Tailgate Party Hen House Style!

Tailgating chili recipe gray and white cotton dinner napkins
burgandy and white cotton cocktail napkins
burgandy and white cotton cocktail napkins
chicken wings cotton cocktail napkins
chicken wings cotton cocktail napkins
gold and white cotton table linens
gold and white cotton table linens

Grab napkins in your school colors.  Use the silver-plated silverware you picked up from the antique store.  Pack a tray to help you serve.  Cook up chili and these EASY but oh so delicious chicken wings (recipe to follow).  You will make it look effortless and your family and friends will remember a great day at the game.

tailgate party cotton table linens
tailgate party cotton table linens
tailgate tray party food
tailgate tray party food

Frank's Hot Sauce Wings

2 1/2 lbs. chicken wings

1/2 C Frank's Hot Sauce

1/3 C melted butter

Spread wings on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. Combine Frank's Hot Sauce and the butter.  Toss wings in sauce to coat.  Take my word for it.  These are good.

Cucumber Sesame Noodles | Eating Well

Perfect for a summer day!  Many thanks to Kathleen, our data manager, for sharing this recipe with us!

2 cucumbers

2 carrots

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)

Ginger powder to taste

Crushed garlic to taste

Toasted sesame seeds (not necessary to toast them, but I could so I did)

1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp sauteed until pink in 1 TBS butter or olive oil with a clove of crushed garlic and pinch of salt

Spiralize the cucumbers, and shred the carrots

Mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl

Pour over the cukes and carrots, and mix well until the noodles are coated.  Top with shrimp.

Can be served right away or chilled in the fridge to let the flavors develop a little more. 

I have also now made these with zucchini noodles instead of cucumbers - equally delicious!

Oatmeal To Go | Serve it with a napkin

I recently heard from a friend who stashes napkins in her car.  She uses them as "lap mats" when resorting to breakfast on the run.  "Just because its being served in the car doesn't mean it can't be civilized."  Spoken like a true modern woman.  She shared her recipe below.  Yum!

Oatmeal To Go Cups

2 eggs (I use liquid egg whites)

¼ C greek yogurt (I use Oikos triple zero vanilla. The original recipe calls for ¼ C oil)

¼ C stevia (can be adjusted to desired sweetness level.  The original recipe calls for 1 C brown sugar)

½ C unsweetened applesauce

1 ½ C milk of choice (I use vanilla soy milk)

2 tsp vanilla

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp cinnamon

3 C rolled oats

2 tsp baking powder

*Add ins of your choice – I’ve used strawberries, choco chips, blueberries and cherries, apples and cranberries (one of my favorites)


Heat oven to 350

I used silicone baking cups, but you can use paper lined muffins tins as well according to the recipe

Mix the eggs, yogurt, and stevia together until the stevia dissolves.

Add applesauce, milk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk until combined

Stir in the oats and baking powder. 

At this point I divide the batter and add the mix-ins if I’m not making 12 of the same kind

Fill the muffin cups

Bake for 30 mins until they’re golden brown and set

Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tins.  They can be kept in the fridge or freezer (I made 24 the first time and kept 12 in the fridge and 12 in the freezer – they reheat wonderfully)

Saturday Swoon | Summer Recipes

My mouth is having a party just thinking about all these delicious summer flavors!  From around the web, we found a couple you might enjoy.

Blackberry Sweet Tea

3 family-size tea bags (or 10 regular)
6 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup blackberries
sliced lemon, for garnish
fresh mint, for garnish

Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. Once you have a rolling boil, dunk in the tea bags a few times to get wet, and remove from heat. Let tea bags steep 1 hour.

Remove tea bags and pour in sugar, stirring well until dissolved. Pour into a glass pitcher, and add remaining water.

Puree blackberries and add them to the tea, stirring to combine.

Serve in glasses filled with ice, and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.

Grilled Caprese Toast with Burrata Cheese + Grilled Avocados

  • 1 loaf crusty sourdough or ciabatta bread (or use a gluten free loaf if needed), sliced
  • 2 large ripe, but firm avocados, peeled, pitted + sliced
  • olive oil (enough to drizzle over bread slices and avocados)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese (or use fresh sliced mozzarella)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 4-6 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • Balsamic Drizzle
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)

5 Variations

1. BACON-CHEDDAR: Spread low-fat mayonnaise on still warm corn. Roll in 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese and 5 strips cooked bacon, chopped.

