Archive of ‘Party Food’ category

Potluck recipes, plus my 3 tips

Heading to a potluck this Labor Day Weekend? Here are a few simple potluck recipes and tips that are sure to impress!

 potluck recipes

7 layer dip is one of my all-time favorite potluck dishes. I love to bring it, I love to eat it and I’m loving this single-serving idea (see tip #2 below!). Get the recipe here.

best potluck recipe

These bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos are my go-to. I make them for Superbowl, for parties, potlucks and just because. They are dangerously good. Recipe here.

sliders for potluck

Sliders are a great option and you and you can put so many things in between those 2 mini buns. These are sausage sliders with peppers which are great for a “heartier” potluck dish. Bonus = you can top them with a cute mini flag pick! Recipe here.

Inspired?  Before you plan your dish ….

My 3 tips when planning your next potluck dish:

1. Purchase plastic platters and serving bowls from the dollar store (or stock up on those holiday dishes during end-of-season clearances). A plastic colorful dish looks much nicer than a foil pan, and if it cost you a dollar — you won’t be disappointed if you leave it behind.

2. Single servings are best. Consider creating single serving “mini dishes” for a convenient grab-n-go option at the potluck

3. Stick with classic recipes or create a twist on a classic recipe, but avoid preparing dishes that have exotic or unique ingredients. The goal of a potluck is to appeal to and feed a crowd so don’t get too fancy.

Have a tip or favorite potluck dish? I’d love to hear about it below!

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Apple Salad (and apple beer)

Apples aren’t just for fall recipes. Lately, I’ve been craving the crisp, refreshing flavor of a good tart apple. Maybe it’s the summer heat or maybe it’s just that I can only drink so many watermelon cocktails … either way I wanted to try something new.

apple beer

I recently received this new apple beer to try out and I knew just the time for a taste test. We were sitting outside on a very warm evening and a crisp, cold refreshing beverage was called for.

Michelob ULTRA Light Cider is a naturally sweetened, gluten-free cider made from crisp apples, and it has 1/3 fewer calories than leading ciders (bonus). It’s sweet, and definitely a substitute for a fruity cocktail. When you want something a bit more “fun” than beer but still easy to grab-n-go … this is it.

I also think it would go wonderfully along side a nice apple salad like this one:

apple salad

This apple, pear and fennel salad looks AMAZINGLY good. Perfect for a hot summer evening bite, don’t you think?

Apple, Pear and Fennel Salad recipe here … go and get it and check out all of her amazing recipes while you’re at it.

What new summer flavor or recipe have you tried lately? Please share!

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Party Sandwiches + GIVEAWAY

I love entertaining in the summer because typical summer get-togethers are mellow, laid back, and simple (just how I really like it). One of my go-to party foods in the summer are sandwiches. That’s right, simple sandwiches. I love how versatile they can be. From a simple kid-pleasing platter of pb&j sandwiches to something more grown-up like a new panini recipe — there are so many variations yet they are all still pretty easy to pull off. I’ve been gathering some of my favorite recipes and ideas on this sandwich Pinterest board.

party sandwiches

Another trick is to order your sandwiches …. SIMPLE, right? My hostess tip is to order a platter of sandwiches and transfer to your own platter or make individual “lunch boxes” for guests. You’ll save time and energy which will result in your enjoying more of summer! My go-to caterer for affordable and delicious sandwiches is Subway. Here’s what I love about them:

  • Variety isn’t an issue – They offer Giant Subs, Sandwich Platters, SUBWAY to GO!™ boxed meals, drinks, sides and cookie platters.
  •  Short lead time – Catering orders can be placed 24 hours in advance – in some cases less!
  • Small OR Large groups – They have options for as few as 5 people, a mid-size group of 25 people – or hundreds of people if you need it.
  •  They can cover ANY Occasion – Whether you’re planning a birthday, anniversary party, sporting event, office meeting or other occasion for a meal, we can cover just about any type of gathering.
  •  Customizable Options – Sandwiches can be customized with your favorite veggies and toppings just the way you like!
  •  Great Value – Simply put – it is possible to feel groups well – without spending a lot!

