The hustle and bustle of starting the school year is enough to make you go fetal sometimes. And after a long summer of entertaining the kids everyday, I decided I needed a good old-fashioned girl’s night. With wine. And comfy clothes.
What a classy little lunch, right?! That right there is a totally civilized salad and a glass of bubbly totally suited for ladies who lunch. But I get a chance to eat out with my girlfriends about once every six months so I don’t really know any ladies who lunch. I definitely don’t know any who would have a glass of Prosecco at lunch (and I’m totally not judging, I’d really like to know those people. I love day drinking!) So this recipe for Prosecco Vinaigrette feels really special, when in reality it is super easy and pretty darn basic.
For the dressing you will need the ingredients shown above. Pretty much stuff you have lying around your pantry. Except for maybe the Prosecco. Do your self a favor and go buy a bottle. Keep it on hand for that one time you do get to invite your adult friends over and pretend you are fancier than you really are. That is not for their benefit, but yours. Get out of mom mode and turn on your inner socialite. You only need a little bit for the salad so you’ll be able to drink the rest out of fancy flutes (or juice glasses. whatevs).
And here is why this is so easy. You can make this ahead of time if you know your friends are coming for lunch. Or you can quickly make it while they are there. You can also not invite anyone over and keep it all to yourself. I love a kale salad but the idea of massaging it and washing it and trimming out the rib is much too much work. So I bought the Taylor Farms bagged kale salad with Brussels sprouts. I ignored the cheese, crouton crumbs and dressing and instead added fresh raspberries, orange segments and almond pieces. SO GOOD! It looks and sounds totally impressive, tastes great and was next to no work at all.
If you are having a large group I would toss the salad with the dressing right before serving. Or you can find a cute tiny pitcher to put the dressing in and have the guests dress their salads themselves. If I was saving this for my lunch for the week, I would keep the dressing in the jar so it is ready to go and rinse the raspberries and section the oranges as needed.
- For Lemon Prosecco Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup Prosecco DOC
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
- 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 2 TBSP honey
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- For Salad
- 4 cups Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed
- 2 cups chopped kale leaves
- (or 1 bag of Taylor Farms bagged Brussels Sprouts and Kale salad mix - removing the extra toppings bag - if using the measurements above, it will make about 6 servings as a side dish or 3-4 as a main dish. The Taylor Farms bag will feed about 4 side dish sized portions or 2 main dish portions)
- 2 navel oranges, segmented and sliced
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- For the dressing
- Whisk together Prosecco, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper with fork in a small bowl or jar.
- Gradually whisk in olive oil until well combined.
- For the salad
- Plate kale and Brussels Sprouts.
- Top with orange segments and raspberries.
- Top with chopped almonds.
- Drizzle with dressing just before serving.
*Prosecco and recipe were provided for this post.
I don’t love 80’s music. I mean, of course, I like some songs from the 80’s but it is one of my last choices if I have to choose a musical decade. But I’m SUPER in to music that sounds like it’s from the 80’s but was really made in the last few years. Haim and Twin Shadow were the two that really got me in to this sound. So I made a summer music playlist for you. I realize it is just spring, but CA has been feeling decidedly summery these past few weeks. These songs are perfect for warmer weather, hanging out by the pool or just hanging out with friends. I’m pretty dang obsessed with the Brandon Flowers song, ‘Can’t Deny My Love.” It’s my JAM! Play it loud! P.S. I don’t know how to center the Spotify playlist. Can anyone help a sister out? It’s driving me crazy!
I think I found a way to have the easiest party ever. Hummus. Well, and a few other things but seriously hummus is awesome. It’s super versatile, pretty dang inexpensive and known to be highly addictive, as in you can eat a whole bowl by yourself without even realizing it. Not that I’ve done that. I am all about actually getting to enjoy the parties you throw so this party is perfect for that. A little ahead of time prep work and you can simply enjoy hanging out with your friends. Here are some easy party food ideas for your next get together.
A hummus party works great at home or as a picnic/ outdoor party situation. I made the hummus base, but you could just as easily purchase it from the store and jazz it up however you want. Here I decided to serve it three ways, 1) plain, 2) with a little more garlic and a roasted red pepper sauce and 3) a guacamole hummus hybrid (recipe coming soon!).
This hummus party food idea works great because even if someone doesn’t particularly enjoy hummus (why are you friends with them?), they still have plenty of snack foods to eat in the way of the dippers. Pita chips, baby carrots and pretzel chips really make the perfect hummus eating vessels.
Similarly, you can round out the snacks with dried fruits and nuts. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love those coconut chips from Trader Joes. This adds a sweet element which all guests with a sweet tooth with appreciate (like this girl).
Keeping the drinks simple is another way to enjoy your party without putting in almost any effort. This ready-made sparkling sangria, by Lolea, is such a good idea. It comes in a red or white version and its ready to drink. Just pop the bottles. Or make some tea sangria (recipe coming soon) the night before the party and you are set. It’s a light cocktail, with not a lot of alcohol, so it will keep your party drinks budget in check.
These roasted tomatoes served with burrata are crazy good and might be my favorite appetizer ever. They are a total crowd pleaser (recipe soon too – I’ve been busy you guys). Roast them the day before and set out a little before guests arrive to bring it up to room temperature. This is the BEST menu. For real. And if you are having your party elsewhere, just pack it all up in to-go containers and just pop the lids off to serve. Super simple.
Need more appetizer recipes? Try these!
*Sangria was provided by Lolea for use in this post.
*This post is in conjunction with Netflix #StreamTeam. Each month I share how my family and I are enjoying what’s playing on Netflix. And since every member of my family is addicted to television, we watch a lot of Netflix.
