June 19, 2017

Chef Luke makes hummus & pita chips

As the school year is winding down, after school activities are also coming to an end. So the boys have had a lot of free time lately. Since Tuesdays opened up for Gavin he’s been asking to cook with Luke!

Luke loves hummus and we’ve been talking about making it so there you have it. We found the easiest recipe on our friend’s site, Weelicious. We added baked pita chips into the mix so the boys would have something good to dip when the hummus was ready!

The best part of this recipe? It’s healthy. Ugh. I love when that happens!

We set out a plate of veggies for the boys to eat while they were cooking (because they are always hungry) and they also dipped these into their hummus.

Want to see how it all went down? Watch it here.

xx, Seri
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May 2, 2017

Derby Day Chips N’ Dip

Is the Kentucky Derby Horse Race the fastest sports event of all sports events? Must be right? Well whatever it may be, we love any excuse to invite friends over.

This year we’re having a few friends over to watch the race and I’m not going crazy with a hard-to-prepare spread of food. I’m serving my favorite snack with a twist…a chip N dip bar inspired by a few of our favorite flavors from Kettle Brand. Make sure you’re sitting down because these flavors are going to blow.your.mind.

Kettle Brand Moscow Mule.
Kettle Brand Sriracha.
Kettle Brand Maple Bacon.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Each flavor is more delicious than the next!

I developed a dip recipe to compliment each of these Kettle Brand flavors. Here’s what I came up with…

Kettle Brand Moscow Mule: I found this chip sweet and delicious so I wanted to pair with a fresh, creamy dip. I made a pistachio cheese for this guy.
1 8 oz tub of whipped cream cheese
1 8 oz log of goat cheese
palmful of crushed pistachio (plus some whole to garnish)
Mix all the ingredients together and garnish with the whole pistachios.

Kettle Brand Maple Bacon: To offset the sweet taste that I found in this chip I whipped up a spicy mayo. Here’s how I made it –
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 palmful of shredded cheese (I used white cheddar)
1/2 palmful of grated parmesan cheese
several shakes of hot sauce
Mix it all together and serve chilled.

Kettle Brand Sriracha: Now I burned my face off with these chips. Oooooooh boy were these spicy! To cool off my tongue I paired these bad boys with a spinach dip. Truth be told? I picked up a store bought version and mixed in some fresh spinach for a powerful flavor.

Now what are we drinking? Well Moscow Mules of course! Goes with the Kettle Brand and it’s cold, refreshing and delish. It’s also a great update to the classic Derby cocktail the Mint Julip. Plus…it can be made with Bourbon, my husband’s favorite.

You’ll have a bunch of mint leftover. Put it in a cup or mug of water and set on the table. Looks pretty, smells great and guests can pick off more mint leaves to add to their cocktails if they wish!

To decorate our table we came up a few fun ideas because that’s just what we do…

First of all, we created a “run for the roses” backdrop. Literally, the easiest decor of your life. Tape up long stem roses to your wall, upwards and downwards and boom. Does it get more stunning?

How about a nod to the horses? With the Moscow Mule copper mugs on our table, we decided to buy some toy horse figurines and hit them with copper spray paint. HOW DARLING?!

Last but not least…I found horse shaped (copper and black!) confetti at my local party store.  I was so excited I squealed.

Now who are we betting on? Happy Derby Day friends!

This post was sponsored by Kettle Brand but my deep love of potato chips is all natural.

xx, Seri
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Party conversation
  1. WYNMarts

    So delicious !! Love the CHIP N DIP :D Wanna party Hard

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April 24, 2017

DIY Pretzel Bar

We love pretzels of every shape and size, with every type of type, eaten on any day of the year. What better day to eat all out favorite pretzels than on National Pretzel Day?! We set up our own pretzel bar just for the occasion, and it’s super easy for you to do too.

Step 1: Set up your bar with the following ingredients:
-Your favorite type of pretzels. We chose soft baked, rods, and mini sticks.
-Hummus, cheese dip (we used this recipe), chocolate chips
-Add-ons, like veggies for the hummus, or sprinkles for the chocolate

Step 2: Start dipping! We dipped our chocolate pretzel rods first, so the chocolate had time to harden.

Step 3: Try every kind of pretzel. Because they’re all wonderful!

