Saturday, April 20, 2013

Baseball Watch Party

I can pretty much turn any occasion into a party at my house.  It doesn't hurt that just about everything I own in the kitchen is red or says Sooners on it.  Impromptu Baseball Game Watch Party?  No problem.  Last season, with Little Devil's graduation from high school, and lots of other events going on, I found some great recipes that I recycled throughout the season.  Chicken Salad Sandwiches for a Crowd, and Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies have become staples in my rotation of recipes for casual entertaining.  Not only did Little Devil fund a DECA trip to Utah by selling the giant cookies, but they also made a great dessert on Graduation Night. (Check that out HERE.)  The Chow Mein Cookies from her Asian Themed Graduation Party were so good, I had to make them again, because we couldn't get enough of them.  These tried and true recipes, combined with some simple sports decor resulted in a great little party!

Some cute lil' plates, a few baseballs
and some go-to simple recipes are all you need
for a casual watch party.
Oh yeah.  And a monkey. 
You need a monkey.
Chicken Salad Sandwiches for a Crowd.
Make these ahead.  You can find
the recipe HERE
Mr. Devilish Dish makes the best
French Onion Dip.  You'll never buy it
from a carton again.  You can
find his recipe HERE.
GIANT Chocolate Chip Cookies
and Chow Mein Cookies for dessert.  YUM!
You can find their recipes
What's a watch party without a little hooch?
Cool down with some
Summertime Hard Lemonade...
You can find the recipe

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dinner in a Bag~Featuring Custom Printed Sacks!

This time last year I was about to pull my hair out.  Little Devil was graduating from High School and was busy with exams, college entrance, pictures, scholarships, etc...Makes me crazy thinking about it.  We had so many activities going on between her senior stuff, golf tournaments and baseball.  Oddly, her high school chose to have their commencement ceremony on a Thursday night.  Which makes for an awkward time when folks have to work, or travel from out of town to attend.  I knew a sit down-style dinner was out of the question, yet we needed to eat ya know?  The ideal solution was Dinner in a Bag.  We had family and friends dropping in at various times.  The folks rushing from work to make it on time actually had a meal they could eat in the car.  My Devilish Dish Assistant Emily said, "I think it was a fun idea.  Everyone showed up expecting some kind of fancy dinner and then you handed them a cute little sack lunch instead."  The highlight of the evening (besides Little Devil getting her diploma!) was the printed paper bags.  They were a huge hit.  This is definitely a go-to dinner idea that I will use again.  A fun solution to a pickle of a problem!
I had the dining table all ready to go with
tablecloth and flowers like a sit down dinner.
Then SURPRISE!  Here's your bag.
The customized bags really made
things seem extra special.  I found
a great tutorial for how to do this

I used my Chicken Salad for a Crowd recipe. 
Tasty and Make-Ahead! 
You can find the recipe HERE.
In addition to packages of chips, each bag
had a GIANT HOMEMADE Chocolate Chip Cookie.
(You might remember these
from Little Devil's Fundraiser.)
You can find the recipe HERE.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gran Gran's Apricot Nectar Cake

My dear Great-Aunt passed away last year.  We shared a love of reading, entertaining and cooking.  Especially baking.  She was famous far and wide for her Apricot Nectar Cake.  I'm not sure anyone knew that was actually the name of the recipe.  I'm pretty sure it was more famously referred to as Nona's Cake, Gran Gran's Cake or simply, THE CAKE.  Nona was an award-winning realtor, and each and every person that bought or sold a house received a cake.  Had a baby?  Cake.  Loved one pass away?  Cake.  Nona was known to work all day, and then come home and make at least 6 or 7 cakes before bedtime.  At church she often volunteered to bring her cake to snack on before Sunday School.  When the time came for others to take their turn and bring donuts or breakfast rolls, Nona had a cake in her car.  For back-up.  Just in case they forgot it was their turn.  I never visited her house that there was not a cake on her counter under the dome of her glass cake stand. Every guest in her home was offered a slice of cake and a cup of coffee, in a beautiful china cup.  My cousins (her daughter and granddaughters) gave me her trusty ol' cake pan, along with the glass cake stand after she passed away.  They are two of my biggest treasures.  At her funeral service, the minister asked for a show of hands, "How many of you ever received one of Nona's cakes?" Almost every hand in the church was raised. As someone that has loved to bake all of my life, I can think of no greater tribute than the hands that went up that day. Everyone was touched by her spirit and kindness. Not to mention their waistlines were touched by her yummy cake. 
If you ever received one of these from Nona,
consider yourself lucky and blessed.

Just a few ingredients!
Throw it all together in a bowl.
Combine with a mixer.
Here is my treasured pan.
This actually belonged to Nona's mother-in-law.
If only it could talk and tell me about all of the
wonderful cakes it baked...

Gorgeous and Golden Brown...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mr. Devilish Dish' Famous French Onion Dip

I've never been a fan of French Onion Dip.  Well let me re-phrase that.  I've never been a fan of that yucky, pre-made excuse for French Onion Dip that comes in the carton.  The one that you buy at 7-11 really late at night when you are desperately hungry and even the suspiciously aged hot dogs on the roller look good?  Yeah.  That dip.  In the carton.  Forgive me if that sounds harsh, it's just something I've never enjoyed.  To be honest, I don't even like the dry onion soup mix combined with sour cream.  Although it's leaps and bounds ahead of the other stuff.  Then Mr. Devilish Dish who loves any excuse to caramelize onions decided he would win me over to the French Onion Dip Dark Side.  So he made the real deal!  Even if you think the pre-made version is the bomb, trust me.  This is bomber.  Bomber?  More bomb.  It's even better if you make it the night before, so it's a party perfect recipe.  Your potato chips will thank you!
Mr. Devilish Dish' Bomber than the Carton
French Onion Dip!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chicken Salad Sandwiches for a Crowd

Every once in a while I come by a recipe that quickly becomes an old favorite.  Chicken Salad Sandwiches for a Crowd has proudly been added to my repertoire.  On more than one occasion this past spring, I served these sandwiches and got rave reviews.  We entertain a lot, and when the weather gets warm and baseball and golf season come around, I love go-to recipes that can be made ahead and served with ease.  It's simple enough to prepare for a lunch box, but tasty enough for a very casual meal for guests.  I hope this one becomes part of your repertoire too!
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