Turkey Fruit and Cheese Plate

Turkey Fruit and Cheese Plate

 

Gobble Gobble! I saw something like this on Pinterest and decided to try it out for myself, I think it needs work but can be perfected by Thanksgiving.

Turkey  Cheese and Fruit Plate

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I Made it to 50,000!

Thanks everyone,  I just realized I made it to 50,000 views. I started this on a whim and never went through the proper channels to advertise or upgrade but still the hits keep coming so my little hobby has paid off in my eyes. Hope you enjoy my blog and recipes. The most popular post to date is still Creamy Reese’s Peanut Butter Dip. Have you tried it? Thanks again to all my Facebook, Pinterest and email followers for viewing and sharing my posts.

Creamy Reese's Peanut Butter Dip by Hollie's Hobbies

Roll Out the Barrel: Oktoberfest Party

Oktoberfest Party: Photo Booth

It was one of my best friends birthday recently so we decided to throw her a birthday party with an Oktoberfest theme. Whats not to like, beer, costumes, and German food.

To start I decorated with some beer and fall things I had around the house, empty bottles, beer steins, burlap runner, dried wheat and fall leaves. I also bought a blue and white harlequin tablecloth ( the official Oktoberfest pattern) from a party store and hung it over a curtain rod in my family room to make a back drop for a ” photo booth”. I had props like steins, lederhosen, German signs and Oktoberfest bibs from the party store. I set my camera on a tripod in front of it and tried to get shots of all the party goers.

I am also very lucky that I have some home brewing friends who made a keg of beer especially for our party, delicious!  But this is a great time to taste some of the fall varieties of craft beers like Oktoberfests and Pumpkins.

For appetizers I set up a “Pretzel Stand” I had assorted flavors, shapes and sizes of pretzels and dips to go with them. I even made some homemade Pretzel Bites by following this recipe. http://www.snixykitchen.com/2012/10/24/pretzel-bites-with-four-distinct-dipping-sauces/. I made the dough a day ahead of time and covered it tightly with plastic wrap. then boiled and baked the pretzels the next day. I also found that I needed to add about 3/4 c more flour than the recipe called for to get the dough to be the right consistency but I live in Florida and baking here can be weird.

Oktoberfest Party: Homemade Pretzel Bites

Oktoberfest Party: Pretzel Stand

For dips I made a Sweet and Spicy Mustard Sauce

1 c mayonnaise

3/4 c coarse mustard

2 T  jarred grated horseradish

2 T honey

Oktoberfest Party: Sweet and Spicy Mustard

a Chocolate and Toffee Dip

1 brick cream cheese softened

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1/4 c cocoa powder

1/2 c toffee chips (Heath)

1 t vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer on low until combined.

Oktoberfest Party: Chocolate and Toffee Dip

I also made Beer Cheese Dip using an Oktoberfest Beer instead of an IPA.

To make all of the food seem more festive I labeled them with German names on the tables.

For the main course we had Brats braised in Beer, Rouladen, Oma’s Potato Salad, Saurkraut with beer and apples, and Homemade Cucumber Salad

Oktoberfest Party: Rouladen

Cucumber Salad

4 cucumbers peeled and sliced thin

1 cup sour cream

2 T sugar

2 T white vinegar

1 t dried dill

1 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

Slice cucumbers and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes, then mix all ingredients together in a large bowl

Oktoberfest Party: Cucumber Salad

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite, cupcakes. My friend made 3 different kinds for our Oktoberfest themed party. Apple Strudel, German Chocolate and Bavarian Cream. ( I will try to get the recipes to post on here)

Oktoberfest Party: Cupcakes

Fun was had by all, the food, beer and company was all delightful. Go on try some of these ideas at your next Fall party and share your tips below.

Pool Party: My Nephew’s 1st Birthday

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Under The Sea Cake

I come from a very large family, and my nephew turned one last week and so we celebrated in style.  It was a collaborative effort by friends and family with ideas from everyone and Pinterest. It turned out so cute I thought I would share some of the highlights. The cake above came from the very talented Creative Wine-O, check out her facebook page here. The detail was stunning. The beach ball was the “smash” cake and even the sand dollars were edible.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Watch Me Grow Time Line

To celebrate his first revolution around the sun my sister made a timeline, featuring a picture from each of his 12 months. Use ribbon and clothes pins to hang. Make sure you put it in a place that is easily accessible so all guest can admire it.  We also used this as the back drop when he ate his birthday cake. We placed his high chair in front.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Fish Craft

We hung a fishing net ( available at party stores) over the main food table and attached sand molds to it. We also had a craft table so that some of the older kids could make paper plate fish to hang in the net. We also used sand buckets and shovels to serve some of the food in.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Shark Bite Fruit Salad

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Shark Bite Fruit Salad

One of the highlights of the food table was this awesome watermelon carved into a shark by my brother-in-law. We then filled it with various cut up fruit.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Blow Fish Fruit Platter

He also made a cantaloupe into a blow fish.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Fish Veggie Tray

Vegetables morphed into a tropical fish.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Octopus Spinach Dip

Spinach dip was turned into a jolly octopus using a bread bowl and pretzel sticks.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Hummus Beach

Make your own hummus beach by spreading hummus in a shallow tray ( I used a clear lid to a casserole) and decorate with drink umbrellas and Pretzel Crisp crabs.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Dolphin Finger Sandwiches

I found a dolphin sandwich cutter at Sweetbay, perfect to make mini sandwiches for the kids.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Bait Bucket

Swedish fish and gummy worms turned into an edible bait bucket decoration.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Party Favors

Each child got to take a bit of the fun home. Our good family friend made party buckets out of plain sand buckets decorated with stickers and ribbon and filled with beach themed goodies from the dollar store.

