Happy Hour at Home

roasted red pepper goat cheese dip

It is really wrong to be buying bottled soda water at the store when I have a soda machine at home, right?

The other day I said to Jason “I am not responsible enough to own a soda machine.”

What I really meant was [click to continue…]

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blood orange tequila floats

Cheers! Today is National Margarita Day. and it falls on a Friday this year? How fortuitous for us.

Tequila now reminds me of Mexico, and the time Jason and I spent there just over a year ago, backpacking up the coast for a few weeks. I really learned to love tequila during that trip – learning about the different kinds (my favorite being reposado), and tasting many labels. From spending the afternoon at the beach sipping shots to cheersing on our anniversary at one of my favorite restaurants, some great memories…

Now when we enjoy a nice sipping tequila or even a margarita, we always say, “Tastes like Mexico…

[click to continue…]

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Are you having or going to a get together for the Superbowl tomorrow? Do you know who is playing?

I have a few teams I like to cheer on, and when they’re out, it’s all about the commercials and more importantly, the food and the entertaining. I might pick a team before the game starts, I may not.

What Superbowl Sunday really is to me?

Practice for my Oscar party.

pepperoni chili

pepperoni chili

and to dip in the chili:

 

cheesy tomato stuffed waffles

 

spicy buffalo hummus

tangy spicy buffalo hummus

 

buffalo flatbreads

spicy buffalo flatbreads

 

jalapeno popper sandwich

 

Mardi Gras jambalaya 

 

Reuben rolls with homemade thousand island

 

chipotle grilled cheese sliders

 

raw tacos with chipotle cream

 

for dipping everything:

celery ranch dressing

celery ranch dressing 

 

chick-quin sandwich

chick-quin sandwiches

 

peanut butter crunch smoothie

 

chocolate bourbon caramel truffles

 

salted marcona & chocolate rice crispies

 

need even more?

FOODball – great game day eats from friends

 

are you watching tomorrow? who are you rooting for, Jim or John Harbaugh?

 

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grapefruit-ginger vodka toddy

Ceeeellllaaaabrate good times, come on!

Sorry for putting that in your head for the rest of the day, I am just that excited about Vodka Week! I have participated in each and every letter of the #MMAZ alphabet, and have some definite favorites, but vodka? Yes, my most favorite.

This recipes is for those of you who might be feeling under the weather, and also for those who are in complete and utter fear of catching this SuperBug that is going around…  my version of a hot toddy, with vodka.

This is also delicious and warming on it’s own, the non spiked version. One for before work, one for after?

grapefruit-ginger vodka toddy

grapefruit-ginger vodka toddy

serves two

2 cups water
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced fine
2 teaspoons cinnamon
juice and zest of 2 grapefruit
1-2 tablespoons sweetener (coconut nectar)
2 ounces vodka
 

In small saucepan, bring water, minced ginger, grapefruit zest and cinnamon to a boil, reduce to simmer. Slice grapefruit in half, squeeze juice into simmering water. Stir in sweetener, simmer a minute or two. Using a strainer to catch grapefruit seeds, zest, ginger, pour into mugs. Stir in one ounce vodka into each mug – enjoy hot.

grapefruit-ginger hot toddy

Need want more recipes with vodka? I’ve got ‘em:

 

sparkly spiked cran-raspberry granita

 

Valentines spicy hot shots

 

cherry limeade popsicles

 

s’mores shots in chocolate glasses

 

hot chocolate peppermint shots

 

bottles in ice – fun party idea!

 

You know I cannot wait to find out what the other #MMAZ bloggers did with vodka!

To see the vodka recipes, visit Heather:

mmaz

 

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cheesy tomato pie bites

When did football become so dramatic?

My favorite Packers lost to the 49ers. I may as well be too, I don’t know who to root for now…

Duck fans are in a spin over the news that no, Chip Kelly is not staying in Oregon like he said he was.

…and then there’s something going on in Notre Dame? *sigh*

cheesy tomato pie

This is about the time I head back into the kitchen to make more game watching food. These tomato cheese pie bites are, to me, perfect football food. Of course they may create more drama – too girly? Too frilly? Too cheesy?

No – something can never be too cheesy.

tomato cheddar pie bites

tomato cheese pie bites

inspired by plum pie bites 

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

1 pint whole cherry tomatoes
2-3 ounces cheddar (dairy free)
recipe easy pie crust (vegan / gluten free)
2 tablespoons butter (dairy and soy free), melted

Rinse tomatoes and pat dry, leaving them ‘whole’. Slice cheddar into 1 1/2 inch squares. Roll out dough. Set a piece of cheddar on pie pastry dough, top with 1 or 2 tomatoes and cut around, leaving at least an inch around to wrap (eyeball this estimation based on size of tomatoes). Wrap pastry around cheddar and tomato, covering completely, place seam side down on prepared (parchment, silpat) baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, dough. 

Brush with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

tomato cheese pie bites

Are you a football fan, or are you just there for the food?

 

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pumpkin cheesecake spread

I am so very excited to be hosting Christmas this year, and have a lengthy list of snacks and appetizers and entrees and desserts and snacks…

Some are things I am making for the first time, so I have to give them a test run.

