Macaroni and cheese is almost everyone’s favorite childhood food, and we’ve made this grown up version by adding smoked gouda, bacon and spices. The crunchy bread crumbs come together in the food processor and add a nice crunch to the soft mac and cheese when you bake it in the oven. And bacon? Well, who doesn’t like bacon? This is the ultimate in rich comfort food, and it’s great for leftovers because it’s even better the next day. The recipe is also perfect for feeding a crowd – just pair it with a salad and a good beer selection and you have dinner for a dozen people.
Buffalo chicken sliders are the perfect food for watching football (and by football, we mean World Cup soccer) in front of the big screen, but don’t relegate these delicious sandwiches to just game day. They’re perfect for potlucks, cookouts and weekday lunches. We love how the spiciness of the Buffalo-style chicken is cooled off by the blue cheese slaw, and we think you’ll love them, too.
Best of all, these sliders come together easily after you make the chicken in the slow cooker and the slaw in the food processor. The chicken is a set-and-forget slow cooker recipe, perfect for summer days that call for fun in the sun rather than hours inside at the hot stove. It keeps well in the fridge, so plan on enjoying leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
If your Buffalo chicken recipe calls for 4 hours on low, but you’ll be out of the house for 8 hours, the IntelliTime™ 6 Quart Slow Cooker will adjust accordingly. This way, your food will be perfectly cooked when you want to eat rather than when the recipe says.
Carrian Cheney of Oh, Sweet Basil is a blogger, wife and mother who believes in the power of home-cooked food and gathering at the dinner table to improve her family’s minds, bodies and spirits. Carrian is not only a fantastic cook and long-time fan of Hamilton Beach, but strives to inspire families to reconnect through food. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Hi everyone! I’m Carrian and I am from the blog, Oh Sweet Basil. My family and I love to get into the kitchen and cook together. (In fact, I’ve got a bowl full of churro pretzels waiting to be photographed right now!) My husband Cade and I run the site together where we talk a lot about food, with a little health, fitness and lifestyle mixed in. Almost everything in our kitchen is from Hamilton Beach so we just knew we had to do a little recipe for our friends there.
This particular recipe came out of sheer desperation. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that I was totally done with my kids and their whining at dinner, but we are all about real life, so I’m just going to give it to you straight.
Both of our girls have been picky eaters. That’s not exactly the most fun thing for a food blogger, as I constantly want to try new things. Our oldest daughter is almost eight, so we buckled down and solved her picky eating issues years ago. Sometimes, I can still see a little disappointment in her face when I serve dinner (chicken is strangely not her favorite, yet she will eat bok choy and hummus all day long), but she knows the rule: we eat what’s prepared.
The little one is three, and we had finally gotten her over the picky eating thing only for it to raise its ugly head again this past month. Ugh! Who knew meal time could be so exhausting! And you know what? I totally deserve it because I was the pickiest eater growing up. But, in an effort to help meal time be more successful, I’ve been using something she does enjoy as a constant ingredient, and then changing the meal around it. She loves pork, so I started thinking up easy dinners that would use pork and still introduce her to new foods and textures.
That’s where the rice bowl came in. I knew I could keep the flavors pretty easy-going, but still allow us adults to add to the dish and make it a little more awesome. We added peppers, cheese, and pico de gallo while she kept hers the pork and rice. Then, she has to try a bite of the peppers, as that’s our rule. And that’s ok with me. The rice is a favorite recipe on my site, cilantro lime rice, and it’s helping her to slowly try new things. Anyone else singing Daniel Tiger? “Try new things ‘cause it might taste gooood.”
Text, photos and recipe by Carrian Cheney.
This football field-themed party dip is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your big game party! To make it, use aluminum foil or parchment paper to create three sections in a large serving dish. Fill the center with guacamole and the ends with salsa and cheese dip, creating the outline for a field and two end zones. Then, fill a piping bag with sour cream and use a #2 tip to create the lines on the field. Don’t forget to make a line where the field and the end zones meet.
To make the football, we use a miniature sausage and a couple little strips of shredded cheese. The laces were drawn on with sour cream. We like our ball on the fifty yard line to be fair, but if you have a favorite team, you can give them some extra yardage.
To make the football players, you need olives (we used green and black), baby carrots, mustard and a piping bag with tip (#1). Use a paring knife to trim the olives into the shape of a helmet and gently press them onto the end of a baby carrot until they are secure. Use a piping bag of mustard to draw a face mask onto each carrot. When you have the teams assembled, you can start placing them on the field. Referees optional; if they make a bad call, you can always eat them.
