the ultimate little miss blog

September 1st

Mandy’s Meals & More

Hope everyone is having a fabulous long weekend!
What better way to celebrate than with a huge pot of mussels? The easiest dinner for four!
I found a fantastic recipe that replaces the common white wine with delicious ginger beer. Seriously my favorite….dark and stormies? Yummm!
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Check out this Tasting Table recipe, perfectly paired with thin crispy toasts and a fresh arugula & lemon salad.
Yield: Serves 4
Cook Time: 30 minutes
INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (I used olive oil)
¼ medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass–trimmed, tough outer layer removed and stalk bruised with the side of a chef’s knife
1 pound Chinese sausage (or Italian sausage, chorizo or merguez), thinly sliced crosswise
3 pounds mussels, scrubbed under cold running water (discard any mussels with cracked or broken shells)
1½ cups ginger beer
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
¼ cup roughly torn cilantro (both leaves and tender stems) (i used parsley)
4 thick slices Texas toast or sourdough bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
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DIRECTIONS
1. In a large pot set over medium heat, add the grapeseed oil, onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the mussels and cook until they begin to open, about 2 minutes.
3. Pour in the ginger beer, cover the pot and cook until the mussels open, 2 to 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, add the lime and orange juices, scallions, cilantro and butter; spoon the sauce over the mussels to incorporate the flavors. Turn off the heat and let the mussels rest for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat until nearly smoking, 1½ to 2 minutes. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and grill, in batches and on both sides until marked, 1 to 1½ minutes per side (the bread can also be broiled on the highest oven rack). Place one piece of grilled bread in each of four bowls. Divide the mussels, sausage and broth among the bowls and serve.
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Now doesn’t that sound super easy and delectable?
-M

categories: Dinner Party, Dip, Guest Post, Little Miss Foodie, Seafood, Summer Menu

August 29th

Ready, Set, Weekend with the Garden of Eatin’

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I have a confession to make. Ready? I love ice cream. I love it so much I could swim in it. Waaaaaay back when I was a kid, I remember going to the convenience store to peer into the freezer box hoping my dad would buy me one of those small sundaes that came with a mini tongue depressor. How did we not get slivers from that wood? So who’s been to the local ice cream shop lately? Have you noticed that a regular scoop has gotten smaller and it’s the same price as a glass of wine at a fancy restaurant? There’s an ice cream conspiracy going on here. Is this commodity going up in cost when there’s unrest in certain countries? I believe so. I have no idea what the reason is behind the national ice cream crisis but there are no excuses now. YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN AT HOME…..without an ice cream machine.
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Leave it to @marthastewart to come up with a no fuss, no muss and best of all NO CHURN recipe that’s so easy even a kid can make it with a little help from a grown up. What’s even cooler is creating your ice cream in custom flavors for a great effect. I find the most wonderful treasures in my fridge fruit compartment and just whip them into the vanilla churn recipe. Delish, pretty, tasty and totally genius!
Here’s the skinny on no churn ice cream…..I will give you two versions to try and you tell me if this is too hard.
VERSION 1
“Banana Ice Cream”
What you need:
A banana
Okay?
That’s what I’m talkin’ about. ONE BANANA!!!
Now that you are over the fact that you are going to make ice cream out of one stinkin’ ingredient here’s the way you do it.
FREEZE YOUR BANANA. Still with me?
Now place that frozen banana into a food processor and process for a while. Patience…patience….it will eventually form into ice cream consistency. IT WILL!
Once it does, scoop and place into a serving dish, top with sliced almonds, sprinkles or chocolate sauce. Watching your waistline? Skip the toppings and you have an amazing low fat indulgence.
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VERSION 2
“No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream”
What you need:
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups cold heavy cream
DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk and vanilla. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or your mixmaster, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture. Pour into a 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan. Freeze until firm, 6 hours.
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Now that you know the HOW TOS let us know how it goes! Tag us @littlemissparty & @thegardenofeatin on your instagram and hashtag your photo with #imadethisicecream! We would love to see how creative you were with these recipes. READY, SET ….GO !
Debi @thegardenofeatin
xoxo

In light of Aunt Debi’s incredible ice cream making coupled with the fact that (SADLY) summer is ending…we are giving away an ice cream party in a box for 4 so you can keep summer living on in your home! Follow Aunt Debi’s instructions above and tag us on Instagram to win. Entries can be made through both the Little Miss Party and the Garden of Eatin’s feeds. Winner will be announced next Friday September 5th. Good luck!

categories: Little Miss Foodie, Summer Menu, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

