Peeps” Easter Table Centerpiece
Second City Soiree   |  Cocktails that say Spring
PaperandPigtails.com   |  Polka Dots & Pastels – Free Printables 
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