Beef Enchilada Dip

Beef Enchilada Dip ~ spicy ground beef + cheese, black beans, tomatoes, green chilies and enchilada sauce, topped with more cheese and baked 'til bubbly.

Appetizers & Beverages | January 29, 2019 | By

Beef Enchilada Dip ~ spicy ground beef, cheese, black beans, tomatoes, green chilies and enchilada sauce, topped with more cheese and baked ’til bubbly.

The Super Bowl is almost here. Maybe that means you’ll be hosting a few friends and their appetites. Or maybe you got lucky and just need to bring a dish. Something other than your shining personality, though bring that too. Someone has to be the life of the party after all. 

The fact is you should must bring something crowd-approved and usually that means bold spicy flavor, like this Beef Enchilada Dip.

Classic wings are probably already covered, so if you’re serious about bringing your A-Game, I highly recommend Beef Enchilada Dip  . . . or a batch of Jalapeno Poppers. Or both.

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Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Cheese and Charcuterie Board ~ meats, cheeses, bread, fruit and nuts displayed on a board with wine in the background

Appetizers & Beverages | December 14, 2018 | By

Cheese and Charcuterie Board ~ simple, stress-free entertaining. A display of meats, cheeses, bread, fruit and nuts. Goes perfectly with wine.

I’ve always loved hosting friends and family in our home long before I started blogging. The first time I invited the family over, I was a naïve, clueless newlywed. This was long before Google and Pinterest so not knowing what to make, I cooked pretty much. . .everything.

It looked like an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Golden Corral  and I made everything myself from scratch having refused offers of help. That didn’t make me a kitchen ninja. It just made me a crazy woman.

I’ve done a lot of entertaining since then and I’m much more relaxed now (don’t listen to a word my kids say). One reason is that I’ve simplified things and learned to serve food like this Cheese and Charcuterie Board that makes an appearance at almost every gathering at our house.

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Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus, quickly sautéed makes a delicious side dish or appetizer.

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus, pan sautéed crisping the prosciutto and cooking the asparagus to tender perfection.

It may be mistletoe, egg nog, holiday cookies and ugly Christmas sweaters for now but New Year’s Eve will be here before we know it.

Last year I had a bright idea that we should go out for dinner, so we ditched our comfy pants and fuzzy slippers and embarked on our favorite neighborhood restaurant only to find our waitress frazzled, the place packed and the food not at all the quality we had come to expect there. 

This year we’ll ring in the new year with a delicious home cooked meal including Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ thin sliced prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus spears pan sautéed crisping the prosciutto and cooking the asparagus until tender and of course good company too because isn’t that what the best celebrations are about?

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Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese and broiled on top.

Appetizers & Beverages | December 16, 2017 | By

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese, broiled until golden and served with warm toasted bread.  

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese and broiled until golden. Serve with toasted bread.

Back in the winter of 2015 I posted a recipe for one of my favorite combinations, roasted tomatoes and goat cheese slathered thick on a lightly toasted baguette slices. Like women and good wine that recipe has improved with age and is now this Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer.  If you made it before, you’ll notice a couple of subtle changes to the process that in my opinion make the dish even tastier. 

It’s meant to be an appetizer but a nice glass of red or chilled Rosé, depending on the season along with some warm, crusty bread and for me, it’s dinner.

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Ultimate Appetizer Board

Ultimate Appetizer Board ~ something for all ~ simple, customizable, no cooking. Elevated with creative touches + tips for easy, no-stress entertaining.

Appetizers & Beverages | November 20, 2017 | By

This Ultimate Appetizer Board shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #InspireWithCheese

 

Are you in holiday mode yet? We’ve had a pretty warm fall here in the Midwest, so I’m not completely there yet. Yesterday I tagged a few holiday movies on Netflix, now I just need a little snow, a few more gift catalogs crammed in my mailbox and the first holiday song on the radio.

In the meantime, I’m stocking the frig with some basics to create the Ultimate Appetizer Board. The holidays don’t make me frazzled anymore because I’ve learned some tips I’m sharing today that make entertaining stress-free and fun ~ even for the host.  

Ultimate Appetizer Board ~ something for all ~ simple, customizable, no cooking. Elevated with creative touches + tips for easy, no-stress entertaining.

The Ultimate Appetizer Board couldn’t be easier to assemble, is easily elevated with just a few creative touches and has something for everyone including the carnivores: Kaukauna® cheese balls, sliced cheese, seasonal fruits, smoked meats, crunchy crackers and breadsticks, but hey ~ I’m not giving away all my secrets here ~ read below!

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Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid

Appetizers & Beverages | November 13, 2017 | By

This Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #NotableHoliday #CollectiveBias

Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid ~ golden crescent filled with warm brie cheese, cranberry sauce, pistachios + fresh orange zest. The ideal holiday appetizer!

