Our Mother’s Day BBQ | Inspiration for Your Next BBQ

During are recent whirlwind trip to the US fitting in visits with my family, my husband’s, celebrating our friends tying the knot, and visiting a few friends, we planned in dinners at our favorite places and even a well-timed mother’s day BBQ. Excited for summer ingredients in the US and the opportunity to prepare meals with them, I set out to devise a menu with my sister that would showcase fresh ingredients we love and some of our mom’s favorites.

Lemon and Bay Leaf Shrimp Skewers on the grill

Need inspiration for your next summer BBQ? Here’s what we planned (and the links to the recipes we used, too!)…

  • Corn, tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad
  • Grilled beef in a red wine marinade
  • Lemon and Bay Leaf Shrimp Skewers
  • Grilled veggies (squash, onions, peppers, and potatoes)
  • Lemon Meringue Pie – *our mom’s favorite…store-bought because we were short on prep time

Corn, Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil Salad

Knowing how we love to go overboard on menu options and that we are always overly excited to try new recipes, we restrained ourselves well this time! We still had left overs, but one of the best parts of a get together is having the leftovers for the next day when you are craving another helping and tired from all the work and clean-up from the day before.

Grilled Veggies

Be on the lookout for more great BBQ recipes to come. You know we love grilling and entertaining!

 

Crack Popcorn & Peanut Crunch

Sweet, chewy, sticky, and absolutely A.D.D.I.C.T.I.V.E!!!! This popcorn will be a hit with your family, co-workers, or the hit of the party. We recently had a game night with some of our friends where I broke out this dessert which left everyone craving more. Although it takes about an hour and a half to make, it doesn’t take too much hands-on time leaving plenty of breaks to get your appetizers ready for your own game night.

Continue reading “Crack Popcorn & Peanut Crunch”

Baby Shower | Themed Party

Shower Brunch Menu

I never pass up an opportunity to throw a party! So, when a friend of mine asked me several months ago to co-host a baby shower with her I excitedly said, “ABSOLUTELY!” This was in my first few weeks after arriving in Kigali and I immediately took to pinterest and google to come up with a menu and shower party ideas. After months of anticipating and planning together, we finally threw the party two weekends ago and what a success it was.

We had everything from overnight french toast to quiche to a yogurt bar with homemade yogurt (my first time making with my new gadget!) and a croissant bar. I even made chocolate chip mini pancake pops after watching an episode of The Chew while working on the brunch menu! My husband thought I was crazy for relying on my new piece of kitchen equipment, a yogurt maker, to make such a vital component of a yogurt bar! However, it turned out well with all the tartness of plain yogurt. I think one reason I love throwing parties is coming up with the menu and picking new items to add to my repertoire. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to him or others, but I find it is a great opportunity to get immediate feedback from people on my food! Of course, it also increases my stress level as I have to make sure everything turns out perfectly.

For drinks, we elected to have a “Mom-osa Bar” with sparkling cider and champagne as well as blue Kool-Aid. Last year for mother’s day, I did a mimosa bar as well and it was a hit. Everyone can customize their own drink and try out different concoctions from a variety of fruit and juice choices. Looking around the table at the shower this Saturday, I saw many variations on the classic mimosa.

But a party wouldn’t be complete without fun & games, presents, and treat bags for the guests. My co-hoster found great games that got the whole room laughing and chatting with one another. She picked baby mad libswhat’s in your purse?, and guess how many legos in the mason jar. Surprisingly, someone guessed the number of legos exactly right.

If you want to replicate the menu and “mom-osa bar” frames:

  • Go to Michael’s or your local craft store and pick up 8×10 translucent paper from the cardstock section. Also, pick out your favorite cardstock pattern or solid color to match your party decor.
  • Create your menu or drink menu on the computer being sure to line up your text with the size of frame opening you plan on using. Print your text onto the translucent paper.
  • Using a paper cutter or ruler and scissors, carefully cut the translucent paper down to size for your frame. Do the same with the cardstock.
  • Place the translucent paper in front of the cardstock and insert into your frame.
  • For the mom-osa bar, I didn’t have another white frame with a 5×7 frame opening. So, I got crafty and cut the cardstock to the appropriate size for the frame and then cut the translucent paper to the 5×7 size. I matched up the two pieces of paper and put two individual hole punches through them. I wrapped ribbon around the holes to keep the two pieces of paper together. I then inserted them into the frame (after removing the glass). There are always ways to improvise when you make mistakes and no one at the party would be the wiser!
  • You can also find other ways of displaying your menu or instructions for your party. For the mother’s day brunch last year, I used a chalkboard instead of frame for the mimosa bar and used twine and cardstock to label the juice carafes.

