Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day - Denim Party BBQ

Yesterday, we had a Labor Day Party.  More specifically, we had a Denim/Jorts Party. The invite:
I'm not sure how my husband came up with the idea but we were all pretty excited about it.  Remember skorts? Jorts? Some people showed up totally decked out and some people didn't but it was another great excuse to get our friends together and for me to cook up some delicious food!
Good times... now on to food!  For starters I made mini baked bries and upside down mushroom tartlets. I wish I could take credit with the idea for mini-baked bries, but Cara came up with the genuis idea!
Mini-Baked Bries
Puff Pastry
1/2 Wheel of Brie
Jam of choice (I used Apricot Jam)
Cut 8-10 2X2 squares of puff pastry.  Cut 8-10 squares of brie.  Place a teaspoon of jam in the center of the square of puff pastry, add brie and enclose.  Repeat 8-10 times and place in a muffin tin.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
Upside Down Mushroom Tart, inspired by Everyday Food
Sliced Mushrooms of Choice (Bella is probably best)
Shredded Cheese of Choice (I used Montery Jack)
Puff Pastry
Salt, Pepper, Thyme
Saute mushrooms in olive oil for 10 minutes.  Using a circle cookie cutter (or bottom of a glass) cut 8 circles.  Take saute mushrooms and put a tablespoon in the bottom of a cucpcake pan.  Add salt, pepper and tyme.  Add a little cheese on top and then add the puff pastry circle.  Bake at 375 for 15-25 minutes.
 Next up, I made mini Mac N Cheeses (I was going with a BBQ theme).
I had a cupcake pan theme going on it seems...
Mini Mac N Cheese
Cork screw Pasta (or your favorite pasta for mac and cheese), cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoond of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup of skim milk
3/4 cup of cream
1 cup of cheese of choice (I used cheddar and monterey jack)
Salt and Pepper
Make creamy cheese bechemel sauce by combining butter and flour, and slowly whisking milk and cream.  Once bubbly and thick add in cheese by the quarter cup doing figure eights until you have a thick creamy sauce.  Add in salt and pepper.  Combine with cooked pasta. Take a 1/4 cup of mixture and add to cupcake pan.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese on top and cook at 350 for 25 minutes.
Cornbread Panzanella
Cornbread recipe from here
Inspiration from here
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 cups of arugula
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
For Dressing: whisk together, vinegar, mustard and honey.  Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Can be made a ahead of time and stored in fridge. For Salad: After baking and cooling bread, cut into little croutons.  Mix arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion with croutons. Mix in dressing.
 Grilled Corn (thanks Pete)
All you do is remove silk from corn, keep husks.  Rub vegetable oil on corn.  Season with salt and pepper.  Grill for 15-20 minutes.
And the main course!  BURGERS!  Cheeseburgers! I wish I could remember everything I put in these, but the main ingredient is love : )  Making your own burgers is soooo much better.
The burgers had ground sirloin, ground pork, worcestorshire sauce, bbq sauce, eggs, breadcrumbs, tons of seasoning- salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin.. maybe thats it? And cheese stuffed in the middle and on top. Yum!
I also made burgers inspired by How Sweet It is: Buffalo Chicken Burgers.  These went so fast, I should have made more!
Buffalo Chicken Burgers
2 lb ground chicken
salt, pepper
tablespoon of italian seasoning
1/2 cup of buffalo wing sauce
1 egg
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
10 slices of colby jack cheese
10-12 buns
In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, seasonings, sauce, eggs and breadcrumbs.  Form 10-12 patties.  The patties will be wet and will stick a bit to your hands- trust me, its okay! About half of these burgers I put a half slice of cheese folded in the middle.  Mmmm. Grill burgers until cooked through. (If I remembered, I would have served these with Ranch Dressing and extra cheese... but these burgers went so fast I didn't get a chance)
I also made pulled pork.  Pulled pork is A-MAZINGLY delicious! Wow! And so easy.  All you need is a slow cooker and BBQ Sauce.
Pulled Pork
3lbs of Pork Butt
1 Bottle of BBQ Sauce (you can make your own if you have time)
Salt, Pepper, Mustard Powder
Heat Slow Cooker on Low Setting.  Place 1 Cup of Sauce and 1/4 Cup of Water in Slow Cooker.  Add in Pork.  Cook on Low for 8-10 Hours.  At the point, I shredded the meat and put it in an airtight container and refridgerated overnight. The day of the party, I heated the slow cooker back up, added the shredded pork and another cup of sauce. Delicious and so simple!

For dessert, I made another Fruit Pizza!  My mom used to make this all the time growing up and I loved it! I saw this recipe also on Jessica's How Sweet It is Blog and knew I had to make it.  One thing I can say is pay attention to the dough- I overcooked half of the sugar cookie crust so I only used half the cookie dough.  Ooops!
Fruit Pizza
1 Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
4 oz of light cream cheese, softened
1 tub of light Cool Whip
1 teaspoon of vanilla
10 strawberries, sliced in half
1/2 cup of blueberres
2 kiwis
Preheat oven to 350. Roll out dough on cookie sheet and cook according to package directions.  Do not over cook (like I did). Once cookie dough has cooled, beat cream cheese and cool whip and vanilla extract with hand mixer. Spread over cookie dough.  Design fruit on top.  Refrigerate for a couple hours.  Then make glaze.
1/3 cup of orange juice
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk together until mixture is thick.  Drizzle on top of pizza and refrigerate.
Yum, brings me back to my childhood!
And after all the food was gone, time for flipcup!
And beeruit...
PS- I've done nothing today and it feels sooo good!  I needed a relaxing day : )
PPS- I ran yesterday morning and from the moment I left my house, my left ankle/achilles hurt.  By the time I hit 8 miles, I could barely run and ended up walking the last mile.  I've been icing a lot and I hope its nothing too serious.  I think its just smart to take some time off.


  1. Looks so fun! I'm making BBQ right now!

  2. That looks like quite a feast... and such a fun theme!

    I've been trying to relax today too -- it's so necessary sometimes!

  3. Everything looks so damn good!! Looks like you had a blast. Hope your ankle feels better soon!

  4. I'm moving near you... that looks like a blast and YUMMY! Off to copy and print, copy and print these ideas/recipes.

  5. Those buffalo chicken burgers look delicious!

  6. awesome party! Those buffalo chicken burgers sound delish. And I love mini macs - always a hit!

  7. What a fun idea for a party! Everything looks great!

  8. This party is awesome. I want to hang out with you.

  9. This is outrageous. Me and my wide-leg-with-thick belt-loop-Express-jeans-circa-1999,were waiting to be resurrected for such an occasion. I'll consider this a one-time slight and expect to be invited over for the next cheese-BBQ-jort fest. Cool?

  10. Those jean pics are cracking me up! what a fun idea and awesome food to go with! My mouth is watering over those burgers.