Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bourbon and Bacon Birthday Bash

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 This past weekend my friend and I threw a party for our husband's birthdays. We decided on a Bacon and Bourbon theme and it was so much fun I thought I'd share all the details of what we did. We found some cute quotes about Bourbon and an image of classic bourbon cocktails and framed them to decorate the bar area. We had about 12 different bourbons to taste, an assortment of bitters, mixers, fruit, mint, simple syrup....literally anything needed for everyone to make their favorite beverage.
My friend ordered these adorable cookies that were as delicious as they were cute!
 As per usual, right before the party I was running super late so I asked the birthday boys to take pictures for me. The bacon you see in the glass is "Bacon Man Candy" that Celena made- dangerously delicious!
Celena's daughter also made a decadent Chocolate Pecan Cake with Bourbon Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Maple Bacon Rice Krispie Treats 
 I had cheese stuffed mini peppers as one of the appetizers. All I did was mix goat cheese, Boursin cheese, thyme and bacon together and spooned that into halved mini sweet peppers. Roast them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and then drizzled them with a roasted garlic honey
 My bacon deviled eggs went fast! I couldn't believe we went through 48 of them!!
This Beer Cheese Spread is something I've made many times. It's so simple to make and can be made ahead of time. I served it with toasted baguette slices and mini soft pretzel bites.
 There's a small wine bar by my house that serves manchego stuffed bacon wrapped dates with a chimichurri dip that's to die for. I made my own version by stuffing pitted dates with a smoked goat cheese, wrapping them in bacon and roasting them until crisp. The chimichurri I made was actually a recipe my son and I came up with together while researching Argentinian food for his World Cultures class. It's delicious with grilled meats, as a dip, or as a salad dressing!
Chimichurri Sauce

2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth
 A veggie and cheese tray is always a hit and for the main dish, I had pulled pork in the crockpot. I had a variety of sauces to choose from along with slider buns and tortillas allowing people to make sandwiches or tacos!
Overall, the party was a huge success. We had so much fun celebrating our guys!



Monday, February 11, 2019

Little's Lunches

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 Happy Monday! This weekend was super busy and a lot of fun! My friend and I threw our husbands a joint birthday party with a Bourbon and Bacon theme! So much fun, bourbon and bacon I'll be sure to share all the details soon!
 Monday: carrot slices, cubed ham, triscuits, gouda cheese, kiwi, strawberries and a Hershey kiss
 Tuesday: Roast beef cream cheese wraps, salami, baby tomatoes, blueberries, blue cheese dressing, graham crackers, cucumbers and carrot sticks
 Wednesday: salami, cucumber slices, cheese stick, fruit snack, ranch dip, blueberries, pretzel thins
 Thursday: Cheddar Bay Biscuit, cucumber slices, carrot slices, blueberries, baby tomatoes, kiwi, deviled ham salad
Friday: Cheddar Bay Biscuit, cheese stick, dried cranberries, edemame, ranch, red bell pepper slices

Monday, February 4, 2019

Little's Lunches

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend!!
This week, my lunch boxes are filled with a mix of leftovers and fill-ins. What I mean by that is, almost every evening, after dinner whatever leftovers I know will be good cold go into the lunches first- this week we had grilled sausages and chicken which my kids like sliced and dipped in either ketchup or BBQ sauce. Then whatever veggies or salads we have will go in followed by fruit or a snack or treat like cheese sticks, crackers or an occasional (but very rare) candy. Always packing lunchboxes the night before, and using up leftovers helps me lower my stress in the morning while getting my kids ready for school and our overall grocery bill!

