suite eats: a green snack board for st. patrick’s day

I love a good cheeseboard.  Any time that I have friends over or entertain, I always like to offer a pretty cheese board or charcuterie plate since it’s easy (and delicious) snacking.  I also love any excuse to get creative and color coordinate.  So with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I wanted to do a twist on my regular spread and do more of a “green day” inspired snack board full of gorgeous green veggies, fruits, guac, candy, and cheese (obvi).

I headed to one of my favorite stores, World Market, to stock up on all the green treats they had from all over the globe.   (Links to products below.)

I started with my go-to cheese board plate (similar here) that my spread quickly outgrew, so I decided to embrace the idea of making my kitchen island the center of attention and laid everything out there.

First, I placed small bowls that would hold the dips around so that they would anchor the snacks and then started layering in the good stuff.  I made sure to use an odd number of bowls to keep things visually appealing.

Then I grouped the veggies together like green peppers, celery, sugar snap peas, cucumber, and green cauliflower.  To the bowls I added green castelvetrano olives and pesto to dip.

Above the veggies, I added in fruits like green apple, pear, grapes, and kiwi.  I added hummus and a garlic & herb spreadable cheese in the middle so you could dip the veggies or fruit in either one.

Then I found these fun, green guacamole flavored tortilla chips and mounded those by the bowl of guac.  Together they were so good!

I layered in a few other crunchy snacks for texture like “Margarita Crunch” popcorn, wasabi peas, and wasabi almonds before finishing off the snack board with some suite treats.

For the dessert end, I added matcha green tea Pocky biscuit sticks, green tea Kit Kats, apple flavored candies, and green tea chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

And no get together is complete without a good wine to offer guests so I partnered with Winc who delivered four bottles straight to my door and tailored to my tastes.  I took a quick quiz online and my delivery included my favorite, a sauvignon blanc, along with a chenin blanc, sparkling chardonnay, and a red blend.  Having hand selected wine delivered definitely made this soirée easy to plan since I didn’t even have to leave the house or scour the wine aisle looking at labels.  And Winc got it right too – we loved every bottle.

If you’d like to try four bottles of wine for $39 plus complimentary shipping, just use my special code here from Winc.  Your friends may be green with envy with how easy it is.

Resources

Winc Wine
Wasabi Almonds  I  Wasabi Peas Popcorn
Pesto  Olives Hummus Spreadable Cheese
Guacamole  I  Chips
Kit Kats  I  Pocky Macadamia Nuts  I  Apple Candy

What snack would you dive into first on this snack board?  Let us know in the comments below.

 

 


suite sips: halloween-inspired cocktails conjured up by mixologist dan magro

For the last two years, my boyfriend has gone crazy with decorating the front yard for Halloween.  It started off innocent enough with a few tombstones, but then last year he kicked it up a notch with a fog machine, homemade coffin, treasure chest, two-story high spider web, skeletons, hanging ghosts, and a gigantic spider.  So naturally, we also threw a party to go along with the lawn decor because I mean, how could we not?

I like to make everything from scratch so I got busy Pinterest-ing decor and food ideas (you can check out my Pinterest board filled with Halloween ideas here), and then I enlisted the help of my friend and hobbyist mixologist, Dan Magro, to conjure up some signature drinks for the evening.  For those of you who don’t know Dan, he’s the author of Suck It Up: Extraordinary Cocktails for Everyday People so he kinda totally knows what he’s talking about.

I gave Dan free rein to be creative and he was mindful to incorporate our “Spiders & Skeletons” theme that had a black-and-white color palette so that the drinks matched and didn’t feel out of place.  He decided on two different cocktails (I love an over achiever) with one being tequila based and the other being vodka based.  Both were equally delicious.  And you know it’s a good cocktail and a good party when Dan and I had to do an emergency refill of the dispensers halfway through the night.

arachnophobia

Ingredients

  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 3/4 oz agave nectar
  • Activated charcoal* (don’t worry, it has no taste or grit)
  • Spider-infused ice cubes^ (optional)

Directions
To make spider-infused ice cubes, simply freeze a washed plastic spider in a large ice cube tray like this one.

To make the cocktail, in a glass, muddle one 265mg capsule of activated charcoal, thoroughly extracted.  Combine remaining ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass.  Serve over one large spider-infused ice cube.  

bone marrow

Ingredients

  • 1 oz citrus vodka
  • 8 fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz ginger turmeric simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • Gummy bones or skull candies for garnish (optional)

Directions
In a glass, muddle raspberries with vodka until thoroughly extracted.  Combine with remaining ingredients (except gummy candies) in a shaker filled with ice.  Shake rigorously and strain into a martini glass, making sure to catch any raspberry seeds.  Garnish with skull or white bone gummy.  We used these cute “vampire” teeth and skull candies from Sockerbit.

Which scary good cocktail do you want to try first?  Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimers:

^ Plastic spiders are not to be consumed and can be a choking hazard if not securely frozen in large ice. Do not use small cubes as the ice melts faster and the black spider will be hard to see in the darkness of the cocktail.

* Activated charcoal can, in certain circumstances, absorb medication’s active ingredients (such as birth control) before your body gets a chance to. Consult your doctor if you are on regular medication of any kind before consuming activated charcoal.


homemade spicy jalapeno margaritas

Spicy jalapeno margaritas

A fun thing that my friends and I love to do when we get together is each bring a part of the dinner.  Not only does that make the clean up easier when entertaining in a small apartment, but it also helps spread the costs out a bit and gives us a fun way to try new recipes and each other’s cooking.

When my girlfriends came over last week, we went with a Mexican theme and Nicole brought taquitos and guacamole as an appetizer, Adrienne made some seriously delish crock pot chicken tacos, and I was in charge of drinks and dessert.  Check out my recipe below for spicy homemade jalapeño margaritas – these were a total hit!

jalapeño margaritasLimes and jalapenos

Ingredients: Serves 3-5 people

  • 1 750ml bottle tequila (I used Cazadores blanco)
  • 3 jalapeños 
  • 1 375ml bottle Cointreau
  • 2 cups fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup simple syrup (Bring 1 cup water to a boil with 1 cup sugar.  Then let cool.)
  • Salt and sugar to rim glasses, optional
  • Ice
  • Lime & jalapeño slices for garnish, optional
Instructions Juice the limes
  1. Infuse the tequila with jalapeños. Slice two jalapeños, remove and toss the seeds, then add to the tequila and let sit at room temp for a few hours or up to a day.
    (If you don’t like it super spicy and just want a hint of jalapeño, use just one instead of two jalapeños.)
  2. Mix together the Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup as the margarita mix.
  3. On a plate, mix together the salt and sugar at a ratio of 50/50, or to taste.
  4. Run a sliced lime along the rim of each glass and press into the salt/sugar mixture.
  5. Add ice to glass and add a shot (about 1.5 ounces) of the jalapeno tequila.  Fill remainder of glass with margarita mix.
  6. Float two slices of jalapeño in the margarita and add a small slice of lime to the side of the glass to garnish.

Let us know how you enjoyed this cocktail in the comments below.