10 Entrees for Sunday Supper Plus a Few Yummy Side Dishes

*This post is a sponsored opportunity by Foodie.com. All opinions are mine. And I love food. So I’m happy to share these recipes with you.

I LOVE Sundays. While I cook dinner about 5-6 nights a week, there is something about cooking a Sunday supper that makes me so happy. In winter, I love to put a slow-cooking dish on the stove, like delicious short ribs. I would never attempt to make them on a weeknight. On Sundays, my husband is usually around to help look after or play with the boys and I can take my time in the kitchen, turn the music up and be able to focus on a new recipe or one that takes more of my attention. During summer, I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen cooking, but rather enjoying a more simple entree with yummy side dishes on the patio with my family. There is an ease to Sunday that makes everyone seem a little bit more relaxed and makes spending time together that much more fun. While a big, pre-planned BBQ might take place on a Saturday night, smaller more impromptu neighbor BBQ’s seem to happen on Sundays. This collection of recipes is what I will be drawing from for the next few Sunday dinners.

BTW, do you know Foodie.com? I’m pretty new there but it is another great resource for finding recipes easily.

Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep Cupcakes and Cutlery going. My summer vacations ain’t going to pay for themselves.

Outdoor Entertaining : Easter Brunch

Easter brunch ideas.So I’m trying out a new idea.  I’ve been wanting to do a series of entertaining ideas shot at night.  I love to do things that are more conceptual and non-traditional and have always been afraid to do it because I didn’t know how you all would respond.  Also, I am an amateur photographer at best and I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull it off.  I think it turned out ok, but more importantly it was super fun and challenging to do.  I’d like to keep doing these and hopefully will get a better grip on how to produce these kinds of shoots.  I wanted it to come off more magazine like but I’m not sure that it did.  I did this the other night when my husband was not home so not only was I trying to shoot and style in the dark, I had one ear open trying to listen for the kids in the living room (or telling them to go back to the living room because they kept trying to steal the Peeps).  So here is what I think the perfect Easter brunch looks like.  I’m not suggesting you do it as a picnic I just thought grass was the perfect spring backdrop.  And I’m not suggesting you lay it out this way.  I am simply suggesting a few ideas in one place.

tulips and mini carnationsSo tulips are awesome.  And I was pleasantly surprised by the mini white carnations I found at the grocery.  For years I never used fresh flowers in any of my parties.  I felt like they were expensive and a cop-out.  Do you all see how I over think everything?  But I now realize that fresh flowers really do add something special to a table.  It has been really fun learning about and paying attention to flowers more lately.  Tulips in spring colors are the perfect accompaniment to your Easter brunch table.  And while usually the kids are sent home with Easter baskets, why not break the centerpiece up in to smaller bunches and send them home with all the ladies.

It isn't Easter without peeps. I can’t think of an easier way to make everyone at brunch happy than by serving Peeps.  They are nostalgic, fun and pumped full of sugar.  I can think of nothing better.  This season in particular I have been noticing an abundance of new Easter themed goodies like these swirly, fruit, egg-shaped marshmallows.  How darling would these large marshmallows look in a cup of hot chocolate for the kiddos?  I like to lay out some sweets so there are some fun nibbles while waiting for the full meal to get to the table.  I guarantee you will not just see kid’s hands reaching for those things.

large tassels for Easter Brunch decorI’ve got to say, I am NOT over tassels just yet.  But I wanted them to be a little different so I made these extra-large ones.  I will share the tutorial next week but I think they would be perfect for a really simple wall decor.  Add a little hand-cut Happy Easter sign and your ready for brunch.

pastels for Easter brunch decor.The basis for my overall color scheme was this rad scarf I found at Forever 21.  I am in love with scarves for entertaining.  They are super versatile and usually much less expensive than tablecloths.  I added some coordinating napkins and think it is the perfect color for a spring brunch.

Blood orange gin and tonic floats for Easter brunch.  Or anyime.For the drink I would serve a Blood Orange Gin and Tonic float.  What I love about this is that it provides a few options for drinks so your guests can fix a drink they truly like.  The blood orange sorbet adds a wonderful sweetness that women typically love.  But if you skip it, you’ve got your basic gin and tonic.  I’ll be sharing that recipe next week also.  And because the float tastes better as the sorbet melts, you don’t have to worry about keeping the container out of the freezer to long, it will only help the drinks.  Yeah!

Choose a basic idea for brunch and then look for a twist on the classic.My extended family likes to stick with their tried and true recipes.  I always try to do that but sometimes I want to find a a twist that I know they will still like.  You know your family best so think about the flavors they enjoy and see if you can introduce new dishes with those flavors.  For the frittata I would choose this one.  Doesn’t this french toast sound amazing?!  And of course bacon.  But I would also throw in some of this for a special treat.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new series or tips to shoot it better!  And while it is still a few weeks away, I’ll wish you a Happy Easter now in case I forget. :)

 

7 Great Marmalade and Jam Cocktails

Mmmmmm.  Marmalade cocktails are awesome. So I am kind of in love with the idea of using marmalade in my cocktails.  Especially orange marmalade.  It is both sweet and sour and that appeals to me very much.  I thought you could probably just add it to champagne to do a fun take on a mimosa.  But it was missing something.  So I decided to do a search for marmalade and jam cocktail recipes so I can learn how to build a better drink.

There are so many variations of marmalade cocktails.  Have you tried them?

A gin based cocktail from Food Network.

Another one that is gin based but adding a little Campari from Food Republic.

Here is a Brunch Punch made with vodka and orange marmalade.

Check out the Weissen Sour with both beer and bourbon.

Gin and jam cocktail from Honestly Yum.

