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Pig of the Month BBQ

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Easter Dinner, Pig of the Month Style

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Easter Dinner, Pig of the Month Style

One of the very best things about holidays is the gathering of family for a big meal or it could be the worst thing.

With so much to do on a holiday it’s tough to make a great big spread also.  Frankly I’d rather be out Easter egg hunting than spending all my time in the kitchen.

Easter is also the end of Lent, a 40 day time period of fasting, prayer and penance.   Many people who observe Lent give up meat not only on Fridays but for the entire period.  For me that’s more penance than fasting!   Easter isn’t only the end of Lent;   it is also a celebration of Spring!

Whether you are celebrating a traditional Easter or the celebration of Spring, what better way to celebrate a holiday and the end of Lent then going all out carnivore with some Pig of the Month’s Dry Style BBQ Baby Back Ribs!

They are the perfect ribs for family and friends, I know my mom isn’t super fond of overly saucy ribs, she prefers them dry so she can add just the right amount of sauce and the kind of sauce that is more suited to her taste. To make everyone happy, why not get the BBQ Sauce Sampler to serve with the ribs?

To celebrate spring how about serving this Grilled Asparagus and Egg salad (a perfect way to use some of those Easter eggs) with some Lemon and Blueberry Mason Jar cakes to finish off the meal?

Grilled Asparagus & Egg Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

½ cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 bunch ‘fat’ asparagus, washed and trimmed
3 tablespoons Meyer or regular lemon juice (about 1 ½ lemons)
1 tablespoon minced shallot
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced thyme
½ teaspoon sugar
Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Shaved parmesan for garnish if desired  

Spread the asparagus across a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and generously salt and pepper.

Roll the asparagus around until it is completely coated.

Grill asparagus on high heat, flipping occasionally until tender crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Return to baking sheet and set aside to cool.  

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, shallot, lemon zest, thyme, sugar and some salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Note: dressing can be made the day prior.

  Cut the asparagus into 2” pieces. In a large bowl toss together the cut asparagus, eggs and bacon with the dressing.

Garnish with parmesan shavings if desired.    

Lemon & Blueberry Mason Jar Cakes

Base cake mix: 1 box Angel Food Cake Mix 1 box Lemon Cake Mix   Per Jar: 6 tablespoons prepared dry cake mix 1 lemon zested and juiced (2 tablespoons juice) 2 tablespoons water ¼ cup blueberries (frozen is fine, no need to defrost)   In a large zipper top bag add 1 box of angel food cake mix and one box lemon cake mix, mix well. To each jar add 6 tablespoons of angel lemon cake mix, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water and lemon zest. Stir to mix, drop in ½ the blueberries. Microwave uncovered for 90 seconds. Let cool and top with the remaining blueberries and the lemon whipped cream if desired (recipe follows).  

Lemon Whipped Cream

1 cup whipping cream 2 tablespoons sugar Juice of ½ lemon Zest of one lemon   Freeze a metal bowl and beaters for 10 minutes. Add all ingredients to the frozen bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Whipped cream can be made up to 4 hours in advance (do a quick rewhip before serving).   Note: If transporting cake, store whipped topping in a separate container and keep cool, put canning jars on cake for the perfect picnic cake!   You can read more recipes and ramblings at The Kitchen Witch, or follow on Facebook and Twitter@TKWblog.   Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of The Kitchen Witch. All rights reserved by Rhonda Adkins.   Posted in Main Dishes, Party Ideas, Recipes, Side Dishes, Sweet Endings | Leave a comment

Your Luck is Served: Foods to Bring Good Luck

Posted on by admin   Superstition has never been so delicious. Forget black-eyed peas and collard greens, let’s ring 2012 in with a meal we can look forward to! We have a 3-course-meal that will assure lady luck a seat at your dinner table.

Drink: Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail

pomegranate champagne cocktail   The ancient Egyptians regarded the pomegranate as a symbol of ambition and Persian cultures linked it to fertility. 6 tbs Pomegranate syrup 1 bottle brute Champagne 6 lemon twists Place one teaspoon of syrup at the bottom of each champagne flute or glass. Gently pour in champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

Course 1: Cabbage Ramen Noodle Salad

lucky cabbage salad   In Germany and Ireland, rich, green cabbage is consumed on New Year’s Eve to assure prosperity and fortune is a component in the year to come. Add the Chinese ritual of eating noodles to symbolize a long life and you have quite the starter!   1/2 head cabbage, finely chopped 4 green onions, chopped 1 pkg. Top Ramen noodles (beef or chicken), crumbled 1/2 c. sliced almonds 1 pkg. sunflower seeds (optional) Mix together except the noodles and refrigerate a few hours.   Dressing: 2 tbsp. sugar 3 tbsp. vinegar 1/2 c. salad oil 1/2 tsp. pepper Flavor packet from the noodles      

