ENTERTAINING

Super Bowl Snack

January 27, 2012

These little sausage tarts are the perfect combination of feminine and football. They are pretty enough to entice the females but filled with enough sausage goodness to keep the guys asking for more.


Some how I don’t have a photo of the cooked tarts, but I promise they are delicious and attractive.

If these aren’t up your ally then these apps would be good super bowl snack options-
Shrimp Nachos
Jalapeno Thingies
Skinny Dip

SALLY’S SAUSAGE TARTS
recipe from Leslie Worthington

You will need:
5 boxes mini Filo shells (found in freezer section)
1 pound sausage, brown and drain
1.5 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1.5 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 cup ranch dressing
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix the above ingredients together. Fill the shells with sausage mixture. Put the shells back in the box to store. These babies can be frozen or refrigerated in the original packaging until ready to bake. Bake 12 minutes if frozen and 8-10 minutes if thawed. Awesome.

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COME TO THE TABLE

November 23, 2011

T-1 days until Thanksgiving! Are you as ready as I am? Planning for the our Thanksgiving table(s) today reminded me of our Thanksgiving tablescape 2010. The rusty orange table cloth was the perfect backdrop for creamy white plates, linen napkins and pumpkins. Bunches of hay in large mason jars served as neutral “floral arrangement”.

The hay, mason jars and white pumpkins all came from Publix. So with a little ingenuity at the grocery store and a few special items from your own home, you can create a simple and beautiful Thanksgiving table.

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HAPPY OCTOBER!

October 1, 2011

Food is love. Chicken tetrazzini, pot roast, spaghetti, apple sauce, turkey chili, oatmeal cookies, gooey brownies, and chicken pot pie are among the many food gifts we have received this week. A few weeks of baby bedrest has kept me out of the kitchen and resting on the couch. Justin and I are very grateful and appreciative of these thoughtful gifts! Every morsel of food has been yummy and nourishing. So as I lay around and embrace a few weeks of relaxation, I am thankful for the many talented home cooks in my life that are treating me to their culinary gifts.

On another note, fall is here! As part of my bedrest entertainment, my mom brought over a fall project for me to supervise from the sofa. How cute is this potted pumpkin?

The idea came from this month’s Southern Living. For our first, we tried planting a festive fall plant in a hollowed out pumpkin. You can also use oasis and fresh flowers. The skies the limit! We used an orange pumpkin for starters but a white or blue pumpkin would be beautiful. I had spanish moss and winter wheat left over from past projects that we crammed in the sides to give it extra fall character. Happy Fall!

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PARTYING FIGS

August 31, 2011

You might be catching on to the fact that I love goat cheese, figs, pizza and peaches. While perusing (and shivering) in the Costco produce room, a box of 24 ripe figs caught my eye. $6 for 24 big figs! They immediately entered my buggy. I’ve consumed many figs over the past month both in my home and at local restaurants (Cibo y Beve & Café Jonah). The result of these fig experiences lead me to create “The Party Fig” for you to make for an upcoming social event.

PARTY FIGS
Makes 24

You Will Need:
12 big figs
6-8 ounces goat cheese
2-4 tablespoons apricot preserves
6 basil leaves, cut into 24 small pieces
6 ounces prosciutto
toothpicks

Wipe the figs clean with a damp cloth.
Slice the figs in half.
Stuff with goat cheese, a dot of jam, and little piece of basil.
Wrap the stuffed fig in prosciutto.
Secure with a party pick.

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PICKLES AND ICE CREAM

July 21, 2011

I have always dreamed of being a canner. Having mason jars full of tomatoes, figs, and green beans stacked pretty in the cupboard to use on a cold Atlanta day. It will happen one day! Anyone want to come over and teach me? I did give canning a whirl in honor of Leigh and little girl to-be. The Williams girls hosted a baby shower complete with homemade pickles as a favor…

The pickling cucumbers will not be ready for a taste until Sunday, so stay tuned for the result. If they are crisp, sweet and dilly, you will see the the recipe posted. If not, I have some work to do! Either way, please use this idea next you host a baby shower.

Here are two other crafts ideas from the baby girl shower.

You should definetly make these puff balls for your next soiree! The peony-like tissue paper flowers are truly easy to make and easy on the budget. Please click here for directions from the best- Martha Stewart.

Ribbon is always cute, always on sale somewhere and perfect to tie up linen napkins. Try mixing sizes and textures of ribbon. Trinkets add a festive flare to the classy napkins. These mini rattles, bottles and pacifiers came from Hobby Lobby.

Cannot wait until September 2 when Williams girl #4 arrives! Congratulations to Leigh!

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FEMININE FARE

January 14, 2011

I wanted to share with you 3 very easy recipes to use next time you host a bridal or baby shower. Well, one real recipe and two ideas for assembling store-bought food. Keeping it simple is the name of the game! They are all girly, scrumptious and simple.

WHITE CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES WITH CITRUS SUGAR
from Bon Appetit

You Will Need:
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
6 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
16 large ripe strawberries
(I made about 8 times this amount)

Rinse strawberries and allow to dry completely.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Create a double boiler with a saucepan/dutch oven and bowl.
Heat water to a low simmer.
Zest citrus into the sugar.
Mix together the citrus peel and sugar with your hands until sugar is moist.
Stir chocolate in double boiler until just melted.
Remove bowl of chocolate from over water.
Dip the strawberries 2/3 into the melted chocolate.
Sprinkle with citrus sugar.
Lay on the prepared baking sheet to cool.
Chill until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

SHRIMP COCKTAIL TRAY
So this Costco shrimp platter tastes great but isn’t pretty or feminine…..

….. Rearranged on a pretty platter with butter lettuce and lemons, it becomes worthy of a shower food spread!

CHICKEN SALAD IN LITTLE CUPS
Fill these miniature edible cups with chicken salad from your favorite bakery, and you have a quick and special luncheon dish. You can find these little cups at Fresh Market or Whole Foods. Keep the filled “Croustades” in the package for easy storage. Don’t make them too far advance or they cups will become soggy. The morning of the party is perfect.

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Smashing Pumpkins

October 6, 2010

This is my first attempt to branch out a bit from the stovetop and share a festive entertaining idea. Goblins, ghosts and spiders are fun but not as beautiful as these heirloom pumpkins. The blue-green Jarrahdale pumpkin is smashing. I want to bottle up the color. The larger coral-orange pumpkin is a more sophisticated version of the common orange pumpkin. Set on a bed of Spanish moss on a burlap tablecloth, these heirloom pumpkins create a festive fall tablescape that will be beautiful well into November.
These white pumpkins are more common than the others. If a pumpkin could be “modern”, the little white beauties would fit the description.

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When its cold outside and friend gets engaged, baked brie is is just the hors d’oeuvre to bring to the party.

Warm Baked Brie

Thaw a sheet of puffed pastry dough (found in frozen food aisle)
Roll out a bit, still keeping a square shape
Spread apricot preserves in the center of the square
Place a wheel of your favorite Brie cheese

At this point you can get creative and add what ever your heart desires-
various fruit preserves, brown sugar, dried fruit, nuts. Just make sure the dough is thick enough to not break.

Wrap the brie and filling. * I fold in the four corners so you are left with four more corners. Trim some of the dough to reduce bulk and use for decoration on top.

Flip the wrapped Brie over and onto a baking sheet with parchment
Cut out leaves or other designs out of trimmed dough and place on top
Bake for 20-25 minutes according to your puff pastry directions
Serve with sliced Granny Smith apples and crackers

* I use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, 400 degrees.

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