Fall brings a few of my favorite things ~ crisp, cool sweater weather, an explosion of fall colored leaves, the return of my favorite TV shows without reruns, cute leather boots and scarves. Plus holiday entertaining which I actually do enjoy! Entertaining used to be stressful back in the day and not as much fun, but I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that I’m sharing today.Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid ~ golden crescent filled with warm brie cheese, cranberry sauce, pistachios + fresh orange zest. The ideal holiday appetizer!

One tip is not to get too fancy which makes a Cranberry Brie Crescent Braid perfect ~ warm brie cheese melted with tangy cranberry sauce, finely chopped pistachios and a burst citrus flavor, all beautifully braided inside golden, warm, flaky crescent dough. A glass of Chardonnay makes it even better and with a few other tips below, entertaining couldn’t be any simpler.

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Blue Cheese Honey Appetizer

Blue Cheese Honey Appetizer ~ the bold flavor of blue cheese paired with sweet, locally sourced honey and warm, lightly toasted artisan bread.

Appetizers & Beverages | September 14, 2017 | By

Blue Cheese Honey Appetizer ~ the bold flavor of blue cheese is paired with sweet, locally sourced honey and warm, lightly toasted artisan bread for a simple, 3-ingredient appetizer.

For the record, I can’t take credit for this Blue Cheese Honey Appetizer even though I ate it twice in just one weekend at Taste restaurant during a recent girls’ trip. The talented chef at Taste gets all the credit; I never imagined how outrageously good pairing these two flavors would be and I’m glad for the chance to share it with you. 

Blue Cheese Honey Appetizer is hardly a recipe at all. It’s actually more of an idea, bordering on a recommendation (from me) and so easy I guarantee you can’t mess it up. Simple, understated, it packs serious wow factor and takes almost no time to assemble.

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Mini Crab Cake Appetizer

Mini Crab Cake Appetizer ~ gently golden crisp outside, lumps of tasty crab inside with a little dollop of Horseradish sauce on top.

This Mini Crab Cake Appetizer shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #SpringWine #CollectiveBias

How do you choose a bottle of wine? A cute label has caught my eye more than once, but I’ve gotten zapped on that method because cute doesn’t always translate into flavor.

Notable Wines launched this spring the first ~ and only ~ wines that highlight their flavor profiles on the front of the bottle so you know what’s inside even before the first sip.

I love a good white wine ~ especially going into the summer season so I was anxious to try both the California and Australia varieties. They didn’t disappoint and both paired really well with this Mini Crab Cake Appetizer ~ gently crisp outside, lumps of tasty crabmeat inside with a little dollop of horseradish mayo sauce on top. You might say everything hit just the right note.

Mini Crab Cake Appetizer ~ gently golden crisp outside, lumps of tasty crab inside with a little dollop of Horseradish sauce on top.

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Easy 5 Minute Homemade Guacamole

bowl of guacamole garnished with minced red onion surrounded by tortilla chips

Appetizers & Beverages | January 25, 2017 | By

Easy 5 minute homemade Guacamole from fresh ingredients ~ avocado, lime juice, cilantro, red onion and jalapeno blended together for authentic Mexican flavor.

Easy Homemade Guacamole. Those three words should always be linked together. Along with 5 minute and authentic flavor.

When we’re in Florida we like to get together with family at a favorite Mexican restaurant that makes their guacamole tableside. It’s fun to watch and they customize it how we like it. In my case, extra lime and without a crazy amount of heat.

At home it’s on repeat all year, partly because it’s one of the simplest appetizers to make but mostly because it’s just so good. Sometimes I’ll whip up a batch midafternoon, blend a couple of cocktails and we’ll have our own Happy Hour.

For the best guacamole, it’s all about fresh ingredients: avocado, jalapeno, lime juice and cilantro. A little garlic powder, salt and pepper bring it all home.

I also have a few tips for storing guacamole (though we usually eat it all right away), plus how to *safely* remove the pit (and how to land in the ER if you’re don’t do it right). Yikes.

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Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza

Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza with a balsamic glaze and Callie Collection Wines for easy entertaining with friends and moments that stop time.

Appetizers & Beverages | November 15, 2016 | By

This Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CallieCrew #CollectiveBias

Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza with a balsamic glaze and Callie Collection Wines for easy entertaining with friends and moments that stop time.

I’ve belonged to a book club for the last dozen years or so. We started out as (library) card-carrying, book-toting readers back when we had kids with curfews still living at home. The kids are all out on their own now but we still get together and though you’d think we have even more time now, somehow we don’t, so we now skip the book and somewhere along the way morphed into a Wine Club. The women in this club, my friends are each beautiful, strong, supportive and just happen to enjoy a glass of wine and really good food as much as I do, like this Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza

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