Most people associate green desserts, hearty Irish dishes that include sausages and potatoes, and of course green beer at Irish pubs with St. Patrick’s Day… but I have a new treat for you! What about a Spinach and Brie Quesadilla on a Spinach and Herb Tortilla? You will love this easy quesadilla with artichokes, brie, spinach, and chicken. It’s super easy and a quick solution for a festive dinner tomorrow night.
Artichoke Hearts can be really hard to cook, but they come pre-marinated in jars on the canned aisle in the grocery store and take a lot of the headache out of this quesadilla. I also used frozen fajita chicken which made this quesadilla even easier and faster!
You’ll start by sautéing the chicken, spinach and artichoke hearts in 3 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Making sure you don’t have the heat on too high so not to burn the garlic. Pro TIp: Garlic Paste is really easy to use if you are nervous about burning your garlic.
Then put the mixture on the Spinach and Herb tortilla and top with 2-3 thin slices of Brie Cheese. Fold in half and put in a fry pan or panini press to melt the cheese and grill the quesadilla in place.
This recipe is such a fun twist on a basic quesadilla and really brings a fun addition to the basic and traditional St. Patrick’s Day meals.
I know, I know… St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow… and with all of the craziness that is Covid-19 right now, I thought I would bring you a little bit of sunshine in your feed with some festive Rice Krispie Treats.
The more I thought about it – these treats are the perfect stay-at-home activity for your kiddos… or you! For the simple fact that you have to sift through your M&M’s and your Lucky Charms to find all of the green ones! It only took me about 20 minutes, but it is a great activity for the kids and gets them involved!
These are basic Rice Krispie Treats – straight off the back of the cereal box! Super easy and fast except when you finish mixing everything together and go to put it in your greased pan, add your green marshmallows and M&M’s.
Note: If you do put your M&M’s in the mixture and it’s still pretty hot, your candies will melt.
Valentine’s is right around the corner which means you might need some last minute ideas for gifts and treats to take to your party. I have so many friends that are teachers and really enjoy getting personalized gifts from their students and sometimes that can mean ‘time-consuming.’ But these ideas are sure the save you money and time.
Cupcake in a Jar
These cupcakes in a jar are so easy you will be trying to figure out how you can do these for every holiday! With different ribbon and a festive cupcake – you probably can!
Take a store bought cupcake and unwrap the paper.
Depending on how large your mason jar is (I used half-pint sized) you might need to remove the frosting. PRO TIP: if you are removing the frosting – don’t worry about pulling some of the cake with it – you will put more frosting on it!
Pop the cupcake down in the mason jar
And top with frosting. I like to put Betty Crocker Cream Cheese frosting in a ziplock bag to function as my piping bag.
Top festive sprinkles on it and then tie a bow on the top of the mason jar for a sweet touch!
A couple of notes on how I made mine. When you put your frosting on your cupcake in the jar – don’t worry about trying to make it perfect. The purpose of this cupcake is to eat it straight from the mason jar – so fill that sucker up! Secondly, I like to tie a bow and then hot glue it on the top of the mason jar. Takes a bit more time – but it guarantees the bow won’t fall off!
Sharpie Coffee Mug
This one is super easy! Grab a white coffee mug from the dollar store. I got mine from Walmart – but they do not have to be fancy mugs – just basic white. Using sharpie paint pens have your kids draw whatever they want on the mug.
Once they finish their masterpiece, you can help them (or you can write) a sweet note to the intended recipient! It makes it really sweet.
I don’t have kids, so I got some acrylic paint and made a paw print! Acrylic paint works just as well – especially if you want to do a hand print.
Once you finish – do not put in the oven, like so many people suggest. That will crack the paint and sharpies etc.. Use Modge Podge to seal the masterpiece. Let dry – wash and enjoy!
Hope these ideas help your last minute cravings for Valentine’s Day – and if you have any questions – leave a comment or pop over to Instagram and message me! As always – tag your creations with #Atabletopaffair! I would love to see them and share them!
