Sunday, July 28, 2013

Easy French Dip Sandwiches - MMMmmm Monday

Today's MMMmmm Monday post is a super easy dinner. It's great for hot summer days when you don't want to turn on your oven or chili winter nights when you want something warm and easy.
First you will need 2 packets Au Jus Sauce. Follow directions on package and bring Au Jus and Water to a boil.
Next, pour into a crock pot and add 1 package Sliced Roast Beef. I use the pre-packaged/pre-sliced Roast Beef from Sam's Club that comes in this package. Cook on High for 1 hour
Once Roast Beef is hot and ready. Take French Rolls, Hamburger Buns or whatever type of roll you want to make your sandwich with and butter both sides. Place in oven on BROIL setting for approx. 2 minutes (watch very carefully so it doesn't burn)
Set aside tops of buns. Then place desired amount of roast beef on bun and top with sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese.
Return to broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. (about 2 minutes)
Remove from oven, top with other half of bun Serve with Au Jus Sauce from the crock pot.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ooo La La Lemonade

Ooo La La Lemonade for MMMmmm Monday

Don't you just love a good lemonade stand!  I love this one from dear lillie.  My Kate, along with some neighbor friends have been selling lemonade and slushies all summer long.  I've noticed several lemonade stands throughout the neighborhood and love the entrepreneurial spirit of kids.  Hope their savings accounts are growing.  

Not sure what your favorite lemonade recipe is but this one is amazing!

Ooo la la Lemonade 

3 Tablespoons of Citric Acid
3 Tablespoons of Lemon Extract (not lemon flavoring or lemon juice)
2 Cups of sugar
5 Quarts of water
Mix and Enjoy...or sell for others to enjoy!  

Another FRESH lemonade recipe Raspberry Watermelon Lemonade.  Find it at the gunny sack.  My daughter has been on a watermelon kick and thinks this summer drink is amazing. 

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Monday, July 15, 2013

Swiss Chard or Spinach, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole - MMMmmm Monday

My sister, Carri serves this casserole at their annual 4th of July breakfast.  Never any leftovers!

Oven Egg with Ham and Swiss Chard Breakfast Casserole

1 medium onion, finely chopped (or about 1 ½ cups)
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
4 medium leaves of Swiss chard, stems removed, finely chopped (about 1 cup, can use spinach in place of chard)
6 eggs
6 egg whites
1 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 cups cooked, diced ham (about 7 oz.-I use the already cooked ham slices) OR 1 cup chopped Bacon
1 ¼ cups Swiss cheese
1 ¼ cups sharp cheddar cheese

Sauté onion in butter and olive oil until soft.  Add Swiss chard (or spinach) and cook until wilted (about 1 more min).  Let cool.  In a bowl beat the eggs and egg whites together.  Then stir in sour cream, parsley, ham, the chard mixture and 2 cups cheese.  Pour into greased 9X13 baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or bake uncovered immediately.  Heat oven to 375 deg.  (if refrigerated let dish sit out for 15 min. before putting in oven.  Bake until set…about 35 to 40 min.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 3 to 5 min. 
Serves 12.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mustaches and Mocktails

This is a party I threw a while back for New Years Eve but with the Mustache craze in full force now I thought I would share it. It could be easily adapted to any type of party.
A few years ago I was visiting my brother in New York and was in a fun novelty store and came across some mustache wrapping paper and some "stick on" mustaches. Nowadays you can find mustache party aids everywhere but back then this was the first time I had seen them. I snatched them up in hopes of planning a future party and so became:
I made the invite on my computer and had them printed at Costco. It was only $15 for 50 - so very cost effective. I used the greeting cards option and uploaded my own picture.
As guests arrived they were invited to take a picture with their mustaches in the photo booth. (check out more of the party guests at the end of the post!)
 My brother-in-law, Carlos did the fabulous "DJ"ing!
The party planners: Nita from Teaspoon of love did all the amazing desserts and my party friend Usha and I did all the decorations. it was a dream team! 
I did provide some extra "staches" in case they came without but most were prepared!
Then they were invited to play
The "Mocktails" table was set up as a make your own mocktail
We also had people put drink markers on their glasses 
The Dessert table looked scrumptious

Lots of fun and dancing was had
 Even the babies got into the mustache spirit

When all the fun was had and it was time to go here is what our guests saw on the door
Here are some pictures of more friends in the photo booth:


Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Salads

MMMmmm Monday
I promised I would share a few salad recipes.  These were served at several bridal showers in June.  We had so many shower guests ask for the recipes that we thought we'd better share quickly!