Happy National Pretzel Day!

xx, Maggie
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categories: DIY, Dip, LMP Holidays, Sweets, Holiday
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March 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

Green isn’t limited to shamrocks and leprechauns. At this epic spread, it’s the inspiration for a healthy, yet hearty lunch that offers a spread of crudités with green goddess dip, mini fruit-topped pavlovas, and iced green tea.

Here’s what comes to mind when I think about St. Patrick’s Day: loads of green food, rainbows, pots of gold, shamrocks and of course, leprechauns. Even if you’re not Irish, you can create, style, cook, bake and host a gorgeous and elegant St. Patrick’s Day party!

This table offers a lush meets luxe dining experience. Think green and leafy intertwined with white and gold accents for your table settings. In keeping with the traditions of this theme, I used all of Martha’s recipes to blend together a wonderful, healthy lunch for family and friends.

One of the most eye-catching details at this table? The four-leaf clover napkins! Since this holiday is always fun and festive, I wanted to try my hand at napkin-folding. The only problem I have with this type of challenge is following instructions. This was a perfect job for my husband to tackle. (I bet you didn’t know that he is an expert napkin folder. Now you do!) He has so much more patience when it comes to tasks like this, it’s wonderful. Here’s how!

One thing I loved doing for an anniversary party I hosted recently, was a DIY garland for the table runner. It was super easy, reasonably priced, and packed a punch as a focal point for a simply beautiful centerpiece. For this garland, I included frisée (pronounced “free-ZAY”), which is used to refer to a variety of endive with curly, pale green or yellow-ish leaves. I created the garland with an edible factor, which is also appealing to the eye.

Let’s get back to the food. I chose these recipes carefully, based on three ingredient colors: green, white, and a pop of gold. For a quick appetizer, I created a wonderful crudité platter with green goddess dip.

My main course dishes were super healthy, green, and packed with protein. A warm quinoa and chicken salad, baby bok choy with ginger and garlic plus a refreshing salad with buttermilk dressing.

Don’t forget a signature mocktail. I served a cool and refreshing iced green tea with cucumber, which paired perfectly with the meal.

Lastly, dessert was easy: mini pavlovas garnished with fruit and a fresh herb that kept the St. Patrick’s day theme going — green grapes, kiwi, and mint.

Wishing you a pot of gold and all the joy your heart can hold.

Here are some quick tips for hosting this party:

Get festive with your food, think green and clean.

Showcase your creativity by cutting foods into pretty themed shapes. For example, a green pepper sliced width-wise looks exactly like a shamrock or four-leaf clover.

Give your tablescape a focal point, like the DIY garland.

Incorporate traditional with a modern twist: a four-leaf clover napkin, gold drinking straws, confetti and a menu filled with color themed food.

Include a signature “green” drink.

Have fun!

Credits
Author/Photographer/Stylist: Debi Traub | @simplybeautifuleating created exclusively for

Martha Stewart Living

Party props: Little Miss Party

Tableware, Props: Pier 1 Imports

Florals: Irene’s Floral

Tableware, Props: HomeSense (U.S. readers can shop similar product at HomeGoods)

View all recipes by clicking on the pictures above

xx, Debi
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February 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Okay guys. This maybe wasn’t such a good idea but I don’t want to discourage you from attempting to make your own (supposedly easy) Chinese dumplings.

Reason being is that these are a huge “patchka” (literal translation: to mess around with food or a project)

Think of these as a culinary challenge to your dexterity and patience.

Have you ever watched professional chefs make dim sum dumplings? Truly an art.

They take the dough, stuff it, seal it and steam the dumplings efficiently. Within seconds, they have mastered hundreds of precisely made dumplings. That being said, they do this for a living. Day in and day out. THEY ARE DUMPLING  MAKERS.

I had a few factors working against me when I tried these. One being that I’m not Asian and have never made a dumpling before (hang on, I tried making what we call “Jewish wontons” once and experienced the same result….crappy kreplach. Secondly, for a change I was in a hurry to make and photograph these in time for the Chinese New Year. Do you know what happens when you rush? Besides breaking into full on shvitz (sweat) here’s a list of my excuses……

#1.

I didn’t feel like making my own dough. Already, that’s a problem and classified as a cop out for authentic dumplings.

#2.

Although I’m pretty good with my hands, the majority of these SO CALLED dumplings fell apart as soon as I steamed them. Not pretty, not pretty AT ALL.

