Super Super Bowl snacks

training2

Yesterday I shared some super Super Bowl sips. To help soak up some of that booze, here are my super Super Bowl snack ideas.

Chili bar

Chili bar

Chili bar

Nacho bar

Nacho bar

Nacho bar

Football bowl 

Dip in a custom football bread bowl

Dip in a custom football bread bowl

A guac football field

A guac football field

A guac football field

Team-specific candied popcorn

Everyone loves popcorn!

Everyone loves popcorn!

And on to dessert!

Chocolate-covered strawberries

Healthy, cute and delicious! The perfect combo!

Healthy, cute and delicious! The perfect combo!

Cupcakes!?

So many ideas!

So many ideas!

Chocolate peanut butter football cookies

Peanut butter + chocolate + football = Yes, please!

Peanut butter + chocolate + football = Yes, please!

Ice cream sandwich footballs!

So cute, so tasty!

So cute, so tasty!

Brownie footballs! (As featured on my Q13 segment to kick off the 2014-15 NFL season!)

Q13 tailgating segment

However you end up snacking, you know it’s going to be good! Let me know if you end up trying out any of these great ideas! Oh, and GO HAWKS!!

{Wine Wednesday} Super Super Bowl sips

WineWednesday

It’s that week! It’s a big, big weekend for Seattle (and New England) football fans! It’s also a big weekend for those of us who like to throw parties (me) and watch the best-of-the-best TV commercials (me, again).

While I won’t be throwing a party this year (I’ll be working), I love to plan them and I love sharing my tips with you. Today’s post is all about the drinks of Super Bowl. Tomorrow we’ll have appetizers and on Friday, decor! There is plenty of time to make Sunday memorable. (Even if you’re not the Seahawks re-Pete-ing!)

Enough with the puns. On to the cocktails! Cheers!

Jell-O shots

Seahawks Jell-O shots made by my friend Laurel

Seahawks Jell-O shots made by my friend Laurel

My friend Laurel made these and they’re beautiful! I’ll bet they taste amazing too!

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

Washington Apple Twisted Shotz

I can’t find these online for the life of me, but I did see them at the Downtown Seattle Cost Plus World Market. They’re blue and green whisky-flavored liqueur and sour apple shots. Doesn’t sound the most appetizing, but they fit the bill in terms of Seahawks colors!

Skittle vodkas

Skittles vodka! Given some time, these will be vibrant

Skittles vodka! Given some time, these will be vibrant

I made these Skittle vodkas for my Q13 debut at the beginning of the NFL season. They’re super easy and super quick! Literally: you open the bottle and pop in a Skittle or two! Voila!

12th Blend Wine

Seahawks 12th Blend: Red, White and Rose!

Seahawks 12th Blend: Red, White and Rose!

Now we’re talking! There are several “12th {wo}man” wine options out there. These come from the Eye of the Needle in Woodinville. It’s not one of my most favorite wineries, but I do enjoy popping by there from time to time!

Plain old beer

Beer koozies

Beer koozies

Nothing wrong with plain old beer! While the alcohol content is there, you can still step up the presentation for this super SportsBall drinking event.

Drinking wine?

AstroTurf wine tags

AstroTurf wine tags

Spice up — and identify — your glass with a football-related tag.

Water

Water!

Water!

Oh yeah, and water. You need water to live (or to sober up after the game!) These are a cute presentation to your standard plastic water bottle. Don’t forget to reuse or recycle them when you’re done!

CHEERS!

Poop emoji meringue cookies

Poop emojiYou’re familiar with the poop emoji, right? It’s everywhere. I don’t think it’s possible to not know what it is. (In case you don’t know, that’s it over there on the right!)

Over the holidays I made a lot of meringue Christmas trees.

Meringue Christmas trees

Meringue Christmas trees

As I was making them, over and over again, the swirling really resonated and a genius idea came to me: these could look like piles of poop. Add a couple of sugar eyes and voila! The poop emoji.

