St. Patrick’s Day: Party Must Haves!

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St. Patrick’s Day is less than two weeks away. If your planning to celebrate, or throw a party I’ve got your party must haves covered. If you know me you know I love a celebration. I put up some sort of decorations for every holiday. Dress up whenever required and love a festive meal or drink! So let’s break down my St. Patrick’s Day must haves!

The Goods:

Balloons: Festive balloons are a must at every party. You could even make a balloon arch. Or go the easy route (that’s normally my jam!) and buy a set. Like this one. So festive and perfect to go over your dessert table, or bar cart.

Banners: Now let’s infuse your house with GREEN! This three pack of clover banners is perfect to infuse the house with St. Patrick’s day spirit. Hang them above your windows, on your mantle, from the ceiling, and maybe in doorways. Anywhere festive!

Bar: I love a self serve bar! They are perfect for a crowd. I love gold and green for St. Patrick’s Day so naturally a gold bar cart is a must. It looks like gold is here to stay, but if your hesitant (or have a husband who says it’s too girly!) this one is a killed deal!

Drinks: Now on your bar cart, Irish whiskey and Guinness are must haves. Personally I love a whiskey decanter. It’s perfect for displaying on your bar cart year round, but at St. Patrick’s day whiskey is the only thing to fill it with. This is my favourite traditional decanter with a modern twist. The other must have is Guinness. Fill an ice bucket with bottles of Guinness a place it on the bottom level of your bar cart. It’s a perfect self serve bar set up.

Decor: Gold coins add a fun touch of whimsy. Scatter them around the house. Maybe even find a decorative pot and make your own pot of gold (who needs a Leprechaun). Bonus points if the coins are actually chocolate!

Favours: These rainbow lollipops are such a fun favour and fit perfect with a St. Patrick’s day theme. They also infuse extra colour into your decor. They are also delicious!

Ok guys those are my St. Patrick’s Day party must have. This Friday we will be talking my favourite festive food!


Healthier Chicken Salad

Seriously the best lightened-up chicken salad.

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I really hate lunch. I hate making it, I hate eating it. I find it a complete inconvenience. So it’s always been tough for me to come up with lunch ideas that I will actually want to make and eat. I’ve got work day lunches down. Leftovers, homemade soups and salads keep me fed Monday through Fridays, but on the weekends I’m always at a loss. It results in either picking up some sort of unhealthy high calories fast food, or just skipping lunch all together. Neither are good options in my book. In an effort to eat whole healthy food (80% or the time) I knew I had to try to find some new ideas for weekend lunches. This chicken salad recipe has ben added to the weekend rotation.

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I like lots of crunch in my chicken salad, so I load it with crunchy celery, crisp apples and a sweet pop from red grapes. I love the freshness it gives. I also like using pulled chicken breast instead of chopped. I prefer the texture of pulled chicken it really makes the chicken, fruit and celery stay together and prevents the filling of the sandwich from falling out. The dressing of this chicken salad is made with greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Not only is it delicious but it isn’t your typical high fat, high calorie chicken salad.

Greek yogurt has tons of protein, combine that with chicken breast a delicious dressing and yummy add ins and you have a great high protein lunch. Skip the croissant and your lunch is even healthy…. but I highly recommend the croissant!

This recipe is a must try for lunch, or to put on a lunch buffet.

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Healthier Chicken Salad

Yields: 4 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Stalk of Celery, diced
  • 1/2 An Apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup Red Grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Half the Fat Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Roast chicken for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Cool slightly. Shred the chicken using two forks, or the mixer method. Place chicken in the fridge to cool completely.

Whisk together greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Slice grapes, dice celery and apple.

Combine cold chicken, celery, apple, grapes and dressing and mix throughly.

Serve salad on bread, croissants or salad greens. If desired add lettuce or tomatoes to your sandwiches. Serve immediately or store in your fridge for 2 days.


The Best Chicken Marinade

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a staple in my house. There affordable, versatile and everyone likes them. The downside is that they can be quite bland, so I love to marinade and grill them. This recipe is for my favourite marinade, and it goes really well with these green beans.

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This marinade has lemon and dijon mustard as the main flavours. The marinade also has garlic and chilli flakes in it which give an extra boost of flavour.

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You can of course use this marinade on vegetables or another cut of meat, the flavours make it very versatile. I have also used this marinade and then baked the chicken in the oven. It is still delicious, but I love the charred smoky flavour that grilling gives.

Are chicken breasts a staple in your house?

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:

  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Red pepper flakes to taste

 

Directions:

Mix marinade ingredients together. Pour over chicken and marinade for at least 1 hour, or a maximum of overnight.

Pre heat your grill to medium high heat. Grill chicken on each side for 7-10 minutes with the lid closed, or until the chicken reaches the internal temperature of 165°. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Inspired Taste


Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I am cookie obsessed! I really don’t think there is anything better than a warm cookie, well maybe pie… or pasta. Ok I’m just obsessed with food. But seriously a homemade cookie is one of the best comfort foods.

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I have tried a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes. Soft, chewy, cakey etc. I have a few favourites, but I think this one is my favourite, at least right now. These cookies are soft, but not doughy or under baked. They also have slightly crispy edges and a slight caramel flavour.

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These cookies use mostly brown sugar which makes the cookies extra flavourful. I also only use egg yolks in this recipe which is why the cookies stay so soft. As for the chocolate, in my house we use a mix of milk and semi sweet chocolate chunks, but you can use your favourite. This recipe also calls for chilling the dough. Chilling the dough will stop the cookies from spreading too much and keep the cookies soft.

What kind of chocolate do you use in your cookies? Dark, milk or semi sweet?

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Servings: 24

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips or Chunks (Dark, milk or semi sweet)

Directions:

Melt butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until just starting to melt. Cream butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until combined.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat on low until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Using an ice cream scoop or two spoons to scoop out the dough, space the cookies 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for about 13 – 15 minutes until golden on top.

Adapted from Amanda Frederickson


Lemon Parmesan Green Beans

Today I’m sharing with you my favourite veggie side dish. These green beans are tender and fresh with a cheesy bite. They are also super fast to wipe up, so they are not just for dinner parties.

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In this recipe I use french green beans, my favourite are by Manns. I like using french style green beans because they are smaller and more tender then traditional green beans. They also cook quickly which is perfect for a week night.

I par cook the beans in boiling water before pan frying in butter and seasoning with lemon juice. At the end I top the beans with freshly grated parmesan. It really is as easy as it sounds.

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What is your favourite easy and delicious side?

 

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs Fresh French Cut Green Beans
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: Chili Flakes

 

Directions:

Place the beans in a wok or fry pan, cover with water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then drain. Over medium heat add butter, beans, salt, pepper and chili flakes to the pan. Sauté the beans for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and continue to sauté for 2-3 more minute until beans are tender and begin to crisp. Transfer the beans to a serving dish and top with freshly grated parmesan.