If you need any Valentine’s Ideas – check these out!
I literally cannot get enough of Valentine’s Week. I always love a good themed party! But sometimes making it to a restaurant is over rated or just can not happen – so I wanted to bring a little inspiration into the house for you and your loved one (or Galentine).
Let’s start with 3 easy hacks for your Valentine’s Day Table:
Make your own table runner using white paper and red paint with
X’s and O’s.
Layer your placemats and find some cute inexpensive ones at local
Fun themed plates are a great way to spruce up a plain table too.-
oh and remember how I love gold plastic silverware? Perfect for Valentines!
Okay – we’ve set the table, but what happens when you don’t want
to go out this Friday for Valentine’s Day? Let’s talk through these really easy
Charcuterie for two! And since Fisher
Price said it was okay for kids to have charcuterie with their toy they
launched last Christmas – I even brought one for Eli!
Charcuterie for Two
Don’t over do it:
2 blocks of cheese
Leave space and let things breathe.
Use pre-portioned cheeses. They come in super fun shapes that will make the board fun!
Use fruits and veggies for color! (oh and they are pretty healthy)
Super inexpensive, really quick set up, and you don’t have the
hassle of parking or waiting at the restaurant.
I’m here for it!
Oh Valentine’s Day.
The dreaded holiday for so many singles.
However, I could probably argue that there are quite a few people in
relationships that avoid Valentine’s Day too.
In fact, it’s been reported that less than 50% of married people
celebrate Valentine’s day, yet as singles we put so much weight on being single
on this day. We give Valentine’s day – a day where less than 50% of people
celebrate it the authority to put us in a bad mood for the entire month. We long to be married and this holiday that
comes every year stirs up longings that can’t be fulfilled. Sounds like Song of Solomon doesn’t it? (SOS
This caution is so important to the understanding of the
beauty and power of love that it is repeated 3 times (2:7, 3:5 and 8:4). The caution is so important to us because we
live in a culture saturated by messages that feed our eyes and minds that
relationships are the most important part of life and that without a husband
and kids and sex – you aren’t anything.
And its Valentine’s Day that magnifies that message.
That message that Solomon is writing is not just about abstinence, it’s a mental game too. Don’t awaken love physically, but don’t awake love mentally either. We must be protecting our mind from habitual lust, fantasy, and desires that keep us from being faithful in the waiting. I mean think about it – when you are dieting, do you want to go and sit at dinner with someone eating a luscious meal that you are craving but can’t eat? During this Valentine’s season, we are bombarded with messages that stir up feelings. Often times, these feelings can not be satisfied – and that my friend, leads us into this discontentment and loneliness.
Desiring these feelings is not wrong – God wanted us to enjoy love and enjoy each other (Proverbs 5:18, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 1 Timothy 4:4). Thus, without these good things (that God Himself created!) loneliness and sadness is a natural bi-product. It is actually how God designed us to be. Look at Genesis 2:18 – it is not good for man to be alone – if that tells you anything about God’s desire for community, friendship, and love for His people – I don’t know what does!
But the waiting for love, it’s hard.
Oh joy. The word waiting.
Waiting, in its most literal transitions means to stay where one is and delay action. On Valentine’s Day – I do not desire to delay action. In fact, I want to speed the process up – especially during the month of February. I want the roses, the words, the love. I need my parents to make that 500-mile journey that Abraham made to find Isaac a wife. “Come on dad where is your 500-mile journey??” (Gen 24)
I long for all of these things – but the ironic thing… the majority of married people don’t even celebrate Valentine’s Day with roses, chocolates, and lots of red hearts. When you start to have these thoughts, I urge you not to satisfy those desires with the world. God is glorified in us when we get our true satisfaction and joy from Him. He understands how waiting can lead to loneliness (Hebrews 4:15-16) but he also promises that he will and does fulfill all of our needs. (Philippians 4:19)
It’s in this waiting that we get the joy of building relationships with our God and because of that we are drawn close to a community of people. You see at our very core, God made us to be with others. A research study at UCLA using MRI technology reinforces the belief that our brains are wired to connect with other people. Our brains, our bodies, our emotions are social. We are constantly responding to others. These findings also reveal that when we don’t have social interaction – our brain is adversely affected.
