It’s entertaining season which means chances are you’re likely doing a combination of hosting friends and family in your home, and being invited as a guest. That means you need a go-to appetizer recipe and a great hostess gift idea so you’re covered for playing both the role of hostess and guest. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I decided to take traditional ham appetizers up a notch and developed a new crowd-favorite.
I like to keep my recipes really simple, especially when entertaining. There’s always so much to do to prepare for guests that I never try to complicate things in the kitchen. But during the holiday season I do like to offer guests something just a little more special than normal. So when Maille asked me to partner with them, I was so excited to come up with a new simple, yet elevated, appetizer recipe.
It’s a basic ham and swiss crostini (which even the littlest guests will enjoy), but elevated with fresh herbs and Maille mustard. On top of each piece of bread, I spread on a layer of Maille Black Truffle Mustard with Chablis White Wine–SO DELICIOUS. It tastes like a familiar ham and cheese appetizer, only so much better. (The full recipe is at the bottom of the post).
Maille also makes a fabulous hostess gift or gift for any foodie in your life. I added a jar to a hostess gift basket for a holiday party I was invited to. Any host or hostess would be happy to receive this–holiday season or anytime! And if you have a foodie in your life that you’re shopping for, a gift basket like this will certainly be appreciated. (more…)
Moscow Mules are one of my favorite cocktails to make because you can put a twist on them for different seasons. Last year, I was loving this apple cider moscow mule. Here’s my new version of a fall Moscow Mule.
This is simple to make but feels really special. And the garnishes just make it taste so “fall-y” (is that a word?).
This post has been sponsored by the J.M. Smucker Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Today, I’m talking about how to make cold brew ice cubes, and three other ways to simplify your busy day.
I don’t know about you, but my days seem to fly by. Between kids, work, and all of the “extra” stuff that needs to be tackled on a daily basis, I often feel pretty frazzled trying to get everything done. Over the past few months, I’ve made it a point to find a few ways to simplify my day-to-day and it’s really helped me feel more like I’m running the day vs. the day is running me.
I wanted to share with you four ways I’ve been simplifying my day. Maybe you could use a little help in this area, too. Now that fall is here, the days are going to get a lot more hectic as the holiday season approaches. Hopefully these ideas will help you conquer it all!
I start my day at around 6:00 am which means by the afternoon I’m pretty much dragging. I love a great cup of cold brew as an afternoon pick me up but never seem to take the time to make it (which means I don’t often get to enjoy it). One thing I’ve been doing lately is pre-making cold brew and cold brew ice cubes which means a delicious cup of cold brew is ready for me whenever I fancy. I won’t say this has been a life-changer (because that sounds a little over-the-top), but if you enjoy cold brew coffee like me, you’ll want to start doing this for sure!
I love having cold brew ice cubes on hand to pop into a glass to keep my cold brew, well, cold. As the cube melts, it doesn’t dilute the coffee.
The new-to-shelves Dunkin’ Donuts Cold Brew Original Blend coffee packs (original), which you can find on the coffee aisle at any Target, have helped simplify this process. And, it’s really simple to make (which is right up my alley). If you’re not familiar with Cold brew, it’s a brewing method where the coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for around 8-12 hours. The colder temperature brings out the rich, smooth flavor and it does not have that bitter or acidic tastes you might have experience with other types of iced coffee.
How to make Dunkin’ Donuts Cold brew:
Put 2 Coffee Filter packs (1 pouch) into a pitcher
Fill the pitcher with 4 cups of cold water
Steep it in the fridge overnight, or for 8–12 hours
When it’s done steeping, remove the filters and add 3 more cups of cold water
And now, simply, enjoy!
How to make cold brew ice cubes:
Once your cold brew is ready, fill up an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer. Place the pitcher with the remaining cold brew, back into the refrigerator.
The next time you’re ready for a mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up, grab a glass, add a cold brew ice cube, and pour your cold brew on top.
Having cold brew and cold brew ice cubes on hand is a simple way to make your day a little easier to manage.
3 additional ways I’ve simplified my days:
I make my kiddos lunches the night before right after I clean up the dinner dishes. This only adds about 10 minutes to my evening routine but feels so much easier than rushing to get it done in the morning.
I map out what we will be having for dinner the Sunday before the work/school week starts and write it on the chalkboard in our kitchen. This cuts down on curious minds asking me “what’s for dinner?” and gives me a game plan to follow in the evenings after work. I’ve found by eliminating that daily decision of “what to make for dinner” has me feeling less overwhelmed on a daily basis.
I’ve delegated breakfast. This one is a game changer. We tend to always cook at least one big breakfast on the weekends so I’ve started making extra of whatever it is (waffles, pancakes, breakfast burritos) and then I freeze them. That way in the morning, it’s easy for my husband to quickly heat up a delicious breakfast for our girls while I help them get ready for the day. We keep fresh fruit in bowl in the fridge and have those washed, sliced, and prepped on the weekend as well. It’s a simple thing to do on a weekend and helps us all have smoother mornings during the week.