August 28th

The Evolution of Lunch

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Back in the 80′s when I went to school the lunch boxes sure were somethin’ special. Pacman, Star Trek ,the Fonz, Care Bears, Gremlins, Fraggle Rock, The Smurfs….the list goes on…
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These days, boy have things changed. With the extensive knowledge and awareness we all have for food, chemicals in food and organic eating, it’s no longer about the lunch box but what’s inside it that matters.
My friend Ilana of Mommy Shorts recently wrote a blog post about Mighty Nest. I was immediately drawn to their products as I was in the midst of preparing my son for Kindergarten which starts next week (gasp!). He will now need to bring lunch daily which is new in our home since he was never at school over lunch time during his preschool days.
I’m nervous and excited about sending him with lunch daily. Nervous because I have so little time as it is I fear I will have trouble coming up with creative and delicious ideas for food to send him to school with daily. However excited to be able to send him to school with healthy meals and probably little notes so he doesn’t forget me during the day (ha!).
Mighty Nest does not only make products that look adorable but they have the most incredible mission statement. They pledge to keep my family safe with toxin free products and when I placed my order they donated 15% of my purchase to my son’s public school. That was SO cool!
Now the challenge is the meals…
Today I played around with a few ideas to get myself ready for school next week so I wouldn’t be scrambling when I have to crack down and actually send him off with daily meals.
The lunch “bot” that I ordered has dividers to separate foods which makes it super easy for me to come up with ways to fill especially when thinking about color to make the box look appealing when opened. I also turned to the trusty cheat sheet that Mighty Nest sent out in a recent email that made lunch so much easier to put together. Choose one item from each category below and boo-yah.

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The best part about this little cheat sheet is my lil man shares my love of food. When I showed this to him he got super excited and wanted to be involved in choosing the food from each category to build his lunches. Well that certainly makes life easy. And to top that off…he loves making his lunch with me! From picking tomatoes out of our garden to cutting cheese into the shape of ducks…he does it all. Seems as though this won’t be as difficult as I thought it would be. Yay!
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Ok so here’s what we’ve got…you ready?
Lunch #1: Hippo shaped sandwich of hummus and avocado, all dressed pretzel chips, sliced cucumbers and a tomato & duck shaped mozzarella salad. In the awesome “Lunchskin” which is a reusable snack pack (great for the environment!) we filled it up with cheddar popcorn, my son’s favorite food to nosh on.
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Lunch #2: Bowtie pasta with basil tomato sauce (truth be told these were leftovers. So what?!), blueberries, sun kissed cherry tomatoes and lentil crackers topped with bunny shaped muenster cheese. To snack: cheddar cheese puffs.
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Lunch #3: Flower shaped raisin bread sammies filled with strawberry cream cheese, raspberries, black grapes and peanut butter panda puffs. To snack: honey mustard veggie straws.
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I’m not gonna lie to you…I’m kinda jealous. I want these FABULOUS lunches made for me daily! No one sends me to work with lunches like this, that’s for sure!
Ok now I need your help guys…I have to do this 5 days a week for the next 9 months! AH! How the heck will I keep thinking of fun, healthy, appealing to a 5 year old, ideas?! Please please tell me your school lunch secrets! I need all the help I can get.
Oh, and don’t think I didn’t order this tank top to kick the school year off….because I did. I heart you J.Crew.
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categories: Gardening, Healthy, Kids eats, Little Miss Foodie, Little Miss Mommy

August 26th

Don’t you know it…

We LOVE our cocktail hour around here! And so what if we do? Do we talk about it too much? Too bad. These mamas need a drink at the end of the day!
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Ok so how about when we are having friends over? The easiest way to entertain especially if you’ve had a long day…wine and cheese. Pop open a bottle of your favorite wine and set out some cheese, olives, grapes and crackers. And these slate boards from Brooklyn Slate make it that easy. You get a soap stone to write the name of your cheese and a knife to cut it!
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We love these French cheese cocktail plates for easy nibbling. And we adore these cloth napkins from Folk and Faro.
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(more…)

categories: Cocktail party, Cocktails, Dave Robbins Photography, Dinner Party, Food, Little Miss Foodie, little miss party, Little Miss Party in a Box, Party, Party Stylists, Photography, Wine and Cheese

August 25th

Summer Breakfasts

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After documenting all of our delicious breakfasts this summer, we’ve made a pretty awesome collection of pics! Breakfast is after all, the most important meal of the day!
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It doesn’t have to be fancy, most breakfast food is simple and delicious.
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Why not mix your favorite granola and flavored yoghurt, or pile it on to layers of fruit to make a parfait!
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Smoothies are always a great alternative to eggs and toast, plus you can sneak those veggies in without the kids knowing.
Here are some smoothie components that are full of nutrition, no one will know they are getting their greens…
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Start with a liquid: water, orange juice, milk (cow, coconut, soy etc).
Then add the greens: kale, spinach, swiss chard something sweet like fruit! Strawberries, blackberries, peaches, pears, apples, mangos, grapes.
Add a sprinkle of somethin’ healthy: flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg.
Whip it all up in a blender and enjoy!

categories: Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs, Food, Healthy, Little Miss Foodie, Summer Menu

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