Instead of sitting and using this time of singleness to spur on feelings of loneliness that you think can only be fulfilled through a relationship, we can use this time to “eagerly prepare” – growing deeper with him, pursuing a more satisfying relationship with Him. For when we pursue Him, He desires to give us community. Community with Him and His church.
Loneliness is a pain that is triggered by the same part of
the brain that is triggered when you step on a lego on the floor. It’s not cured with medication – loneliness
is cured with friendship.
I heard a pastor say one time – in the Old Testament God gave us marriage to deal with and fight off loneliness, but in the New Testament the Lord sent us the Holy Spirit and gave us the Church. I had to sit with this one – I didn’t want to believe it. My Hallmark movie watching mind wanted to believe that marriage was the solution for loneliness – end of story. Period. But God wants to give us a relationship with Him and His church – one that will continue to fulfill us over and over again.
However, we are living in a society and a time that is promoting individualism – we are busy and disconnected. Our free time is spent doing DIY Projects (really cool things to do – ironically though – literally means do it yourself. And don’t get me started on how often we stroll social media. This mostly-superficial platform causes us to be overwhelmed and detached – we desire things that others have.
We are busy and disconnected in a culture promoting individualism.
Instead, we should be prioritizing friendship, protecting it. Jesus did the majority of his life with his disciples – day in and day out he built relationships with each of them. But it’s not enough just to do life with people… we must build relationships. Be consistent in their lives and grow a community because that is how our brains were built. This is a really interesting topic and we are going to discuss this in another blog post, but wanted to tease it out here.
Instead of looking at this day on the calendar with empty hearts – while we over-dramatize how the world is celebrating with husbands and romantic dinners – we need to use this day to celebrate the love we have with our Creator who chases after us and showers us with His glorious blessings.
Side note: I think it’s very intentional that Galentine’s Day is February 13. The day BEFORE Valentine’s Day. It is important for us as singles – not to get caught up in mourning Valentine’s Day, so why not have a fun day with your community of women.
Surround yourself with them so that on February 14 you aren’t thinking about how you don’t have a man, because you are too busy thinking about how much fun you had with your community the night before!
What does community look like in your life?
Do you have edifying community? Do you identify with the loneliness and the frustration about waiting above?
If so, I would ask you when the last time you had community in your life? If it wasn’t recently, ask someone to come over. It doesn’t have to be fancy… just be around people. That’s how God designed us to live… with people.
Need some inspiration… try out these recipes Galentine’s Recipes! And as always tag me on Instagram at #Atabletopaffair so I can see what you are doing!!
This Breakfast Recipe is life. Do you stress about having people stay at your home during the holidays? What do you feed them? What about breakfast!! I have a ton of guest recipes over on my blog… but this one is by far a favorite!
With this super easy recipe, you can rest assured that cooking breakfast for your guests is both easy AND something you can feel proud about. @HappyEggCoUSA Heritage Breed Eggs are so tasty and beautiful – I mean look at how vibrant they are (and that fun egg box). I feel like when I cook Heritage Breed, I am actually cooking eggs that I just picked from the chicken coop! And best part… they are at Walmart!
Disclaimer: I have brands reach out and ask to pay me to tell you about great recipes that use their product. I always accept product, but I never share them with you unless I am completely 100% sold. And by sold – I mean I would buy these myself without a paid campaign. With that being said… these eggs are amazing!
This breakfast hash will keep your guests wanting more! This is the perfect recipe for friends and family as they stay over… or just you and your kids (or if you are like me – just me!). I love the roasted veggies and runny egg and it’s so beautiful – which makes enjoying it that much more tasty!
