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Showing posts from 2012

Sangria

Sangria
This is my go-to, crowd pleaser, always delicious, favorite drink! It is easy to prepare, and best of all, is prepared ahead of time, and gets better as it "brews". You don't need to spend a lot of money on the wine for this recipe, a simple table wine is best.

The following recipe is for a large batch, which would make about 24 8oz. servings. If you'd like to make a smaller or larger batch, simply reduce or increase as desired. I've done it many ways and it always turns out great! I always eyeball my liquor quantities, so the below measures are approximate.

Ingredients:
- 4L Red wine, such as Chianti or Burgundy. I generally use Carlo Rossi Chianti
- 12 - 16 oz.  Triple Sec
- 12 - 16 oz. Brandy
- 2 liter of Sprite, Sprite Zero, 7Up, etc. Use about 1/2 to 3/4 bottle depending on strong you'd like it.
- 1 apple, cored, and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 orange, peeled, sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 8oz. jar Maraschino cherries, with juice
- 1 1…

Halloween Party & Decor

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Antiquing Paper

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Antiquing Paper How To:
This is a simple project that can be done to any type of normal paper to make it look old. The below print was printed on standard 11'' x 17'' paper with a laser printer. The final look is nothing like the pristine original (sorry no picture, at this time, I will load later). 

Materials: - Print or prints on standard computer paper, or similar material - Strong coffee, about 1/4 cup. I just saved some from the morning batch.  - Paper towels or sponge paint brush - Oven - Cookie sheet - Frame and "matte" optional

Directions: 1. Crumble paper very well, careful as to not tear or rip, though. Fold and bend multiple ways until many lines and folds are created in the page. Repeat until desired results are achieved.   2. Place paper on cookie sheet and begin "painting" it with the coffee using either the sponge brush or a wadded up paper towel. Try to let coffee run into folds in the paper. The coffee will pool up in certain areas…

Black Light Magic

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I've been doing a lot of research on inexpensive ways to make an impact for Halloween. Mainly, having props that are black light sensitive. With a little help from my husband, we decked out the mantle and experimented with all sorts of fun "glowing" things (more details below). Here are some pictures of how everything turned out with details of each picture and directions.










Current Music Mix

I'm always looking for new great workout tunes. Here is what I currently have on my iPod playlists. Also, I've listening to a lot of college (and older) favorites, since I've been having a hard time finding new tunes. I moved all of these over from my old computer, I really had to dig, but found some good songs I'd forgotten about. Please feel free to comment if you have some good workout songs! * = faves!

Old School Playlist: - Roll in my 64 - Snoop Dog
- 1,2,3,4 - Coolio
- Shorty Wanna Ride- Young Buck
- If You Want Blood (Empire Records) - ACDC *
- Break it Off- Sean Paul/ Rhianna
- Salt Shaker - Ying Yang Twins *
- Get Low - Ying Yang Twins *
- Let's Go - Trick Daddy
- Can't Nobody Hold Me Down - Puff Daddy (hey, that was his name at the time!)
- Victory - "  "
- In the Ayer- Flo Rida
-  Hi-Lo - JT Money
- Come on and Ride It - Quad City DJ's
- Daisy Dukes - 69 Boys
- All Night (Don't Stop) Remix - Janet Jackson ft. Elephant Man *
- Walk i…

Halloween Wine Display

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Over the years I collect Halloween themed wine bottles to creepy up my kitchen corners. Here is an assortment of what I've collected over the years. All in all, I don't remember any of these being fabulously good, but I do remember the cat bottle being the worst wine I've ever had in my life. A close second would have to be the one on the far left which you are supposed to serve warm, just wasn't my thing. It's all about the bottle for this display. 






Burrito Rollups

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This is a classic recipe my mom has made for years and I've carried on the tradition. It is great for tailgates, making ahead of time (yes!), Halloween and everything in between. Plus, its very simple & always a hit. Recipe can easily be doubled for a larger batch - we do a double batch when we have over 20 people or so.

