Lobster Bruschetta

Howdy Y'all! Are you ready to sink your teeth into this yummy lobster bruschetta?

This yummy lobster bruschetta is a quick and easy appetizer to whip up for your next event.

As you may or may not know, I have an "Under the Sea" theme going on right now leading up to my Under the Sea party.  Make sure to check out this fun Under the Sea Party banner made by my friend Anna. In addition to all of the fun sweets we'll be having, I plan on serving a bunch of different seafood.

This yummy lobster bruschetta is a quick and easy appetizer to whip up for your next event.

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Under the Sea Party Banner

Howdy Y'all!  I am planning a fun "Under The Sea" party series for you and to kick things off, I have a special treat for you.  My friend Anna from  Practical and Pretty is guest posting this Under the Sea party banner tutorial.  Make sure to swing by her blog and show some love!  Here's Anna:

I am so excited to be sharing today on Jordan’s Easy Entertaining! I am Anna from Pratical and Pretty and have been a huge fan of this blog for a long time so I’m really excited to share this banner with you as part of the Under the Sea party Jordan is putting together! (more…)

How to Make Memories this Summer with a Day Trip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripOil #CollectiveBias

Summertime is the best because it usually means family vacation.  My hubby wanted to take a few full-on road trips this summer that would have taken about a week and a half and cost a small fortune.  Luckily, I was able to convince him to take a few day trips instead.

How to make lasting memories this summer with an epic day trip #RoadTripOil [ad]

There are several reasons why I love day tripping over a full blown road trip.  First of all, a day trip is much less expensive.  If you plan it out right, you can picnic instead of eating at a restaurant, and you don't have to pay for a hotel.  Which leads me to my second reason - you get to sleep in your own comfortable bed at the end of the day.  The third reason is that  you can plan around your work schedule and not even need to take any time off. Finally, it's amazing the amount of memories you can make with your family in just one day.

One of my favorite memories from before I got married and had kids of my own, was taking a random day trip with my parents and younger brother.  I can't even remember how it came about.  We actually hadn't done any planning - we just jumped in the car and took off.  We went to an amazing historical park, drove up into the mountains and saw all kinds of wild life, visited a sun observatory, ate some delicious pastry from a super cute mom and pop shop, and went sledding at the famous White Sands national park.  At the time, it was exactly what my family needed.  We spent a lot of time talking about what was going on in our lives and just cracking up.  That was almost 10 years ago, and the entire reason why I want to make sure that my kids get experiences like that early on.

My youngest brother and me at Oliver Lee State Park in 2008

My little boys at Oliver Lee State Park in 2017

So, we've already taken a couple of day trips this summer and I think we have probably one left in us before the summer is over.

I am all for letting the kids watch movies or play games on a tablet for a long road trip, but the day trip is all about connecting with each other.   Here are a few fun ways to keep your family engaged:

  • Play games such as "I Spy"  and "Road Trip Bingo"
  • Count the number of train cars when a train passes by
  • Have your family use their imagination and talk about the shapes they see in the clouds
  • Take turns telling jokes
  • Have a meaningful conversation

via GIPHY

So, how do you plan for a day trip?  The beauty is, you don't have to.  It's kind of fun to see where the road takes you. But, if you are a planner, just take a look at the map and see what would be interesting to your family in about a 2 hour radius.  Does your family like to picnic?  Pack some sandwiches and snacks.  Is there a beach or fun water park near by?  Pack some towels and sunscreen.  Do you have a baby? Don't forget to pack extra diapers and wipes.

After many a road trip, I've learned it's always a good idea to keep water, hand sanitizer, and a 20 dollar bill in your car.   But there is at least one thing you absolutely should do.  Get your vehicle serviced.  Nothing ruins a fun road trip like a break down on the side  of the road.

My hubby is a little obsessive about getting our vehicles regularly serviced.  He doesn't wait until the full 3,000 miles before getting the oil changed and certainly not 3 months either.  He is a full time traveling musician, so he's on the road a lot.  In fact, one of our cars is about to hit 225,000 miles.  But, like I said, he takes really good care of it, so the car still runs great.