Good luck with throwing your own baby shower or other themed party!

New Year’s Eve and Day | Celebrating

My husband and I are big fans of having lots of get togethers to try out recipes, enjoy great company, and make lots of memories with them. New year’s eve was a perfect excuse to do just that! Our potluck menu was filled with way more food than we needed…scallop dip, artichoke dip, caprese and prosciutto skewers, ham and swiss sliders, spicy elk meatballs, baked penne, buffalo chicken dip, pecan pie, seven layer peppermint bars, and champagne jell-o shots with pop rocks on top. We had so much, I didn’t even make the baked brie that is always a huge hit. Our night was full of laughter, friendly competition during a few rounds of {landmines} and {catch phrase}, lots of noise makers and poppers at midnight, glitter, and resolutions for 2014!

Even better than a wonderful New Year’s Eve with friends, is New Year’s Day with family! After waking up relatively early and quickly cleaning out the kitchen and air mattresses and confetti in the living room, I went to work getting my appetizers together for celebrating the start of 2014 with my family {Praline Pecan Baked Brie, Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage and Shaved Parmesan, and Stuffed Endives}. This year, with all of us on my mom’s side scattered about for Christmas, we decided to just do a simple get together of appetizers only to be easy and casual. Of course, in my family nothing is ever simple, easy, or casual. We tend to feel like there will not be enough food and we all get so excited to try new things out that we have found online or from a friend or to stick to family favorites that everyone loves. This get together was no different….each family brought at least 3 appetizers on top of what my mom had put together as the host. But the benefit of appetizers is you can try lots of different things…only problem is you can quickly stuff yourself. It was absolutely worth every single calorie consumed.

Happy New Year from {A Hint of Ginger}!!! May this year bring you good cheer, great opportunities, and cooking inspiration!

{Butternut squash tart with fried sage and shaved parmesan, stuffed endives, celery stuffed with blue cheese, shrimp, fruit skewers with coconut and cool whip dip, praline pecan baked brie, a platter filled with olives, meats, fruits, and cheeses, asparagus wrapped with cheese and roast beef, meatballs and dipping sauces, buffalo chicken dip, veggies and dip, nut and pretzel party mix, seven layer peppermint bars, champagne jell-o shots, and lots of other munchies}

Fall Ladies Night | November 2013

You are never too old to have a sleep over with your girls and reminisce about all the ones you had during your childhood. It just gets better with age especially when you throw in some wine and lots of appetizers with a side of gossip and laughter and you are all set! This past weekend, I hosted two of my girlfriends, Devon and Allison, whom I have known since preschool and kindergarten. There’s nothing better than being in the company of great friends, enjoying great food, and quoting lines out of a childhood movie favorite…Ten Things I Hate About You!

Unlike when we were kids munching on popcorn, potato chips, and candy, we stuffed ourselves with appetizers we all brought to share including finds from Pinterest, family recipes, and ones reminiscent of past travels abroad. We had: shrimp in an Italian marinade; endive spears stuffed with blue cheese, apples, pecans, and dried cranberries; butternut squash tart with shaved parmesan and fried sage; a cheese and olive platter; peppers stuffed with garlic and ricotta cheese; and veggies and dip in shooters. For dessert, we indulged in brown sugar and balsamic peaches over waffle cone crumbles and topped with rosemary infused mascarpone whipped cream and brownies stuffed with oreos and topped with melted andes bars!

Check back this week for additional posts with a few of the recipes for these ladies night-approved appetizers! They will be big hits at your next party, too.