It all started with a casual request from a good friend to host one of those “purse parties” most of us have been to…you know…the “party” where someone unloads a big box of faux designer purses in a living room and you overwhelmingly and happily pick through them to find your favorites to buy and take home. Why stop there right? Why not include some beautiful aprons shipped in from Scarlet Threads and a complimentary wine tasting from the local wine shop that I love called Cork & Olive? Add a group of fun ladies and you have yourself a paaaarty.
Let’s talk food first.
I kept the food simple I guess you can say…finger food, dips and chips, cheese…all the good stuff you want to eat while drinking wine and socializing. My friend Colleen (pictured above, far right) came over early to help me get everything started. Lemony-Garlic Hummus was made earlier that day and served with the most amazing chips I found at Costco called Blue Ginger Mulit-Grain Brown Rice Chips … these chips are seriously my new favorite. Danger danger…
Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen
2 16 oz cans of chickpeas (Bush’s is my canned bean of choice!)
1/2 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
juice and zest from 3 lemons
3 TB tahini
4 cloves garlic, crushed
big pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper
5 TB olive oil
Combine first 6 ingredients into bowl of food processor. Blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Slowly stream in olive oil until combined and smooth. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve with fresh cut veggies, crackers, chips, pita chips or crostini for a nice appetizer platter.
Note: this recipe makes a large batch. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week.
Sweet-’n'-Salty Honey Cheese Spread was also prepped a little earlier and served alongside some crisp crackers…oh this was so good, and probably one of the most easy appetizers you can make! You literally just roll the goat cheese log in salted and toasted sunflower seeds then drizzle with sweet honey when you are ready to serve. If you love goat cheese like I do, then you will love this!
I think it’s safe to say that Colleen’s Hot Artichoke Dip was the hit of the party…this bowl cleared out QUICK. I may or may not have been scraping out the last of it while no one was looking….can you blame me?
Colleen’s Hot and Spicy Artichoke Dip
Recipe from Culinary Journey to the Mediterranean
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, chopped, drained
1 cup mayo
1 cup (4oz) grated parmesan cheese
1 can (4oz) chopped green chilis, drained
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
Mix all ingredients in a shallow, ovenproof dish or 9-inch pie plate.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Top with 2 Tbsp each of chopped tomatoes and olives.
Served this dip with ciabatta crisps.
(the usual suspects…Allison and I partaking in one of our favorite activities…)
These pinwheels were fun to make (once I got the hang of rolling). I wish I could give you a tutorial with photos, but here’s the jist: find yourself some large rectangular shaped Lavash bread, I was lucky enough to score some from the Publix deli but you may have to look around for it. Spread a thin layer of Aloutte cheese on the bread and top with whatever you are in the mood for. I chose to make two different rollups – an Italian one with ham, salami, provolone, tomatoes, and mixed greens…and a veggie one with provolone, tomato, basil, mixed greens and just the right amount of some marinated portobello mushroom and red pepper mix I found at Costco. When you are layering the ingredients, spread them out over about 3/4 of the bread…and when you are rolling, roll tightly. You may need some additional cheese spread to “glue” the end of the wrap into place before you start slicing. Again, I have to thank Colleen for the hands on help…she’s always fun to cook with!
Okay…now lets move on to the girlie stuff…
About a month or so ago I became acquainted with an organization on Facebook called Scarlet Threads. What this group of ladies are doing is absolutely inspiring. Scarlet Threads was created by a group of talented women in China who are empowering themselves and supporting their families by selling their products in their very own virtual boutique. Each apron and handbag is handmade by a seamstress living in a rural village and given the opportunity to work in fair trade at their craft.
I am just in love with Scarlet Threads’ products and am so happy to be a part of their story…and this is how I want to share it with you. I have two beautiful aprons to giveaway…one today and one next week. Today’s apron is the Lucy…how can you resist this beauty! It just makes me feel happy looking at its colors!
Here’s how to enter…Visit the Scarlet Threads Boutique and leave a comment with the name of your favorite apron! Each comment left on this post will count as an entry.
Earn additional entries by 1 or more of the following (leave a comment after you do so):
1. Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter or on your own blog (earn an entry for each!)
3. Express interest in hosting your own apron party (I will email you info)
Giveaway will end at 10pm EST on Friday August 27.