Thursday, February 21, 2013

Meat and Cheese Please...Homemade Charcuterie Plate

Who doesn't love meat and cheese???  The Strong's certainly do!  We have had several amazing Charcuterie plates.  We especially loved the one from Henri's in Austin, TX.

Charcuterie Plate at Henri's
We decided to do a Charcuterie Plate for part of our homemade Valentine's Day dinner.  We headed to Whole Foods for our Charcuterie supplies.  Whole Foods has a great cheese and deli section.  They even had a bin that has cheeses that are below $5!  This is where we got our cheeses.  The cheese we got were Seaside Cheddar + Bellavitano Raspberry + Sottocenere with Truffle + Florette Goat Brie.  We also got 6 thinly slices each of Creminelli Coppa + Creminelli Milano Salami + Prosciutto di Parma Sini Fulvi.  The meats were incredibly inexpensive ($0.75 to $2.86)...redic! 

We placed our array of cheeses and meats on our Epicurean cutting board, which is the best cutting board ever by the way.  We also got a loaf of rustic Italian bread. We toasted the bread and drizzled it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Serve your Charcuterie Plate with a glass of wine or your favorite craft brew.

We enjoyed this so much we did a second Charcuterie Plate a few days later.  We served these with Marcona Almonds.  You can also add olives, pickled vegetables, homemade mustard, pretzels, etc to your plate.

Charcuterie Plate #2

The Amazing Marcona addicting!

 The Delicious Cheeses

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Little Sissy's Kentucky Derby Bridal Shower

This past weekend we had my little sister's bridal shower.  I couldn't be more excited since it was a themed shower, and we all know that Domesticated Diva loves her themed parties!  The theme for her shower was Kentucky Derby.  The ladies did not disappoint and dressed in their fabulous dresses and their over the top big derby hats! 

The bride to be with some of her bridesmaids

Here is a recap of some of the crafty creations me and her bridesmaids made for the shower...

I designed, printed, and cut the invitations myself. I bought the paper and envelopes at Hobby Lobby.
Kentucky Derby Shower Invites made by Domesticated Diva
 I also made the M moss initial and mini derby hats that went on the sign in table.  To make the moss initial sign, you will need a pack of reindeer moss, a low heat glue gun, initial (I found mine at Hobby Lobby), brush/sponge brush, foam square board (12" x 12"), and craft paint.  I first painted the initial.  This required two coats of silver paint.  Make sure the initial dries between coats.  Then, I glued the initial to the foam square.  Once dry, I began filling in the foam square with the reindeer moss.  A thin layer is fine.  I then went back and filled in any missing spots.  Once the square was covered with moss, I trimmed along the initial so you can easily read the letter. 
"M" Moss Initial Sign
I also made mini derby hats.  I found these adorable mini hats (at the doll section of Hobby Lobby for $1).  I jazzed it up with a little glue gun, ribbon, flowers, and embellishments. 

Mini Derby Hats

Here's the Moss Initial Sign and Mini Derby Hats on the sign-in table at the restaurant...

I made a total of three derby hats (one for myself, one for my step mom, and one for the bride-to-be).  I used wired ribbon, glue gun, floral wire, fake flowers, charms, feathers, tulle, and organza.  I got ideas from Dee's Crafts.  They are from Kentucky and have everything you need to make derby hats.  They also have a Youtube channel.

Domesticated Diva's Derby Hat

The Bride to Be's "Happily Ever After" Derby Hat

My Step mom's Derby Hat

I also made a bunting banner.  I bought a ready-to-decorate banner from Hobby Lobby.  All I had to do was decorate it with craft letters, ribbon, and paper.

"Congrats Mel" Banner

The Banner at the Bridal Shower

I also created the centerpieces.  I bought the glass vases from the Dollar Tree and the white frames are from Ikea.  I wrapped the square glass vase with ribbon and the cylinder vase with craft paper and raffia.  I designed the "Keep Calm and Derby On" and "Lucky in Love" signs using Microsoft Publisher.  I bought fresh flowers the day of the shower and floating tea lights.

"Lucky In Love" Centerpiece

"Keep Calm and Derby On" Centerpiece

For the sign in table, one of my sister's bridesmaids created a "Date Night" Sign In.  People write in their favorite date night idea on a craft stick for the couple.  The idea is for them to randomly choose a date night idea from the jar to find unique ways to spend time together.

My sister's Maid of Honor also made Peanut Butter Kentucky Derby Pops in the shape of derby hats!  These were the shower favors for the guest.

We also made the shower prizes for the games. One was a wine tag for a Apple Flavored Wine, and the other prizes were gift baskets containing wine glasses, mini wine bottle, and chocolates.

Here are some pictures from the shower:

The Southern Belles with their Hats

The Ladies Enjoying their Lunch

The Beautiful Sign In Table

The Cute Derby Cake made by Alamo Sweets in San Antonio

The Bride to Be Cutting Her Derby Cake

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Skinny Minny Recipe: Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe is delicious and really easy to make.  I've always loved Indian food.  The spices and aroma are absolutely amazing, but I've always been intimidated to try making any dishes.  But, while browsing my local grocery store I caught my eye on Tasty Bite Tikka Masala Cooking Sauce.  The directions seemed pretty easy to follow, so I took a whirl at it.

Serves two--
All you need is:
  • 6 chicken tenders sliced (about 1 lb)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (diced)
  • 1 stalk of green onion (diced)
  • 1 small shallot (finely diced)
  • 1 package of Tasty Bite Tikka Masala Cooking Sauce
  • 1/3 cup of chicken broth (I used chicken bullion cube in 1/3 cup of boiling water)
  • Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder to taste
  • Serve with brown rice/whole wheat naan bread and a small dollop of light sour cream
First, I cut my chicken tenders into small cubes (about 1 1/2 " thick).

Heat your pan (medium high) with about 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Place your chicken cubes and shallots in the pan.  Season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink and slightly brown.

Mix in the Tasty Bite Tikka Masala Cooking Sauce along with the 1/3 cup of chicken broth.  The recipe initially only called for the cooking sauce, but I felt it needed more sauce so I added the chicken broth.  The chicken broth also cuts the thinkness of the sauce and gives it a smoother texture. 

Stir in the cilantro (reserving some for garnish) into the pan.  Lower the heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently.  Plate the dish over brown rice or with a side of whole wheat naan bread.  Then add the green onions, cilantro, and a small dollop of light sour cream. 

That's all there is to it.  Total time to make the meal is about 15 min.  Amazing, cheap, healthy, and delicious!

Skinny Minny Calories: ~350-400 calories