26 September 2013

End of Summer Potluck aka A Recipe Packed Blog!

Bean Salad
Recipe can be found below :)
This past weekend my art projects had to be set aside as I got the house ready for a little get together. My boyfriend and I had not hosted a party for friends at our place since we moved here and I wanted to have an end of Summer BBQ/Potluck and so that is what we did. I really enjoy hosting get togethers, from the planning of it, to preparing the food etc.. I thought it would be fun to host a Potluck so there would be a variety of food, all from various peoples' kitchens and thus different recipes outside of my realm.

There was a variety of delicious dishes at the get together. We had barbecued hamburgers, potato salad, hummus and all kinds of other yummy food. A couple that really stood out to me were the spinach dip and a delicious bean salad. My boyfriend's dad made the spinach dip which was served in a sourdough bread bowl it was so good and a huge hit as an appetizer. My boyfriend's dad was nice enough to give me the recipe as it follows below, I can't wait to make it for the next get together!

An advanced "shame on me" for not getting more photos of the food! 

Best Spinach Dip

Prep Time: 
15 Minutes 

Chill Time: 
6 Hours

*1 Cup Mayo
*1 16oz Sour Cream
*1 1.8oz Package Dry Leek Soup Mix
*1 6oz Can Water Chestnuts, drained & chopped
*1/2 10oz Package Chopped Spinach, thawed & drained
*1 1lb Round Sourdough bread


*Mix all ingredients together (minus the bread of course)
*Chill for 6 hours
*Remove top of sourdough bread, fill with spinach dip 
*Use removed bread for dipping 

As for the bean salad, it's not only pleasing to the eye but it also tastes great! It's a very simple and filling salad and made a great side! I didn't get the exact recipe from my friend's fiancĂ©, but have a rough idea of some of the ingredients. This salad can be made into many different variations..experiment! 

Bean Salad
(Pictured above)

Prep Time:
About 15-20 minutes
(I have yet to prepare this myself)

Bake Time:


*Can Kidney Beans, drained
*Can Black Beans, drained
*Can Corn, drained
*Olive Oil
*Various herbs & spices


*Dice the tomatoes, avocado and cilantro
* Mix all veggies and beans in a large bowl
*Add a little Olive oil and your herbs, mix and serve

I wanted to try a few new recipes myself for this special get together so I hit up my Pinterest board "Grub" and got a few ideas. I wanted to make a quick to prep appetizer and a dessert as well. I decided on mozzarella stick bites served with a marinara dipping sauce for my appetizer, and a Jello poke cake for dessert; neither of which I had made before. 

The mozzarella stick bites required very minimal prep time which made them ideal to make in the middle of our get together. I would suggest to only make as many as you will eat in one sitting, as I found out the hard way they don't reheat very well at all.

As for the Jello poke cake, I had never heard of this type of cake before until a couple of months ago when my boyfriend's grandma brought one over for a family dinner. Jello poke cakes are super easy to make and a good variation on the typical cake. They are very moist and have a lighter taste to them compared to a typical cake with frosting.

Easy Mozzarella Stick Bites

Prep Time: 
5 Minutes or less
Bake Time: 
10-12 Minutes  


*6-8 String Cheese Sticks 
(Depending on how many bites you'd like to make)
*1/4 Cup Milk
*Bread Crumbs
*Spaghetti Sauce or Tomato Sauce


*Cut the string cheese into 1''-2" size bites
*Dip cheese into milk
*Then dip cheese into bread crumbs
*Place on cookie sheet
*Bake @ 325 for about 10-12 minutes

*While bites are baking warm up some spaghetti sauce
 to use as a dipping sauce for the bites.

Jello "Poke" Cake

Prep Time: 
5 Minutes for the cake
5 Minutes for the Jello
3 Hours for the cake to chill
Bake Time:
23-28 Minutes for the cake


*1 Box yellow or white cake mix
(+ whatever ingredients are necessary
to make the cake)
*1 Box Jello
(Flavor of your choice)
*Whip Cream


*Bake the cake as directed on the box
*Let it cool for about 15 minutes once it's done baking
*5 minutes before the cake is done cooling, 
make your Jello mix using only boiling water, omit the cold water 
*After cake has cooled use a toothpick or fork and
poke small holes into the cake
*Once the Jello is mixed and ready pour the Jello
directly on to the cake where it will seep into the holes
*Set in refrigerator and let the cake chill for 3 hours
*Once Jello has set, your cake will be ready and can be served as is,
or can be topped with whip cream

Not only was the food delicious, but everyone had a really nice time catching up. It was great to have some of my closest friends all under one roof enjoying each others company. After we stuffed ourselves full we decided to enjoy a fire in our fire pit. It wasn't something we had planned but I do enjoy spontaneity! Enjoying a beautiful night outside by a fire was the perfect way to end the night with our friends and family, and I can't wait for the next time we get to do it again! 

Until next time friends...Cheers!!!

<3 Noonie