Side Dish – Mac and Cheese Swamp Creatures – Halloween

halloween mac and cheese
Mac and Cheese Swamp Creatures
A great Halloween side-dish
Ingredients
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Sautéed spinach
  • Green Olive with Pimento slices
Instructions
  1. Mix up a batch of macaroni and cheese, then spoon it into greased muffin cups and bake until firm, about 25 minutes.
  2. Let the creatures rest for about 10 minutes, then gently remove them from the tins. Place them upside down on a swamp of sautéed spinach and add olive slice eyes.

Side dish – Hashbrown Cheesy Potato Bake

cheesy hashbrown

INGREDIENTS
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup

1 container (8 ounces) sour cream

4 cups shredded cheese

1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bag (30 ounces) frozen hash brown potatoes, partially thawed I prefer the cubed ones but the shredded will work too
8 medium green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

2 cups crushed cornflakes (thats 4 cups before it is crushed)
1/4 cup Butter

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom and side of rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches, with shortening.
In very large bowl, mix soups, sour cream, milk and pepper. Stir in potatoes and onions. Spoon 1/2 into baking dish then sprinkle 1/2 of your cheese.  then another layer and a the rest of the cheese.  SAVE A LITTLE TO COVER ALL THE CHEESE WITH THE CREAMY POTATOES

Evenly spread over corn flakes
Drizzle with butter

Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until golden brown on top and bubbly around edges.

cheesy hash brown casserole

Soup – Cheddar Beer Soup and Beer Bread

A wonderful combination for Fall.

beer_soup

BEER CHEESE SOUP

3 quarts of chicken stock 5 oz. butter 1/8 cup of Worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce 8 oz. cooked bacon and/or diced ham 5 oz. flour 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 3/4 tsp. garlic salt or powder 1 cup of Budweiser beer 20 oz. American cheese cubed or shredded

Warm butter in a small saucepan, add flour and cook for about 5 minutes on low heat stirring frequently while cooking. Set aside.

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large pot. Stir in flour/butter mixture until dissolved. Reduce to low heat and cook for 8-10 minutes. Stir continually to prevent burning. Add onion, Worcestershire, garlic, Tabasco, and bacon or ham. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

Stir in cheese until completely melted. Add Budweiser and cook for about 10 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently, and serve. Yields one gallon – makes 16, 8oz. servings.

 

BEER BREAD

Makes 1 loaf

3 cups self-rising flour 12 oz. of Budweiser beer 4 tbsp sugar 1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)

Allow Budweiser to come to room temperature. Mix flour, sugar, and Budweiser and pour into greased and lightly floured loaf pan. Pour melted butter over top and bake at 375 degrees F, for 45-55 minutes.

Side Dish – Loaded Potato Casserole

loaded pot

Ingredients:

8 medium potatoes (about 2 1/2 to 3 lb. total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups (8-oz. pkg.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
Sliced green onions (optional)

Directions:

PLACE potatoes in large saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain.

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole dish.

RETURN potatoes to saucepan; add evaporated milk, sour cream, salt and pepper. Beat with hand-held mixer until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese and half of bacon. Spoon mixture into prepared casserole dish.

BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, remaining bacon and green onions. Bake for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

TIP:
• This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated. Cover with foil and bake at 350° F for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated. Uncover; top with cheese, bacon and green onions; bake for an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Patriotic Party Ideas and Menu

To me a theme makes the party so much more enjoyable for you and your guests.  Here are 10 ideas for your next patriotic themed party.

The first things guests usually grab is a drink when they arrive at your celebration, so in the drink category we have a recipe that can be either Virgin or Laced with a little Liquor for a kick.

patriotic drink

1)  Place a few strawberries, blueberries and chunks of pineapple in a glass.

2)  Muddle the fruit by mashing it with a wooden spoon or muddler (which is a fancy word for cut it or mash it a little so the flavor is released). THIS PART MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

3) Toss in some ice cubes and bits of the aforementioned fruits.