1 large purple onion, cut to preference (I prefer larger crescents)
Salt and Pepper to taste (I usually toss 2 tbsp with my olive oil mixture)
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash, New Potatoes, Onion, and Garlic with Olive Oil and Salt and lay flat on sheet pan – be careful not to overcrowd your veggies.
Roast for 15-20 minutes. (I find that my air fryer does a better and faster job at roasting veggies… but oven works too)
Toss Spinach leaves with veggies making sure to coat the leaves in the residual oil so they wilt.
Sprinkle the sausage on the veggies, and crack eggs over the veggies making sure not to break any of the yolk. If you break the yolk, it won’t cook up like the pictures – it’s still fine to eat – it just won’t look like the pictures).
Put the sheet pan back in the oven and cook another 10 minutes until the eggs are cooked to your desire.
Take out and eat!
This recipe makes fantastic leftovers too! When I reheat I usually put everything in a preheated cast iron on 425 F and re-roast for 10-15 minutes until everything is hot! You can even crack a few more eggs on it if you want!
If you want to crack eggs on the leftovers, put everything in the pre-heated cast iron, heat for 5-8 minutes on 425 F and then add eggs for the remaining 8-10 minutes.
Every oven is different so cook to your preference 🙂
Cooking your family recipes during the holiday is such a treasure and a special part of a lot of our traditions and celebrations. However, sometimes that just does not happen. We don’t have time, we get busy with our kids, shopping for gifts, or even attending Christmas Parties.
Man! And this has been the year of the overlapping parties! With 6 fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas it feels like I had not even finished the turkey before prepping appetizers and desserts for Holiday parties!
But today – we are going to be celebrating the store bought and spicing them up!
The goal: to create show stopping treats in just minutes!!
So you know how I am always talking about a fun charcuterie board!? Well what would you say if I said instead of meat and cheese and nuts – we were going to fill it with fun add one for your Hot a Chocolate. (You can see more on this Hot Chocolate Bar here)
Now remember the three tips:
Odd Numbers are always right…
Start with three small bowls, I have filled Mine with caramel chips, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.
Heights and Shapes give the board personality.
Then I stacked some mini peppermint bark squares for some height and add some peppermint sticks for a fun shape!
Color is key
I’ve got some red and white and even chocolate so our colors are taken care of! You just don’t want the board to be all over color! Makes it more festive that way! I even like putting a pop of green on there with these truffles!! Not for the hot chocolate but for me to enjoy!
One last note before I show you these adorable cupcakes… if you make your hot chocolate in a pot instead of single serve – makes it feel homemade! Even though it’s not; just makes drinking it that much more fancy!
Next these Forest Cupcakes are so fun and a favorite at Christmas Parties – especially if you have kiddos attending!
Best part about these are cupcakes is that everything is store bought – you just have to put them together!
Take a vanilla cupcake
Place a spring of rosemary to the left side of the cupcake.
Stick a gingerbread man in it to the right side like he is peaking out behind the “tree” or Rosemary.
You’ll then place 3 cranberries in the front of him and sprinkle the entire cupcake with coconut flakes for snow!!
How cute are these!! I just love how you can take store bought items and basic items at that and really create a fun treat!!
That’s my goal – take the stress out of holiday parties and have fun in the kitchen!!
These were used on a segment on KATV today.. Check that out here. And the Cupcakes were featured in At Home in Arkansas! Check that article out here.
If you aren’t a Burrata lover after this Burrata and Pesto Appetizer… I don’t what to say! Easy appetizers can be elevated and tasty, I promise. I hear all of the time that there is no way that appetizers can be as pretty as you make them or as easy as they sound. But this recipe is more than easy! It’s really not even a recipe… it’s more of a how to.
I know that when friends are coming over we like to procrastinate. This Burrata and Pesto appetizer will win your friends and make you look like a Martha Stewart.
Now Burrata is a soft cheese and is a form of Mozzarella cream. The outer shell is a firm mozzarella cheese, but the inside is a combination of stracciatella and cream.
