Easy Entertaining

~ Easy Entertaining ~

Beautiful & Delicious

Beautiful & Delicious

Now that the weather is warming up, we all want to entertain.  I am going through some old photos and finding some cute, easy ideas to pass along.  Enjoy!

Above: Roll a Log of Goat Cheese in fresh chopped herbs and lemon zest.  Garnish with Chive Flower (I believe I used fresh organic thyme, chives, parsley, lemon zest, s&p)

 

Table Display

Bright & Colorful Display Ideas

Starting Bottom to Left: Herbed Goat Cheese, Edamame Hummus & Fresh Veggies, Caprese Bites, Radish & Herbed Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Foraged Quinoa and Berry Salad, Drunken Pasta, Smothered Greek Hummus, Baked Brie with Grapes and Thyme

This was actually for another BookClub that I hosted.  I tried to use all my own produce and herbs and local ingredients.  I had chosen the book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter.  I needed more lettuce than I had, so I even foraged dandelion greens from my yard!!!  Gotta keep with the spirit of the book!  I have some of the pics, so I’ll post them.  Not 100% of all the recipes, but I’ll do my best to remember what I can.

 

Veggie & Hummus

Veggie & Hummus

Just Slice Veggies of your choice and put a dip in the middle!

 

Edamame Hummus:

1 package Organic Edamame (cooked & drained)

1-2 T organic Tahini

2 Cloves Organic Garlic

1 Organic Lemon Zest & Juice (or lime)

1/2 – 1 Jalapeño (to taste)

1 T Organic Chili Powder

Put in Blender or Food Processor.  Blend.  Drizzle in GOOD, LIGHT ORGANIC EVOO until desired consistency (4-7 T)  I kept this one a bit more rustic rather than creamy.  Less EVOO….healthier.  Put in cute serving dish and sprinkle with Chili Powder or Paprika. Cilantro is also good in this!

Makes a great

Use a Variety of Veggies & Color Coordinate!

Caprese Bites

Caprese Bites

Pretty Basic:

Layer Basil, Mozzarella & Tomato on Fork

Drizzle with GOOD Balsamic Vinegar & EVOO

salt & pepper

Radish Tea Sammies

Herbed Radish Tea Sammies

Supereasy.  Bought Tea Sized Rye/Pumpernickel Bread.  Made a custom herb cream cheese to spread.  (soften 1 package organic cream cheese, blend herbs of choice, salt & pepper.  I think I used thyme, chives & parsley)  Slice Radishes.  Top with 2 Radish Slices and Sprinkle with Fresh Herbs (thyme & chives)

 

Foraged Quinoa & Berry Salad

Foraged Quinoa & Berry Salad

Variety of lettuce and foraged greens, Quinoa (cooked & cooled), My Fresh Raspberries, Local Blueberries, Local Goat Cheese (could substitute Feta or another creamy cheese….I like the tanginess the goat cheese) s&p.  Tossed with Lavender Balsamic and drizzled with EVOO.

Brie, Grapes, Thyme & Lavender Balsamic

Brie, Grapes, Thyme & Lavender Balsamic

Beautiful & Delicious!

Top Brie with Grapes, Lavender Balsamic, Fresh Thyme, s&p

Bake 400 7-10 mins.

DEVOUR!!!

Lemon, Cucumber, Mint

Lemon, Cucumber, Mint

So Refreshing!

eat.drink.be

Kari

 

Bustin’ Out BookClub

This is how I rock BOOKCLUB

Awesome Apps For Any Event!

I hosted BookClub last month. We read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It was good. I highly recommend it! I wanted to serve light and healthy appetizers because I made a heavy main course, Baked Vodka Pasta with Fresh Arugula, Spinach & Caramelized Onions.

Here’s the deal. I LOVE to cook and entertain, but last month I was in a SERIOUS time crunch!!! Not to go into details, but I had to rock this out Sandra-Lee-Style…..Semi-Homemade, which is SO NOT MY STYLE! But, with a few twists on these apps, I was able to pull it off quick, fresh and full of flavor.

