Small Gatherings | July | 1st Birthday Party Brunch | Egg Muffin Recipe

My daughter and grandson were visiting from Houston this past week and since Levi recently celebrated his first birthday we decided to throw a small party so we could celebrate with him.    We did not want to interfere with naptime so we thought a brunch would be the perfect time to party.   I had recently seen some party inspiration at the blog Hostess with the Mostess.  If you are ever looking for birthday party, shower or wedding inspiration you must check this site out.  They literally have hundreds of pictures of theme decor and food ideas.  I totally copied this idea for my kitchen chalkboard.

kindra-and-levi

Our menu consisted of:

menu Breakfast-pigs-in-a-blanket

Chicken-and-Waffles

Egg-Muffins

Birthday-Cupcakes

Birthday-cookies

The egg muffin recipe is one of my favorite breakfast items.   I have been making them since my girls were little and they became our traditional breakfast for the first day back at school.   Try them sometime, I promise you will like them!

Savory-Egg-MuffinsLinking to Inspiration Monday Party

 

 

 

Small Gatherings|June|Light Dinner Al Fresco

After work last night I had several errands to run and Dave needed to do some work in the yard.  We decided to get those things done then have a late dinner.  By the time we both had completed, it was close to 7:00 pm and still pushing 90 degrees.  The last thing I felt like doing was making a big dinner.  I started thinking about what I could pull together and then it dawned on me that I had picked up some of Sargento’s new tasting cheese at the store and that coupled with some sausage would be a perfect light, no-cook dinner.

dinner

I am pretty much in love with Sargento brand of cheese, it started with the low-fat cheese sticks and I was totally won over when they started making the Ultrathin Cheese slices.  These two items are always in my fridge.  This is not a sponsored post by the way, I just love cheese! When I heard that Sargento had come up with some new block cheese I knew I had to try it.  There are eight different varieties but I just picked up three, Brushetta Jack, New Zealander and Aged Wisconsin Cheddar.  You can see all the varieties here.  They are the perfect size for tasting and trying new items.

Sargento-tastings

They did not disappoint.  I paired them with some summer sausage, grapes, cherries, nuts, baguette slices, pretzel thins, and hummus.

light-dinner

Of course I threw in a few bottles of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy.

SummerShantyon-ice

We enjoyed this light dinner outside (aka AL Fresco) on the patio and it was delightful.  A perfect ending to a hot, busy day.

dinner3

I am thinking this menu, with a few variations depending on what is in the fridge, will be making a weekly appearance in the summer rotation.  I have already thought of other easy items to add such as hard boiled eggs, roasted garbanzo beans, sliced red and green peppers, cherry tomatoes, marinated mozzarella.  The list is endless!

Have a great weekend friends!

Sharing at Foodie Fridays@ Rattlebridge Farm

Small Gatherings|May|Breakfast on the Patio

Sunday morning we are packing up our youngest daughter and moving her to Denver.  She will finish her last internship rotation this summer and take the Registered Dietitian’s exam this fall.  If we are all lucky, that will result in a paying job soon thereafter!!!!  Such a bittersweet time, I am so excited for her to start this new phase of her life, yet sad because she will be so far away.  For her last Saturday at home, I thought we would make the day special by starting our morning with breakfast on the patio.

scones-tray-sfw

One of my favorite items to make for breakfast are scones, I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE them.  My go-to recipe comes from a workshop I took with Jenny Steffens Hobick at Everyday Occasions.  She makes several versions of these, cranberry, vanilla bean and cinnamon swirl to name a few, but my favorite are the jalepeno cheddar.  Click here for the link to that recipe.  For this mornings scones, I left out the jalepenos.

scones-sfw

Another quick breakfast recipe I love are frittatas, first because I like my eggs cooked well done and that is easy to accomplish in this recipe and also because frittata’s are great for throwing in leftover veggies.

frittata1-sfw

I have included this recipe at the end of the post.  Did you happen to notice the wooden butter knife in the scone picture above and the wooden cutting board in this frittata picture.  These are handmade items by my brother-in-law Steve.  I have talked about his craftsmanship several times on the blog including here, here and here.  I should just start a page about all the items he makes, better yet, I should start a shop to start selling his items.  Hmmmm…

Here is another picture of the frittata where you can see a better view of the inlaid cutting board.  This board is actually a pizza peel.  It has a very thin edge perfect for scooping up a pizza out of the oven.  We use it all the time, I love it!

frittata2-sfw

I got off track a little there, back to our breakfast!  I kept the table-setting very simple with a tablecloth over our bistro set and a few individual flowers in vases.

table-sfw

I did spend a couple of minutes making fun bowtie napkins!

bowtienapkin-sfw

Below is the Veggie Frittata recipe…..enjoy your weekend!

 

Veggie Frittata

6 Eggs

2T butter

½ onion, diced

2 cups chopped broccoli

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/3 c diced green pepper

1/3 c diced red pepper

2 t minced garlic

Red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste

 

In a heavy, oven-proof skillet, melt the butter. Sauté the onions, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms until soft. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and seasonings together. Pour the eggs over the veggies until the sides are set. Set the oven to broil and put the skillet in the oven until the top of the frittata is set and browned. Slide from the pan and slice.

 

Linking to

Amaze Me Monday

Inspiration Monday

Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm

Tablescape Thursdays

Hymns and Verses Find your Voice Friday #1

Small Gatherings|April|Brunch|Cinnamon Rolls

Last Sunday was stormy, cloudy and the perfect day to stay in and host a brunch for friends.  We started with a fun Bloody Mary Bar that included the usual vodka and Zing Zang.  For the adventuresome who preferred to build their own we added tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and pepper.  Toppings included lemon and lime slices, celery sticks, green olives and jalepenos.  Yummy!

