Garlic Basil Mustard Dip

*This post is not technically sponsored.  French’s sponsored my post the other day about a picnic.  But I also wanted to share the recipe for the dip I made.  So this post isn’t sponsored but I DID use mustard they sent me.  And this photo IS from that sponsored shoot.  Have I covered all my bases?  All opinions are mine.  Full disclosure, I bought almost all pre-cut vegetables.  And then I reused them after the shoot on friends.  There.  Now you know everything. Garlic and Basil Mustard  Veggie Dip.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comVeggies and dip.  Match made in heaven.  But I’m kind of sick of ranch.  And a vinaigrette would have been too messy (I will NOT ruin this blanket.  It’s my new fave. Is it weird to have a special occasion blanket?)  So I decided to modify a recipe for French’s Basil and Garlic Mustard (which I can’t find on their site to link to) and turn it in to a dip.

I  first showed you this dip in my summer picnic post from the other day.  But today, you get the recipe. This Garlic Basil Mustard Dip is super tangy AND creamy with a touch of heat from the garlic and herbaciousness from mi amor basil.  I added some chives for good measure.  A quick squeeze of lemon juice and you’ve got yourself a dip!  Eat with fresh vegetables and behold the wonder that is nature.

Garlic Basil Mustard Dip

Ingredients

  • Adapted from French's Basil and Garlic Mustard recipe
  • 1/2 cup French's Classic Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 6oz. containers of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh chives
  • Juice of 1/2 of lemon

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. You can leave out the mayo if you are looking for more of a "clean eating" recipe.
http://www.cupcakesandcutlery.com/garlic-basil-mustard-dip/

 

Lavender Lemonade Recipes

Lavender lemonade recipe for summer picnics and parties.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comLavender lemonade!  How refreshing does that sound?!  It has been in my head since before school was out and I finally decided to make some.  I’m not usually a big fan of lemonade.  It can’t be made from a powder and it certainly can’t be too sweet.  I did tons of research on how to make it before I started.  And then had to research a little more when I finally came across food grade dried lavender.  I mentioned I was making this to several people and they all looked at me funny.  I guess lavender lemonade recipes are not something that a lot of people are looking for.  I get that there is a fear that whatever the lavender is in might end up tasting a little soapy since that is how we know lavender.  I love me some lavender soap and lotion.  But I adore the herbal quality to it and thought it would bring a really cool “flava” to lemonade.  And I just tried to turn lavender “street.”

Lavender lemonade for your next picnic!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comLavender lemonade is the perfect thing to bring to a summer picnic.  I also brought it along on our duffy boat trip through Newport Harbor.  I mean, you can’t JUST drink wine.  That would be uncivilized.  And if you actually drank it and didn’t forget that you brought it with you, it would probably prevent you from getting a severe hang over the next day.  Not that I did…

Dried lavender can be found in your local health focused market in the herbs section.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo, I headed straight towards Mother’s Market (hippie town) looking for a lavender plant.  In most of the lavender lemonade posts, people have these beautiful sprigs of lavender (see above photo.  spoiler alert, I finally found some beautiful sprigs!) that I am guessing they fuss and fiddle with in order to make an infused simple syrup of some kind.  Well, there were no beautiful plants to be found that day.  Wait, I’m a liar.  They had one plant that they brought out for me from the back that they “were trying to save” that they let me buy.  But hold the phone, it didn’t look at all like the sprigs I had seen.  Apparently there are different varieties of lavender plants.  And we weren’t sure that it was food grade.  Luckily they also sold the dried leaves in the spice section.  You guys! 

Lemons and limes.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comYou’ll also need a crap load of lemons.  And maybe some limes.  I freaking love limes.  Like, I love limes like I used to love the California raisins (not the fruit just the characters).  I got one of those hand squeezer juicer things and it’s AWESOME!  It makes juicing citrus super easy and you get the more out of the fruit than if you are doing it by hand.  If you don’t have one, and you want to make lemonade, or margaritas, go get one (but not at Target.  Apparently Target thinks these squeezer things are a luxury item and wants to charge you $12 for one.  Uh, no.  My grocery store had it for about $6.  Come on Target, be cool.)

