Festive Holiday Cocktail: Cranberry Ginger Royale

Cranberry Ginger Royale

 

Here is an easy drink for the holidays and one of my families favorites. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time in between.

Cranberry Ginger Royale ( for each glass)

2 T cranberry juice

1t ginger liquor ( I used Stirrings)

Champagne ( or any sparkling white wine)

Fresh cranberries or a sprig of fresh rosemary for garnish if desired .

Add cranberry juice and ginger liquor to a  champagne flute and top off with Champagne. Garnish as desired.

Cranberry Ginger Royale

 

 

Advertisements

Are You Ready For Some Football?: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches

It is football season, time for tailgates and parties. Here is an easy recipe that will please a crowd on the weekend or your family on the weeknight.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

2 lbs ground chicken

1/3 c blue cheese crumbles

1/2 c panko bread crumbs

2 T buttermilk ( you can use regular milk and add 1 t vinegar)

3 T hot sauce

1 t minced garlic

1/4 c chopped onion

1 T Italian seasoning

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 c  buffalo wing sauce (We made our own, melt 1/2 stick butter, add 1 t minced garlic, 1 c hot sauce, and 2 t brown sugar, stir)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. form into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink. Toss with wing sauce in a large bowl. Serve on toasted buns with blue cheese and lettuce. Add shredded mozzarella cheese if desired.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches

** Entertaining tip, add meatballs and wing sauce into a crock pot and set on warm. Or make smaller sized meatballs and serve as appetizers with a side of blue cheese dressing.

Christmas Entertaining: Bloody Mary and Hot Chocolate Bars

Hot Chocolate Bar

Hot Chocolate Bar

Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be difficult, it just has to be festive and fun. A couple of years ago I had a Christmas Brunch complete with a Bloody Mary bar and a Hot Chocolate bar for the kids, (and adults too, just add some Baileys’).

For the Hot Chocolate bar, have hot water in a carafe, packets or a container of hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, chocolate chips, whipped cream, festive sprinkles, and candy canes for stirring. Let the guests make there own favorite concoction, this was a big hit with the preteens.

_MG_0734

For the Bloody Mary Christmas Bar, make pitchers of Basic Bloody Mary’s 3parts tomato juice, to 1 part vodka (have regular tomato juice on hand for those who don’t drink alcohol) Then set up the bar with ice,  Worcestershire, celery salt, hot sauce, old bay seasoning, picked vegetables, lemon and lime wedges, celery, cooked shrimp, olives and any other topping or garnish you desire. Again let the guest play bartender, set out some pastries, breakfast casseroles and a salad and the party is complete.

Bloody Mary Christmas Bar

Bloody Mary Christmas Bar

Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork with Lime Cilantro Cream

This one cooks in the crock pot for an easy meal, feeds a large crowd and can easily be doubled. I served it in tortillas with the Lime Cilantro Cream and shredded cheese.

Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork

1 Boston Butt Pork Roast

1 onion chopped

1 can rotel tomatoes with green chilis

1/2 c tequila

juice of 1 lime

juice of 1 orange

3 cloves garlic

1 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1 t cumin

1 t Habanero powder (omit if you want it mild)

Here is the easy part, throw everything into the crock pot, turn on high until it simmers, reduced heat to low and cook for approx 5 hours or until pork is done and easily shreds with 2 forks.

Remove pork from liquid and shred on a large cutting board or platter. Serve with warm tortillas, shredded cheese and Lime Cilantro Cream

 

Lime Cilantro Cream

Ina medium bowl mix together:

1 c sour cream

2 T lime juice

1T tequila

2 T chopped cilantro

1/2 t salt

1/8 t pepper

1/4 t lime zest

Graduation, A Broken Tooth, and a Chip and Dip Bar

My oldest child is officially a High School graduate and I couldn’t be prouder. We have looked forward to this for weeks, months, years. Everything was going smoothly, I thought I had everything under control and my niece was on her way to our house to share in the festivities. I was getting the linens from the top shelf of the closet for her when something hit me in the mouth.  Suddenly my mouth was filled with tiny pieces of grit, which after thinking for a moment I realized must be my tooth. An alarm clock had fallen out of the closet and hit me in the exact angle that shattered my front left tooth. It was 9pm and my sons graduation, the day we had been counting down to, was the next morning at 8 am. I had a melt down, and not a small one. I was too afraid to look at the damage, it took me a while to be brave enough to look in the mirror. It was in a word hideous.

I thought about not going to his graduation, I thought about canceling our upcoming trip, I thought about calling it a life and never leaving the house again. None of those were viable options. I put on my best tight lipped smile and made it to graduation. I did a mean Geisha impersonation covering my mouth with my hand when I had to speak. It was the right call, tears came to my eyes as I watched  my oldest child take the field with his classmates dressed in his cap and gown. I saw him with new eyes, he was a man now, we had done our job, his whole future was ahead of him. A moment I could never get back or recreate.

Graduation was done, straight to the dentist and 5 hours later I emerged with 2 new front teeth and a huge list of things to do to get ready for a graduation party. I had pre-planned but losing so much time due to injury caused me to reevaluate my list and make some cuts. One thing that made the cut was a chip and dip bar, chips happen to be one of his favorite foods. I bought various types of chips and used different sized bowls and plates to display them, them made a variety of dips to accompany them. This was a big hit and is perfect for a cocktail party, teen birthday or graduation.

We made labels for the different dips, and the nice part is that most of them could be made the night before. One of the crowd and teens favorite was Bacon Horseradish Dip.

1/2 c mayonnaise

1/2 c sour cream

1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese grated

1/4 cup grated horseradish, I used the jarred variety

6 slices of cooked bacon chopped

1 t worcestershire sauce

Mix ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, chill until ready to serve, top with shredded cheese and chopped bacon.

For a festive touch roll white napkins diploma style and tie with black ribbon, stack and place on buffet tables.