Category: party foods

Popcorn & Vintage Candy Bar! Fun for all…

 

Guests both young and old will love this fun festive popcorn and vintage candy bar!


Over 3+ decades of catering, I did many a party of every description… for young and old alike!  When my friend Jim called me to throw a surprise 50th for his wife, we talked about several themes, and ended up doing a variety of fun stations and bars, each features local and NC products.  There was a hot dog bar, hot and cold corn on the cob station, pickle tub, pimento cheese and field pea caviar area and for dessert… a blueberry and strawberry shortcake bar too.  Since there was a bunch of kiddos coming, he wanted something fun for them, so I did a great big table of old fashioned candies, peanuts and all sorts of popcorns with spicy shakes for those who wanted theirs spiffed up a bit.

Shake your popcorn…

Since Sunday was “National Business of Popping Corn Day”  (and forgot to post this then), I figured this would be a good time to share this popcorn bar!  With the holidaZe on the way and gatherings of friends and family, this would be a fun, budget-friendly and quick idea for your entertaining… 

Folks of all ages love popcorn and vintage candies.  Just keep it simple… pop corn or buy it in a big old tin… add some kettle, caramel and candied corns.  See what you have in your spice cabinet, or pick up some fun salts and seasonings. I’m a big fan of Savory Spice Shop and shop often at the Raleigh location, but they have other stores all over.  Or you can just shop online and have goodies sent right to your door!

Throw a sheet of burlap or something festive over a table… sit boxes of various heights up under there so you can put your containers at different levels on your table!  If it’s in a dark corner, don’t forget to sit a lamp on the table.  The light will give your display a “pop” and draw folks to it. 

TIP:  Do that with all your tables!  Lighting creates beautiful ambiance for your food displays, not to mention, it helps your guests see what they are getting in dimly lit areas. 

It’s also helpful to make little folded cards to sit by your foods for that same reason.  You can make with stickers right onto notecards or any number of ways.

Pick up some festive “take home bags” for folks to take a goodie bag with them so you’re not stuck with leftovers…

Enjoy your holiday season, and have FUN!  If you do a popcorn (or any other) bar, please do snap a picture and send me!  I’d love to share your ideas here with others.

A fun way to enjoy an old favorite… Crab Rangoon Stuffed Mushrooms!

You won’t go wrong making up a bunch of these Crab Rangoon Stuffed Mushrooms for your next gathering. You can bake in small batches in your toaster oven, or do a great big pan for larger crowds in your oven.

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Steak Bites with Horseradish Whipped Cream

Steak Bites with Horseradish Whipped Cream

 

 

Who doesn’t love steak?  If you are looking for a “sure to please” appetizer for your holiday gatherings, you’ll surely want to add this one to your table.  They are quick and easy to make, yet really spiffs up the menu. The horseradish whipped cream on the side for dip’n is just right for these steak bites too.  

Keep an eye out and pick up your preferred cut when on sale. Go ahead and cut up the pieces, then freeze to have on hand for quick fix’n. Even better, go ahead and freeze in the marinade so that all those flavors can spend some time getting to know the steak making your bites even more better!

I do hope you will give these a try, and come to my facebook community and tell me what you think.  See the recipe where it first appeared in the December 2017 Carolina Country Magazine, or below where you can print.

Glazed Steak Bites with Horseradish Whipped Cream
Enjoy this simple addition to your holiday appetizer menu. Your crowd will love these flavorful steak bites, as is, or with a dollop of snazzy whipped cream on top! 
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Grilling, Southern, Tailgating
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
STEAK
  • 4 lbs. lean beef (rib eye, filet or sirloin) cut into 3/4" cubes
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
MARINADE
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
HORSERADISH WHIPPED CREAM
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (Duke's preferred)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch sugar
  • minced chives
Instructions
  1. Combine marinade ingredients. Put beef into zippered bag. Pour marinade over, seal and toss to coat. Marinate, refrigerated, 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Heat half the oil and butter in cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add steak pieces, making sure not to crowd (cook in batches adding oil and butter as needed). Sear until “crust” forms. 
  3. For whipped cream: Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in remaining ingredients. Garnish with chives. Serve with steak bites.
Recipe Notes

Note: Be careful not to overcook as the meat will continue cooking after removing from heat.

 

 

 

 

…krave-worthy Krispy Kreme Kroutons!

Being that today is “National Doughnut Day,” seems fitting to share one of my Krispy Kreme Kreations with you.

It just so happens that my lastest, krunchy Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons, is one of four North Carolina food icons I got to blab about in the November issue of Carolina Country Magazine. I chose Krispy Kreme as one of the four for a couple of reasons. For starters, when talking about iconic foods here in North Carolina, KK is at or near the top of any such list. KK is also celebrating a milestone birthday this year… their 80th! I even made this scrumptious sundae with KK Kroutons and Kookies to celebrate.

