Looking for a simple cocktail to serve your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? Or just something decadent to try yourself? You’ll love this simple Chocolate Martini.
-3 oz Chocolate Raspberry Vodka (I used Godiva)
-Raspberries for Garnish
*Swirl chocolate syrup in the martini glass and place in the freezer. this lets the chocolate set up so it doesn’t mix in immediately when you pour in the vodka. Once set, shake vodka over ice and strain into martini glass. Garnish with raspberries.
Here are two simple and impressive appetizers you can do in a snap! Having guests? Try these!!!
Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Focaccia Toasts & Spitfire Shrimp
Grilled Be ef Tenderloin on Focaccia Toasts
Cook Time 1 hr 10 min
Enough for a crowd! 30 plus servings
2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads garlic
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon, juiced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups good quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons hot chili paste
1 whole beef tenderloin*, about 6 to 8 pounds
2 loaves focaccia bread , sliced and toasted
Baby arugula, for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the tomatoes into a roasting pan, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes have collapsed, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it in foil, and bake it until soft, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft garlic onto a cutting board. Strip the needles from the rosemary, add them to the garlic, and chop them together. Pour 1 cup olive oil into a small bowl; add the garlic and rosemary mixture and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside until ready to grill.
Char the outside of the pepper under the broiler or over a gas flame. Put it into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and chop and put it into a blender. Add the mayonnaise and chili paste; process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be made the day before.)
Heat the grill. Remove the meat from the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before you are going to grill it. Brush it with some of the flavored olive oil and season it generously with salt and pepper. Grill the tenderloin, turning frequently, until the meat is rare or medium rare, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes, brushing it with the flavored olive oil. Cut the beef into thin slices.
To serve, put some of the flavored mayonnaise onto a piece of focaccia toast. Top it with a thin slice of the beef and spoon on some of the roasted tomatoes. Garnish with some arugula leaves and serve.
*Cook’s note: Have your butcher clean the fat and silver skin from the tenderloin and tie it.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Serves: 6 to 8 servings for snacking
1 lime, juiced
2 ounces (1/4 cup) hot cayenne pepper sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon crab boil seasoning
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 pounds jumbo shrimp peeled and de-veined*
12 to 15 blades fresh chives, chopped, for garnish
*Ask for easy-peel raw deveined shrimp at seafood counter of market
Preheat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
Combine lime juice, hot sauce, cumin, red pepper flakes and seafood seasoning blend.
Quickly saute garlic and shallots in oil and butter for 1 minute, add shrimp and cook 3 minutes, tossing and turning frequently. Dump pink, firm, cooked shrimp from hot pan into hot seasoning blend and toss in seasoning mixture to coat shrimp evenly. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve warm or chilled.
If you are throwing a sports themed party (like I did recently – here), you may be wondering how to incorporate all those salty, sporty snacks into your event. I decided to do a play on the oh-so popular sweet dessert tables. We swapped out most of the sweet goodies for sporty favorites like sunflower seeds and Cracker Jacks.
These “Halftime Snacks” were a huge hit. I often found guests scooping up their favorites into individual bags and even huddling (get it) around the table grabbing handfuls of these salty treats.
The “Halftime Snacks” sign was adapted from a free printable from Hostess with the Mostess. See the DIY originals here.
Classic sport favorites like Big League Chew and Slim Jims fit into this sports theme perfectly.
This savory (and a little sweet) dessert table included: Sunflower seeds, peanuts, pretzels, Corn Nuts, Slim Jims, Cracker Jacks, Big League Chew, Hot Tamales and Boston Baked Beans.
Overall, we think we hit a home run with this table. What do you think? Did we leave something out?
Today is National Donut Day, and in honor as such a sweet calendar event- I thought I would share some great donut inspiration with you. The next time you are planning a party- consider swapping your traditional cake out and serve donuts instead.
Looking for an excuse to host a get together or searching for some Italian party ideas? Today we are teaming up with Bertolli Frozen Meals sharing a few easy Italian party recipes along with your chance to win a GRAND Carneval celebration giveaway!
You know Bertolli, right? Their frozen Italian dishes offer luscious Italian experience in the comfort of your own home- simple, just how I like it!
As you may have already heard, Bertolli Frozen Meals recently launched a new series of webisodes titled “Into the Heart of Italy: Six Adventures, Three Celebrities, One Mission… To Unlock the Secrets of Italian Passion for Food and Life.” In this episode, celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito and actors Marisa Tomei and Dan Cortese celebrate the Italian festival of Carnevale, ride a shrimp boat, and cook a Garlic Shrimp, Penne and Cherry Tomato dinner. Check it out:
Since none of us are likely to be setting sail for Italy, we thought we would bring the Italian Carnevale to you! We are giving you all the chance to host your own Italian celebration inspired by this episode. We have all the goods you’ll need to host your ow party. We will send one winner a gift valued at $115. You can enjoy your Bertolli Frozen Meals for dinner then finish the celebration in true Italian style with homemade gelato, Italian espresso and the sounds of contemporary Italian music.
One winner will receive prize valued at approximately $115:
· Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
· Bialetti Espresso Machine
· Two Crate & Barrel Espresso Cups and Saucers
· iTunes Gift Card with Suggested Contemporary Italian Playlist
· Two VIP coupons for a Bertolli Frozen Meal for two that will transport you to Italy in just 10 minutes
Watch the webisode (above) and comment about your favorite scene in the video and answer the episode’s clue.
So I was tweeting away last night about making these rainbow cupcakes ….well I wanted to share the finished pictures with you all. We are going to deliver these to our neighbors today wishing them a luck St. Patrick’s Day. If you are looking for a last minute treat– these are simple. I even had everything to make these rainbow cupcakes right in my pantry!
See how bright these are? I used plain white cupcake liners. And made these flags using my computer and a toothpick.
I couldn’t resist a close up!
They look so cheerful all in a row, don’t they?
What about on a tray? I got this great green tray at target for only $2.50, score! Here is a better look:
See, great tray… right?
Need I say more? Make someone lucky today and make these bright cupcakes.
*note: I did not have a box of white cake mix so I used this scratch recipe….really, really easy and taste so much better. I will never go back to the box.