1 Activity + 1 Bite + 1 Sip = Easy Party

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Any holiday is busy with church and travel and family so it’s hard to coordinate the fun and have fun yourself.

For Easter this year I decided to schedule an early brunch for our family at a lovely restaurant. This way everyone had time to relax in the afternoon. At 6:00 pm we all convened for an Easter egg hunt for the children, a sandwich platter and age appropriate drinks for all.

Here is a plan that will get you out of the kitchen and into the mix.

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1. An activity: ours was an egg hunt but here are a few ideas for an activity to center around your party

movie night
the playoffs (Buffalo fans, don’t put off having a party just for this :o)
Mother’s Day – have the big kids coordinate a card making party for all of the moms. Think glitter and macaroni.
clothing drive – ask everyone to bring one no longer loved professional outfit to the party and box them by gender and size. Donate them to a job placement center.
game night – you don’t have to stick to the usual ones…have you ever played Candyland with alcohol?

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2. A Bite: I made a sandwich platter. I bought 2 ciabatta loaves and 2 multi grain loaves. Look for bread that will lay flat on both sides when cut in half.
I cut one ciabatta and one multi grain in half lengthwise. I put mayo on both sides and layered a quarter of a pound of provolone cheese, a half a pound of thinly sliced roast beef and sliced tomatoes. I cut the sandwich in quarters then down the middle making eight sandwiches.
Next was prosciutto di parma on ciabatta: i spread pesto on both halves of ciabatta then added a half a pound of thinly sliced prosciutto di parma. On that I spread about 6 ounces of goat cheese. I cut the sandwiches as described above.
The last one was my grilled zucchini Caprese sandwich. You can find it here. http://judethefoodie.com/2013/02/12/grilled-zucchini-caprese-sandwich/
I placed all of the sandwiches on a big plastic platter. Paper plates and paper napkins save time and add to the party theme.

3. A Sip: all you need is one special drink and you have a party. My Easter Punch

20130401-104743.jpgis as easy as can be. Buy a package of frozen mixed berries. Add some to any kind of cool glass (I love these retro dot cups here). Fill the cup about half full with store bought lemonade then complete with sparkling white wine. I used Asti but you can use Prosecco or Champagne.

Give this a try and you actually will enjoy your next party.

Have a yummy day!!
________________________

Congratulations to Colleen Low Larkin who won the March Quick Bite Quick Sip contest.

March theme: Grandma’s Kitchen

“The pies at Mangia Cake and Village Bake Shop, while they’ll never be quite as good as hers remind me of my Grandma Ross-BEST PIES EVER!”

You have won a $25 gift certificate to the Lewiston Village Pub!

Let’s keep the party going. April’s Quick Bite Quick Sip theme is Spring. Head out to your favorite eateries and hang outs and play.

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Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwich

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Servings: 3-4
Prep time: 0:20
Total time: 0:25
Categories: Sandwich
Source: JudeTheFoodie.com

Ingredients

• 1 medium Zucchini
• 1 Fresh Ciabatta Bread (or other flat loaf)
• D’Avolio’s Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
• 1 Garlic Clove
• 6-8 Fresh Basil Leaves (spinach is a good substitute)
• 1 8 oz ball Fresh Mozzarella, sliced thinly 1 Ripe Tomato, sliced thinly Lettuce
Italian Seasoning

Directions

Slice zucchini in 1/4 slices longwise. Brush olive oil on both sides and grill until beginning to brown.

Slice bread in half length wise. Toast under broiler until slightly brown. Remove immediately, brush with olive oil then rub with peeled garlic clove. Season with Italian seasoning.

Put basil then zucchini on bottom half of bread. Cover with half the tomato and mozzarella slices. Layer top half of bread with remaining tomato and mozzarella. Put under broiler until the cheese starts to bubble but not burn.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with more Italian seasoning and layer one half with crispy lettuce. With a hand on each half, close the sandwich quickly and press down on a flat surface to marry both sides. Slice and serve. Feeds two hungry college boys or 3-4 adults.

Have a yummy day!

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Cranberry Compote Thanksgiving Classic

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I love everything about Thanksgiving. I love the planning. I love having my son home. I love setting my table. I love making turkey stock.

I love cranberries, especially my homemade cranberry compote. I love stuffing. I love mashed potatoes. I love pie. I love that it is a holiday without gifts. I love the smell in my house. I love homemade anything.

And, I love leftovers.

Ask anyone who spends days preparing a meal and they will likely tell you the cook barely tastes anything that day. Friday, even before anyone else rises I have already had a piece of dark meat, a scoop of cold dressing and a slice of chocolate pie. I have been known to hide a piece on Thanksgiving for my coffee time in the morning. Yum!

On Friday, give my turkey sandwich a try:

Easy Family Size Turkey Sandwich

One loaf flat Ciabatta Bread or Unsliced Italian Bread

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove

Leftover Turkey

Leftover Cranberry Compote*

Slice bread in half and put cut side up under broiler until lightly toasted

Brush Extra Virgin Olive Oil and rub garlic over bread.

Spread a layer of cranberry compote then turkey onto bread. Press down. Slice the bread into two-to-three-inch pieces. Variation: layer slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on top

*Cranberry Compote

1 bag fresh Cranberries (rinsed, removing any damaged berries)

1 Cup Orange Juice

1 Navel Orange (Zest 1-2 tablespoons of peel; cut peel and outer membrane revealing orange pulp; with sharp knife, remove wedges between membrane)

1 Cup Yellow Raisins

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

In a heavy medium saucepan add all ingredients. Take the remaining orange membrane and squeeze it into pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until thick, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate until serving.

Today and every day I am thankful for my husband, son and family who love me, a home to share with those I love and the freedom to do as I please.

I am also thankful for Tim and Dawn Schmitt who have given me the opportunity to chat with you each Thursday.

(Editor’s note: And we’re thankful for the chance to read about The Foodie’s experiences!)

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Grilled Turkey Sandwiches

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An Original Recipe by Jude Russo Caserta

One loaf flat Ciabatta Bread or 4 Kaiser Rolls

D’Avolio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove

Slice bread or rolls in half and put under broiler until lightly toasted

Brush D’Avolio Extra Virgin Olive Oil and rub garlic over bread.

Layer turkey on bread and with slotted spoon, drain salsa and put on top.  Press down.  Slice bread in quarters.  Serves 4

Variation: layer slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on salsa

Grilled Goat Cheese with Tomatoes

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2                 Slices Multi-grain Bread

1-2 oz        Goat Cheese

1                 Ripe Tomato

D’Avolio    18 Year Balsamic Vinegar

D’Avolio    Tuscan Olive Oil

Pinch         Corse Salt

Heat a heavy skillet on medium.

Thinly slice tomato.  Put half the tomato on bread and sprinkle with a little salt.  Break up goat cheese on tomato and drizzle a little D’Avolio 18 Year Balsamic Vinegar on top.  Cover with remaining tomato slices.

Drizzle  D’Avolio Tuscan Olive Oil in pan and place sandwich on oil sliding it around the pan.  Cook until brown (a few minutes) on one side and flip.  Don’t over cook!

Enjoy with fresh peach slices drizzled with the Balsamic Vinegar.