Make lavender "tea" to add to your lavender lemonade. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comBut these photos are a little misleading.  Because if you are using the dried lavender, you really need to start this process the day before you want to make the lemonade.  I know!  What a pain!  But worth it.  Now, if you ARE making a simple syrup with the pretty sprigs, then you can do that the same day.  I don’t like simple syrup.  I think it makes everything too sweet.  And I like really bold flavors so when you infuse the simple syrup, it is hard to get the flavor I like, without it turning too sweet.  That and the fact that I still hadn’t found those dumb supermodel sprigs yet. 

But I digress.  So lavender “tea”.  I took about 1 cup of water and 1 TBSP of dried lavender and put it in a mason jar.  Then I shook it up a little and left it at room temperature overnight.  In the morning, you’ve got lavender “tea”.

Strain the lavender tea for use in delicious summer beverages.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAll you have to do is strain it through a coffee filter.  And you are left with this fantastic amber-ish water.  Which smells awesome.  

Natural lavender lemonade recipe.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd THEN you are ready to make your lavender lemonade.  So you need fresh squeezed citrus, lavender “tea,” raw honey and water.  The sprigs above are purely decorative at this point. BTW I found the pretty sprigs at Trader Joe’s.  But there was no telling if they were food grade or not.  I’m wasn’t going to take any chances.  I didn’t want my tombstone to say “She died, super relaxed, drinking lavender lemonade.”  How much cooler if it said something like “She died valiantly while trying to defend the world from evil clowns.”

A great blend of lavender, citrus and raw honey for the perfect summer treat.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comTo a pitcher, add all the things.  

Raw honey is great for mixing in to drinks. Just whisk it until it dissolves.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI was worried that the raw honey wouldn’t be a great choice for mixing in to liquids.  But it worked great, actually.  I just used a whisk and whisked for a short time and it blended right in.  I also thought it might harden back into a solid when I put it in the fridge, but it didn’t.  I’m a fan. 

Lavender lemonade recipe for your summer bbq or picnic.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd there it is.  A delicious lavender lemonade.  Everyone drinks their lemonade differently so modify any of these recipes to suit your tastes!  I think I may have put a little bit too much lime in mine.  It was quite bitter.  Which I didn’t hate, but it also wasn’t the taste I was going for.

Take a look at these recipes and find one that works for you!

via Home Cooking Adventure
via A House in the Hills
via Amy’s Lavender Lemonade via AllRecipes.com
via Small Footprint Family
via They Call Me Oyster Girl

Summer Picnics are #NaturallyAmazing

*This post is sponsored by French’s, a #NaturallyAmazing product.  All opinions are mine.

A clean eating dinner picnic.  #sponsored #NaturallyAmazing @frenchsfoods //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy kids ask for a dinner picnic almost every single night during summer.  And fall.  And spring.  So we try to have them as much as possible.  There is something absolutely magical about sitting outside as the sun turns golden.  Eating outside brings an entirely different energy to dinner time.  It is much more casual and playful.  And the food is always kept simple and fresh.  This picnic set up shared through out this post, however, is a dream scenario.  In our real dinner picnics, the blanket gets all wrinkled, plates get kicked over and there is grass.  Lots of grass.  Everywhere.  This is what summer picnics would look like if my kids were robots that I could control with a remote control.

Lavender lemonade is the perfect drink to bring to a picnic or potluck.  #sponsored #NaturallyAmazing @frenchsfoods  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy robot children would willingly try all the wonderful and delicious foods that I love.  They would not be afraid of things that sound a little bit different.  They wouldn’t turn their noses up at lavender lemonade.  They would drink it and be instantly transformed in to a wonderfully relaxed state of mind.  They would never ask for soda even though they know they only drink it very rarely.

Fresh veggies and a tangy mustard based dip are a great dish to bring to a picnic.  #sponsored #NaturallyAmazing @frenchsfoods  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI am very lucky that my kids do, in fact, like vegetables.  They don’t hesitate to grab them off a buffet table and never complain when I send them in their lunches.  Up until a little while ago, my oldest son couldn’t eat anything with milk in it so he never really had anything to dip them in.  We are very fortunate that he seems to have outgrown that allergy.  For this picnic I made a delicious mustard dip.  French’s mustard is, and always has been a natural food.  What I love about it is that is adds SO much flavor.  And it is an absolute essential for summer grilling.  It is perfect with hamburgers and hotdogs but also delicious grilled veggie sandwiches.  It also sort of inspired the color palette as well.  You normally don’t think of mustard yellow as a summer color but I think these rich colors are perfect for the time just before sunset.  French’s wants you to get inspired also.  They have a new Pinterest page and it features other great ideas for #naturallyamazing entertaining and recipes for any occasion: graduation celebrations, picnics, summer BBQs, light lunches and more!  You can follow them by clicking the image below!