What do you think? Will any of these ideas help you simplify your busy days? Do you have any other tips or tricks to share? I’m all ears so drop them in the comments!
The next time you’re at Target, be sure to pick up a box of Dunkin Donuts Cold Brew to try for yourself. I think you’ll love it! (Use this Cartwheel Offer).
Holiday entertaining season is fast approaching and every year I like to plan a head a bit and file away some easy party appetizers and small bites for when I’ll need them later. Appetizers and small bites are my go-to party food because you can keep the recipes incredibly simple and make a variety small bites which keeps things interesting (and guests happy).
I recently made a tray of small bites using some fresh ingredients at my local farmers market. Each appetizer was different but all three utilized a bit of dip. I’ve partnered up with Heluva Good Dips this season and have been sharing different ways to pair their flavorful sour cream dips with local fresh ingredients (like this bountiful veggie tray I recently shared). I like that their dips are made with real sour cream and lots of flavorful spices so they pair really well with a variety of flavors.
I created a smoked salmon crostini, A cucumber + radish wheel, and a mini heirloom potato bite. Each was unique but really simple to make. When it comes to party appetizers, simple is always my motto.
To make the salmon crostini I lightly toasted sliced baguette pieces in the oven with a bit of olive oil. Then, I added a drop of Heluva Good! French Onion Dip on top. Next I placed a piece of smoked salmon and then garnished with a bit of fresh rosemary. This looks like a really impressive appetizer to serve but it’s really easy to make.
To make the cucumber + radish wheels Top slices of cucumbers with a drop of Heluva Good! French Onion Cup and then place one slice of radish on top.
To make heirloom potato bites
Microwave small heirloom potatoes until they are soft. Cut them in half and scoop out just a little of the potato (just enough to make a small well for the dip). Add a scoop of Heluva Good! Bacon Horseradish Dip to each potato. Top with cracked black pepper and garnish with fresh chives.
Each one of these easy party appetizers took less than ten minutes to make and are crowd pleasers. Using the flavorful dips makes all the difference here, feel free to mix things up and experiment with your own flavor combinations.
Be sure to use the Pinterest button below and save these ideas for later!
Visit HeluvaGood.com for full product info and to find out where you can buy Heluva Good! dips in your neighborhood.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Looking for veggie tray ideas for your next BBQ or dinner party? I love laying out a variety of fresh veggies and dip for guests to enjoy. Especially at a summer BBQ where the menu is typically heavy on grilled meats. A fresh veggie tray is a great way to offer guests a great appetizer to snack on without being to heavy.
When possible, I always head to our local farmers market to pick up some fresh vegetables. I love to mix up what I serve based on what’s in season. And I always look for something unexpected to add into the tray–in this case they were some delicious black figs I discovered.
There are several ways you can go when thinking of veggie tray ideas, but my favorite is creating a long board like this that can go in the center of the table. I find when you put the appetizers off to the side or out of the proximity of where your guests are sitting, they often go untouched. Using a long board almost makes it feel like a colorful (and edible) centerpiece. (more…)
I’ve teamed up with Megan Media and Tropicana for this post as part of their #BelieveInYourGut campaign. Of course, all opinions are my own.
For the past year I’ve really been focused on trying to eat a healthier diet as a part of living a more healthy lifestyle. As a busy, working mom, I often put my nutrition on the back burner (can you relate?). I mean, one can only survive off of coffee for so long. I realized it was time to make some swaps in my daily diet that would really fuel my body.
I decided making small daily swaps was much less intimidating than a complete overhaul. (Let’s be honest, I’m not giving up coffee or wine on the weekends.) And I wanted to share a few things I’ve added to my routine that have me feeling refreshed, focused, and energized. Also, I’ve found if I make things a little more fun, I’m more likely to stay motivated. This shouldn’t surprise you though. :)
Adding daily probiotics to my diet. I recently learned just how much my gut affects my overall health and wellness, so I’m looking for ways to get good bacteria into my system more often. Tropicana Probiotics makes getting more probiotics into your diet delicious, accessible, nutritious and convenient–which means “doable” in my book. It’s 100% juice with no added sugar or artificial flavors and delivers over one billion live and active cultures to your gut. It can’t get much easier than swapping out your morning juice for one of these delicious flavors: Strawberry Banana, Pineapple Mango, and Peach Passion Fruit They were each so good that I couldn’t even choose a favorite.
Fresh fruit garnishes, on everything. Your morning glass of juice or water might not be a cocktail, but adding a fun, fresh, fruit garnish will certainly up the fun level! I’ve found myself grabbing fruit more often as a snack later in the day when I add it into my morning beverages. I like to make up a few mini skewers to grab as snacks (my girls love them too!).(more…)