The Kitchn puts it like this:
The Difference Between Mozzarella and Burrata. Fresh mozzarella cheese is a semi-soft Italian cheese made from cow or water buffalo milk. Burrata cheese takes the mozzarella one step further — it’s mozzarella that’s formed into a pouch and then filled with soft, stringy curd and cream.
Just remember a couple of rules:
Always top your cheese with something.. whether that is pesto, cracked pepper, nuts, etc… just top it!
Use fresh herbs as a garnish on the plate.
White is Right! Always use a white or marble or neutral (a light neutral) colored plate – it really helps with presentation.
It is stew season, especially Beef Sausage Stew. I really enjoy throwing things into a big dutch oven pot adding some stock and letting them marinate together. Especially with my favorite spices. This time of year is just perfect for a nice sausage and root veg stew!
Did you know the difference between a soup and stew (according to Google… and a Taste of Home) A soup is a combination of vegetables, meat or fish cooked in liquid. A stew is any dish that’s prepared by stewing – that is, the food is barely covered with liquid and simmered for a long time in a covered pot.
This stew is best eaten after a while when it “stews” or marinates together. However, it can be eaten as a soup right away!
In this Beef Stew recipe I have added the ‘hack’ version so if you are short on time… use the hack version!
These are the fresh ingredients. But, the recipe can easily be adapted using canned, frozen, and grocery store pre-diced vegetables!
The recipe is super easy:
Caramelize the sausage with the olive oil.
Sauté the onions, garlic, and spices.
Add all of the vegetables and boil with Chicken Stock
This stew can take up to an hour if you use fresh root vegetables, however, I have created a shortened version of this Beef Stew that will take you only about 20 minutes because you buy everything pre chopped/diced.
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 pkg Beef Sausage (I like Hormel), sliced quarter size.
1 onion, diced
1 cup pre-diced onion
3 carrots, peeled and diced
*1 can sliced carrots, in water
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
*These can be hard to find canned or frozen, but I have found them in a frozen 12 oz. root veg medley – which is perfectly fine to add the entire mix directly to the stew.
If you can’t find a pre-cut parsnips – omit parsnips and add an additional 1/2 cup of butternut squash and 1/2 cup of carrots.
1 cup barley
2 ribs celery, diced
*1/2 cup pre diced celery
10 baby yellow potatoes, cubed with skin
*2 14.5 oz cans of sliced new potatoes.
2 cups diced butternut squash
* 1 16 oz. bag of pre-diced Butternut Squash
1 tsp Oregano
¼ tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Chipotle Chili
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp minced garlic (from a jar)
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped kale
Note: you can not go wrong with more vegetables. You can gage your preference in the shortcut version based on what you purchase – but I like mine really vegetable heavy. Just alter the amount of chicken stock you add to the stew to help balance out the soupy-ness.
Carmelize sliced sausage in dutch oven with 2 tbsp of oil on medium-high heat, about 10 minutes.
Add onion, garlic and seasonings to sausage and sauté together.
Next, add all of the vegetables, barley and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Add Salt/Pepper to taste and add kale right before you enjoy.
Note: the longer you let the soup simmer… the better this stew will be! So it is a perfect stew for leftovers and the winter!
So do me a favor. When you love this recipe as much as I do, will you post about it? Will you tag me on Instagram or Facebook? Will you share this post with your friends? I hope you do!
Let me know what you think about this table top and would love to see your creations on Facebook and Instagram – just tag #AtableTopAffair.
Interested in seeing more of my recipes and entertaining inspiration? Subscribe to my blog and stop by Instagram and say hey!
During the holidays hosting can get increasingly more challenging. So I’m showing you how to make Friendsgiving and the holidays easy – so you can celebrate stress-free! I don’t know if you have read my About Me portion of the site, but in short my mission for A Table Top Affair is to empower each reader to have confidence in hosting. Not hosting a 500 person dinner with china and 6 piece place setting… just be comfortable opening your home and celebrating the everyday. Because the everyday happens… every day.
