Posts Tagged ‘party food’

Prepare for “pop in” guests

During holiday season, I find myself playing the role of hostesses quite frequently. Although many occasions are planned out far in advance (Thanksgiving, cookie exchanges, Christmas gatherings), there are still those unexpected “pop in” guests and smaller gatherings that can throw any well-prepared hostess off of her game.

Instead of breaking into a sweat every time you hear the doorbell ring (you know… when the neighbors, your in-laws, or friends pop in unexpectedly), follow these entertaining tips & tricks and you’ll be ready to party anytime.

 

 

When unexpected guests arrive, you’ll always feel prepared if you keep wine and ingredients for simple appetizers on hand. Here are my tips:

1) Always keep 2 bottles of red wine and two bottles of white wine on hand. That way, when guests pop in you’ll be able to quickly chill your wine and serve them up a drink — no stressing!

2) Keep ingredients on hand for simple appetizers. One of my favorite are these “Martini” kabobs since almost all of the ingredients are jarred and can be stored in your pantry. These include: green olives, prosciutto, cocktail onions, and black olives. Then, just grab a party pick, assemble and you’ll have a great appetizer to serve!

3) Keep supplies like cocktail napkins on hand and invest in a simple set of cocktail plates. At a moments notice you can pull them out and you’re ready to entertain!

Next time you find yourself entertaining at a moment’s notice, simply pop that wine in your LD Blast Chiller, throw together a simple appetizer, serve and sit back and chillout with your guests!

The LG Blast Chiller, available in the 3-Door Super Capacity French-Door refrigerator (LFX31935), can chill a room temperature, 12oz beverage in five minutes or a bottle of wine in just eight minutes. By comparison, a typical refrigerator takes about 40 minutes to accomplish this task – even in the freezer. This refrigerator is also among the largest capacity 36-inch refrigerators currently on the market, offering almost 20 percent more space and the ability to store over 50 gallons of milk.

LG has made it super easy to host those last minute guests, Cold drinks for all? Cheers to that!

You can also check out  the LG USA Facebook page or website to view entertaining blast or chill content and share your own blast or chill moments!



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

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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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Sip It :: 4 Summer Cocktails

There’s plenty of sunshine here in Southern California and we are already approaching our 95-100 degree days. How does an over-worked party gal keep her cool? With delicious, cold, summer cocktails of course!

Sometimes I’m inspired to come up with my own new summer cocktail recipes (like this watermelon cooler), but typically I’m far too parched to go to such efforts. When in need for new recipes of amazing summer drinks … turn to Pinterest!

Here are my favorite summer cocktails. You must be 21 years old to read further (nah, just kidding).

summer cocktails

Thirsty are you?

1. Frozen Vodka Slush – This is perfect for making a giant batch ahead and leaving in the freezer for when thirst sets in (or guests pop in). Recipe via ABCD Designs shared on The Grommet.

2. Spiked Blueberry Lemonade – a treat for the eyes and packed with  dazzling flavor via Veggie Belly.

3. Lime Sorbet Margarita – These are AMAZING and simple. Just how I like it. Recipe via Real Simple.

4. The Guavarita - Need I say more? Check it out at Confections of a Foodie Bride.

I’ve shared my favorite summer cocktails with you …. what are yours? Share in the comments below. 

Be sure to visit these other party hostesses for more great summer ideas!

Celebrations at Home |  Make A Watermelon Cake
Second City Soiree | How to Turn Your Grill into a Smoker
Skimbaco Lifestyle | Scandinavian Summer Party Ideas
Housewife Bliss | Summer Bunting for Playful Parties
Valley & Co. | Perfect Summer Cocktail Recipes
Party Blue Prints Blog |  Super Summer Pie
Paper & Pigtails | Favorite Summer Printables 

 

 

 

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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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Nutella Cookies (made with love)

I baked yesterday. Nutella Cookies. They ate them and the world rejoiced. Okay, maybe not exactly :)

Nutella Cookies 

Some people bake because it’s their passion, others bake for special occasions or when they’re entertaining. Personally, I do bake for  birthdays and holidays but not really for entertaining. Perhaps I’m not a big baker because I worked in a bakery for many years ( sometimes the smell of buttercream or proofing dough haunts me).  I love to entertain but I’m not one for a dessert course and if I serve it — I rather make homemade ice cream. I do however bake when I feel like my girls need a little extra mom-love. Like yesterday. They needed some love and sugar, I gave them a big does of both :).

It’s been a crazy week in our home… lots going on but nothing out of the ordinary. Work, school, soccer, dance … and I noticed  I was a little “short” with my girls yesterday, the week was clearly wearing on me. We needed a sugar-love intervention. So, I told the girls to play outback with the pup for a bit and I whipped up these babies. Then, we ate cookies and painted our nails – girl time with mom. Then  we all felt better. Love it when life is that simple.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Nutella Cookies

recipe from two peas & their pod

Yield: 3 dozen cookies  Cook Time: 10-11 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup dutch-process cocoa

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract

1/3 cup Nutella

1/3 cup milk

Directions:

1. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Add the vanilla and hazelnut extract and beat until extracts disappear. Add the Nutella and mix until batter is smooth.

2. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternately with the milk in one batch, mixing well. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes before baking. You can make the dough a few days in advance, just wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Take a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Place on lined baking sheets and gently press down on the dough ball. Continue making dough balls until the cookie sheets are filled-leave two inches in between cookies.

4. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes or until soft, but starting to set. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

They’re delicious, make them now. Next, I have to try this avocado ice cream from two peas & their pod. THAT sounds ah-maz-ing.

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