Our goalposts are made with pretzel sticks. White chocolate is the perfect edible glue to hold them together; just melt a few morsels in the microwave until they begin to soften. Let the goalposts dry for about ten minutes on wax paper, then add them to the field. Looks like a first down dip to us. Go ahead and show us your touchdown dance!
Get our delicious guacamole recipe here.
Don’t forget to make our famous football deviled eggs.
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Cocktail parties are everywhere during the holidays, but bookmark this post for later, because entertaining never goes out of style. If you’re planning to host a gathering large or small for drinks and celebration, you should also offer some food to subdue the effects of the spirits and fill the stomachs (and hearts) of your guests.
Cocktail party food can seem intimidating to many, especially if you have a neighbor who constructs intricate canapes that look like they belong in a museum. Sometimes, you need to throw a party that’s memorable and entertaining without the hassle and stress of a complicated menu.
Make ahead appetizers that can be served at room temperature are your best bet for high quality entertaining with low effort. A couple days before your party, go to the grocery store. First, visit the deli and meat counter and ask for their suggestions for charcuterie, prepared meats that are often smoked, cured or salted. A variety of cured sausages, pate, thinly sliced deli prosciutto and salami make wonderful party snacks.
Next, you’ll want to find the olive bar, popular at most grocery stores. This is a great way to add a unique and colorful twist to the appetizer table, and olives keep well in the refrigerator. Get a variety of olives and serve them in small dishes, or a serving dish with a few compartments. Pitted olives are easier on your guests, but if you choose un-pitted olives, it’s a good idea to have a small receptacle nearby for guests to dispense with their napkins and pits.
The cheese section is the next stop. Depending on your preferences, grab a few blocks of gourmet cheese, unique “stinky” cheese and classics like cheddar or gouda. A variety of cheese options ensures your timid and adventurous eaters alike find something they enjoy. You can serve the cheese on a slate board and write the name of the cheese in chalk, use toothpicks and paper to make cheese flags or let the guests inquire and impress them with your newfound knowledge of Camembert. (Some grocery stores will have workers with a background in cheese, so they can suggest options or explain the cheeses with which you’re unfamiliar.)
The little extras at the party make a big impact, so look for a variety of crackers your guests can use as vessel for all the wonderful charcuterie and cheese you gathered. Whole grain mustards and fruity jams make excellent compliments; try a spicy mustard and a fig jam for unique flavors that will delight your guests. They will go well with your cured meats and cheeses and allow an endless variety of cracker-fig-cheese-meat combinations, which will stimulate lively conversation by the food table.
Now, the perfect addition to the table is a homemade touch. You want to offer something you can make in advance, so a cheese ball will fit the theme perfectly and have guests begging for the recipe. Bring a printed copy of the recipe with you to the grocery store or pull it up on your phone to make sure you get all the ingredients necessary. This Curried Cheese Ball will be delicious with those crackers you just picked up, and it comes together quickly in a food processor.
The last thing on your list is champagne, the New Year’s Eve staple that seems to attend every celebration throughout the year. Champagne can be (surprisingly) affordable and allows guests to serve themselves quickly and easily, without a ton of ingredients and with virtually no mess. (Just don’t let crazy Uncle Larry pop the cork!) If you want to add extra flair to the champagne station, you can offer a variety of liquors and fruit for guests to add to their flutes. Berries and pomegranates look particularly festive in a glass of bubbly.
The day before your party, chill the champagne and set up your appetizer table, choosing your plates and serving utensils and laying them out with post-it notes to detail what goes in each place. This step is optional, but it’s helpful for space planning and a lot of people do this for big holiday parties. You don’t want to end up with a beautiful appetizer table and no room for the prosciutto! Flowers and berries and greenery can dress up the table if you have space, and you can easily mix and match serving dishes by staying in a general color scheme or theme. Gold, silver, beige and white work especially well for New Year’s Eve. The day before the party is also a great time to make your cheese ball, so you won’t get stuck rushing it the day of.
The day of your party, slice the meats and lay out the cheese, olives, spreads and crackers. Set up the bar with chilled champagne, glasses and any fruity add-ins. Set out toothpicks and pretty napkins, and proudly display your pre-made cheese ball on a small dessert stand
Then, before the guests arrive, pour yourself a well-deserved glass of bubbly and pat yourself on the back. You’ve planned a stunning party that is sure to impress, without having to do a whole heck of a lot – and that’s something worth celebrating.