Ingredients, Single Batch:
- 1 can Old El Paso Refried Beans, can use traditional, fat free or spicy
- 1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened (I use low fat, always)
- 1 small can chopped black olives
- 1 package flour tortillas
- Salsa to serve with the rollups
- Foil
- Food coloring, optional

Combine beans, cream cheese and olives in a large bowl until well combined. Using a large spoon or spatula spread evenly across one tortilla, but not getting too close to the edges. Wrap the burrito tightly. Place about 5 burritos in a foil "package" to keep the air out. Continue rolling until you've used all your mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best resu…

Monster Mash Quinoa

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Whoa! I just made this by accident! This is a recipe I make frequently, but I usually use regular quinoa and not black quinoa.... so it looks normal. As I was mixing in the edamame a light bulb went off! Monster Mash Quinoa was just born. Perfect for fall festiveness, indeed. It looks pretty creepy I must say, but it tastes good & is good for you!



Ingredients:
- Quinoa (Black for the Monster Mash version)
- Vegetable base such as Better than Bouillon
- 1 cup edamame, pre-shelled & thawed
- 1/3 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes, with olive oil
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
-  dash of salt as needed

Directions:
Prepare quinoa according to package directions, and additionally adding vegetable base (follow directions for the amount of water you are using). Once quinoa is done cooking add edamame and sun dried tomatoes with oil. Season as desired. Serve and spook!


Oreo Eyeballs

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This is one of my favorite Halloween party foods! There are tons of ways to decorate these, but my favorite is to make them look like eyeballs. I've also seen them done like mummies & this recipe adapted for Valentine's Day using a small heart shaped cookie cutter to shape the mixture before freezing. My recipe take uses lower fat ingredients, and I can promise you, no one misses the extra calories when they are at party! Happy Haunting!


Ingredients:
1 - "Regular" Size Package Reduced Fat Oreo Cookies (entire cookie, cream and all)
1 - 8oz. package low fat Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
Almond or White Chocolate Bark, I prefer Almond Bark.
Decorations, you can use any of the following: chocolate chips (iris), red or green pipe icing (veins), colored candy pieces (iris), etc.



Directions:
1. Crush cookies to a fine consistency in a food processor. Two batches works best.
2.  Pour crumbs into a mixing bowl.
3. Add softened cream cheese to the crumbs and begin c…

Halloween!!!

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Halloween is hands down, my favorite holiday. Making costumes, spooky food and drinks and of course, and all sorts of decorations inside and out! I wanted to share a few ideas I had, to help inspire others. Additionally, most of my projects were done at a reasonable budget & can be saved for many years. Below, I am showcasing my mantle project I finished yesterday...well, that is unless I decide to put fake spiderwebs up, which I may. Also, an inexpensive, but creepy "vampire blood" or "venom" how to.

Being creative is the only way to go to decorate for Halloween. You can make ordinary objects creepy in minutes, and turn old junk into new treasures. Here are three "finds" from Goodwill and how I transformed them:

Candle Holders - Before: 99 Cents Each


Candle Holder - After: 

Using just 1/4 can of Flat Black Krylon, these were totally transformed. I actually kind of think the top design looks like a tombstone now! I may drip some red "blood" o…

Ravioli with Truffle Cream Sauce

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This is a great sauce recipe I came up with for artichoke ravioli last Friday. The sauce could be used on any type of pasta noodle, or ravioli. My inspiration came from one of the best pastas I have ever eaten in my life in Florence, Italy in July, which was a truffle mushroom and ricotta ravioli with a truffle cream sauce ( I know, it was absolutely to die for!) This is the slightly lightened up, but still amazing, at home version. I served this with seared scallops (recipe in post below).

Artichoke Ravioli with Truffle Cream Sauce

Ravioli:
1 package frozen, fresh prepared ravioli of choice. Good options might be vegetable, traditional ricotta or something similar.

Sauce:
2 c sliced mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus cut into 1 1/2'' pieces
1 bulb garlic, chopped
1/2 shallot diced
2 T olive oil
2 T truffle butter*
1 1/2 T truffle oil
1/4 cup light cream
1/4 white wine
salt
pepper
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

* If you can't find truffle butter, substitute 2T butter…