Halloween Entertaining – Cocktails and Sharable Snacks

Entertaining a big group for Halloween is easier than you think. With these simple tips for how to prepare ahead, you can spend more time decorating and getting ready in your costume, than slaving in the kitchen. I love serving a signature cocktail, somehow it always feels more festive when you walk in the front door and hear that cocktail shaker. I’m a Texan, so good tequila and a guacamole inspired dip will always be a win. My Carved Pumpkin is extra special because I’m using the premium Roca Patron. They use an ancient method of crushing the agave with volcanic rock. The result is a higher proof, smokey tequila that is superb.

I make my seven layer dip ahead of time, except for the final layer. My secret is using a fresh, pre made guacamole. It tasted just like the homemade version but saves me a lot of time and cleanup. Right before guests arrive, I put the final layer of guacamole on top, pipe a sour cream spider web and place a cute olive on top for a spider!

seven-layer-dip-guacamole-spider seven-layer-dip-guacamole

Seven Layer Spider Web Dip

2 8-oz packages Wholly Guacamole

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1 cup diced green onions

1 cup low fat sour cream

1 15-oz can refried beans

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 black olives, plus extra sour cream (for spider web garnish)


In a clear glass bowl, begin layering the ingredients, starting with refried beans, red bell pepper, half the Guacamole, corn, sour cream, green onions, shredded cheddar and a final layer of Guacamole on the top. Place extra sour cream in s ziplock plastic bag. Cut off the tip and pipe a spider web on top. Cut the olive into a spider shape and place in the center of the web. Serve with tortilla chips.


The Carved Pumpkin Cocktail

1.5 oz Roca Patron Tequila

1 oz pumpkin spice liqueur

Fresh juice from half a lemon

1 egg white


In a shaker filled with ice, place the Tequila, pumpkin spice liqueur, lemon juice and egg white. Shake vigorously. Strain out the liquid, remove the ice and shake again for another minute. Pour into a sugar rimmed martini glass.


Witch Finger Breadsticks

1 can refrigerated breadstick dough

12 raw almonds


Twist each breadstick, then make a knot (for the knuckle) about two thirds the way up the breadstick. Place an almond firmly on the end closest to the knot. Bake at 365 for 12 minutes or golden and brown.


Roasted Vegetable Pizza

You wouldn’t think of butternut squash, delicate squash, or pumpkin as the first ingredient to compliment pizza, but they make surprisingly sweet and savory toppings that are perfect for evoking the smells of Fall in your kitchen. Roasted Vegetable and Smoked Cheese Pizza 2 Individual Naan breads (you can find these in the freezer section near the pizza dough) 1/4 cup marinara sauce or Roasted Butternut Squash Marinara 1/2 cup […] Read Full Post

How to Add the Flavor of Fall – Pumpkin – To All Dishes Sweet and Savory

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Slow Cooker Bolognese – A Weeknight Win!

With the hint of fall, nothing could more comforting than a bowl of messy, saucy, meaty Bolognese. Follow these simple tips to making it in a slow cooker. When you get back from work (or soccer practice with tired, sweaty kids) your house will smell like an Italian Mama has been slaving in the kitchen all day! Comment below and let me know how yours turns out. Ingredients: ¾ lb […] Read Full Post

Panzanella Salad – Last Bite of Summer Ripe Tomatoes

At peak freshness, tomatoes are begging to be the star ingredient for your summer salad. I’m savoring every last bite of summer with this vibrant dish complete with crusty, crunchy croutons to soak up all their juices. If you think it looks good today, just wait until tomorrow, when the leftovers are even tastier. Panzanella – Mediterranean Tomato and Cucumber Salad 3 cups cubed (1 inch size) sourdough bread 2 […] Read Full Post

Thai Peanut Sauce – Three Ways

Forget a sandwich with jelly, you’re about to look at peanut butter in a whole new light.  Thai peanut sauce sounds and tastes exotic, but it’s as simple as combining some pantry staples in your blender and it adds incredible flavor to shrimp and mango spring rolls, chicken satay or the simples Asian peanut noodles. Chicken-satay Thai Peanut Sauce 10 oz natural, salted creamy peanut butter 1/3 cup water 1/3 cup […] Read Full Post

No Stove, No Oven, No Microwave: No Problem

I’ve had so many people ask about No Bake Recipes after my last segment aired, that I thought I’d share a few more of my favorite summertime recipes! Here are appetizers, main dishes and even a dessert that can be made using just one appliance, the food processor. And there’s no heat required. Tuna and Basil Bruschetta 1 can very good quality canned albacore tuna (packed in water and drained […] Read Full Post

Summer Food Trends to Try Out Now

Ramen Noodle Burgers? Sushi Burrito? Chocolate Chip Cookie Shots? Your Instagram feed may be flooded with outrageous foods from the country’s coolest cafes and restaurants. And now you can make them yourself at home. Here are the coolest food trends of the moment and how you can get them at home (or at least know what to order the next time you’re out). oreo-bagel   Crazy Indulgent Snacks: Vegan, gluten free, Paleo, […] Read Full Post

No Cook Recipes for Summer’s Hottest Temps

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Hot Summer Drinks and Eats to Cool You Down

  It’s HOT, I get it. But there’s no reason you can’t celebrate summer, by the pool or the grill, with good friends (and a few drinks). Do it in style with these easy recipes that will seriously impress your guests. I was inspired by the granita when I ate a similar version topped on briny oysters at the outstanding Dallas restaurant, Gemma. And I always keep cans of sparkling […] Read Full Post