#3.

I ate the ones that fell apart so no one would witness aftermath of the exploded dumplings. Not a great idea since I was trying to hide the disaster and therefore couldn’t eat dinner seeing as I WAS STUFFED to the gills with dumplings. A full out giveaway that “something went awry” with my experiment.

I came to the conclusion that it’s much easier to go out for Dim Sum and I plan on doing that in the future.

Have I scared you enough to look away from this blog post?

Nah.

Check out how nice they are……..(I mean, see how nice the ones that turned out look?)

The truth of the matter is, practice makes perfect and the next time I tried making these I used yoga breathing to get through the process and they were STELLAR.

almost forgot something. The dipping sauces. I wanted to make MY own and I did. What I didn’t do was write down the recipes for each one. Brilliant right? I’m going to do my best to remember what was in them but just in case I forgot an ingredient please forgive me. I’m blaming it all on the dumplings.

CHICKEN & BOK CHOY CHINESE DUMPLINGS

– ½ lb ground chicken
– ¾ cup baby bok choy, steamed and finely chopped
– 2 tablespoons, chives finely chopped
– 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
– 1 garlic clove, finely minced
– 1 tablespoon sesame oil
– ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
– ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
– 1 package round wonton wrappers (you can find these at an Asian supermarket)
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, if pan frying
– black and white toasted sesame seeds for garnish
– Additional chopped chives for garnish

1) Combine the ground chicken, bok choy, chives, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, vinegar, and pepper into a medium bowl until well blended.
2) Place wrappers on a work surface lined with parchment paper.
3) To assemble the dumplings place ½ tablespoon of filling per wonton.
4) Rub the edges of the wrappers with water using your fingertip.
5) Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, and pinch the edges to seal. (here’s where you need to be very careful, make sure those edges are tightly sealed otherwise you will end up with E.D.S. – Exploded Dumpling Syndrome.
6) Now you can either steam or pan fry the dumplings, here’s how:
7) To steam the dumplings, add about 1 to 2 inches of water into the bottom of a large pan and bring to a boil. (I have a double decker bamboo steamer and I make sure not to submerge the bottom layer of the steamer into the water)
8) Layer the steamer baskets with vegetable leaves (I used bok choy) to prevent the dumplings from sticking.
9) Place the bamboo steamer over the water and cook for about 10 minutes or until the dumplings are fully cooked.
10) To pan fry the dumplings, add oil to a pan and sauté dumplings for 2-3 minutes on one side until golden brown. Add in some water (3-4 tablespoons) and place a lid over the pan to steam. The dumplings should be done once all of the water has been absorbed. Garnish with additional chives, chopped peanuts and serve with dipping sauces. Makes about 24 dumplings or in my case 15 due to E.D.S.
11) Serve with dipping sauces and garnished with sesame seeds and chives

GINGER SOY DIPPING SAUCE

– 1⁄4 cup light soy sauce
– 3⁄4 tablespoon rice vinegar
– 1 teaspoon honey
– 1 minced garlic clove
– 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
– 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
– 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger

Whisk all ingredients and serve.

SZECHUAN PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE

– 2 tablespoons peanut butter
– 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
– 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
– 1 teaspoon sriracha ketchup
– 3 – 4 tablespoons water
– 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts

1) In a small microwave-safe bowl, add hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, 3 tablespoons of water, peanut butter, and sriracha ketchup. Mix to blend ingredients.
2) Microwave on high for 20-25 seconds. Remove from microwave, and use a fork to combine ingredients together.
3) If sauce is too thick, add 1-2 additional tablespoons of water to achieve a thinner consistency.
4) Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve as dipping sauce.

FIERY THAI DIPPING SAUCE

– ½ cup water
– ¼ cup rice vinegar
– ¼ cup white sugar
– 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
– 1 ½ teaspoons red chili flakes
– ⅛ cup water
– 2 teaspoons cornstarch

1) Combine water, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and chili flakes in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
2) Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 5 minutes, keep stirring so it doesn’t scorch.
3) In a cup or small bowl, make a slurry of the cornstarch and ⅛ cup water.
4) After the sauce has simmered for 5 minutes, slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture.
5) Bring the sauce to a boil and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
6) If the sauce isn’t as thick as you want, boil for another minute or so.
7) Serve as dipping sauce.

xx, Debi
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