Mini Pot Pies

During January and February, I tried to use my Wednesday posts to give you a healthy and easy weeknight dinner recipe (with one week where I cheated and posted a quesadilla recipe, oops). For the next month, to gear up for all of the outdoor parties we will all hopefully be having soon, I’m going to post some of my favorite party appetizer recipes. First up, mini pot pies.

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My Favorite Meal of the Week- Strata (Egg Casserole Dish)

First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS! In honor of today’s holiday, I am posting the perfect holiday breakfast item. This has become our go to brunch dish. You get to make it the night before and simply need to cook it the morning of, which is great when hosting a morning meal. It also compliments all the baked goods I tend to have very well. You could also do different flavors, and swap out the bacon and green onions for another meat or veggie. 

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And I’m back…

So after a two week hiatus to take my first set of law school exams, I am back to blogging. Even though I haven’t had much time to write posts lately, I have done a lot of cooking and baking. I’m very excited to share a bunch of new recipes with you guys in the new year! Today I don’t have a recipe to post, but I did want to share some pictures with you from last night’s holiday cocktail party that Dave and I threw.

I finished finals on Monday and decided to throw a Tuesday night party before everyone leaves town for the holidays. Since everyone would be coming straight from work, we had lots of hearty appetizers (think mini pot pies, and amazing crockpot mac and cheese), plenty of drinks (especially for those of us who just became real people again after finishing our exams on Monday), and as always, lots of desserts (you’ll see mini peppermint brownies, salted caramel bars, and mini eggnog cheesecakes on the blog soon).

And to help everyone capture the holiday spirit, I set up my own photo booth and made props from some craft supplies I picked up last week. I also had as many holiday decorations as I could possibly fit in our small apartment.

Ok, on to the good stuff – the photos. Credit goes to Thomas Brunet who took most of these photos since I was still busy setting up…

The food:

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The desserts:

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The drinks:

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(more the aftermath than the original set up)

The decorations and photo booth:

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My Favorite Meal of the Week – Grilled Cheese Bar

In my opinion, the all-American meal is a grilled cheese with a cup of tomato soup. Not sure why, it just is. It’s also the best comfort food! For the birthday party I threw back in June, I was trying to do really fresh, all-American food because the guest of honor had just returned from a month long stint in the Middle East. And so of course I had to serve grilled cheeses. The hard part is that these are obviously best when hot. So I set up all of the ingredients, and then let people make their own on a little George Foreman Grill. I also had a pot of tomato soup warming on the stove, that people could ladle into small cups to eat with the sandwiches.

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My Favorite Meal of the Week – EASTER Edition

Last year, we had a last minute Easter brunch for a few friends and had so much fun that we decided to do a bigger (more official) one this year. As you know by now, I love brunch. But it is also the hardest meal to host because it requires a lot of last minute things being done in the morning. And after throwing a brunch at the holidays (and being in sweats when the first people showed up), I was determined to get things done on time for this one.
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Our menu involved the following items (and was written out on a sign for our guests to see):

– Scrambled eggs wrapped in bacon (see recipe here)
– Blueberry muffins with lemon streusel topping (see my recipe here)
– Mustard potatoes (see recipe here)
– Mini yogurt parfaits with homemade maple granola and strawberries (see granola recipe here)
– Buttermilk donuts (see recipe on the blog next Sunday)
– Chocolate chip banana bread (see recipe here)
– Spinach salad with caramelized onions, candied nuts, blue cheese and bacon (see recipe here) Continue reading

My Favorite Meal of the Week – Flank Steak and Bloody Mary Salad

A few weeks ago, I volunteered to have some of our friends over for dinner on the same day that I planned to participate in a bottomless mimosa brunch with friends who were in town visiting. After making the plans, I realized that this was going to make things interesting. I’m not used to preparing a full dinner and dessert after a day of drinking. So when picking out my menu, it was all about finding something that could be done the day before and/or required very little last minute preparation. To find inspiration, I turned to one of my favorite blogs – Smitten Kitchen. I’d been eyeing a couple of her recipes and decided to use several of them for this dinner.
Here is what I pulled together:

1) Blood Orange Margaritas (recipe here)

2) Veggies and Hummus & Crackers and Cheese (all from Trader Joes)

3) Flank Steak and Bloody Mary Salad (recipe here)

4) Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust (recipe on this blog here)
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My Favorite Meal of the Week – Holiday Brunch

With my brother visiting last week, I had a lot of amazing meals. He even made us dinner one night (delicious steak tacos). But my favorite meal of the week was the holiday brunch we hosted for 25 of our friends on Sunday. I made a couple of items previously posted on here (pumpkin donuts, croissants, and cranberry pear salad) and a new one (raspberry muffins). Plus, Dave made a strata with bacon, green onions, and cheese.

So while the brunch ended up turning out well, there were a few moments when I wondered why I had volunteered to squeeze 25 people in our small one bedroom apartment on a Sunday morning. Brunches are hard because everything seems to need to be done at the last minute (which resulted in me being in pajamas when the first guests showed up). But I have to say, I’ve decided it’s my favorite event to host. I love being able to just hang out on a Sunday, without feeling rushed, or tired. Plus cleaning up is much easier to do when its 5pm on a Sunday and not 1am on a Saturday night.

Anyways, I promise to get the strata recipe up soon (it’s been a big hit every time we’ve made it). I’m headed to California for the holidays at the end of the week, and won’t be back to DC (and my computer) until after New Year’s, so there may not be any posts for the next two weeks (we’ll see how relaxed I get on vacation).

But happy holidays everyone! Looking forward to more posts in 2013.