Tag Archives: party food

Dinner Menu for a Lumberjack Party

A Lumberjack Birthday Party

If there is any “rule” in my book to hosting a dinner party, it’s don’t make it too complicated!

What’s the point of preparing and hosting a get-together if you’re going to miss it all?

For our Lumberjack Party I knew I wanted a hearty menu to live up to the ruggedness of the theme. What’s a universal man meal? Meat and potatoes.

Lumberjack Menu: All Recipes/Links in this Post

  • Turkey Chili
  • White Chicken Chili
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread
  • Maple Bacon Cupcakes
  • Maple Flapjacks Cupcakes
  • S’mores on a Stick
The best part of this menu? I made most of it 1-2 days before the party to minimize day-of preparation craze.
A Lumberjack Birthday Party
I made two pots of chili – a traditional tomato based chili with beans and ground turkey. I also made a white chili broth-base with chicken and cannellini beans.

Turkey Chili Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb ground turkey
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3  15oz cans kidney beans
  • 2 15oz cans black beans
  • 1 15oz can Mexicorn
  • 60 oz diced tomatoes
  • 30 oz tomato puree
  • 30 oz water
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 5 tsp taco seasoning
  • 4 T sugar
  • Tabasco to desired taste

Brown the turkey, garlic and onions first, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.

White Chicken Chili Recipe:

Modified from the Tennessee White Chili at FoodRepublic.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds diced chicken breast
  • 3 15-ounce cans cannellini beans
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 15oz can Mexicorn
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 container chicken broth, to desired consistency
Saute the chicken, garlic and onions first, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.

Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes were the easy solution to the potato part of the meal. After I scrubbed some yellow potatoes, I wrapped them in aluminum foil. I cooked them on a cookie sheet at 300 degrees for 90 minutes.

Since I made the chili two days in advance, an hour before the party, I stuck the chili on the stove and the potatoes in the oven. Everything was self-serve.
A Lumberjack Birthday Party

I created a toppings bar on the sideboard of our dining room:

For the Toppings Bar

  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar
  • chopped up bacon
  • black beans
  • diced chives
  • assortment of hot sauces.
A Lumberjack Birthday Party

Cornbread

I rounded out the meal with some Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. I made Jiffy Cornbread, adding 2 de-seeded, diced jalapenos and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar per box of corn muffin mix. (For our party I made 3 boxes). Cook per box directions.

A Lumberjack Birthday Party

Beverages

I had several bottles of water on the table and several bottles of pop in the fridge. I also picked up some fun drinks: Maine Root Handcrafted Soda-Pop in Blueberry and Mandarin Orange (YUM! The Blueberry is my favorite. We discovered it at my cousin’s Maine wedding this summer!), Angry Orchard Ciders and some Summer Shandy (hopeful thinking – it’s almost summer, right?)
A Lumberjack Birthday Party

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Recipe modified from The Fresh Fridge – for in-depth directions, check out her tutorial.

Maple Bacon Cupcake Batter: (This recipe yielded 24 cupcakes)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (I replaced 1 tb with bacon fat)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

**NOTE: Keep an eye on these cupcakes while baking. I over-baked mine just a touch. Due to the maple sugar/brown sugar consistency it’s harder to tell when they are finished.

Maple Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

Candied Bacon

Fry bacon as usual in a frying pan – add brown sugar to pan while frying. Watch carefully to prevent burning. When finished separate bacon to dry and harden. I chopped into smaller pieces for the cupcake topper. I used 8 slices of bacon.

I sprinkled the tops of the cupcakes with cinnamon and plopped the cooled-down bacon on top.

A Lumberjack Birthday Party

Maple Flapjack Cupcakes

I’ll post on this separately – basically it’s just sugar cookies and maple chocolate frosting. I’ll share my technique later!
A Lumberjack Birthday Party

S’mores on a Stick

(This time I used chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers.)

Suffice it to say, we were all stuffed…. and candied bacon is dangerously easy to make.

Could you eat a bacon cupcake? Everyone was freaked out to try it, but I think they liked them!

Skillet Skillz

via

This week I made Katie’s Roasted Corn Salad, recipe via  The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl.