Spinach Apple and Pecan Salad

(I usually double this recipe)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. prepared mustard (yellow is best)
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ ground black pepper (very important to add)
Whisk in serving bowl.  Make day before serving and refrigerate.

1 pound spinach leaves
2 bags of Prize sliced apple slices (from Costco), cut into bite sized pieces
¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
¾  cup crumbled feta cheese
¾ to 1 cup of toasted sugared sliced pecans (heavily sugared caramelizes well)

Toss all ingredients and add dressing.  Serve.

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 head of Napa cabbage
1 head of iceberg lettuce
2-3 cups shredded chicken (used already grilled chicken strips from Costco)
1 package of won-ton chips (or Asian tortilla strips or noodles)
(add red cabbage and/or mandarin oranges for color)

Mix in blender.  Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
1 cup canola oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
¼ cup lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar

Then add:
¼ onion (minced)
1 clove of garlic (minced—or ¾ tsp. minced garlic in jar)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
Whisk.  Then add 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise.  Blend for about a minute.
Dressing can be made up to 1 week in advance.

Shred lettuce in large bowl.  Layer chicken over lettuce in bowl.  Crush Won-ton chips.  Sprinkle over chicken.  Cover and set aside.  (Refrigerate if needed).  Right before serving add dressing (about ¾ of it and add rest if needed).  With tongs toss the salad and dressing to all mixed.

Broccoli Cole Slaw

2 bags (3-oz) Ramen Noodle Soup in Oriental flavor
3/4 stick butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 bags (12-oz) broccoli cole slaw (in bagged salad section of grocery store)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Chopped green onions, for garnish

Dressing Mix:
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown or white sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 ramen noodle seasoning packet

Put the ramen noodles in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin while melting butter in a large skillet over low/med heat.  Add the crushed noodles and almonds to the skillet and saute, stirring occasionally (keep temperature at low/med heat).  Meanwhile, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Place the shredded broccoli into bowl and toss with the noodles, almonds and sunflower seeds.  Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.  Garnish with chopped green onions.

Blueberry Chicken Salad

2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup (6 oz.) lemon yogurt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bibb lettuce leaved, optional

Set aside a few blueberries for topping salad.  In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, red pepper, green onions and remaining blueberries.  In a small bowl, mix yogurt, mayo and salt.  Add to chicken mixture; gently toss to coat.  Refrigerate until serving.  If desired, serve over lettuce.  Top with reserved blueberries. 
Yield: 4 servings.

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Friday, July 5, 2013

Bridal Shower with a Vintage Flair

 That's what the bride to-be requested!  Loved the idea and love the soon-to-be bride so we started planning.  Years ago I helped a designer friend with her daughter's wedding reception and I remembered Marsha using vintage frames as serving dishes.  It was so elegant and fabulous that I thought maybe we could bring in our "vintage flair" using that same idea.  It worked beautifully.

We added exquisite vintage lace, pearls, heirloom candlesticks and clocks... 

A Crystal Chandelier...

Vintage crafted cupcakes and cakepops...

And a classic bouquet of  flowers.  Vintage colors made up of roses and hydrangeas.  (from Costco!)

My lovely assistant, Aleah (bride's little sister) entertained us with smiles and music the entire time we were setting up.

A variety of delectable salads, chicken croissant sandwiches, lemonade and cucumber water were served at the luncheon.  
(Watch for an upcoming post with recipes of summer salads-they were spectacular!)

And the desserts were all homemade by Grandma and Katherine .  I guess that is kind of old fashioned (or vintage) planning as well.  Thumbprint cookies, lemon bars, cupcakes, etc.    

One little shower game was played.  The bubble gum game.  How well do you know your husband-to-be?  Questions were asked the bride-to-be and if answered incorrectly she must pop a gum ball in her mouth.  With every wrong answer a gumball must be added to the "wad" she already had in her mouth.  Fun and funny game! 

Let the Wedding begin!  Congratulations Sariah and best wishes for a beautiful future.

By the way...the mother of this bride has 3 children getting married this summer...within weeks apart!  She's amazing!

 photo Kelliesign.jpg