So, I went about trying to make them. All meringue recipes are very similar: egg whites, sugar, vanilla, cream of tarter and color or flavoring. I followed this recipe for my poop emoji meringues. As opposed to coloring them brown, I used cocoa powder, so while they look like poop, they don’t taste like it.

I used a standard pastry bag and a #12 tip from Wilton for my emoji cookies. (I used a mid-sized star tip for the Christmas trees.) The raw meringue ‘dough’ is VERY sticky and you want to work fast, because once it warms up it falls flat. Carefully spoon the meringue into the bag and start swirling!

Swirl, swirl, swirl!

Swirl, swirl, swirl!

The base of the cookies are a little larger than a quarter. This is important to note, as this is where I my first batch of Christmas tree cookies faltered. If you want to do larger cookies, you’ll need a larger pastry tip.

More poop emoji cookies

More poop emoji cookies

Pipe the dough while swirling in a circle, on top of itself, leaving a little point at the top. There were a couple of cookies that weren’t perfect, but with the look I was going for, imperfect was perfect. The recipe makes about four dozen cookies, so if there are a couple of mess ups, it’s no big deal. Plus no matter how they look, they all taste the same, which is lightweight and delicious.

Poop emoji cookies

Poop emoji cookies

I added Wilton’s sugar eyes on about half of my meringues and that went over only so-so. The meringues cook for a long time at a low temperature. The sugar eyes aren’t supposed to be cooked at all, so they get a little wonky. If you want the perfect look, I would recommend adding the eyes after the meringues are cooked. I bought a white Wilton Sugar Sheet to use for the mouth, but my cookies were too small, as the eyes collapsed the base a bit during baking.

More cookies!

More cookies!

Adding the eyes makes them look a lot like emojis!

Adding the eyes makes them look a lot like emojis!

Big eyes for these little poops

Big eyes for these little poops

I hope this inspires you to make your own meringue emoji poop cookies. Once you do, share your experience here in comments!

 

 

{Wine Wednesday} Washington wine: WTF?

WineWednesday

Are you interested in learning more about Washington wine?

My friend Zach at Vine Trainings is starting a new set of wine courses, targeting different wine growing regions and varietals. For the low cost of $45 per class, you’ll get to taste some great wines, talk about the most exciting growing regions, and even discuss the history of the industry.

When: Monday, Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Grub on Queen Anne, 7 Boston St, 98109

Why: Everything is better with wine, especially learning about wine while drinking it!

Read more about my experience with Vine Trainings on the Island!

Washington Wine Map

2015 resolutions

Up until a few days ago, I hadn’t given my 2015 resolutions much thought. I was too busy enjoying the holidays, trying my hand at new desserts, and snuggling the cats, catching up on TV.

But now we’ve packed up Christmas and vacuumed away all traces of the tree, and it’s time to be thinking about the next 300+ days and my goals.

So, here we go.

Do more. With a full and part-time job and this flourishing little blog, you might think this seems silly, but hear me out. I want to be more in the present. Be a little more flexible with my schedule and be up for those impromptu happy hours, casual dinners or TV show watching parties.

Walk more. Along with all of these things, I’ve upped my daily step goal (I love my Fit Bit!) to 11,000 steps daily (unless I work out at barre or with Tracy Anderson in my living room). I started this at the beginning of the month and I’ve done quite well.

Drink more. I saw an interview that Gabrielle Union gave recently, where she mentioned that her beauty secret is drinking a gallon of water each day. I’ve been doing a good job at increasing my water intake, but I also read that a gallon is unrealistic. I’m also going to focus quality over quantity with my booze drinking. We are in four wine clubs now and our wine cellar is bursting at the seams. Rather than wait for a special event to uncork our “expensive” bottles, we’re going to celebrate the ordinary and open them whenever we feel like it. Maybe tonight!

Eat more. Every year we end up with a new approach to food (2014, 2013, 2012) and 2015 is no different. This year I’m pairing my love of the library with our meals and trying out a new cookbook each week. We tried out Pure Flavor last week and started Dishing up Washington today, with the RN 74 beef bourguignon and tonight we’ll make the Hot Cakes s’more chocolate chip cookies. We’re going to try and cook around three recipes from each book. Along with cookbooks from the library, we also have many cookbooks at home that will get more exposure in the kitchen. Hopefully we discover some new recipes and have some fun!