French's is now on Pinterest!

Cabbage salad for a delicious and easy dinner picnic.  #sponsored #NaturallyAmazing @frenchsfoods  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy real family has recently started eating more salads.  I’ve always loved salads so this has made me so happy.  However, only my robot children would eat this cabbage salad.  While the cabbage is really mild in flavor, the herbs would totally throw my kids off.  I loved the bright flavors of the mint, basil and cilantro.  And the lime sesame dressing had a touch of sweetness that paired with it really nicely.  Robot children are the best, aren’t they?

A vintage blanket works perfectly for a summer picnic.  #naturallyamazing @frenchsfoods #sponsored // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd only my robot children would be able to eat on this vintage blanket with a mustard dip…

Wooden cutlery for a summer dinner outdoors. #sponsored #naturallyamazing @frenchfoods // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI decided to keep the elements of this picnic really natural.  I mixed wooden utensils with wooden plates and platters and recyclable paper containers for easy clean up.  But since this was for pretend children who don’t break things, I used my fave blue glasses for a pop of color.  In a real scenario I would probably use some clear plastic cups, nothing colored as I wouldn’t want to compete with this gorgeous blanket.

Succulents transport well and are really great for decorating picnics.  Also, wine.  You should always serve wine.  #sponsored #naturallyamazing @frenchsfoods  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSucculents are a great thing to bring as decorations when entertaining out of the house.  They are a really hearty plant and look great.  I also like to use bright-colored fruits because they double as part of the meal and decoration.  My robot and real children love cherries.

Mustard is all natural and a great way to add flavor to summer picnic dishes!  #sponsored #naturallyamazing @frenchsfoods  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comEating healthier, more clean, doesn’t have to be boring.  I look for ways to add in flavor to keep me the meals from tasting the same.  I use a lot of fresh ground black pepper, fresh citrus juices and French’s mustard to add a wonderful savory tang.

vintage-blanket-and-grass-picnicThis has been a tale of my robot children and this fantastical picnic we all enjoyed together.  All the tips still hold true, just maybe not as a family picnic.  Maybe your picnic won’t be as fancy as this one but French’s and I encourage you to bring some fresh tastes to your table this summer!  Don’t forget to follow French’s for time-saving hacks and useful cooking tips as well as memorable meal ideas!

French's Mustard is #NaturallyAmazing #sponsored

 

Thank you for supporting the companies, like French’s, that sponsor my posts and allow me to create.  My robot children appreciate it also.

Family Movie Night Popcorn

*This post is sponsored by Pop Secret.  All opinions are my own.

Movie night snacks are essential for a good family night!  #sponsored http://ooh.li/1863c9b #perfectpop #goodbyeburnedpopcorn  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comDo you guys have family movie night?  We try to but sometimes we just get started too late and end up having family TV night.  Either way, the treats look the same.  There is always candy.  And there is always popcorn.  We managed to get started early enough the other night so we got comfy on the couch and hung out together.  But one thing that has always plagued us is how to get the perfect family movie night popcorn. 

Family movie night needs Pop Secret and the #perfectpop app!  #goodbyeburnedpopcorn #sponsored http://ooh.li/1863c9b  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comA love of microwave popcorn runs in my family.  So much so that we refer to it as micro poco.  Say it.  You know you want to.  I can’t tell you how much popcorn I’ve had to throw out that was burned though.  Not all microwaves are created equal.  And they totally lie about that “popcorn button” being an accurate way to pop a bag of popcorn.  Pop Secret came out with this fun new app that will help you get the #PerfectPop and it is seriously the BEST!

The ONLY way to pop the perfect bag of microwave popcorn!  My kids love this app!  It listens to your bag and tells you when it is done!  How cool is that?! #sponsored http://ooh.li/1863c9b #perfectpop #goodbyeburnedpopcorn  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt is free to download on iTunes (iPhone 5+ only – this is totally a reason to upgrade like you have been wanting to) and be warned, the kids will want to pop bags constantly.  Just wait, I bet “popping bags” ends up in the urban dictionary and rappers are going to start rapping about it.  You put your Pop Secret bag in the microwave and follow the instructions from the bag (note: this doesn’t work on the Kettle Corn or Sweet’n’Crunch varieties, and if you are using the snack sized bag, you have to remember to modify that setting on the app).  Then all you have to do is hit start on the app and keep the phone within 3 feet of the microwave.  

