Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Snacks for a Tribal Themed Sip and See

Last week I had the joy of co-hosting my first ever "Sip and See" party. Apparently this is a southern tradition that has become increasingly popular in other parts of the country. It's actually a way to share the joy of a new baby's arrival by having a bunch of friends and family gather together to view the little one. I gather that it's not usually a shower, although it could be if the guests had not attended one before the baby was born. Of course any party has to include some yummy snacks! Since the guest of honor has a tribal themed nursery, we incorporated that idea into the decor and the food served. Pinterest gave us the idea of the skewered fruit arrows. I found a cute little tribal raccoon on an invitation and printed the image off to tape on small wooden sticks which I then stuck in the cupcakes. I made the tepee sandwiches from thin Pepperidge bread, pretzel sticks, and canned aerosol cheese. I just cut the crusts off and cut the sandwiches on the diagonal. Because the filling couldn't be too thick, I opted for homemade ham salad and (a nod to the south) pimento cheese.

Ingredients for Three Cups of Ham Salad:

1 pound cubed, cooked ham
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup pickle relish (dill or sweet)
2 green onions

Using a food processor, "grind" the ham cubes until they resemble coarse sand. Rinse the green onion,  cut the roots off the bottom, and thinly slice. Mix the ground ham, mayonnaise, pickle relish and onion with a spoon until well combined.

Use as a sandwich filling or cracker spread.

Ingredients for Three Cups Pimento Cheese - from Cook's Illustrated Magazine

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) jar pimentos
1 (8 oz.) package finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz.) Package regular shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
14 (or less) teaspoon cayenne pepper

With an electric mixer, gently combine all ingredients together just until spreadable.

Use as a sandwich filling or cracker spread. 

Ingredients for about 20 Cupcakes (via tidymom.net):

1 box good quality Red Velvet cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
1 cup water

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting to ice about 20 Cupcakes:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use an electric mixer for two minutes to combine the cupcake ingredients. Put about 1/4 cup of the batter into each cupcake liner. Bake for 20 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, use the electric mixer to whip all the frosting ingredients together until fluffy. 

I was under time pressure when I iced the cupcakes, and the frosting started to get all "crumby". To save the situation, I crumbled a cupcake up and scattered the cake bits over the frosted ones. It camouflaged the disaster! 

For variations on this cupcake recipe, enjoy my Cupcake Celebration post!

Monday, April 18, 2016

BBQ Chicken Lollipops and Classic Coleslaw

In February of this year, Roy and I splurged and spent the entire month in our motor home parked at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground. Although I've never been a Disney fanatic, it was magical! We had a great time taking advantage of all the wonderful amenities this fabulous park has to offer; if you want to see my commentary on our adventures click HERE !  There was just one little wrinkle that invaded our quest to have fun every minute. We were/are trying to sell our existing RV in order to upgrade to another one. (If you would like to peek inside it, click HERE).  One evening we got a call from an interested party who said they were flying in the next day to look at it. I got up that morning and cleaned the place so thoroughly that someone could go over it with a Q tip and not find a spec of dust. It was tired and hungry when I finished. Since it was lunchtime and we had a couple of hours to kill before our "showing", I suggested we go to the Trails End restaurant on the grounds.  I ordered the fried chicken lollipops which came with coleslaw. They hit the spot which made the phone call we got from our prospective buyer a little easier to swallow; he had gone to look at a RV before ours and had just bought that one. We still have our RV for sale, but at least I got an idea for a blog post! I'm a big kid at heart and I loved the idea of chicken lollipops. Disney's coleslaw had apple and fennel in it, but the version posted here is just my easy, traditional version. I got the BBQ sauce recipe from the Chef Mickey Cookbook sold in the campground Trading Post. Of course any store bought bottle of barbecue sauce would work just as well. 

BBQ Chicken Lollipops - Serves 4 to 6


12 chicken leg drumsticks
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup of BBQ sauce, bottled or recipe below


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take a very sharp knife and make a cut all around the top of the drumstick leg. Pull off the skin and push the flesh downward to expose as much as the chicken bone as possible. Scrape the top of the leg to remove the skin there.

Brush a foil lined baking sheet with oil. Place the chicken legs on it. Brush each leg with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the oven and slather barbecue sauce all over each leg.Turn the oven down to 375 and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Repeat this step one more time.

Ingredients for 1 cup of Disney's BBQ Sauce:

1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2  teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently.  Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Classic Coleslaw


1 (14 oz.) package coleslaw mix - about 4 1/2 cups shredded cabbage w/carrots
1/4 cup finely diced purple onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw mix with the onion.  In a separate bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper together. Pour over the coleslaw mix and gently stir to completely coat.

Serve the chicken lollipops on top of the coleslaw. May all your days be magical!