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Frozen Sangria

Calling all fellow Sangria lovers!  Here is a great way to serve a crowd Sangria for Cinco de Mayo or any other occasion because to me it goes with all occasions.  YUM!

Frozen-sangria-sl-1865398-l  

Prep: 10 min., Freeze: 24 hr. This makes about 24 servings without breaking the bank. Total cost is about $13.

Makes about 1 1/2 gal.

Ingredients

  • 1  gal. sangría
  • 1  (12-oz.) can frozen limeade, thawed
  • 1  (2-liter) bottle lemon-lime soft drink
  • 2  cups  sliced oranges, lemons, and limes

1. Place 1 (2-gal.) zip-top plastic freezer bag inside another 2-gal. zip-top plastic freezer bag. Place bags in a large bowl. Combine sangría, limeade, and lemon-lime soft drink in the inside bag. Seal both bags, and freeze 24 hours. (Double bagging is a precaution to avoid spills.)

2. Remove mixture from freezer 1 hour before serving, squeezing occasionally until slushy. Transfer mixture to a 2-gal. container. Stir in fruit.

Kid-Friendly Frozen Sangría: Substitute cranberry juice for sangría. Proceed with recipe as directed

(photo from southernliving.com)


Southern Style Salsas

I .love. dips. and. chips. of. all. kinds.  There, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? I have never met a dip or chip I did not like, and this includes salsa too.  It's really an addiction, my husband makes fun of me.  So you can understand my excitement when I found new salsa recipes with a Southern twist.  Hello Cinco de Mayo!

Bacon and Greens Salsa

Bacon-salsa-sl-1704065-l 

Prep: 15 min., Cook: 22 min.

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 8  bacon slices
  • 1  (16-oz.) package frozen mixed greens, thawed and drained
  • 1/2  medium-size sweet onion, chopped
  • 1  teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 1 1/2  cups  frozen corn, thawed
  • 1  serrano chili pepper, minced
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  cider vinegar
  • Pork rinds
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Hot sauce

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 7 to 9 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.

2. Sauté greens, onion, and garlic in hot drippings 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in corn and next 3 ingredients, and cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve warm with pork rinds, sweet potato chips, and hot sauce

Red Pepper-Black-eyed-Pea Salsa

Pea-salsa-sl-1704101-l  

Prep: 20 min.

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1  (15.8-oz.) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (12-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 3  green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh oregano
  • 2  tablespoons  lemon juice
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  hot sauce
  • 3/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper

1. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

(images from southernliving.com)


Spicy Sunday

Don't forget the Bloody Mary the next time you are planning a brunch.  Here is a recipe from Bobby Flay that sounds like the ideal Bloody Mary to me.

Spicy Bloody Mary

Top_bloodymary 


Serves: 2

12 ounces tomato juice
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
3 ounces vodka
2-4 dashes Mesa Grill Hot Sauce or Tabasco Sauce
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Ice
Celery spears and jalapeno peppers, for garnish

1. Whisk together the juice, horseradish, vodka, hot sauce, Worcestershire celery salt, pepper and lemon juice in a small pitcher and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Pour mixture into 2 large glass filled with ice and garnish with celery spear and jalapeno


Bloody Mary on a Stick?

While looking for a Bloody Mary recipe, I stumbled upon these interesting little snacks!  They are perfect for parties and brunches.  Just like the cocktail but less filling I would think.  I know people either love or hate Bloody Marys, how do you feel about them?

PS I think I'm obsessed with cocktails as food ;)

Bloody Mary Swizzlers

L_R050729 

Ingredients

  • 24  cherry tomatoes
  • 1  cup lemon-flavored vodka
  • 24  almond-stuffed green olives or vermouth-marinated green olives
  • 3  or 4 stalks celery with tops removed, diagonally sliced into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces (24 pieces total)
  •   Celery salt
  • 24  cocktail picks or skewers

Directions

1. Using a plastic or wooden pick or a sharp skewer, pierce the skins of the tomatoes in several places. Place tomatoes in a self-sealing, food-safe plastic bag; add vodka. Seal bag. Turn bag to coat tomatoes. Chill overnight to allow flavor to penetrate.

2. Drain tomatoes; discard vodka. Skewer vegetables onto picks using an olive, a piece of celery, and a cherry tomato on each pick. Sprinkle lightly with celery salt. Transfer to serving platter. Makes 24 skewers

(photo from bhg.com)


Surprising Mojitos

Here is another treat to serve at your Cinco de Mayo or fiesta celebrations!  It sounds so refreshing. I can't wait to try it!

Jello Mojito Granita

JELL-O_Mojito_Granita 

Prep Time:
20 min
Total Time:
3 hr 20 min
Makes:
6 servings
 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg.  (3 oz.) JELL-O Lime Flavor Gelatin
3/4 cup carbonated lemon-lime beverage
1/4 cup  rum or water
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp.  lime juice
 
STIR boiling water into gelatin mix in medium bowl 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients.