4) Pour in a favorite ginger ale or lemon lime soda.  (Add a shot of White Rum, Vodka, Gin or Tequila for that kick)

You can always go with a simply stand by of Lemonade served with some sliced strawberries and Blue Berries

patriotic lemonade

Next is the presentation!  There are really SO MANY things you can do with mason jars, I highly recommend you have one case of them stored in your home, they are VERY versatile and pretty in expensive.  For this we are going to make them our drink glasses.  GREAT for the environment instead of using those plastic cups.  To help everyone keep straight whose drink belongs to who try this trick.  Simply little key tags, you can buy these almost anywhere and red white and blue pony tail holders.  Again these are great to keep on hand and change up the glass themes.  Decorate the key tags and attach them to the pony tail holder then secure then on the neck of the glass,  Add Colorful Paper straws and WALLA a fun colorful accessory to your party, again it also protects the environment

patriotic drink glass idea

patriotic-glasses

Here is one other quick mason jar idea, this idea adds in the table setting and again is environmentally friendly.  In the mason jars include a colored bandanna for a napkin and the utensils.

OK Next we need some apps while wewait for our meal, snacky things sitting around for munching.

mason jar tble setting

Lets start with something easy, Patriotic Popcorn

Patriotic Popcorn

You will need:

1 bag of white candy meltsPatriotic Popcorn
2 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 bag white popcorn
patriotic sprinkles
red M&M’s

Combine cereal, pretzels, and popped popcorn in a large bowl.  Make sure you separate the popcorn from the unpopped kernels before pouring into the bowl.  Melt your candy melts and pour over mixture.  Stir gently until evenly coated.  Spread out onto a foil lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles and M&M’s.  Do not stir the sprinkles and M&M’s into the mixture or you will have white sprinkles and M&M’s.  Let cool then break apart.  To keep fresh, place in a gallon size Ziploc bag or store in a sealed container.

patriotic ptretzels

Firecracker pretzels

One bag large sized pretzels
1 tray Vanilla CandiQuik Coating
red, white and blue sprinkles

Melt CandiQuik according to package directions. Quickly dip pretzels or marshmallows in CandiQuik and place on parchment paper. Let CandiQuik set for one minute then sprinkle with sprinkles.

OK we need one last snack to serve.

Stuffed Cocktail Tomatoes

20 cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb bacon (cooked and crumbled)patriotic tomatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped green onion
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (snipped or dried)
Directions:

Cut a thin slice off of each tomato top.

Scoop out the insides and drain upside-down on a paper towel.

In a small bowl combine all other ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into the tomatoes.

Chill and serve.

OK Next lets move on to the Meal

Let’s start with an easy little salad

patriotic watermelonfeta blue berry-flag

Flag Salad

This is really simply it is simply the following ingredients cubed

Feta Cheese or any white cheese you prefer

Watermelon, seeds removed

Blue Berries

(Alternatives could be tomatoes or raspberries)

For a fruity addition to dinner simply cut watermelon into wedges and use popscicle sticks or tongue depressors to eat them on

Watermelon Popsicle patriotic watermelon

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

Yes there are Blue Potatoes too,  This recipe is VERY simple, and if you cannot find the blue potatoes it is still great with red and white potatoes served in a blue bowl.patriotic potato salad

This is a German-style potato salad. That means it gets its great flavor from herbs and vinegar instead of mayo, make it easier to bring along and safe to make ahead, even on the hottest days. Two things to note about this recipe: (1) you’ll want to bake or microwave the potatoes instead of boiling them, which will help them retain their color. And (2) even if you cook the potatoes ahead of time, you’ll want to “dress” them with the vinegar while their warm, so they absorb more flavor.

Simply add some diced Garlic, onions, bell peppers and ham (Omit the ham for a vegan delight) make it exciting, and a touch of walnut oil and your choice of sherry or white balsamic vinegar round it out to perfection. We promise you’ve never had a potato salad quite like this, and each bite will feel like a celebration of flavor in your mouth!

Patriotic Taco Salad

Serve with Red, White and Blue Tortilla Chips

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped

patriotic taco salad1-1/2 cups water

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 envelope taco seasoning
6 cups tortilla or corn chips
4 to 5 cups shredded lettuce
9 to 10 pitted large olives, sliced lengthwise
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions
In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Place chips in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. dish. Spread beef mixture evenly over the top. Cover with lettuce. For each star, arrange five olive slices together in the upper left corner. To form stripes, add cheese and tomatoes in alternating rows. Serve immediately.