This is my second attempt at a pumpkin cheesecake spread (first was too sweet!), and we had a little Happy Hour at Home to give it a go. A couple of friends, a bottle of wine, a faux holiday roast (thank you, Theresa!), and some appetizers.

pumpkin cheesecake dip

Second time was most definitely a charm, here, and I will be making a third time (probably doubling!) next week. This one is a holiday flavored keeper. I am undecided if this will be served as a spread, or piped onto sweet crackers as bite size snacks.

This time I served it with light crispy cinnamon cookies (recipe soon!), and Grammy Crisp crackers. The first time I tried these new Crunchmaster crisps was dunked into my roasted plum ice cream, where they held up perfectly – crunchy and slightly sweet.

They say they’re for kids. I say they’re a perfect vehicle for a pumpkin cheesecake spread.

They may not arrive in time for your holiday appetizer table, but I am giving some Crunchmaster yums away after the jump…

pumpkin cheesecake spread

pumpkin cheesecake spread

dairy, egg, and gluten free, vegan

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
1/4 cup maple syrup
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
ounces cream cheese (dairy free like Tofutti)
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

In food processor, pulse cashews until crumbly. Add maple syrup and lemon juice, continue processing until smooth. Add pumpkin, cream cheese, vanilla paste, cinnamon and nutmeg, continue processing until smooth and creamy. 

pumpkin cheesecake dip

One of my favorite cracker brands, Crunchmaster, is offering one (U.S. based) spabettie reader a variety of flavors, including the new product.

To enter, leave a comment for each:

1) What is your favorite sweet dip?

2) Are you cooking for the holidays? What is on your menu?

3) Tweet it!  –>     enter to win a Crunchmaster giveaway from @spabettie ! –> http://spabettie.com/?p=11130

4) Follow Crunchmaster via twitter.

5) Like Crunchmaster on facebook.

Enter through midnight Sunday December 23. Winner selected via random number generator and notified via email soon after.

 

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I love radish!

What I learned during the preparation for this week’s Meatless Monday is that while I love them, I rarely use them.

This is going to change, right quick.

I also love watercress.

I had planned to use butter lettuce – another favorite – for the radish salad I made, but quickly changed my mind.

I randomly picked up two bunches of living watercress last week, because they looked good. All of this came together in a wonderful mix of fresh flavors atop my favorite celery ranch dressing.

salad of living watercress

dairy, egg, soy, and gluten free, vegan

makes two salads

1/4 – 1/3 cup celery ranch dressing
1/2 bunch watercress, stemmed
1/2 Asian pear, cored and sliced thin
2 radish, sliced very thin
handful Marcona almonds
sea salt

I built the salads as follows: a few tablespoons dressing spooned onto plate, followed by a pile of watercress. Continue layering with slices of pear and radish, completing with almonds and a sprinkling of salt.

gif online maker

radish tart

dairy and egg free, vegan

makes approximately 18 small tarts, 2 or 3 inches square each

1 package vegan puff pastry or pastry dough
1 cup (approximately) roasted artichoke lemon hummus
2 radish, sliced very thin
sea salt

Slice dough into squares, 2 to 3 inches each, transfer to prepared (parchment / silpat) baking sheet. Top with one tablespoon artichoke hummus, spreading to 1/4 inch of edge, leaving a perimeter of crust. Top with thin slices of radish and a pinch of salt, bake at 350 for 14-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm with watercress salad.

Fresh and flavorful – this is lunch again today.

To see even more radish recipes, visit Heather and the other #MMAZ participants!

 

 

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During the holidays our schedules can get crowded – multiple events on the same day, friends and family in town while those multiple events are going on, and the want to do all of the things.

That is where the pre-party comes in.

Back in college we would “pre funk” – get together before the function of the night. This is kinda like that – more grown up and most definitely more toned down. Probably.

This past weekend we had a friend in town, had plans with another group of friends, and there was a show we wanted to see. We had a pre-show party at our place and did not not miss a thing.

Just because it is a pre-party doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun with it. There are quick and easy things I did to make our little pre-funk every bit as cool as one of our normal shindigs. We had several small bite appetizers and sweets, pitchers of homemade Irish cream, and I even decorated!

The night before our pre-party I printed out some fun party decor pieces, then sat on the couch cutting and assembling them while watching a movie.

The printables I chose were from two different sources:

fun designs in pink, red and light blue from Hostess With The Mostess

more traditional red and green decor from The Party Dress.

There are toothpick labels, lettered garland to hang, large and small signs, even wrapping papers.

I also used some gift tags for some holiday gifts – they look great on my classic spabettie hounds tooth wrap, yes?

I will be using other pieces from these printables for upcoming events and gifts throughout the holidays – there are many labels and signs I will be adding to my cookie gift platters too. If you need some fun gift tags or party garlands for the holidays, visit the links above to print yours!

This holiday season, let loved ones know how much you care.  Use your favorite photos to create something personalized and unique for everyone on your list.  Make it memorable.  Make it meaningful.  Make it matter.  Go to hp.com/holiday for inspiration and ideas.

Compensation was provided by HP via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of spabettie and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of HP.

 

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