We like to get our oil changed at the Walmart Automotive Care Center with Pennzoil®.  For our high mileage car we get the Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® oil.  It’s a motor oil specifically designed for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, with the mission of keeping engines running clean and going strong.  But for our newer truck we use Pennzoil Platinum®: Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ Technology.

Make sure your car is road trip ready with Pennzoil at Walmart #RoadTripOil [ad]

I love the convenience of getting our oil changed at the Walmart Automotive Care Center, because I can shop for the upcoming day trip while I wait.  Plus it's a great value.  In fact, right now Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil  is on Rollback - $4 off (39.88 to 35.88).

The moral of this story?  It really doesn't matter where you go or what you do as long as you and your family are making some lasting memories.

 

Dinner Party Hack – Ling Ling Fried Rice

This post was sponsored by Ling Ling and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

By now, you probably know how much I LOVE entertaining at home.  But I'll admit that I sometimes like to go overboard and I can stress myself out getting ready for a party.  I like to do pretty much everything myself - decorating, floral arrangements, tablescapes, party favors, balloon arches, you name it.  Fortunately dinner parties are much easier than full blown parties, but still...

When I'm having only a few people over for a dinner party I want my house to be as clean as possible.  I have two little boys, and if you have kids, you know that means your house will never be perfectly clean.  I have to mop my floors just prior to my guests arriving or I'll have little spills here and there.  In fact, my 2 year old just spilled an entire cup of chocolate milk on my sofa.  Frequently I'll be so busy cleaning, setting up, and cooking that I won't leave myself time to get ready.

Even though I am comfortable going bare faced, I'm a makeup junkie and would much prefer to have time for my normal routine.  I'm not one of those ladies that can do a 5 minute face - I spend about 5 minutes on each eyebrow.

That's why I am so happy that I have found a solution to save me a little bit of time when it comes to getting ready for a dinner party - Ling Ling Fried Rice.

Ling Ling Fried Rice makes for a perfect dinner party hack #FriedRiceFriday #IC (ad)

I was shopping at Albertson's the other day and decided to pick up the Yakitori Chicken flavor of Ling Ling Fried Rice. There are 4 other flavors though -  Yakiniku Beef, Thai-Style Chicken, Chinese-Style Vegetable, and Bibimbap Beef that are based on authentic Asian inspired recipes from Japan, China, Korea and Thailand.

Ling Ling Fried Rice makes for a perfect dinner party hack #FriedRiceFriday #IC (ad)

Ling Ling Fried Rice can be prepared on the stove top, but I went with the microwave option.  It requires less than 30 seconds of hands on time and I still get a delicious side dish with almost no effort on my part.

I know what you're thinking - frozen microwaved rice for a dinner party? But this rice tastes amazing!  There is no way my guests would be able to tell that this was frozen let alone microwaved.  And it's so scrumptious that I would totally hide the box and take credit for making a restaurant quality side dish.  Except that with the Japanese style white meat chicken in the case of the Yakitori Chicken, Ling Ling Friend Rice can actually stand up as the main dish.

It probably tastes so good because of the infusion cooking method. Each grain of rice is infused with Ling Ling signature sauces for incredible flavor in every bite.

Ling Ling Fried Rice makes for a perfect dinner party hack #FriedRiceFriday #IC (ad)

If you don't have an Albertson's near you can still find Ling Ling Fried Rice by using the product locator on their website found here.

Ling Ling Fried Rice makes for a perfect dinner party hack #FriedRiceFriday #IC (ad)

And here's a link for a coupon to save you $2 off of your Ling Ling Fried Rice.

Although Ling Ling Fried Rice saves me some extra time for dinner party prep, it's also perfect for dinner any night.  What flavor will you try?

 

Chocolate Caramel Frappe with Homemade Caramel Sauce

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FrappeYourWay #CollectiveBias

Ain't no party like a summer party, 'cuz a summer party don't stop!