Have I convinced you to have your sandwiches catered next time? Ditch the apron and prep and let Subway do the work ladies!

party sandwiches

Want to give them a try? Subway is giving away one reader a $50 gift card! That can feed your crowd during your next pool party, right?

Enter to win:  Contest is now closed.

CONGRATS to Julie! Check your inbox, we’ve emailed you :)

Leave a comment telling me your all-time favorite sandwich

For additional entries (optional):

-Pin this giveaway and leave a comment with the link to your pin

-Share this giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did

-Tweet this giveaway and leave a link to your tweet in a comment

Also, be sure to follow Subway on Twitter and like them on Facebook

Good luck!

*up to four entries per person. Contest ends May 9, 2012 at 11pm PST. I received a gift card for my catering needs from Subway.

 

 

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A Simple St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

Looking for a fun and simple idea for a festive St. Patrick’s Day breakfast? This idea for fun St. Patrick’s Day food I shared last year (green milk + Lucky Charms), has taken off on Pinterest! I am so tickled that everyone likes my super simple idea that  I wanted to share another one with you. It will take you about  3 minutes to make and will put a big smile on your kiddos face.

You will need: A cup, a stir stick, and 6 pieces of Frootloop cereal

St. Patricks Day Breakfast

It’s as simple as it looks, really.

st pattys breakfast

Make your green milk (just add food coloring), assemble a stir stick with your Frootloops. DONE!

St Patricks Day printable

Add a little special touch and print this little guy out to place near the glass. Simply, right click + save to your computer. Then, open in a word doc and print.

I hope this makes you smile!

 **Looking for more Saint Patrick’s day food ideas? Check out these rainbow cupcakes and these rainbow pancakes, green pancakes … or this simple green milk + Lucky Charms idea!

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Halloween snack mix + printable

I whipped up this Halloween snack mix the other night in about 10 minutes (made a big ole’ batch and stored it in a big ole’ jar!). My secret recipe  at the end of the post.   ;)

 

Halloween snack mix

I made a big batch of this and used for different things:

-sent with kiddo on a recent amusment park trip

-made gift jars for friends

-made a cute after school treat for my girls

You all liked the St. Patrick’s Day treat I shared, so I thought I’d share this one too — nothing fancy, just a simple surprise waiting for them after school.

printable - Halloween snack mix

A little festive snack — you know to get in the Halloween spirit.

 Halloween trail mix

Add some milk (it does a body good) + a cute paper straw = SIMPLE.

Here’s the image I created if you want to use it. Just right click + save. Then open in a word doc and print.

 

Halloween Trail Mix Recipe

Note: I don’t do exact measurments — more like a handul of this, a handful of that. So just increase what you love and leave out what you don’t!

Combine:

-Chex Mix cereal (I used honey flavor)

-Chocolate Cheerios

-Roasted Peanuts

-Butter Popcorn (make sure to toss a few handfuls in your mouth for good measure)

-Reeses Pieces (and then toss some of these in your mouth with the popcorn – trust me!)

-Fall colored M&M’s

-Candy Corn and Candy Corn pumpkins

That’s it! Mix it all up and enjoy!

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Simple Summer Dips

When I think of summer dips, I think of fresh and flavorful ingredients (not mayo based or thick and creamy traditional dips). The next time you entertain, why not whip up one of these easy dips? They are healthier, will hold up sitting out in the heat and they taste fantastic!

Jalapeno & Cilantro Hummus

summer dips

serves 8

1 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno (remove the ribs and seeds)
2 1/2 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder

In a blender or food processor, mix the garbanzo beans, jalapeno, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Season with cumin and curry powder. Blend until desired consistency. Serve immediately or chill until needed.

*Serve with Garden Salsa Sun Chips (the flavor combo between the chips and the hummus is to die for)!

Mild Mango Salsa

easy dips

12 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 jalapenos, diced
2 mangos, coarsely diced
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp Tabasco

Mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

*Serve with Fritos or Frito Scoops for a fun twist on the traditional chips and salsa!

This post was sponsored by Frito-Lay and created by Thoughtfully Simple as part of the Frito-Lay Summer Entertaining Twitter Party.

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