Be more. I found this on Pinterest and thought it pretty much summed up my hopes and dreams for 2015. Lofty yet manageable, still pretty lighthearted and with an emphasis on the things I like: creativity and adventure.

2015 resolutions

 

Cheers to 2015!

Blog photo composition secrets

Ever wonder how I get all of the great photos I post here and on Instagram? This comic pretty much sums it up:

The truth behind all of my photos... Kind of. ;)

The truth behind all of my photos… Kind of. 😉

Lucky for me, my cats are lazy and photogenic, my camera and I are friends and understand one another, and I’ve enjoyed composing and taking photos for many years.

Shortly after I saw this comic, I stumbled across this post on Instagram. The only thing missing here is a glass of wine! I think Jack and I totally nailed it!

FB photos 2

Have a great rest of the week!

Comic from Huffington Post

MegAn’s Pretty Little LiArs pArty

As a blog reader, I’m sure that you know that I love TV. And this week is a very good week for TV because the shows are BAAAAACK!

I’m especially excited for some of my mid-season shows to return: Downton Abbey (last night), Pretty Little Liars (1/6), and Parks & Rec (1/13)!

Today’s blog post is about the Pretty Little Liars (PLL) premiere TOMORROW on ABC Family. I’m having my friends Liz and Emily over to watch the show and I know that many more of my friends will be watching… even if they pretend that Pretty Little Liars is for pre-teens. (Which it so isn’t!)

If you’re unfamiliar with Pretty Little Liars, here’s a quick tutorial:

Rosewood is a perfect little town. So quiet and pristine, you’d never guess it holds so many secrets. Some of the ugliest ones belong to the prettiest girls in town: Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, four friends whose darkest secrets have been unraveling since Alison, the Queen Bee of their group disappeared. As the mystery surrounding Ali’s disappearance resurfaces, the girls begin getting messages from a mysterious “A,” who they quickly realize is out to get them. Now, after years of tormenting and numerous shocking revelations, the Liars are united and ready to kick some “A” and uncover the truth! No longer just wanting to sit by and wait for “A’s” latest cruel attack, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer take matters into their own hands and try to finally put a stop to their tormentor. As relationships are put to the test, new and old secrets are revealed and the stakes are raised higher than ever before as the Liars come closer to the truth. Will all of their sacrifices be worth it in the end?

When Liz and Emily come over, we’re doing it up in full PLL style! Here are some of my ideas for what I’ve coined as:

M-PLL-partyAn “A” food 

Autumn apple and sausage scramble

Salad with Apple cider vinegar dressing

Asparagus, Artichoke and Mushroom Saute Over Pasta

Maybe a pizza with a pepperoni “A” on it? (We do have a wood-fired oven in the backyard…)

An "A" pizza? Maybe!!

An “A” pizza? Maybe!!

Or anything arugula! (So many “A” food options!)

A PLL beverage

The Liars are all about coffee, but I’m not, so I’m thinking wine instead. Depending on what I decide for dinner plans, I’m thinking a nice Ravenswood blend, after the PLL spinoff that got cancelled (very sadly) last year.

Decor

Since we’re having a party of three (five if you count the cats!), I’ll go easy on the decor, but have to do something!

Here are some of the ideas I’ve found on Pinterest:

"A" letters throughout the house

“A” letters throughout the house

"A" cookies, pictures, letters, oh my!

“A” cookies, pictures, letters, oh my!

Handmade notes, maybe put them in fortune cookies!?

Handmade notes, maybe put them in fortune cookies!?

Maybe some homemade wine glasses are in order?! 

Maybe some homemade wine glasses are in order?!

Very special "A" shot glasses 

Very special “A” shot glasses

So many great ideas are swirling in my mind right now! I’m so excited for the premiere and our partAy!