A whiskey based cocktail with fig jam.

Lemon Verbena and Raspberry Jamtini.  Doesn’t that sound refreshing!

Champagne and marmalade is a new take on a mimosa.And here is a GREAT article for how to make the best cocktails with jams and marmalades.  There IS a formula.  I was totally missing the citrus.  Looks like I better try to make some more…Cheers!

Easy Valentine’s Treat for Kids – Fun Dip Whipped Cream

Super easy Fun Dip Whipped Cream for a Valentine's SurpriseYes, you read that right.  Cherry Fun Dip Whipped Cream.  I like to think that my kid’s don’t eat a lot of junk food.  But I would be kidding myself.  Due to food allergies we steer clear of ice creams, cupcakes and cookies when out and about.  But I am learning that I over compensate for that with candy.  I really am trying to work on that this year.  But there are a few days out of the year, when an extra special treat just makes sense.  And Valentine’s Day is just that.  If you didn’t see my Stout Brownie post the other day I became obsessed with all the things you can do with homemade whipped cream.  So I decided to see if I could flavor it with candy.  Well, let me be perfectly honest.  I originally tried cherry jello, and since I am a novice in the kitchen, I had no idea that the gelatin would make the heavy cream get crunk.  That is really just the best way to describe it.  It’s not just a dance you know.  It is totally what it turns in to when you add jello to heavy whipping cream.   I mean it started out fine, and then BAM!  Crunk.  Lauren suggested trying a powdered candy and I knew right away she was on to something.

Fun Dip Whipped Cream IngredientsNow is the perfect time to find multi packs of Fun Dip at Target.  I didn’t think I would have trouble finding Fun Dip, but it isn’t easy to just buy one or two bags of it (Note to my local OC peeps:  the Irvine Spectrum has a candy store in the Target wing that does sell them by the piece).  I picked up a package of Valentine’s sized Fun Dips and picked out all the cherry (blue would just be super grody – not really – pink is just cuter).  Making the Cherry Fun Dip Whipped Cream is really easy.  I use a cup of heavy whipping cream, a TBSP of powdered sugar and 8) .5 ounce packs of cherry Fun Dip.  I’m not sure if the regular, individually sold packages are bigger than this so just know that you will need about 4 total ounces of the powder.

whip the cream, sugar and fun dip for a rad Valentine's Day treat for the whole family. Mix it up for about 3 minutes, watching for soft peaks.

Super easy Cherry Fun Dip Whipped CreamThat is all it takes.

yup.  there is fun dip in the whipped cream.And since you have all those leftover Lik-a-sticks you might as well put it to good use.

add special whipped cream to chocolate milk for Valentine's Day breakfastHow awesome will your kids think you are when you surprise them with this on Valentine’s Day morning in their chocolate milk.  Oh, you don’t serve this type of trash to your kids that early?  Then by all means, save this for afternoon snack.

A fun Valentine's treat for your kidsIt is tart and sweet and cherry-rific.

kids love chocolate.  so why not add some special whipped cream? There really is very little way that your kids wouldn’t like this.  I’d like to pretend that this photo was taken very early in the morning due to both kids still being in their pajamas…

Cherry Fun Dip Whipped CreamOk, so who is going to try this?  Also great for ice cream sundaes, brownies, pies, birthday parties, baby showers and bat mitzvahs.

chocolate-milk-with-fun-dip-whipped-creamDo it.

A Love Letter to Andrea Howe of Gwyneth Made Me Do It

Gwyneth's book from For the Love ofWe are well in to the new year and I’m sure I am not the only one still trying to figure out how to make my life a little healthier.  But I have to be honest, my energy is low for learning something from scratch.  About all I can muster is cheating off someone’s cliff notes version.  When my oldest son was one and diagnosed with food allergies, I had to completely figure that out on my own.  I had to teach myself to cook, I had to figure out what foods he could tolerate and how to prepare them.  It was so much work.  But that was my only focus at the time.  While we have the food allergies figured out (dare I say we are almost outgrowing all of them???) the whole living approach that was very much a part of his early diet has gotten neglected.  And while I enjoy reading and learning new things I don’t feel ready to take it all on myself.  Which is why I need to make sure that you all know Andrea Howe.  I met Andrea last year at Alt Summit.  She lives about half an hour from me and we’ve been lucky enough to see each other a few times since the conference.  Her blog, For the Love of, is amazing.  With her fashion background she talks about real woman fashion problems, how to make things work for you and even does DIYs for accessories.  She’s got adorable children and she is very frank with what is going on in her life.  I adore her.

Dip recipe for the love ofBut the real reason I want to make sure you know about her is because of a sort of side project she started called Gwyneth Made Me Do It.  Yes, that Gwyneth.  Immediately I was interested in Gwyneth’s cookbook and getting back to a more healthful way of eating.  I was delighted when Andrea created the Instagram account to chronicle her experience with the book (you can read how the whole thing got started in this post here).  For real, I have learned so much from her.  Andrea talks about everything from how to choose the right meat, to how she got her kid’s off chicken nuggets to what ingredients you really don’t want to see on your food labels.  She shares recipes (the above is a more healthy version of a ranch dip that she served at a Christmas party) and information that I find truly important.  Oh and now she also writes a column on it for Babble.

diypizza5She is a mom of 3, with picky eaters just like the rest of us.  But she’s willing to put in the work and really figure out what is best for her family.  And she shares all the highs and lows along the way.  Take the time to read through her body of work and you will come away feeling like you have found your new best friend who just wants you to be the best version of you.  She has done a complete makeover on the way her family eats and shows that making your family’s health a priority is hugely important.  And totally doable.

All images via Andrea Howe of For the Love Of