Aren’t we so happy Krispy Kreme was born?

I’ve been making these blissful little krouton morsels for years, just never got around to sharing until now!  You can make ’em in no time flat, but be warned.

….krunchy krispy kreme kroutons

Nobody can eat just one, or 10, so make a big old mess of them! Folks love to munch on “kroutons” right out of the bowl, but I enjoy on top of Ma Perry’s Boiled Custard, a Perry family tradition that started before I came along… a long time ago.

I do hope you will make some kroutons, and come back to let me know what you think… I’m pretty sure you will be the Kueen if you serve up a pile of these sometime soon.
Don’t you think KK should bag my kroutons too?  

Krispy Kreme Kroutons

Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons

Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons
Krispy Kreme “Kroutons” are a fun treat by themselves, but floating in boiled custard to enjoy at the bottom of your cup is good, too!
Ingredients
  • 6 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts,
  • 1 stick butter. melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Using kitchen scissors, cut each doughnut into 12 "coins." Spread cut pieces out on baking pan and let air dry, uncovered, overnight.

  2. Preheat toaster oven or oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in microwave and stir in cinnamon. Toss “kroutons” in bowl with cinnamon butter. Bake about 5 minutes, tossing as needed, until golden brown.

  3. Cool and store in airtight container.
Recipe Notes

Variation... Instead of cinnamon, use other spices or blends, like Apple Pie or Pumpkin Spice.  

So, what are your ideas for using Krispy Kreme Kroutons?
Do tell…

***Happy 80th Birthday Krispy Kreme!***

One of North Carolina’s finest, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, is turning 80 today!  And THAT, my friends is cause for celebration.  Those of us lucky enough to have grown up with being fed KK’s in our high chairs are truly blessed.  And I’m certain, just better folk because of it.

Life gets better with Krispy Kreme KKroutons & KKrispy KKookies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many memories of going to the KK on Person Street in Raleigh and swooning by the doughnut-making room window…. and years later, beckoning the call of the “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign aglow!  Even today, if passing by, I succumb to that sign!! My car just automatically “hangs a left” into the parking lot. And even though now there’s a drive-thru, I just must go inside…. for the full and complete experience ~ ok, so I just want to watch those morsels of heavenly round fried dough get slowly bathed in a shower of liquid sugar!! Oh lort, is there anything better on earth? If so, I’d just as soon not even know.

(Trivia…. Do you know what year that “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign made its debut?  Why that was in 1992!)

There’s even a “Hot Light App!”

My now ‘tween nephew Wyatt was raised “right” as they say… and in the south, that raise’n includes full indoctrination to Krispy Kremes from near’bout the time of birth. I suspect there are probably folks who detoured down Person St. over the years on their way home with their new baby… to celebrate!

Surely made some fond memories with my nephew Wyatt on Person Street… @ Krispy Kreme!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve got other Krispy Kreme Koncoctions to share, so stay tuned. But for now, without further ado, I bring to you…. my Krispy Kreme Birthday Sundae “Kake” ~ because who needs “cake” when you can have Krispy Kreme Kroutons, Krispy Kreme Krispy Kookies and Krumbles instead!  I’ve been making these things long as I can remember… (mostly just to nibble on) and decided as a birthday present to you, it was high time I passed along this quick little secret!

To make KK Kroutons, snip a few doughnuts with scissors and toast about 1-2 minutes in toaster oven until lightly browned.  Let sit for about 5 minutes to let cool and turn krispy! EAT ’em. Or, scatter on ice cream sundaes…. or crumble and scatter on ice cream, on milk shakes…. they’re pretty tasty with a sprinkling of good flaky salt too.
I find them rather tasty with crispy crunchy bacon with coffee in the morn. Put in the comments below what you’d do with them!?!

To make KK Krispy Kookies, just tear doughnuts into about 4 pieces. Roll flat and place pieces into preheated waffle iron. It’s hard to say exactly how long since those things all seem to have a mind of their own… just check after a minute and keep a close eye on ’em or they will burn.  Lay out on a plate or pan and let cool. They will crisp up once well cooled!  Great alongside ice cream… (you can use them to “dip” in your ice cream).  Also yummy with a dab of peanut butter or with your morning yogurt. Let your mind go wild…. or, just eat them as they are!

And a final note… Thank you, Mr. Vernon Rudolph, for bringing us this melt-in-your-mouth simply divine concoction. And thank you for an outstanding fundraising opportunity, that has bought band uniforms and air conditioners for schools, books for libraries… and paid for church needs too!  Gosh, it surely would be interesting to see a list of all the many things your doughnuts have helped to fund.

Now go make yourself one of these KKrispy treats…. because we all need to celebrate Krispy Kreme, right?