Course 2: BBQ Salmon Skewers

bbq salmon skewers   Asian cultures associate fish with moving forward since fish constantly swim ahead. Throw some fresh vegetables into the mix for a fresh start to the New Year to tie your main course together. 1 pound salmon, wild, steaks or filet 1/3 cup barbeque sauce Pre heat grill to medium heat. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel, then cut salmon into large bite size pieces. Divide the salmon equally and thread on to skewers. Brush the salmon with the sauce and pepper lightly if desired. Grill kabobs for about 4 minutes per side or until done.    

Course 3: Greek Vaselopita Cake

vasilopita cake   On New Year’s Day, Greek families cut the Vasilopita to bless the house and bring good luck for the new year. It is traditional to bake a coin into the Vasilopita. The one who receives the coin is considered to be especially blessed for the year. 2 cups of sugar 8 oz of butter 7 eggs 3 cups of plain flour, sieved 4 leveled teaspoons of baking powder 1 cup almonds, ground to powder 1 tablespoon vanilla ¼ cup of brandy (or congac) 2 oranges (grated zest) I cup of milk Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, so that each egg is fully incorporated before you add the next. Add the vanilla, grated zest and brandy. Then add the almonds. Finally add the flour and the milk, a little at a time. Grease with butter and line with greaseproof paper a 30cm (12 inch) baking tin. Empty the mixture in. Add the traditional coin. Bake at 170ºC (340 F), in a well preheated oven, for approximately 1h and 10 minutes. Garnish with sieved icing sugar.     This year don’t just have luck in your corner- serve it on a platter! Fully planning on indulging in this luck feast, I embrace 2012 with open arms! Please look for my eBook, “Uplifting Reflections: Thought for the Week Soul Journal” in January! In the meantime, visit me at www.upliftingreflections.com – Kat Cowley     Posted in BBQ, Booze & Beverages, Main Dishes, Party Ideas, Sweet Endings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Party Dip Idea: Shrimp Dip

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A Quick & Easy Appetizer: How to Make Layered Shrimp Dip

Around the holidays, it is always nice to have a few favorite recipes on hand that you can easily whip up before a party or festive occasion. I tend to enjoy eating any sort of chip/dip combination, and this layered shrimp dip is one of my absolute favorites. Growing up, my mom would prepare this a few times each year to take to various events, and I would always look forward to when she would make an extra dip for us to munch on at home. Once I began to venture into the kitchen, and into the world of cooking, this was one of the first savory dishes that I made, and I continue to make it to this day. With New Yearʼs Eve approaching, and party planning underway, I thought that this could be a crowd-pleasing dish that you can easily add onto your menu!  

Corinneʼs Layered Shrimp Dip

Ingredients: 1/4 C. Cream Cheese 1/3 C. Mayo 1/2 C. Sour Cream 1 250 mL Jar of Seafood Sauce 1 Red Pepper 1 Green Pepper 3 Tomatoes 15-20 Medium Sized Shrimp (Peeled, Deveined, Tail off) 1/2 C. Grated Cheddar Cheese Green Onions (Optional) Directions: 1. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayo and sour cream until blended smoothly. shrimp dip 2. Line the bottom of a pie plate or round glass dish with this mixture. 3. Spread the seafood sauce on top. I love the tanginess of the sauce, and tend to use more than less. Add any amount that you desire, but cover the white mixture entirely and evenly. 4. Chop the peppers and tomatoes into small chunks, and sprinkle evenly over the seafood sauce. 5. Layer the shrimp evenly over the veggies. I used frozen shrimp that I defrosted, and removed the tails from. Shrimp dip 6. Grate cheddar and sprinkle on top of the shrimp. 7. If you like green onions, then chop up a few and top your dip with green onions. shrimp dip 8. Serve with tortilla chips (I prefer Organic Blue Corn). holiday shrimp dip You can easily prepare this dish the day before, and leave it in the fridge overnight before your party or event. If you are not keen on using seafood, then prepare your dip without any shrimp, but still use the seafood sauce, as it is an integral flavor element in this dip.   Have a safe and happy New Yearʼs!   And always remember, ‘In Work & Play, to Savor the everyday’! Corinne Johnson www.iheartmondays.blogspot.com Posted in Appetizers, Party Ideas | Leave a comment

