Christmas Tree Cheese Board

This Christmas Tree Cheese Board is super easy to make and fun to look at (and then eat)!

Ingredients
3 Types of Cheese; 2 of each kind **I used Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, and Mozzarella
1 Package of Green Grapes
1 Package of Red Grapes
1 Star for the Topper **Edible or not
1 Box of Star or Snowflake Crackers **I used Ritz Snowflake Crackers

Let’s Create!
1. Rinse off grapes and thoroughly dry
2. Cut Cheese into cubes
3. Cut out base of Tree
4. Start Layering – there isn’t a specific science to this. You just want each layer or every other layer (depending on how big you are making it) to become smaller in size to give the illusion of a tree.
5. Place Star on top of tree
**Optional – place crackers around dish or serve separately.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

If you are in need of some comfort food, this chicken pot pie soup is exactly what you should make!

As always, I browse a few recipes and take a little bit of what I like from each to make my own unique recipe.  I’m really into “simple” and “quick” meals that taste delicious.  This one didn’t disappoint and is husband approved!

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Shredded Chicken (Use shredded rotisserie chicken to save cooking time)
  • 1 Cup Half & Half
  • 2 – 3 Cups Chicken Broth (Use more or less depending on how brothy you want the soup)
  • 1 Can Cream of Celery
  • 2 Carrots Chopped
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tsp. Dried Garlic
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp. Rosemary
  • 1/2 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp. Parsley
  • 1/2 Tsp. Paprika
  • Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Cups Egg Noodles

**Use more or less of veggies per your specific likes. Also, use fresh garlic if you prefer (I only had dried garlic on hand).

Let’s Cook!

1. In a large pot, heat EVOO and add carrots, onions, garlic until tender (7-8 minutes)
2. Add chicken broth and whisk in half and half – keep temperature on medium heat
3. In a separate pot, bring egg noodles to a boil until al dente – Strain & set aside
4. Add seasonings (thyme, rosemary, Italian, parsley, paprika, cayenne pepper)
5. Add chicken, cream of celery, frozen peas & corn and bring to a boil
6. Once soup is boiling, turn heat down to medium and add cooked egg noodles
7. Add salt and pepper to taste
8. Enjoy!

Crafts & Cocktails 2017

I love hosting my annual Crafts & Cocktails girls night in. It’s always filled with Halloween crafts, laughs, and LOTS of wine! Each year I choose a different food theme and this year’s was my favorite so far… Ice Cream Bar! It was a hit with my girlfriends too. Here are a few tips on how to pull off a fun night in with your girlfriends.

SWAG
I’ve done something as simple as a velum bag with goodies to a cute cup filled with goodies. Because I’m a Target Shopaholic, most of the swag is from there or Michael’s. I try to keep the price down on this but also make it super fun/cute for my friends. This year’s swag included the following:
1. Plastic Cup (Filled bottom with a piece of tissue paper to prop up all the goodies)
2. Champagne Flavored Lollipops (I added googly eyes for a splash of fun)
3. Foam Paint Brush
4. Ribbon
5. Halloween Themed Sticker
6. Pen with Cute Saying
7. Cocktail Stirrer
8. Drink Tags (Pineapple & Flamingo pictures)
9. “Donut” Give Up Name Plate
10. Candy Corn to Paint (This didn’t fit in the cup so I stuck it off to the side)

Place Settings
I really like to create a fun tablescape for my guests. This year I decided to “set the table” because I used a cup as their swag holder. Easy but fun!

Food
I’ve done everything from a cheese & crackers spread to a chili bar but this year I wanted something different. Ice cream bar won and it was a huge hit with my girlfriends. I suggest having plenty of options for your friends to choose from. But my biggest suggestion would be to pre scoop the ice cream. It makes it so easy for your guests to serve themselves with no mess!

 

BOOZE
I always provide a few bottles of wine to share (because I’m a cool host). But it’s nice to provide an area with ice for your friends to stick the booze they bring too.

I Want S’MORE!

This s’more dip is insanely addicting and a crowd pleaser every time!

Ingrediants
1 Cup Fudge Sauce
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
8 oz Cream Cheese
7 oz Marshmallow Cream
Graham Cracker Sticks (Thin, Vanilla Oreo’s are awesome with this dip!)
Chocolate Chips or Mini Marshmallows for Topping
**Cait’s Way Tip: Make a double batch if it is a large party; it’s unreal how fast this one goes.

Instructions
1. In a large bowl, blend with a hand mixer the fudge sauce, powdered sugar, vanilla, cream cheese, and marshmallow cream. The consistency should be smooth with no large lumps.

2. Transfer to serving dish.

3. Sprinkle with mini marshmallows or mini chocolate chips. Or if you are feeling really awesome, sprinkle the top with both!  If you are making this ahead of time, I suggest waiting until you serve the dip before sprinkling your topping of choice – the marshmallows tend to get soggy sitting in the fridge.

4. Enjoy!

Happy Fourth 2017

Somehow I got roped into hosting my family for 4th of July this year.  Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE spending time with my family but I am not able to host a simple get together without deep cleaning my house, spending way too much money on food, and decorating in some capacity.

It was stupidly hot this 4th of July – and by stupidly hot I mean 105 degrees outside. Our AC has been having some issues and was having a hard time cooling the house so we hosted an outdoor party. Thank goodness for our pool to help cool off the kiddos!

We had an amazing menu; smoked ribs, veggie cups, watermelon, corn on the cob, and lots of munchies! Unfortunately I forgot to snag a few pictures of the food table but I did snag this picture of these AWESOME & EASY veggie cups (recipe under Cait’s Cafe).