OK on to a main course now

These chicken Kabobs are really VERY simple.

Chicken Kabob Blasts

patriotic chicken kabobSome cubed chicken

Cherry Tomatoes

White Onion (White Potatoes will work if you are using purple onions below.

Blue Potato -Purple Onion will also give you the color you want)

You can grill them or bake them at 375

When they are done simple drizzle a mixture of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin), garlic, salt and pepper or what ever flavors your prefer

You can not get more patriotic than hot dogs so how about simply grilling some hot dogs and serving them with some colorful toppings.

hot dog grilledHot Dogs Patriotic Style

Simply serve your hot dogs with the following toppings

Purple Onions, White Corn Salsa and Red Bell Peppers

White Corn Salsa Recipepatriotic corn salsa

Strip the kernels from 2-3 ears of white corn into a large bowl, add a half cup or more of diced onion, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Uncover and add diced jalapeno pepper,  one half cup or more of diced red pepper. A sprinkling of salt, some chopped cilantro if you wish, and the juice of a small lime or lemon (or try a few tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar instead) complete the salsa. Mix well and chill.

And of Course deserts

Popcorn Cake

This would also work using Rice Crispies

1 package (16 ounces) miniature marshmallows
20 caramels
patriotic popcorn or rice crispy cake1/4 cup butter, cubed
10 cups popped popcorn
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup red, white and blue milk chocolate M&M’s

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the marshmallows, caramels and butter. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3 minutes or until melted, stirring occasionally. Place the popcorn in a large bowl; pour caramel mixture over popcorn and mix well.
Stir in peanuts and M&M’s. Press into a well-greased 10-in. tube pan. Cool until firm. Remove from pan; cut with a serrated knife

Red White and Blue Ice Cream Sandwich

Simply cut regular Ice Cream Sandwiches in half

Roll in colored (Red, White and Blue) Sprinklespatriotic ice cream sandwich

Insert Popsicle stick and Walla Dessert!

This would also work as an Ice Cream Sandwich Bar

Supply the Popsicle Sticks

Patriotic Sprinkles

Chopped, Strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, Black berries

Chocolate chips etc

And let your guests create their own delectable dessert.

Looking for more patriotic Dessert Ideas?

Well there you have it you Patriotic Menu, everything you will need to Celebrate with your Red White and Blue Theme.

Side Dish – Mac and Cheese Bites

Mac and Cheese Bites

macandcheese

Makes: 36+ bites
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes + 10 minutes cool time
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
16 ounces elbow noodles
2 cups butter cracker crumbs (Ritz)
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 (5.2 ounce) package Boursin garlic herb cheese
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to the box directions until just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.  Drain.  Meanwhile, lightly grease several standard muffin tins with cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and the melted butter with a fork.  Spoon a bit of the mixture into the bottom of each tin and press down with a fork or the bottom of a small glass.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to a large mixing bowl with the remaining cheese, boursin, and cold butter.  Mix well.  In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, and sour cream whisking to combine.  Add the liquid mixture to the pasta.  Stir in the salt and garlic powder.  Mix well.
  4. Divide the noodle mixture between the prepared muffin tins.  Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool in the tins at least 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Serve immediately.

Perfect Patriotic Party Ideas and Menu

Labor Day is fast approaching here are some Awesome Patriotic themed recipes for the entire meal.

Just my 2 cents - Carolyn Mantia

To me a theme makes the party so much more enjoyable for you and your guests.  Here are 10 ideas for your next patriotic themed party.

The first things guests usually grab is a drink when they arrive at your celebration, so in the drink category we have a recipe that can be either Virgin or Laced with a little Liquor for a kick.

patriotic drink

1)  Place a few strawberries, blueberries and chunks of pineapple in a glass.

2)  Muddle the fruit by mashing it with a wooden spoon or muddler (which is a fancy word for cut it or mash it a little so the flavor is released). THIS PART MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

3) Toss in some ice cubes and bits of the aforementioned fruits.

4) Pour in a favorite ginger ale or lemon lime soda.  (Add a shot of White Rum, Vodka, Gin or Tequila for that kick)

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