Tuesday, June 24, 2014

15 Minute Appetizer Frenzy

15 Minute Appetizer Frenzy

- From www.longaberger.com

Between work, family, and friends, it’s hard to find the time to cook extravagant meals, but here at the Basket we found some delicious solutions to your time problem. Using some international inspiration, we found some spectacular appetizers that you can make in just 15 minutes or less! Whether you’re throwing a party for friends or making a dish for your family dinner, these dishes will have everyone thinking you should have your own cooking show!
Inspired by Italy:
Here’s a twist on the classic Italian bruschetta; one bite and you’ll be daydreaming of gelato and gondolas!Strawberry BruschettaDirections: Combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl and toss to combine. Let the berries sit while you work on the rest of your dish so that they start to release their juices. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on top of each baguette slice. Top each slice with spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top each slice with the basil leaves and cracked pepper, to taste. Makes 4-6 servings.
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Inspired by the U.S.A.:
What could be better than taking a great sandwich and making it into a bite-sized appetizer?  These snacks look sophisticated and taste even better than the traditional BLT sandwich you love.BLT BitesDirections: Slice about 1/4 of the tomato from the stem end and discard the top. Then remove the pulp from inside the tomato. Thinly slice the bottom of each tomato so that they will stand upright. Next place the cut side down on a paper towel to dry and set aside. Cook the bacon until crispy, and then crumble it up. Combine the mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, parsley, green onion and bacon in a medium bowl. Spoon the mixture into each of the tomatoes. Chill until ready to serve. Makes about 25-30 servings.
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Inspired by Thailand:If you’re looking for peanuts, pineapples, and a dish with a kick, then this Thai-style recipe is just the thing!Spicy Pineapple WrapsDirections: whisk the lime juice, sugar, chile paste, and fish sauce in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Then add the peanuts and cilantro and stir until evenly dressed with the sauce. When you are ready to serve, arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter. Put about ¼ cup of pineapple in each leaf and season with salt to taste. Next, top the pineapple with the nut mixture and serve. Let your guests wrap each lettuce leaf to enclose the filling.
*Note: the nuts should be hand chopped. Machine-chopped nuts will turn out pasty and the nuts will lost their distinct texture.
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Inspired by Mexico:
Chips and guacamole are always a crowd pleaser, so try out this variation and watch your friends and family say olè!
Guacamole SaladDirections: Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeño peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well. Just before you’re ready to serve, fold the avocados into the salad and serve at room temperature. Yields 6 servings.
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When you’re faced with a time crunch or just want something new and delectable, these appetizing appetizers are sure to please! Be sure to comment below and let us know what you love to make in 15 minutes or less!
To order any of the Longaberger products seen here, visit my website... www.longaberger.com/jeanninezito

Monday, June 9, 2014

Father's Day Decisions

Father’s Day Decisions

Dave Longaberger always used to say that “every day should be 25% fun.”  So with another Father’s Day almost upon us, we’d love to hear about the fun activities you’ve planned to do with your dad this year, in place of gifts. Whether you decide to try a new pursuit together or participate in something you know he already loves, spending that time together will create memories you’ll both be sure to treasure.
In order to pick just the right endeavor for you and your father to do, the first thing you need to ask yourself is:
Is my dad….
A Chef
If you can find him out by the grill or slaving over a skillet, then try diving into cooking! Find some new recipes or stick with his favorites and make dinner for the whole family – just make sure you do the dishes – it is his day, after all!
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 Check out this recipe for Pretzel-Stuffed Pork Chops:
Pretzel-Stuffed Pork Chops
Season the pork with salt and pepper. Combine the pretzels, chopped apples, onion, rosemary, basil, 1 cup apple juice and ½ cup cola in a bowl and mix well. Divide into 4 equal portions. Stuff 1 portion into each pork chop, letting the stuffing overflow for effect. Pour 3 cups apple juice and 2 cups cola into a baking dish. Add the garlic, apple pieces, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the stuffed pork chops. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 260 degrees, checking for doneness at 10- to 15- minute intervals. Remove the pork chops to a heated platter. Purée the pan drippings with a hand tool or in a blender. Pour into a saucepan. Cook until reduced and thickened. Ladle over the pork chops. Serves 4.
Going outside and hiking or fishing are always great classic options for Father’s Day, but if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can take on a German Father’s Day tradition. In Germany, groups of males go on a hiking tour in which they bring wagons filled with wine or beer, as well as their regional food. So grab your wagon and your favorite treats, and celebrate Dad the German way!New Picture (1)
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A Coffee Lover
Does your dad need a cup of Joe before he can even say hello in the morning? Do the people at the coffee shop know him and his order by heart? If you said yes to either of these, then try taking your Father’s passion for coffee to a whole new level. Go shopping together and find some new coffee beans or blends. If you get a few different samples, you can do your own coffee tasting. Or go channel your creative side and go paint mugs. He’ll have a new coffee holder and a great memory every time he takes a sip!
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Calling all sports dads!! If you’re looking for something to do with your sporty father, try gathering the family together and playing his favorite sport. Athletics not your thing? Grab all of his favorite snacks and drinks, flip on his favorite sports team, and let him enjoy Father’s Day the sporty way.
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An Office Guy
If your dad is attached to his work phone or just can’t seem to leave his home office, try spending the day organizing or updating his workplace. Add some family photos or a splash of color to his home office, or go out together to find new ways to organize his desk at work.
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A Builder
Got a father who’s always crafting things with his hands? Then get together and try a DIY (Do It Yourself) project such as building a bird house – or if you’re with the kids, try some simpler crafts like personalized picture frames. If you’re feeling especially charitable, help him out with some of his own house projects, like that step that never seemed to get fixed.
Whether you’re looking for something to do for just the two of you, or you want something for the whole family to do, the key is to remember to show Dad just how much you appreciate him.
Happy Father’s Day to all those amazing dads out there!!
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