Hot Cocoa in a Jar

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Hot cocoa in a jar   Hot Cocoa in a Jar makes a great hostess gift, or a last minute holiday gift. It’s simple to make, and delicious! Here’s what you’ll need:   – 1 cup powdered milk – 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder – 1 cup granulated sugar – ¼ teaspoon salt – ½ cup milk chocolate chips – ½ cup crushed peppermint candy – ½ cup mini marshmallows   In a 1-quart jar, layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, peppermint candy and marshmallows (in that order).   If your jars are different sizes, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant.   Include a tag with directions: “Mix contents in a large bowl. For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water. Store remaining mix in airtight container.” Hot cocoa in a jar   Enjoy! Faith http://designfixation.blogspot.com     Posted in Party Ideas, Sweet Endings | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New Years Eve Sweets Buffet

Posted on by admin Holiday Sweets Buffet holiday sweets buffett As some of you may know by now, traditions are extremely important to me, and to my family, especially around the holidays! We love to celebrate the season by creating new memories around old traditions. Years ago, when my husband and I first began dating, we started to discuss the various Christmas traditions that our families each celebrated. We decided that we wanted to blend together the traditions that we had each grown up with, so that both of our families could continue with traditions of the past, but also look forward to new ideas and activities to share together. Growing up, my family always began Christmas morning by opening up stockings and a few gifts, and then paused for a large breakfast, consisting of croissants, bacon, eggs, a fruit platter, and more! My husbandʼs family had a similar way of beginning this special day, but they also had a unique candy buffet to snack on during gift opening. In past years, I have put together my version of a candy buffet, by filling neat goblets and bowls with a nice assortment of candy and chocolates. This year I decided to switch things up a bit by making a ʻSweets Buffetʼ, consisting of a variety of baked cookies with a multitude of flavors. Choose any recipes you like, but here are three tasty and easy recipes for delicious homemade cookies that will please any sweets lover!

Classic Shortbread

shortbread cookies   Ingredients 2 C. butter (room temperature) 1 C. white sugar 2 tsp vanilla 4 C. flour Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Cream butter & sugar until fluffy. 3. Stir in vanilla. 4. Add flour and mix together well. It may look crumbly, but keep mixing together so that the butter melts and combines the dough together. 5. Use your hands to grab a bunch of the dough and form a ball. 6. Coat a cutting board & rolling pin with flour, and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut any shape you like. 7. Leave plain, or sprinkle on some brightly colored sugar sprinkles before baking. 8. Place on parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet. 9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and then let cool on a wire rack.  

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

gooey chocolate chocolate chip cookies Ingredients 1 1/4 C. butter (room temperature) 2 C. sugar 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla 2 C. flour 1 tsp baking soda 3/4 C. cocoa 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 C. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Cream together the butter & sugar. 3. Beat the eggs and add to butter mixture. 4. Add vanilla and mix. 5. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. 6. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and combine well. 7. Add in the chocolate chips and stir together. 8. Use a small ice cream/dough scooper to scoop out 1 inch round balls and place on parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet. 9. Bake 8-9 minutes, and then let cool on wire rack.  

Sparkly Lemon Cookies

sparkly lemon cookies (adapted from the December 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living) Ingredients 2 C. all purpose flour 1/4 tsp salt 1 stick (1/2 C.) plus 2 1/2 Tbsp butter (room temperature) 1/2 C. plus 2 Tbsp white granulated sugar 3 lemons, zested and juiced (1/3 C. juice) 2 large eggs 1/4 C. whole milk (I used skim) 2 3/4 C. confectionersʼ sugar Star shaped edible glitter (optional – can be purchased at Michaelʼs craft stores) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 2. Whisk together flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. 3. Beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes.*** 4. Beat in eggs, reduce speed to low, and gradually beat in flour mixture. 5. Slowly add milk, and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes. 6. Use a small ice cream/dough scooper to scoop out 1 inch round balls and place on parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet. 7. Bake until bottoms are pale gold, 16-18 minutes. 8. Let cool on wire racks. 9. Whisk together confectionersʼ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. 10. Brush glaze onto cookies and sprinkle with edible glitter. ***I do not own a mixer, and was able to complete this recipe by using good olʼ fashioned strength, a spatula, and spoon***     Set up a fun sweets buffet by arranging the baked items, and any other candies or chocolates of your choice, into unique bowls, goblets, or even clear glass canning jars. ʻWowʼ your family and friends by serving it during Christmas day gift opening, or any other holiday gatherings! Have fun creating a new tradition with your loved ones during this special time! Happy holidays! cookies for santa And always remember, ʻIn Work & Play, to Savor the everydayʼ! Corinne Johnson www.iheartmondays.blogspot.com Posted in Party Ideas, Sweet Endings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment ← Older posts