Shrimp: The Other Fast Food {Recipe: Lemon Pepper Shrimp Over Greens}

Written by Kristen of Dine and Dish.

Spring has sprung, which means a change from less active, hibernating winter days to more active, over-scheduled days of outside fun. Slow paced days nestled inside with a good book or family board game are set aside for sports practices and games, dance recitals and end of the school year programs. It is during this time of year that I rely more and more on healthy and delicious meals that I can get on the table as quickly as possible.

Instead of making a trip through the local drive-through, I often turn to my favorite fast food to solve my time crunch dilemma… shrimp. Shrimp is one of those ideal foods: kid friendly, quick and easy to cook, and versatile with so many recipe possibilities! [Read more…]

Super Bowl Appetizers – Chicken Skewers with Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Written by Kristen of Dine and Dish.

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up and if you are like me, you will have a house full of game loving folks to feed and entertain. Actually, if you are like me, you’ll welcome the opportunity to chill out in the kitchen with the non-football game watchers and munch on the goodies over good conversation versus the Super Bowl excitement, but that’s besides the point.

Super Bowl Sunday is a day to fill your buffet up with finger foods, appetizers and desserts galore. I know everyone is gathered together for the game, but it is really the food that matters, right?

As part of my attempt to please everyone, one of my favorite things to serve at our Super Bowl party is Chicken Skewers with a variety of dips. Sweet dips, sour dips, spicy dips, mild dips… with enough dips set out for your chicken skewers, you will hopefully be able to have something served that will please every palate at your party. [Read more…]

A Simple Holiday Cocktail Hour (Recipe: Cookies and Cream Cocktail)

Written by Kristen.

This time of year it is so easy to get caught up in the elaborate and forget all about the simple. We host a much anticipated holiday party each year with friends but to be honest with you, although I love our holiday party, I have really been struggling with how I was going to fit it in with our already crammed packed schedule.

Our party is typically big, with a full dinner, dessert, cocktails, presents and games… but it was more than I felt like I could handle with life being so crazy this year. So instead of completely cancelling the party, I had to simplify.

A simpler option to a full holiday party is to host a simple holiday cocktail hour. This way we can still see our friends, celebrate the season together, yet I won’t be so stressed about losing an entire day devoted to planning and preparing for a big party.

Our friends are also busy, so they have welcomed the opportunity to socialize yet not eat up an entire evening. [Read more…]

Seasonings and Spices for Fall Cooking {Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Blend}

Written by Kristen of Dine and Dish.

With fall comes the yearning for food, which brings overall comfort and warmth to those who eat it. We retreat into our kitchens, hoping to provide our family with a meal that will “stick to their ribs”, bringing them warmth from the inside out. Hearty, rich dishes, full of flavor and made with spices and seasonings reminiscent of the season adorn our tables as we gather together in celebration of the cooler days.

There are certain spices and seasonings associated with this season. We draw on their use to provide essence to our favorite comfort foods, add them to our most beloved beverages and use candles reminiscent of their aroma to bring us refuge from the chilly temperatures outside.

Among the most common autumn spices and seasonings, cinnamon, ginger and cloves seem to be firmly associated with the season, making appearances in many of the recipes we associate with this time of year. [Read more…]

Connecting Over Coffee (Recipe: Toffee Caramel Dessert Coffee)

Written by Kristen Doyle of Dine and Dish.

Since becoming a mom, coffee has become more than just a hot beverage to jumpstart my morning. Coffee has become an integral part of my personal social time. It has become an excuse to take time out of my day to get together with other moms. Coffee at home or at the local coffee shop has become something I look forward to because I know it will mean the chance to re-charge and reconnect with friends I care about.

For hundreds of years, coffee has been a social connector. There is something about sitting down with a steaming cup of Joe and chatting with friends that just feels right.

We have recently started serving a cup of dessert coffee to guests after dinner parties. Dessert coffee slows things down, allowing guests to continue to savor the ambiance of the meal and the company. Conversations continue to unfold, relationships continue to form, bonds continue to be made… all over a cup of coffee. [Read more…]