2. MEXICAN-STYLE STREET CORN: Spread low-fat mayonnaise on still warm corn. Roll in 1/2 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese. Sprinkle with chile powder. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

3. PIZZAIOLA SPREAD: Grate 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded, using a coarse box grater; strain and press out all excess liquid. Stir in 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped basil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread on corn.

4. TOASTED SESAME BUTTER: Stir together 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened; 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds; 1/2 teapsoon finely chopped cilantro; and 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. Spread on corn; sprinkle with more sesame seeds.

5. GARLIC–OLD BAY BUTTER: Stir together 4 tablesoons salted butter, softened; 1 small clove garlic, pressed; and 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Spread on corn; sprinkle with more Old Bay seasoning, if desired.

Gathering | Cinco De Mayo

We love that Cinco De Mayo has fallen on a Tuesday this year as it gives us an excuse to get together as if it were the weekend.  Here are some fun ideas for your festive celebration from yummy mango avacado salsa, to pretty linens in bright colors to a DIY photo booth and finally, the day wouldn't be complete without a tequila shooter from a lime!  Click images for more details and recipes.

Gathering | Mint Julep Recipe

“Emergency! How do I make a mint Julep?” Take it easy. I’ve got you covered.
In the bottom third of the glass, combine equal parts (about a TBS each) of crushed ice, bourbon, mint leaf and simple syrup. Stir. Don’t stir again. Fill the rest of the glass with crushed ice. Pour bourbon over the ice. Garnish with mint sprig. Serve with a straw. Drink from the bottom.
My apologies for not realizing you needed a refresher!
— The Hen

Blood Oranges

Lee, our intrepid photographer, was playing around with some color palettes recently.  The addition of the blood oranges was inspired and inspired me to ask, what do you do with a blood orange?  Lee shared her favorite ways to peel away the mystery.  First of all, it's supercharged.  The pigments which give it a red hue are also antioxidants, which is uncommon for a citrus.  And yes, it is just like those found in berries and red wine.  Super Food!  Her boys simply peel and eat, but the sometimes tart profile may be a bit too much for certain palettes.  Lee likes to use them for salads.  Cut up and tossed with fennel and greens or paired with a goat cheese and nuts.  The juice is fabulous for vinaigrettes as is the zest.  Blood oranges also add a festive touch to a cocktail.  Delicious in sangria or mixed with vodka and a splash of soda.  Zesty!

raspberry granola bars | a way to their heart

From our Creative Director Katherine

Every Valentine's Day my mother would cut out our toast in the shape of a heart and smear it with butter and strawberry jelly.  I do the same for my boys now, but they don't like jelly on toast. (Weird, I know.)  Melty butter just does not quite do it.  So, this year I thought I'd try something a little different.  I will *hide* the jelly beneath a layer of buttery, oaty, nutty goodness.  I heart fooling my boys into eating more adventurously.  I heart my boys.  I heart brown sugar and oats mixed up together.  

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
1 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Spread the chopped pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the rolled oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and pecans. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the melted butter until the oat mixture is thoroughly combined.
Press two-thirds of the oat mixture in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan and top with the raspberry preserves. Sprinkle the preserves with the remaining oat mixture.
Bake the bars for about 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the top is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the granola bars cool completely, about 3 hours. Cut into squares (or hearts!) and serve.


Double Chocolate Chip Muffins | Happy Chocolate Day

I suffer from chocohaulism.  And frankly, there are some mornings when I need to get my fix.  So divinely decadent, it calls for the scarlet ruffled napkins, the good china and silver, and my silk peignoir set with matching slippers (if by peignoir set, you mean flannel man jammies and uggs).

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup superfine sugar
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preparation: Line muffin wells with paper liners. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Place the remaining wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk until combined.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined (do not over mix), batter will be slightly lumpy. Fill wells 2/3 of the way up and sprinkle 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are dark, risen and springy.