While Netflix creates tons of original programming (if you haven’t watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yet, stop what you are doing and go watch it. It’s freaking hysterical and my fave new show) they also have tons of your older movie favorites. Just this past weekend my oldest son and I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off together. It lead to a discussion on how much cursing is in that movie…oops. And he handled it really well so it was really fun to get to share one of my favorite movies with him. One of our favorite ways to explore Netflix is to look for themes that tie certain movies or shows together. In the case of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, she totally reinvents herself after coming out from 15 years in a bunker. Jack Black’s character makes some wonderful self discoveries in School of Rock and Baby comes to Kellerman’s a shy, unworldly girl in Dirty Dancing and leaves a confidant woman in love with great abs.
Life gets super busy but I think it is really necessary to have girl time and get together with friends. Here’s how to have a Dirty Dancing viewing party where your girlfriends can come over, chill out and you can talk about how you all have reinvented yourselves over the years or how you want to in the future.
Don’t make it stressful on yourself. Doing just a few special touches will set the right atmosphere and get your friends excited. Create a simple postcard for Kellerman’s Resort as the invitation. Just find a photo of a resort online, print it out and handwrite the info on the back!
I remember owning this soundtrack and listening the heck out of it. But you can also find some different versions of the songs like this version of “Love is Strange” by Wings.
You KNOW you must have a watermelon cocktail. This watermelon sangria bar is the perfect idea!
If you want to have your guests dress from the movie, there are some really easy outfits to recreate. This tulle skirt look is a fun take on the ballet skirt she pairs with a ribbed white tank for dance rehearsals. Or there is always the long cuffed jean shorts and tied white button up look or shorter rolled jean shorts paired with a coral bodysuit. But don’t make your guests dress up if you think it will stress them out. Themed dress up usually stresses me out.
There is not need to go all out and redecorate your house for one night but how amazing is this watermelon print!
You may remember a post for a while ago where I went to a Dirty Dancing themed party. It was super casual and I DID put Baby in the corner of these rice krispy treats. And check out the Hungry P”eyes” that Kristin brought to the party.
And while you don’t have to send your guests home with a favor, these orange blossom-thyme suckers would be perfect with a little tag that said “I had the thyme of my life.”
See, so easy and so fun!
image credits: Kellerman postcard . watermelon sangria . tulle skirt outfit . watermelon print (no longer available but this one is similar) . krispy treats with baby in the corner . orange blossom-thyme suckers
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Do you love awards show season as much as I do? I LOVE pop culture and one of my majors in college was TV/Film so you know I love my celebrities and all that goes with it. Today I’m going to show you How to Host an Awards Show Viewing Party. I keep it really simple because I like to enjoy my get togethers too. If you focus on a few details ahead of time, you can show your guests a great time and get to be part of the party fun.
To start, I know that baking is NOT my specialty. I’d like to blame my oven (which does run hot, btw) but I know that some of the fault lies with me. I always pick up a few store-bought cupcakes, because who doesn’t love cupcakes? Then I just use some edible gold stars to make these feel a little more “Hollywood.”
I serve SUPER simple recipes, that can be made ahead of time, and I choose things that aren’t fussy. This Sweet and Salty Movie Mix snack took about 2 minutes to make. And this delicious King’s Hawaiian Bread crostini snacks couldn’t be easier and can be made in savory versions too. I had never thought about using half a Sweet Roll in this way before, but it is SUCH a great idea! Don’t forget to check out all the award show recipes over on the King’s Hawaiian’s special award show party planning site!
Awards shows are usually all about glamour. And to me, red is a must have color. I picked up a few bunches of red tulips at the market and created these pretty arrangements. One of my weaknesses, in the whole realm of entertaining, is flower arranging. What works for me is using really interesting vases and one type of bloom. On the flip side, using drinking glasses or jars and splitting up a bouquet of flowers works wonders as well. You can place these smaller arrangements around the table to add pops of color where you need it.
I have kids so they are usually included in most of the things I do. But awards shows do not interest my kids. They love a football party. But don’t understand why anyone would watch an awards show. They usually go play at the neighbor’s house when I have people over for awards shows. So that means I don’t really have to include them in the party food. Which means that I get to go a little more adult-friendly with my spread. Cocktail themed candy is a great thing and perfect for an awards show party. These colorful, sophisticated lollipops by Quin come in standard fruity flavors but also in wine flavors, like the one with Pinot Gris, shown on the right. And champagne flavored Jelly Belly’s just make sense.
Of course you should keep the champagne flowing through out your shindig, but also serve a signature cocktail like this Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail. People love to try new cocktails but sometimes don’t take the time to make them for themselves at home. Now is your chance to be creative and share your favorites with your guests.
To make it extra fun, add edible confetti! Edible confetti is super versatile and you can use themed hole punches or even cut out letters to write your own messages.
Watching the awards show is the main activity of your party, of course! But you simply HAVE to play awards show bingo (which you can find around the web) or have people guess the winners on their own ballots. The prizes can be super easy and inexpensive. Here I picked up a small succulent and used a paint pen to write “winner” on one of the leaves. Pick up a tray of delicious gold candies to send home with the winner. Or let them take a tiny party home with them by gifting this confetti pop.
Do you host awards show viewing parties? Or do you watch them alone on your couch with popcorn and booze? There’s no judging. There is no wrong answer.
Host an awards show viewing party, share the details with King’s Hawaiian and you can win prizes! See the official rules and read more about it over at StarringRoll.com.
This post was sponsored by King’s Hawaiian. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me help you solve problems and plan fun events.