BBQ Tots

I love this recipe from “The South’s Best Butts.”  BBQ Tots are a crowd pleaser.  The best part of this recipe is that the hands-on time is only 25 minutes!  Try these this weekend at your Memorial Day BBQ!

BBQ TOTS

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 green bell petter, cut into 1/2- inch pieces
  • 4 baked potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Greg’s Dry Rub (recipe below)

Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium high.  Add the onion and bell pepper; cook stirring often, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the potatoes and dry rub, making sure potatoes are in contact with the bottom of the skillet.  Cook, without stirring, 8 minutes.  Using a spatula, flip the mixture, and cook until browned, about 8 more minutes.

Greg’s Dry Rub

  • 1 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl.  Use immediately, or store in an airtight container up to 6 months to 1 year.  Makes 1 3/4 cup.

BBQ & Memorial Day Weekend

IMG_1220Kick off summer with these perfect Memorial Day food ideas!  My new favorite cookbook is Southern Living’s, “South’s Best Butts.”  This book was featured last year on the Today Show and it did not disappoint.   The below recipes are some of my favorites from the cookbook.  The recipes easy and got rave reviews from guests.  Let me know what you think!

Barbecue Baked Beans

  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef (optional)
  • 10 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 (6 ounces) barbecue sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pork and beans
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  1.  Cook onion and, if desired, ground beef in a Dutch oven, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the bacon and remaining ingredients, and spoon into a lightly greases 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake bean mixture for 1 house stirring once.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Plan a Royal Wedding Viewing Party

Get the tea, scones, English breakfast, and champagne ready to toast the couple—plus, stock up on these decorations and entertaining essentials.

  1. Set up a tea bar – Have plenty of tea varieties on hand for the big day.  You can get standard forms like Earl Grey and English breakfast.  Set up trays with tea cups and a tea pot.
  2. Serve scones and tea sandwiches – Since the wedding begins in the morning in the U.S you can save time with @TheFreshMarket classic tea cakes platter.
  3. Say Cheers! – It may be early, but it is not too early to cheers the Royal Couple.  Mix champagne with a splash of elderflower lemonade.

 

Spring It On: Gift Guide: Top Trends for Mother’s Day

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– Personalize It! Every mom loves personal gifts so get creative and head to your favorite website to design and order something amazing using your family photos and her monogram!
– Tune It Up! Vinyl is back in! It’s time to dust off her favorite LP’s in the basement or attic and get her a record player. They come in assorted fun colors like lime green, turquoise and like this Crosley record player in pink!
– Fashion Sense! Every mom like a little something special they wouldn’t normally by themselves! You can’t go wrong with one of these spring trends must haves! Cork/Leather handbag is all the rage this summer. Turquoise and gold jewelry is a perfect gift and a must have for summer 2016. Bright tropical colors are in and can be perfect for anything from a blouse to a cosmetic bag!

Natural Bathroom Cleaning

Did you know around 150 chemicals found in homes are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and physiological disorders? Most of these chemicals are found in bathroom cleaning products. Our friends at Modern Bathroom sent us these natural cleaning ideas to help with alternate bathroom cleaning solutions.

 

How to Clean Your Bathroom…Naturally by Modern Bathroom.

 

Kentucky Derby Party

More than just a world famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby is the perfect reason to throw a party! From food and drink to great décor, we’ll help you bring the fun and spectacle of the Derby home to your guests. So break out the mint juleps and put on your hat, it’s time to start planning your perfect Derby party.

Thank you @Fox59 and @RayCortopassi for letting me share my Kentucky Derby ideas!

 

Planning the Perfect Kentucky Derby Party

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The Kentucky Derby is the perfect reason to throw a party! From food and drink to great décor, we’ll help you bring the fun and spectacle of the Derby home to your guests. So break out the mint juleps and put on your hat, it’s time to start planning your perfect Derby party.

Remember, you do not need to spend a lot of money.  A lot of these items I found at Party City, Michaels and Target.

1. Kentucky Derby Dessert Bar – Who doesn’t love a dessert bar?  Add all your favorite desserts from pie to derby themed cookies.  This is the perfect treat for adults and kiddos alike.  We found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest.

2.  Cocktails – It’s time for mint juleps!  To make the drinks fun for guests we suggest serving your cocktails out of mason jars.

3. Decorations – Try the above pictured “Run for Roses” centerpiece.  All you need is roses and spray paint a toy plastic horse gold and you have the perfect centerpiece for your party.

4. Games – We found these games on http://www.southernliving.com.  Since the actual race is so short these games were perfect for both kids and adults.

  • Hat Contest
    Ask your guests to wear hats to your party and encourage creativity by offering a prize for best hat. Award the winner with a homemade Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie or a bottle of bourbon so they can take home a little taste of the Kentucky Derby.
  • Game of Luck
    Let each guest draw a horse’s name out of a hat to cheer for during the race. The guest paired with the winning horse wins a prize. Up the ante by making the prize a Jockey Silks Scarf for women or the Off to the Races Bow Tie for men from Vineyard Vines, The Official Style of the Kentucky Derby.
  • For the Kids
    Set up a game of horseshoes in the yard, or have the kids bring their own stick horses for their very own Run for the Roses. (game cred. Southernlivingmagazine.com)

 

 

 

Digging In: Tips on Starting a Family Garden

Happy Spring!! It truly is a reminder that all things arerenewed! One of my very favorite things to do with my kiddos, ever since they were little, is have them help plant a garden! Not only is it fun to play in the dirt, but it teaches them an important lesson in responsibility. Typically, three things are needed to help you get ready to plant a garden- sunlight, good soil and water! There are many great websites out there that help with suggestions on these things.

I want to encourage you to have your kiddos “dig in” and help you with the family garden! Here are some tips how and reasons why! Happy Planting!

1.  Get them involved!  Kids love to dig in dirt & get there little hands dirty.   Get them involved right from the start. Let them help you select what your going to grow and actually plant the seeds in the dirt.  Lettuce, green beans, and tomatoes are all easy to grow and do not require a lot of maintenance. For flowers, marigolds are a good pick!

2.  Think small.  When gardening with kids think small.  Small tools, small in size, and small attention spans.  It’s important to encourage your child to be involved in the entire process.  Planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. Make it doable for them.   Your garden can grow a little bit each year as your children get older.

3. Life Lessons.  Growing something will give your kiddos a sense of accomplishment.  It will also help you spend some quality time outside together. More importantly, if you let them help you harvest the vegetables they might even be tempted to eat them!  They did grow them themselves!

A Healthy – St. Patrick’s Day Treat

Here is a fun and easy way  celebrate this St Patrick’s Day !

1. Taste the rainbow with a colorful fruit platter.  This platter is healthy and cute you can’t go wrong with the Pot of Gold (chocolate coins!) at the end of the rainbow fruit platter.  It’s a super fun way to serve fruit and is a hit in my house year round.

For the colors of the rainbow

Red : Strawberries cut in bite size pieces.
Orange: oranges or mandarin oranges,

Yellow: cantaloupe, pineapple chunks, or banana slices

Green: honeydew melon, bite size pieces, or green grapes
Blue/purple: blueberries, purple grapes

White Marshmallows

Chocolate Coins