So, technically we're not having an actual party today.  But with the kids home for the summer, it kinda feels like a party all summer long, don't you think?  With staying up late, going to the movies in the middle of the day, and hanging out by the pool, it sure feels like a celebration to me.  And when I celebrate, I like to indulge in a yummy treat like this chocolate caramel frappe.

I write all of the time about my coffee addiction.  I drink about a pot of coffee everyday.  I LOVE coffee.  Well, I think more accurately I love creamer.

I've noticed that if I run out of coffee creamer, I only drink about 1 or 2 cups of coffee with milk instead of the entire pot.  So, ya.... I love creamer.  And by far my favorite coffee creamers are from International Delight® .  After all, I like it international and I expect to be delighted.

I usually drink my coffee hot.  My hubby likes to tease me that I'm really a 70 year old man because I'll drink a cup of hot coffee at lunch with a salad.

But celebrating summer by the pool mean it's time for a cold coffee drink.  Hello chocolate caramel frappe!

I stopped by Walmart to pick up some of my ingredients for my frappe.

The International Delight® Hershey's® Chocolate Caramel sounded delicious for this recipe and of course you have to have Reddi-wip®.  Reddi-wip makes any dessert feel extra special.  And I love that it is made from cows not treat with artificial growth hormone and had no artificial flavors or sweeteners.  I also picked up International Delight® Cold Stone Creamery™ Sweet Cream to make sure I don't run into a creamer crisis later this week.

My frappe also needs some yummy homemade caramel sauce.  It is sooooooooo good!  To make the sauce, you combine sugar, water, butter, vanilla, salt, and heavy cream in a sauce pan to get the perfect addition for the frappe.

It's hard not to lick the spoon, but you'll burn the taste buds right off of your tongue if you do.   So, resist the urge until the sauce is cool enough to transfer to your container.

I like to add my sauce to a squeeze bottle and this recipe produces the exact amount to fill up a regular sized bottle.  It's super helpful to use a funnel when transferring.

Now that the sauce is ready, it's time to make the frappe.  I like to freeze the little bit of coffee that I have left over when I don't finish the entire pot.  These coffee ice cubes are perfect for the frappe because by using less regular ice cubes, the drink won't get watered down as it starts to melt.

To make the frappe, the coffee cubes, a few ice cubes, cold coffee, milk, and International Delight® Hershey's® Chocolate Caramel creamer get mixed up in a blender.

Before adding the frappe to your serving glass, drizzle some of that yummy caramel sauce down the sides.

Pour in the frappe and then top with Reddi-wip.

Then finish off the frappe with a drizzle of caramel sauce on top of the Reddi-wip.

The hubster and I are totally ready to party with our chocolate caramel frappes by the kiddie pool while our boys splash around.

Yummy!  So that's how we like to party during the summer and we like how you party too - perhaps with one these other yummy  frappe recipes that you can find here.  Here's to summer!

Chocolate Caramel Frappe with Homemade Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • For the caramel sauce (makes 1 full squeeze bottle)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 stick butter (8 tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • For the Frappe:
  • 8-10 frozen coffee cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup International Delight® Hershey's® Chocolate Caramel creamer
  • ice
  • caramel sauce to garnish
  • Reddi-wip® to top

Instructions

  1. To make the caramel sauce:
  2. Combine the water and sugar in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium high heat.
  3. Allow the sugar and water to boil until dissolved and amber in color.
  4. Add the butter, vanilla and salt and stir until well combined.
  5. Slowly add the heavy cream and stir until well incorporated.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring into a separate container.
  7. For the Frappe:
  8. Combine the coffee cubes, ice cubes, cold coffee, milk and creamer to a blender.
  9. Blend on high speed until combined.
  10. Use the caramel sauce to drizzle down the sides of serving glasses before adding the frappe.
  11. Top with Reddi-wip® and drizzle more caramel sauce.
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