 

BM-Bar

Although this was not an Easter brunch per say, I could not resist adding some fun napkins folded in the shape of bunny ears.  There are many tutorials out there in blog land to show you how to fold these.  Here is a link to the one I used.

Bunny-ears

table-setting

When I host a brunch I frequently purchase a Honey Baked Ham because it is SOOOO easy and most everyone enjoys it.  The serving instructions suggest just bringing it to room temperature.  Could it be any easier?   Dave also likes it because we usually have enough leftovers for his lunch for an entire week.

 

Honeybaked-Ham

Our friends pitched in with a couple of savory egg casseroles, some muffins and amazing individual cherry cheesecakes.  I also used this occasion to make a batch of my mom’s cinnamon rolls.  When I was growing up, my mom made bread every Sunday and I never once saw her use a recipe.  I also do not recall ever seeing her measure ingredients.  My sister inherited this baking gene and she is always in charge of hot rolls on holidays.   A few years before my mom passed away I had her tell me her recipe and I wrote it down.  She said she was just guessing on the measurements.

Nena making cinnamon rolls

I have only tried making these a few times and they have turned out differently every time.  They tasted fine but they did not measure up to my mom’s or even my sister’s cinnamon rolls.  I will keep trying though!

Iced-Cin-Rolls

Here is the recipe if you would like to try also:

Nenas-Cinnamon-Rolls

For a printable version click Nena’s Cinnamon Rolls.

 

Small Gatherings| February Valentine’s Dinner

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  We celebrated with a small dinner party and in spite of my crazy work week thwarting the preparations, I think we all enjoyed the evening.  This was our first gathering in our newly reclaimed dining room (more on that later) and although it is not completely done yet, it was nice to have a more formal sitting area for this special event.

table-setting

Since I wanted to chill the salad plates and serve the food plated, I only set the table with the charger and appetizer plate.  I added the gorgeous pink roses and a few candles to insert a little romance.

pink-roses

At each place setting I had a bag of chocolates and a printed dinner menu.

candy-bag-and-menu

Valentine-Menu-Card

I am going to post a few of the recipes later but here is a peek at some of the goodies we enjoyed.  If you look closely at our appetizers, Basil Pesto and Parmesan Palmiers, they somewhat resemble a heart!

Basil-Pesto-and-Parmesan-Pa

We were also a little decadant for dessert with two choices, but hey, it was Valentine’s Day!

White-Chocolate-Raspberry-C

Raspberries-in-Chocolate-CuOur evening ended with a game of “How well do you know your Spouse?” similar to the Newlywed Game, but our guests were not even close to being newlyweds!  Then we passed around each others wedding albums and marveled at how young we once were, not to mention a few laughs at the funny hairstyles and clothes.  It was a very enjoyable evening spent with good friends.

Linking to:

Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch

Simple and Sweet Fridays at Rooted In Thyme

Bits and Pieces

Life has been incredibly busy for me the last month or so, mostly due to work.  The hours have been long and the days stressful.  SOMEBODY MAKE IT STOP!!!!  I joked with Dave that I think I will have some surgery so I can take a couple of weeks off.  Pretty desperate, huh!  Actually, that is really not very funny because I am scheduled for surgery in about a week and that by itself is stressing me out!

*For the most part we have all been snowbound around here for the last week.  I can not remember a time before when school was cancelled for an entire week.  I know we have received this much snow (10 inches) and more before, but I think last friday’s ice event and the brutally cold temperatures have really hampered the street crews ability to get the streets cleared.  If you can make it out of your neighborhood, the main roads and highways are good, but the side streets are just downright dangerous. I am so over winter……

Feb-2014

*In the few hours per day that I am not stuck in front of my computer or brain-dead, I have been working on my first floor update which includes switching up some tables and chairs, a new rug and mostly new accessories.  I am not ready for the big reveal yet, but I will share a sneak peek.

decorcollage

*If you know me well, you know I love to entertain.  When thinking about my personal goals for the year I decided I would like to host a dinner party once a month using the time of year to inspire the menu.    I am starting this project I am calling “Small Gatherings” with a  Valentine’s Day celebration.  This means I have been searching recipes and trying to decide on the perfect Valentine menu.  There are a MILLION dessert recipes perfect for the occasion, in fact I have found so many I have had a hard time deciding which to choose.  Here are a few of the final contenders, although not the one (or two) I finally decided on.  I am saving that to share with you later.

Valentine cookies

  Source

valentines cake

Source

I am pretty sure Boulevard’s Chocolate Ale will also be on my Valentine table since I was able to get a couple of bottles on the day it was released.

Chocolate-Ale

*Finally, speaking of surgery, my 4th and final (hopefully) surgery will be happening in just a little over a week.  Since I will be recovering over the hubby’s birthday and we (at least me) will be stuck in the house for a few weeks after,  we decided to spend the weekend before in a jam-packed two days of revelry, merriment and fun.  That means no work, no laundry, no cooking, just good times.  So far we lined up:

  •  A movie or two– thinking The Monuments Men, Labor Day and/or Lone Survivor
  • An hour at the shooting range – (guess who picked this activity?)
  • Lunch at Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Shopping for a “poor me, I have to have surgery present!”
  • Dinner at Em Chamas – A Brazilian Grill and Dave’s idea of heaven, people walking around with all you can eat big hunks of meat
  • Sunday Brunch (maybe Avenue’s Bistro in Brookside)
  • And anything else we can think of, any suggestions??

I am going to focus as much as possible on this weekend and not the days that will be following it.  So NOT looking forward to doing this again!

Happy Friday!