Organic Crudités

Crudités

Organic Crudités

Broccoli Florets, Easter Egg Radish, Cucumber Rounds, Orange Pepper Julienne, Asparagus Spears, Fennel Half Moons, Red Pepper Julienne, Whole Snap Peas, Fresh Baby Carrots, Mix Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

Wash, rinse, and slice veggies. Arrange on Platter. Toss with dressing at least 4 hours before party! You can even do it ahead that morning!!

I was able to hit up the Fresh Market for some Fresh, Organic Produce…but I did have the time factor against me. So I used a bottled dressing. That’s right. Normally I would have made a vinaigrette from scratch, but I was not entertaining at my own house, so I had to bring everything with me. I think Kelly (my FAB friend who let me borrow her house and mess up her kitchen!!!) already thought I was crazy!!! 🙂 I think I did add in some fresh Organic Parsley and Organic Basil that I had brought with me. And some Himalayan Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper!

 

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So, here’s what I used. Found it at the Fresh Market…all organic ingredients.      Light & Subtle Flavor. Perfect.

You could definitely used any of your favorite Italian or Balsamic Vinaigrettes. Add Herbs, Spices, Garlic etc to change it up. I was rockin’ the KISS Method again! 🙂 Now, just wrap and refrigerate or set it outside if its a cool day…and let it sit 2 hours to all day! Take wrap off and ENJOY! Raw & Delicious! Crisp & Crunchy! Fresh & Flavorful! Bright & Bursting with Color. A Vivid Rainbow for your viewing pleasure. We all know you eat with your eyes first!

 

Olives, Pickles & Cheese, Oh My!

Delicious from Start to Finish

Delicious from Start to Finish

Sharp Farmhouse Cheddar,Organic Sweet Gherkin Pickles, Emmentaler Swiss, Greek Feta, Olive Assortment

Again, here I was able to go to the Fresh Market. And it PAID OFF. Or, even better, support YOUR LOCAL CHEESE SHOP and FARMERS and BUY LOCAL!!!  You can go to Kroger or your local grocery and buy those Kraft Cheese Cubes (BOOOO KRAFT!!!!!! DO NOT SUPPORT THEM!!!!!)….or you can go the extra step and actually serve good cheese. That’s up to you. I bought real Greek Feta and cubed it myself….it was rich and creamy and almost tasted like goat cheese. Def worth the Upgrade. I also bought the Olives from the Fresh Market Olive Bar and just got a random assortment. From Stuffed to Pitted…just a nice variety. Again, douse it in the dressing (everything…even the pickles and olives!!!) and let it sit for a few hours or up to all day. Then hit it with fresh salt and pepper before serving.

TIP: I used the Fennel Fronds (leftover from the previous veggie platter) to dust the serving tray and use as garnish. So pretty. Try and use as much as the fresh, organic veggies that you can. Waste not, want not.

Fennel Frond Garnish

Fennel Frond Garnish

 

Simply Sweet

Chocolate Balsamic & Blood Orange Olive Oil make a Killer Combo!

Killer Combo!

This is about as delicious and easy as you can get.

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Chocolate Balsamic & Blood Orange Olive Oil make this platter Unique!

For the Cookie Tray I bought Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons from the Fresh Market that were absolutely amazing. Then I used their Almond Pillow Cookies (took me back to my Grandma’s Pound Cake and was so utterly delicious, it brought tears to my eyes!) Then I used the FM French Vanilla Pound Cake. Cut it in cubes and lightly toasted it in the oven. WOW!!! Toasted Pound Cake is WAY BETTER than regular…and the perfect dipper for my Chocolate Balsamic and Blood Orange Olive Oil. Awesome Flavors!

Surprise Visitors!!

Surprise Visitors!!!

The Organic Strawberries were super easy. Wash, Core & Slice. 2 T Chocolate Balsamic and some Fresh Organic Chopped Mint. Let them masquerade for a bit….WOW. Tastetacular.

So, next time you are having a party or get-together or you need to take a dish, and are in a time crunch,…here are 3 delicious ideas that are quick, easy, enough for a crowd and super yummy!

eat.drink.be

Kari