Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Birthday Game Night and a Few More Parties!

I recently discovered a company called House Party. You can sign up an apply for host spots for all kinds of different companies/parties. I was skeptical that I'd ever be selected, but lo' and behold, I was picked for one of my top choices. Game night!! This is even better given the fact that the party falls on my birthday. So fun!

I have scoured Pinterest for recipes and decorations. I settled on a menu of mini corn dogs, mozzarella meatballs, bacon cheddar dip, checkerboard sandwiches, apple berry punch, apple crisp, and apple cookies. If you haven't guessed by the drinks and desserts, I'm going with an apple theme since Apples to Apples is one of the games I was sent. (Free, by the way). I will post pictures of everything after the party.

I am so excited to be having a game night. It's been a long time since I've hosted one and I have missed it. The icing on the cake is getting to celebrate my birthday with such a fun party. Even my DH is getting into the party spirit. I am counting down the hours. I really hope it goes well. Not just for fun's sake, but in hopes of getting to host more House Parties too!

A week after game night I am throwing DH an 80's themed birthday bash. This one is a lot of work, but has the potential to be a really great event. I've got most of the decorations and a good idea of the food. Executing it all is the worrisome part. I wish there was some way to ensure that everyone you invite will RSVP. It sure would make things easier. I am starting to worry about not having enough chairs. I guess I could bust out some quilts and make it picnic style! :)

Last, but certainly not least, my sweet little man is graduating kindergarten at the end of May.  We are going to have a little graduation party for him. Just family, so much less stress. I've found all kinds of cute ideas for that. It's such a bittersweet celebration. I'm so proud of my guy, but so sad to see him growing up so fast. So goes life. For every thing there is a season.

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it. :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I have always wanted to try to make Beef Stew. I don't know why I haven't. I guess I've always thought it seemed difficult. I was soooo wrong. I found a recipe for a slow cooker version on Pinterest. It was very easy and tasty. (I think I might skip the Bay leaf next time.) The link to the original post is in the recipe title.

Beef Stew
  • 1 1/2 lbs stew meat, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 5 red potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 packet beef stew seasoning
1.  Put beef in crockpot.  Sprinkle the flour in and stir to coat the meat.
2.  Add all other ingredients.  Stir to combine.
3.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  Remove bay leaf and serve!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Asiago Chicken Pasta

This Asiago cream sauce is delicious! It tastes very much like Olive Garden's Alfredo sauce. It wouldn't take much to kick it up to that.

It really is fantastic the way it is, but you could tweak it some to suit your tastes. I forgot to add the pepper and Parsley in mine, but it was still yummy.

I joked on my Facebook page that this might just have to be added to our weekly menu, along w/ triple bypasses. :D

I posted the link to the blog (Carrie's Experimental Kitchen) where I found the recipe below.

Asiago Cream Sauce

1 tbsp. Butter
1 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
3 c. Heavy Cream
3/4 c. Asiago Cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Parsley, garnish


Melt butter in a medium saucepan then add flour, forming a roux. Gradually whisk in the heavy cream until the roux dissolved, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper until the cheese has melted. Let simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, approximately 5 minutes. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and mix well. Garnish with parsley. Serves 8.