It was a true success and a joyous celebration of one of our youngest family members birthday.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

I couldn’t wait for the Holiday Pretzel Crisps to come out so I made these today.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

1 7.2 oz bag Original Pretzel Crisps

1 c  unsalted butter (2 sticks)

1 c brown sugar

1 c chocolate chips

1 c crushed pecans

Preheat oven to 400. line a baking sheet with a silpat or spray with cooking spray

Lay Pretzel Crisps evenly on the pan.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

Melt butter in a small sauce pan with the brown sugar over med high heat

Pretzel Crisp Candy

 

Bring to a boil and boil over med heat for 3 minutes

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

Pour over Pretzel Crisps and bake for 5 minutes

Pretzel Crisp Candy

Remove from oven and scatter chocolate chips and nuts over the top while still warm, slightly pressing them down with a rubber spatula to help them stick.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

Refrigerate baking sheet for at least 2 hours or until candy is hard.Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

** Other additions, chopped peppermint candy, toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, peanut butter chips, mini M and M’s

 

Mediterranean Layered Dip

Mediterranean Layered Dip

 

Everyone has had 7 layer dip and its delicious, here is a little twist, same idea but Mediterranean flavors. Make this as easy or as difficult as you want, use store bought ingredients or make your own Hummus and Tzatziki Sauce.

On a large plate or shallow bowl layer the following ingredients or be creative and add your favorites, anything goes.

Hummus

Tzatziki sauce or Greek Yogurt

Chopped Tomatoes

Chopped Kalamata Olives

Chopped Pepppadew Peppers or Roasted Red Peppers

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Chopped Fresh Parsley or Oregano

Lemon Zest

Serve with Pita, Celery or Pretzel Crisps

Mediterranean Layered Dip

 

Other ideas, Pine Nuts, Roasted garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tabouli

 

 

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

We eat a lot of wings around here. I have two teenage boys and I think if it was up to them we would eat pizza and wings every night. I saw a post awhile back from a fellow blogger, Fantastic Frugal Foods from Justa’s Kitchen for a Buffalo Chicken Casserole. What a great idea for my family. So when I was in my kitchen with some extra chicken cutlets that need to be used up, I remembered her recipe. I wanted to use what I had in my kitchen without going to the store, so I kinda of created my own version, but here is hers.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

2T butter

1 t chopped garlic

2T hot sauce (I used Frank’s)

1/4 c chopped celery (if you are not a celery fan, try carrots)

1/4 c flour

3 cups milk

3 oz cream cheese

2 T blue cheese

16 oz box of ziti (or other pasta), cooked and drained

1/2 c crushed Buffalo flavored Pretzel Crisps

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, Add butter to a large pan and melt over med high heat, add chicken, garlic, 1 T hot sauce and celery. Sauté til chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. remove from heat and sprinkle chicken and veg with flour.

Place back on burner over low.for 1 minute. Add milk and bring to boiling, turn to low and add cream cheese, blue cheese and remaining 1 T of  hot sauce cook until cheese is melted into sauce and it is slightly thickened.

Add sauce to pasta and stir, pour into a large baking dish, 9×13

Top with crushed pretzels.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Creamy Reese’s Peanut Butter Dip

Book club time again, this month’s selection was A Visit for the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I liked some of the book, but there were too many characters and writing styles for me to keep up with.  When I got to the power point presentation, I wanted to just skip it, I was reading, why was there what  looks like math in front of me. I was however excited for the chance to pull out my Doc Martens and old 80’s new wave/punk jewelry.  Have I mentioned I am in the best book club in the world, we go all out, costumes, food, etc…

 

This month’s food was a challenge though, 80’s punk rock food….hmmm. Luckily one of the characters, Lou, eats a lot of apples in the book, that was my inspiration. I have made a cream cheese and Heath bar dip for apples in the past but I wanted to put a little spin on it. I decided to switch up the candy and use Reese Peanut Butter cups instead, I liked this dip way more than the book.

2 8oz bricks of cream cheese, softened

1 8oz carton of cool whip

1/4 c brown sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

5 full sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Candy Bars ( a total of 10 cups, 2 in each package)

Add Cream Cheese, Sugar, Vanilla and 3 candy bars (6 cups) to a food processor, pulse until candy is chopped up and ingredients are combined.

CREAMY REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER DIP

Add mixture to a large bowl and fold in cool whip until combined.

Spread mixture into a large glass pie pan or other shallow dish. Chop remaining peanut butter cups and sprinkle on top. Serve with sliced apples, pretzel chips and graham crackers.

Beer Cheese Dip

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Beer Cheese Dip

Let’s start with an easy one. This is an all time crowd pleaser and one of my most requested recipes.

2  8 oz packages of Cream Cheese (slightly softened)

4-5 scallions trimmed and chopped

1  1oz package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 bottle of beer (I used Drifter Pale Ale,using different beers will give the dip different flavors, just make sure your beer has flavor, I am a hop head and prefer pale ales and IPAs, but Stouts work nicely too)

Put all the ingredients into a a large food processor until combined. Transfer to bowl and serve with Veggies, Kettle style chips and Pretzel Crisps ( I prefer the original and sesame flavors with this dip)