We get busier, the foods get more difficult to make, and your reputation is constantly on the line. You feel like people are judging every single move you make. So I partnered with the Company Club in Downtown Bentonville to bring easy to the holidays. I want to share it with you here!
5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do At Friendsgiving
1. Plastic Silverware – use it!
Don’t be afraid to use plastic instead of silver or gold or copper or whatever real silverware you have. You can spruce your Friendsgiving up with a simple $5.00 purchase! Trust me it makes clean up super easy and your friends will totally be impressed with how this silverware looks on your table. There is a Hobby Lobby brand that comes in just forks that you can get, but personally I buy Target’s Spritz gold silverware in bulk. For $5.00 you can get 20 place settings!! (This is not an ad, I’m not an affiliate, and yes I do have a huge box full of boxes of this silverware for every party I throw!)
2. Let Linen Napkins make the statement…
While you might use plastic silverware, it is really the linen napkin that will make the statement. You can use plastic silverware, melamine plates, and mason jar glasses… but it’s the linen napkin that will really help elevate any table setting!
Pro Tip: Monogramming your napkins is a fun touch and some places will do it for $1-$2 a napkin!
3. Use a fun wrapping paper as your table runner!
Yes, I said it. At this point in the blog post you are probably saying – this girl likes to do everything for easy clean-up. That’s not it at all… I am all about using what I have around the house and multi-purposing it. I’m also a big fan of not spending money where you don’t need to!
4. Create some height.
I love putting a board on top of a flower box and creating some height on the table. That way I can still decorate under the board, and serve my Friendsgiving spread on top of it!
5. Plate your Dishes
This is probably the question I get the most.
If your dishes are plated how do you serve the food?
Trust me… it makes a statement to have everything plated and with a couple of simple tips – your dinner party will go off without a hitch! When your guests come, ask them to grab a glass and app plate off the table when they are ready. At that point each guest will start to pick a place at the table which will make heading to the table for dinner that much easier later on in the party. Then when they are done with app plates, into the dishwasher they go! When you get ready for dinner have everyone bring both plates (salad and dinner plate). If they don’t want to use one of the plates, ask your guests to stack their un-used plate at the beginning of the line for food. That way all the un-used plates are off the table and you have clean plates to put back into the cabinet! See… easy peasy!
Easy Appetizers (and one dessert) for Friendsgiving and the Holidays:
You don’t have to eat the herbs, but they sure do add some beauty, freshness, and make any lame bland dish so much prettier. My favorite is flat leaf Italian Parsley. I always have some in my kitchen because it just helps everything so much prettier!
Pro Tip: Put your fresh herbs in a mason jar of water and stick in the fridge! They will last twice as long.
2. Always Put Something On Top
Whether it is coarse cracked pepper or a fancy pumpkin seed… Always put something on top. It adds personality to the dish and will give dimension to the food and trust me, and your friends at Friendsgiving will love it and I guarantee they say something about it!
3. White is Right – – –
I love colorful dishes and dishes that have designs on them. But white is right. White dishes let the food shine and don’t compete with the colors you have going on. I will say that plain is better than designed or patterned, if you don’t have white. For instance, a solid gray bowl or wooden plate… those are great! Just try to stay away from super busy and crazy graphic plates and bowls.
Hopefully those tips and tricks helped you out for your Friendsgiving that is right around the corner! I would LOVE to answer any questions you might have. Leave them below or tag me in a question on Instagram. Until next time, enjoy the holidays and invite people over. Just one person. You got this!
I’m Abby, and I’m all about setting the table every day and making a simple dinner with easy recipes to enjoy with friends. The inspiration you’ll find here are simple and meant to encourage you to declutter your table and invite friends over! I spend my days working as a marketer for a retail company and dreaming of dinner time. I really hope that through A Table Top Affair you will find a newfound love for your kitchen and that relationships would be formed around your table.
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