Monday: Mixed Green Salad, prunes, pretzels, chicken salad
Tuesday: slices of grilled smoked sausage, green beans, BBQ sauce, triscuits, dried raisin mix, cheese stick
Wednesday: slices of grilled smoked sausage, green beans, BBQ sauce, blueberries, cherry tomatoes,  cheese stick
Thursday: leftover grilled chicken slices, sweet potato salad, mini sweet peppers, cucumber slices, mixed olives, strawberries, apple wedges
Friday: leftover grilled chicken slices, sweet potato salad, ketchup, yellow bell peppers, baby tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi

Monday, January 28, 2019

Little's Lunches

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Happy Monday! Here's another week of lunchbox ideas!
 Monday: sliced deli turkey, orzo pasta salad, triscuits, raisins, dried apple slices, salami and black olives
 Tuesday: Smoked Turkey, black grapes and pineapple, ranch, cucumber, carrot, yellow bell pepper, baby tomatoes, pepperoni and honey wheat pretzel sticks
 Wednesday: Turkey and cream cheese tortilla roll up, fruit on the go fruit strip, carrots, cucumber and red bell pepper, chocolate goldfish, cutie orange
 Thursday: baked ham cubes, triscuits, baby carrots, moon cheese, ranch, applesauce
Friday: Baked ham, triscuits, ranch, dried pears, Mexican corn salad, black olives and sliced carrots

Friday, January 25, 2019

Curried Apple Noodle Salad

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My entry for New York Apple Association’s "NY Big Apple Salad Contest" is gluten free, vegetarian, packed with fiber and absolutely swoon worthy! How fun is it to spiralize something you usually just slice and have as a snack?! If you don't have a spiralizer, feel free to just julienne the apple, it will taste just the same. 
I used honeycrisp apples, but you can use any variety of crisp apple. Pick the biggest ones you can find and leave the skin on for extra vitamins and crunch!

Curried Apple Noodle Salad
3 ounces plain low-fat yogurt
½ Tablespoon mild curry powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons sliced green onion
1 extra large Honeycrisp apple, spiralized
4 cups mixed salad greens
¼ cup chopped pistachios

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, curry powder, salt, apple cider vinegar, Dijon and green onion.

In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the apple spirals with the dressing.

To serve, place an equal amount of salad greens on 4 serving plates. Top with apple salad and chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cauli-fredo Bisque with Roasted Caprese Relish

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Need an insanely delicious, gluten free, super easy, vegetarian dish that will make your New Years resolutions that much easier to reach? I have just the thing! My Cauli-fredo Bisque with Roasted Caprese Relish. It literally couldn't be any easier to throw together. While the tomatoes roast their skins burst and the flavors of the sweet charred tomatoes pair perfectly with the ultra creamy cauliflower bisque. 
Cauli-fredo Bisque with Roasted Caprese Relish
1 (10.5 ounce) package NatureSweet Glory tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced

 1 (12 ounce bag) frozen riced cauliflower
½ cup jarred light alfredo sauce
¼ cup milk
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
 1 Tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons minced chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir the tomatoes, oil, salt and pepper together in a small mixing bowl and place the mixture onto a small parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the garlic slices. Stir the mixture around until everything is evenly coated and return to the oven for 8 minutes, or until the tomatoes have burst and the garlic is lightly browned.

While the tomatoes are roasting prepare the bagged frozen cauliflower rice according to package directions. Add the cooked cauliflower rice, alfredo sauce, milk, parmesan cheese and white pepper to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium sauce pot over medium heat until warmed through.

Ladle soup into bowls, top with roasted caprese relish and sprinkle with parsley and chives.

Serves 2.
 
#NatureSweetHealthySwaps #contest

Monday, January 21, 2019

Little's Lunches

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 Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a great weekend cheering on their favorite football teams! Here's another full list of ideas to help with lunch packing to get you through the week. Feel free to mix and match to make it work for you!
 Monday: ham and cheese flatbread sandwich, mushrooms, dried apple slices, raisins, edamame and black olives
 Tuesday: Chopped Salad (lettuce, cheese, turkey, watermelon radish, cucumber, tomato and ranch dressing), dried apricots and raisins, triscuit crackers
 Wednesday: pepperoni and muenster cheese, focaccia bread, edamame and baby tomatoes, raisins, goldfish crackers, applesauce
 Thursday: pineapple cubes, mini naan bread, sliced sweet bell peppers, ranch, olives, cheese stick
Friday: mini cheese sandwich on a slider bun, prunes, goldfish crackers, carrots and red bell pepper strips, blueberry fruit bites

Bourbon and Bacon Birthday Bash

 This past weekend my friend and I threw a party for our husband's birthdays. We decided on a Bacon and Bourbon theme and it was ...