No-fuss "hot browns" and s'mores made portable for summer entertaining
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Summer entertaining doesn't have to be an elaborate affair. Simple, portable snacks are the way to go. Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle shows some easy ideas for enjoying fun treats while camping or at the lake.
Many of us, especially in lake studded Kentucky, enjoy spending time in a lakefront cabin or on a houseboat. Even at the beautiful camping spots around the state, whether using a tent or glamping in an RV, more times than not you will find yourself entertaining a few guests in the evening. Many folks potluck their food in the evening which adds to the fun and is a great way to get to know your boating and camping neighbors. Washle says let's face it, even away from home we want to wow our family and friends with our cooking abilities. Yet we can't bring our stocked pantries, fancy pots and pans to our campsites, boats, or cabins.
Galleys are small and cabin kitchens aren't as roomy as what we are used to at home. Traveling smart and with the necessary essentials enables us to turn out dishes that will have your guests cleaning their plates. While we would like to throw parties like the Pinterest photos, it just is not practical. Even cooking magazines (and shows for that matter) have recipes with complicated techniques and a laundry list of ingredients. That just isn't realistic when you want to enjoy a relaxing day before you put together a menu for the evening.
Entertaining away from home should include recipes that are not fussy, limited number of ingredients, and don't require specialized equipment. That goes for décor and dishes as well. The weather in many cases is all that is needed for a special backdrop. The fact that you aren't at home, the scenery is different and typically beautiful should be enough to set the mood. Don't pack your china and crystal to take to the lake. Something will get broken. There are heavy duty compostable disposable choices that are lightweight and good enough for a few days away from home.
By following the 5 essential tips for entertaining listed below will help guarantee that you too will have a good time at your party:
1. Non fussy recipes. Recipes should be easy to make, great flavor with minimal effort, take advantage of summer produce. Let's remember while friends and family want to eat well, they are there to party with you too. Drinks should include water and non-alcoholic choices. A punch recipe is a great way to offer a signature drink without having to stand at the bar and mix drinks.
2. Anticipate the weather. If it is hot and sunny, provide access to shade. If it starts to rain, be prepared to move inside. This seems like a basic tip but if you are entertaining on the deck of a motorboat, where are people going to go if the weather becomes an issue?
3. Fun lighting. A strand of party lights lets everyone know where the food and drinks are! Plus, when sitting outside whether at a campground or lake front, it gets dark with a capital D. Having some lanterns or light strands besides providing ambience, adds safety to a walk way. There are plenty of solar powered options now. Ikea sells a paper lantern that has solar panels that operate the LED lights.
4. Disposables. Compostable plates, utensils, and drinkware are affordable and a good option when traveling. Because they are stackable and lightweight, it isn't a problem to haul them to the vacation site. Besides, you won't be hauling them back home or at least not many.
5. Bug control. At any time of the day pests can be around. For some just one bug bite can ruin their fun. Lots of folks are nervous about deet as an ingredient. Thank goodness, there are many effective options available that won't break the bank. Provide sprays and towelettes in a sand bucket in an open area so guests can freely apply as needed.
Keeping it simple, fresh, and a bit of flair is the way to host away from home. You may find that the party seems to gravitate to your spot every evening By following the simple advice above, you will welcome all with open arms and a fun signature appetizer!
Kentucky Hot Brown Spread A tasty way to share the iconic flavors of Louisville and Kentucky's signature sandwich with guests when out of town.
Ingredients: 1 8 oz package of cream cheese (full fat, lowfat, or nonfat) 1-1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce ¼ tsp hot sauce, optional 1 cup sour cream 1-1/2 cups shredded then chopped roast turkey breast (roast turkey from the deli works) 1-2 cups diced red tomato (use the amount of tomato that you like) ¾ cup finely chopped crispy bacon 18 slices good quality white bread, crusts removed, cut in quarters or triangles, toasted in oven or on grill
Place cream cheese and parmesan in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir constantly to melt cream cheese, about 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce Remove from heat then stir in sour cream and chopped turkey breast. Spread onto a heat proof rimmed platter or large plate.
Scatter chopped tomato over top of cheese mixture. Sprinkle bacon over top.
Surround with toasted bread.
To serve: Spread onto a toast and enjoy. Good warm or cold. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
NOTE: Use a colored platter or one with a vivid design. The white cheese on a white platter looks a bit anemic.
FREE SUMMER ENTERTAINING RECIPES!!
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Summer Entertaining Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen on Facebook: CLICK HERE.
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.
CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.
On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.