Entries Tagged as 'food'
With two working parents and a mere twenty-four hours in the day, it probably doesn’t shock you one bit that I’m all about easy entertaining. I love having friends over and planning get-togethers, but unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to find the time to prepare dishes from scratch every time you want to have guests. Here are three tips I rely on to make me look like an effortless hostess (even when I’m really not)!
Dress Up Pre-Prepared Dishes
My favorite entertaining trick is to outsource in the easiest way possible! That means that I’m best friends with the prepared foods section at our local gourmet market. Yes — it’s expensive. But when you’re strapped for time, it’s a luxury that’s well worth the investment! I’m never try to hide the fact that anything I serve is store bought — why bother? I think it’s nicer to share your go-to spots for delicious take-out than to pretend that you spent all day in the kitchen whipping up snacks! However, even when I’m buying prepared food, I go the extra mile to remove it from its containers and put in our own servingware. The difference in presentation makes it a little more special and personal.
Take Advantage of Pin-spiration
Pinterest is insanely addictive (I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent looking at wedding inspiration… and I’m already married)! But it’s also a great resource. One of my favorite tricks is to search for “make ahead” appetizers — and it’s a trip when I find my own recipes that others have pinned! Just this week, I realized that The Today Show had pinned my recipe for Parmesan Cones, which could easily be filled with a store-bought dip! Or this salad-on-a-stick recipe is an easy, beautiful snack.
In Lieu of a Cheese Platter, Try a Spread!
Last, I have a new secret that I just discovered – Alouette Le Bon Dip! It’s a soft cheese blend with chunky veggies. It’s also made with a touch of yogurt so it still tastes rich and delish but is actually healthy. (No artificial flavors or colors either!) It’s perfect to serve to kids (Bear loves it!) or grown-up guests. Pair it with some fresh-cut veggies or cheese straws, like I did!
What are your favorite tips for easy entertaining?
Disclosure: I partnered with Alouette to bring you this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photo Credit: Kate Robinson
Tags: food · sponsored
Usually I use a fancy camera for my Sugarlaws shots, but this photo was taken with my iPhone.
Do you want to know why?
It’s because last weekend, Chad and I were taken down by the most epic stomach bug I’ve ever encountered.
I mean: knocked us out, flat on our backs, for 24 hours. I literally couldn’t sit up.
I’ll avoid the gruesome details (you‘re welcome), since this is a food post and all, but I’ll tell you without a moment’s hesitation… this stomach bug was pure misery in its most visceral form.
At around eight p.m., Bear fell asleep and Chad and I went into our bedroom and just lay there in bed, too exhausted to do anything else.
And suddenly Chad says to me, “this was kind of a fun day.”
Obviously, I looked at him, like, um, did you have some different day than the one I had? Because mine involved puking into a container next to the bed for about five hours straight. (Sorry, I told you that I’d avoid the details, but there they are. Hey, internet. Here’s a story about me vomiting. And a recipe. Because that’s not gross or anything.)
So, anyways. “Fun” isn’t exactly how I’d describe our day. But Chad persevered, and explained that the stomach bug itself was terrible, but that we’d spent the day working together, taking care of our son and taking care of each other. When one of us was capable of walking, we’d get the other Gatorade from the fridge. Chad took Bear in the morning, and I put him to bed. Between the two of us, we had a day that was physically horrific, but we’d gotten through it, together. And that night, at a whopping 8 p.m. on the dot, we celebrated getting through it, together.
And then we turned out the lights and went to sleep.
And the next morning, I realized the funniest thing. Without having any idea that we were about to get sick, I’d stocked up on all the ingredients for chicken noodle soup. I’d specifically bought fresh celery and carrots and chicken and egg noodles and all the stuff we’d need to make this recipe with exactly zero effort.
So? I made it.
And then, having expended the full amount of energy I had available that day, I couldn’t bring myself to drag out my SLR camera just to snap a shot. I took one with my iPhone, called it a day, and went back to bed.
Chicken Noodle Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups vegetable broth
1 pound chicken breast
2 cups egg noodles
2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
Sea salt to taste
In a large pot, saute onions in butter until soft and translucent. Add broth, celery, chicken breast, carrots, and spices, and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Fifteen minutes before the soup is finished, add egg noodles and cook to al dente. Serve warm.
Tags: food · soups
March 30th, 2015 · 1 Comment
Spring hit Texas last week, although I know it’s been slow to arrive on other parts of the country! But this dish is a pretty good compromise — it has the lightness of a summer chowder, but it’s warm and substantial for those last few chilly days.
These last few weeks have been insanely busy, but in a really good way! Starting my law practice means that when I’m swamped with work, I’m actually happy about it — which is a pretty cool feeling. However, it means that I have to be extra organized and motivated to make sure I can accomplish what I need to every day. (Especially with a baby involved, that’s no small feat!) It’s been a huge challenge, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
But, onto this recipe: I wouldn’t say it’s exactly as “easy” as my usual slow cooker staples, although the effort is definitely worth it. This is the kind of dish that’s great to make on Friday night, so you can have leftovers all weekend. Chad really liked it, and it’ll be back in our rotation again soon!
Shrimp and Corn Chowder
1 16-ounce package of frozen corn
4 slices turkey bacon, diced
8 scallions, thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
Salt and Pepper
In a large stock pot, saute the turkey bacon until fully cooked, and set aside. Combine 1 tbsp milk with the flour and heat together to create a roux, then add the rest of the milk, potatoes, scallions, seasoning, shrimp, and corn. Simmer for about 2 hours.
Tags: food · main dishes