POUR into 9-inch square pan. Freeze 3 hours or until firm.

SPOON frozen gelatin mixture into large bowl. Beat with mixer on high speed until smooth. Store leftovers in airtight container in freezer.

(photo from kraftfoods.com)


Easy Cheesy Brunch Bake

Here is another easy breakfast casserole to serve your crowd over the weekend!

Easy_Cheesy_Brunch_Bake 

Prep Time:
20 min
Total Time:
50 min
Makes:
12 servings
 
Ingredients:
 
12 large eggs
1/3 cup  BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 lb. pork sausage
4 oz.  sliced fresh mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
2   tomatoes, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup  KRAFT Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

HEAT oven to 400°F.

BEAT eggs and sour cream with whisk until well blended. Pour into greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake 10 min. or until egg mixture is softly set. Meanwhile, cook sausage, mushrooms and onions in large skillet on medium heat 6 to 8 min. or until sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Drain.

REDUCE oven temperature to 325°F. Spoon tomatoes over the baked egg layer; top with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with cheeses.

BAKE 30 min. or until egg mixture is set in center.


Here are my other favorite brunch casseroles:  Good Morning Grits and Sausage Casserole

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!!


(photo and recipe from kraftfoods.com)


Pretty in Pink

This photo caught my eye for its pretty pink color.  Then the recipe sounded just as good as it looked.  What a great punch to serve at Easter!  The recipe includes instructions for both non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions so you can please everyone.  This would also be great for Mother's Day and wedding and baby showers (especially if mom is having a girl!)

Sparkling-punch-l 

Sparkling Punch 

Yield

Makes about 9 cups

Ingredients

  • 1  (12-oz.) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 4  cups  white cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1  qt. club soda, chilled
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Preparation

1. Stir together lemonade concentrate and cranberry juice cocktail in a large pitcher. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Stir in club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Champagne Punch: Substitute 1 (750-milliliter) bottle extra-dry Champagne or sparkling wine and 1/4 cup orange liqueur for club soda; proceed with recipe as directed

(photo from southernliving.com)


Happy Hour

Well I'm already getting ready for Cinco de Mayo!  I love celebrating Mexcian-style and I love margaritas even more!  Enjoy these Margarita Bites at your next Fiesta! 

Margarita Bites

Layered_Margarita_Bites 

2 cups boiling water
2 pkg.  (3 oz. each) JELL-O Margarita Flavor Gelatin (or lime flavored)
1/2 cup tequila or cold water
Zest and juice from 1 lime
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

ADD boiling water to gelatin mixes in large bowl; stir with whisk 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in tequila and 2 Tbsp. lime juice. Add COOL WHIP and 1 tsp. lime zest; stir until COOL WHIP is completely melted and mixture is well blended.

POUR into 8-inch square pan.

REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until firm. Cut into 36 pieces to serve.

 

(photo and recipe from kraftfoods.com)


30th Birthday Celebration Part II

Please welcome my good friend Nicole who is doing a guest post for us today on her beautiful birthday cupcakes!  Thank you so much Nicole for sharing this with us.  Not only did they go perfectly with the decor, they were delicious!

Photo6 

Hostess Jo has graciously allowed me to blog about  the cupcakes I made for the 30th Birthday

Celebration. Thank you Jo!

I began by looking at cupcake recipes that didn’t have raw eggs in the icing.  I was a little wary of exposing so many people  to possibly contaminated raw eggs. I found the Sweet Revenge Pure Vanilla Cupcakes  recipe on marthastewart.com.  I followed the recipe to the letter and they were a hit!  I bought the Mexican vanilla from  mexicanvanilla.com. On this website is a video of these cupcakes being made by Marlo Scott from Sweet Revenge. She has my dream job, a cupcake bar!

I loved the look of the parchment paper, but did not have the time to make each one. Fancyflours.com has baking cups that look the same in various colors.  I bought the white ones to match Jo’s décor and these white wavy candles that reminded me of the branches. I received everything I ordered from Fancy Flours very quickly and it was all wrapped very neatly in the cutest paper! I will definitely order from them in the future.

The next thing I wanted to do was the cupcake flags. These cupcake flags were my inspiration. I have Adobe Illustrator, but I am sure there are other programs you could use to create your own. At Wordlabels.com there is a tutorial that explains how to use .pdf label templates in Illustrator. I used this guide to create the flags, then printed them on stock paper. Included on the flags was “Happy 30th Birthday” on one side and on the other side the

names of our birthday peeps and an Aries sign. They are time consuming at first, but once you create the flags it will be a breeze to do it next time. My husband helped with cutting and gluing the flags on the toothpicks. I could not find any clear crystal beads  (they were out at Michael’s!) so I will definitely do that next time. Even without the crystals the flags turned out great!

Thanks again Jo for allowing me to guest blog! The décor was awesome, the cupcakes were yummy, and the party was soooo much fun. Happy Birthday again to our friends!

Thanks again Nicole!  Your post is as fabulous as your cupcakes!