The kids LOVED this new #perfectpop app from Pop Secret.  It has XRAY vision to know when your popcorn is perfectly popped! #sponsored http://ooh.li/1863c9b #goodbyeburnedpopcorn  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comUsing the microphone on your phone, the app listens to the popping of your bag and tells you when it is done popping.  And throughout these few minutes, the app shares fun facts to keep you entertained.  

The perfect @prefresh shirt to wear before consuming tons of movie candy on family movie night.  #sponsored http://ooh.li/1863c9b #perfectpop #goodbyeburnedpopcorn  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSO FUN!  I had to pop bags for both boys because they each wanted a turn with the app.  

The Perfect Pop App from Pop Secret pops the perfect bag every time! #sponsored http://ooh.li/1863c9b #PerfectPop #GoodbyeBurnedPopcorn  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.com While the kids had their eyes on the popcorn, I worked on putting the rest of the treats together for our family movie night.  Usually they are all up in my business about when we can start the movie, but this brilliant app bought me the few minutes I needed to get everything ready. 

Family movie night is the easiest way to spend quality time together as a family!  But there HAS to be popcorn.  #sponsored http://ooh.li/1863c9b #perfectpop #goodbyeburnedpopcorn  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe picked Hotel Transylvania.  Because it’s awesome.  

Make sure you buy everyone's favorite candy for family movie night!  For the healthy eaters, I provide sweet cherry tomatoes!  They aren't quite candy but they are a great substitute when you are trying to be good! #sponsored http://ooh.li/1863c9b #perfectpop #goodbyeburnedpopcorn  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe never skip popcorn on movie nights.  But we do let the kids pick out their favorite movie candy too.  Since I’m trying to be healthy, I got the 94% Fat Free Pop Secret variety and then set out sweet cherry tomatoes instead of candy.  They have really helped with my sweet tooth!  And I noticed the kids grabbed for them too.  And not by accident.  Although they were watching the movie so intently I probably could have swapped out most of the candy for vegetables and they may not have noticed.  Maybe I’ll try that next time.  Have you tried the app?  Let me know if you do!  You’ll totally say #goodbyeburnedpopcorn!

*This post is sponsored by Pop Secret but all opinions are my own.  And I love this app.  And micro poco.

Cereal and Ice Cream Communal Sundae

Eat ice cream together with your friends.  And top it with cereal.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMmmmmm.  Ice cream.  It is one of my favorite things.  And it is something that I don’t hardly eat.  I’m not just a one scoop kind of a gal.  So I know that if I indulged in ice cream the way that I want to, I would need to buy a whole new wardrobe.  In another size.  So I save it for vacation or eating out at a restaurant and splurging on dessert.  But I thought I would share with you one of my favorite ice cream toppings.  Cereal.  Cereal and ice cream are perfect together.  Those who know me know are not going to believe this.  But people who knew me growing up know that I was super athletic.  Every summer I would go to volleyball and basketball sports camps.  Most of them were held at colleges where you stayed in the dorms and ate in the cafeteria.  One of my favorite things to eat was the soft serve.  But they never had any toppings to go with it.  So I would always hunt down the cereal.  I need crunch with my ice cream.  And since ice cream is pretty much the same as milk, it is a match made in heaven.

The communal ice cream sundae.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI knew this was going to get messy, but I really thought it would be fun to make this a communal treat.  Individual bowls are so last season.

Fruit Loops are where it's at.  Eat them with ice cream for a tasty treat.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAny type of cereal will do.  Well, except for something healthy.  The Fruit Loops were always my personal favorite topping.

Cereal makes the perfect ice cream topping. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhy does this look so pretty to me?  I would totally blow this up and frame it for my living room.

Grab some spoons and eat ice cream with your friends!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comGrab your spoons.

Ice cream and cereal.  Dig in.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd get at it.  I’m not going to lie, this can get super messy.  A lipped tray would work way better than this flat slate tray.

A fun twist on an ice cream sundae.  Make a huge one and share it with your kids and friends. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMe thinks your kids would really like this.  Do it.  I’d love to hear their reaction!