It was tasty! However, it was supposed to be roasted, a.k.a. grilled. The art of grilling does not bode so well with the rain that has been occurring this week, so I made it on the stove in my cast iron skillet.

(You can find the recipe at Chat & Chew). I did everything the recipes called for, I just made it on the skillet instead of the grill. And I boiled my corn and cut off the kernels and threw them in the skillet at the end.

Oh, and I used yellow bell pepper instead of red and I used butternut squash instead of yellow squash. My inability to follow a recipe exactly drives Moose bonkers.

I love to cook with our cast iron skillet. It weighs about 100 pounds, but it’s perfect for all the Mexican food we like to make.

One thing led to another, and I woke up the next morning to our cast iron skillet sitting in a little puddle in our sink. This is a big-fat-skillet NO NO. Alas, the bottom was starting to rust.

You aren’t supposed to wash a skillet with soap and are definitely not supposed to let it sit wet. It should be rinsed, dried and oiled.

So, like any other person looking for a solution, I Googled it. I found two great tutorials on The Kitchn on skillet care:

How To Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

How To Season a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets can last decades if they are taken care of properly. Otherwise, they are a very effective tool for flattening papers or building up shoulder muscles.

And since I’m on the topic… here’s a throwback young from the good ole days.

How’s that for variations on a theme? : )

Top 9: Farewell Party to Summer

I am protesting the end of summer.

While grocery shopping this week the stockboys were putting out Halloween candy. HALLOWEEN candy.

Then, I get home and start going through my (shamelessly overstocked) Google Reader. Bloggers are already blogging about fall projects.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s been far too long since I’ve done a Top 9. Today my Top 9 is based on a theme for a Goodbye Summer party. :( Wahh.

The theme is sunset-based, because summer should be an eternal sunset. (So poetic. I know.) Why? Well, I only get to see sunsets during the summer. Otherwise I leave work when it’s dark. Sunsets happen at the end of the day, this party it happening at the end of summer. And if you want to get real scientific, the days are starting to get short again, thus a sunset theme.

I’m nothing if not well thought-out. Either that, or I am a champion of meager excuses for a party…

1. First you’d need awesome, summery invitations like these to invite your favorite peeps over.

2. I think it would be fun to decorate my deck with some of these lovely sunset-colored mobiles from LilSproutCreation. With the goldenrod, coral and tangerine hues of this beauty, I think you could even sneak this into your fall decor.

3. I would serve this refreshingly tasty looking Creamsicle trifile by Amy Atlas. The colors are beautiful! Is there anything more classically summer than a creamsicle popsicle?

4. This beautiful necklace by Alyssa’s Gems and Jewels would adorn my neck and add instant “summer celebration” to any outfit. (How is it that I’ve never heard of Maple Turquoise before? It’s lovely.)

5. Ahhh, the quintessential summer activity. Friendship bracelets. I’d love to sit around a campfire and make some chevron bracelets like these babies by LARaised. (I think it’s hilarious that these are a “style trend” right now. I think people just want to dress like they are 12 again and call it a “trend”. Not that I am opposed. I still have one.)

6. A kitschy patchwork tablecloth with hues of goldenrod and pink, like this one from CakeforBreakfast, would help set the tone.

7. I would also serve this Taste-a-Rainbow cupcakes from Family Fun magazine.

8. A pretty orange dress, like one this from AmandaArcher, would help soften the wardrobe blow in the transition from summer to fall.

9. Lastly, I’d thank my friends for coming with these “Cheerio” cards from TheDesignConspiracy. I love the yellow printing and custom screenprinted type.

Around this time of year I am grateful to live in New England. The leaves start turning and we can still go to the beach for at least another six weeks. (Yes! I have swam in the ocean in October before!)

Three cheers for an Indian Summer!

Summer Tuna Salad

1. Drain one can of tuna.

2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of poppyseed salad dressing.

3. Throw in one handful of (freshly picked!) blueberries.

4. Serve on cucumber slices.

Delicious and refreshing!

(Although my husband gave me the side-eye. Me thinks this is not a man-friendly meal.)

I think it would be a nice appetizer at a luncheon or a shower.