21 Valentine’s Day Cocktails and Mocktails

Love is in the air! <3

21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails | CaliGirlCooking.com

Since today is the last Friday before Valentine’s Day, I thought it most appropriate to put together a fun roundup of Valentine’s-themed cocktails for you.  Whether you’re planning on going out to eat, or cooking a romantic meal for two at home, I’m confident you’ll be able to find something you like here (there are even mocktails for those of you who choose to abstain from alcohol.)

The hubs and I haven’t yet decided what we’re going to do on our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple but, not to sound cliche, I’d really be happy doing anything just a little extra-special with him!

I don’t know about you, but putting together this list only made we wish that this holiday was a week long event so we would have time to try more of these delicious drinks. So, without further ado, here it is!

1. Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch
Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here.
2. Strawberry Old-Fashioned
Strawberry Old-Fashioned | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Wooden Skillet
3. Chambord Citrus Tonic
Chambord Citrus Tonic | 21 Valentines Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Berly’s Kitchen
4. Aperol Punch
Aperol Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Taste and See
5. Rosemary, Fig and Date Tequila Smash
Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirl Cooking
Recipe here.
6. The Bourbon Sweetheart
Bourbon Sweetheart | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Gastronom
7. Pomegranate Rose Gin Fizz
Pomegranate Rose Gin Fizz | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Ahu Eats
8. Whiskey Champagne Cocktail
Whiskey Champagne Cocktail | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Ann’s Entitled Life
9. Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Lime Cooler) with Coconut Water
Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Lime Cooler) with Coconut Water | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Worktop
10. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Martini
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Martini | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Just a Little Bit of Bacon
11. Cranberry Lime Mocktails
Cranberry Lime Mocktails | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on My Wife Can Cook
12. Pink Champagne Cocktail – Two Ways
Pink Champagne Cocktails - Two Ways! | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here
13. Grapefruit, Thyme and Elderflower Cocktail
Grapefruit Thyme Elderflower Cocktail | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Girl on Bloor
14. The Best Bloody Mary
The Best Bloody Mary | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Domestic Dietitian
15. Amortentia – Harry Potter Love Potion Punch
Amortentia - Harry Potter Love Potion Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Cookilicious
16. Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail
Blueberry Lemon Drop | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Platings and Pairings
17. Sparkling Elderflower Pomegranate Spritzers
Sparkling Elderflower Pomegranate Spritzers | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Home and Plate
18. Berry Mint Iced Tea
Berry Mint Iced Tea | 21 Valentine's Day Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Purple Ladle
19. Rose Sangria
Rose Sangria | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Grey is the New Black
20. Blue Q Margarita
Blue Q Margarita | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Pass Me Some Tasty
21. Raspberry Mint Gin Smash
Raspberry Mint Gin Smash | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here

A Valentine’s Day Wine and Food Pairing for Two

I’m so excited to be partnering with Hana-Lee from Wander & Wine to bring you today’s post!

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

We got together recently to create the perfect Valentine’s Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two, and let’s just say it’s so ridiculously tasty that you won’t even think twice about trying to make a reservation out somewhere to celebrate this year.

We’re talking Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade and Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction over Creamy Polenta, both paired with the most delicious wines. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect Valentine’s Day meal, I don’t know what does.

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

One of the greatest things about this blogging life is the huge network of other bloggers and entrepreneurs I’ve gotten to connect and eventually become good friends with. I feel especially lucky to have found a great group of gals living here in Santa Barbara that are in the same (or very similar) lines of work.

Hana-Lee and I first became “Insta-friends,” and it only took us oh, about six months, to actually meet IRL. Ever since, we’ve become blogging partners in crime, taking “research” trips to Napa and working up some fun collabs just like this one! Stay tuned for another simple fun collab coming in March, but until then, let’s chat about this delicious Valentine’s Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two.

A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

The menu is perfect for next week’s big event for multiple reasons:

  • It looks elegant and decadent, but comes together seamlessly.
  • It has lots of red, purple and pink hues going on.
  • It is INCREDIBLY tasty and is guaranteed to wow your significant other.
  • Finally, and most importantly, it is paired with TWO delicious wines.

Does it get any better than that? I think not.

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

We start with an appetizer course of Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade. From the creamy cheese filling laced with sautéed shallots and thyme to the fruity, citrusy marmalade gracing the top, once you taste these tartlets you MIGHT not be able to go back to just any old sweet or savory tartlet. Even better, the tartlet shells, filling and marmalade can all be made up to three days in advance, which means all you need to do before serving is compose and pop in the oven for five minutes or less. See, I told you this wouldn’t be too difficult.

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

These Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade are mouth-watering on their own, but they only get better when paired with Domaine Chandon’s fruity, refreshing sparkling Rose. Click here for Hana-Lee’s in-depth wine pairing notes!

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

For the main dish, we created these Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction and Creamy Polenta that, although not difficult to prepare, are far from your average weeknight dinner. You’ll want to start by making the polenta because, although it’s incredibly easy to make from scratch, it does take about 45 minutes to come together (most of that just sitting simmering away on the stove.) If you’re really in a pinch, you could use pre-made polenta, but seriously, once you try making it yourself once, you’ll realize it’s not any more difficult. We also graced our homemade polenta with a hearty handful of aged gouda cheese, which lends the perfect salty, savory kick to the entire dish.

Next, you’ll want to get the Blackberry Reduction simmering away on the stove. Sweet, tart and savory all at once, I’m very confident that once you master the basics of a reduction like this, you’ll feel liberated with all of the different ingredient combinations you can use to make the perfect topping for any meal.

The lamb lollipops are going to be the last step, as they’re both the quickest and the easiest to put together. We simply take a garlic and rosemary concoction and rub it all over the chops, then sear them off in a cast iron skillet (although you could use any nonstick skillet or even the grill if you’re so inclined.)

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

Once you have all of these components made, these Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction and Creamy Polenta come together quickly and painlessly. Scoop a heaping pile of the creamy polenta onto whatever serving dish you choose (the individual gratin dishes we used worked perfectly, you can find similar ones here,) top with a lamp lollipop, and then drizzle on the thick, glossy blackberry reduction.

We paired this entrée dish with Tablas Creek Vineyard’s 2014 Patelin de Tablas, a Rhone-style blend made up of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Counoise. Click here for Hana-Lee’s notes on this delicious pairing.

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

With two delicious courses and two just-as-delicious wine pairings, we’re guessing you won’t have too much room for dessert. But, just in case you have a little sweet tooth that needs tending to, here are some options for a third and final course:

A Valentine's Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two | CaliGirlCooking.com

And there you have it! The perfect Valentine’s Day Wine and Food Pairing for Two. So cancel your reservations, put on some slow tunes and light some candles for a romantic night in. Your significant other deserves it, and you do too. XO

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

These savory tartlets are creamy and decadent and topped with a brilliant red marmalade. The perfect appetizer to pair with a sparkling rose!

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 4 tartlets
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice water, as needed
  • Special Equipment: Four 4-inch nonstick tartlet pans
For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 5 ounces triple cream soft cheese (We used Delice de Bourgogne)
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Pinch of pepper
For the marmalade:
  • 6 blood oranges
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cointreau
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions
To make the crust:
  1. Combine all crust ingredients (except ice water) in a food processor. Pulse until crumbly. Add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms. Remove from food processer and shape into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to ¼-inch thickness (you may need to let the dough warm up slightly before trying to roll it.) Cut dough into fourths and shape into tartlet pans, crimping the edges as needed.

  3. Place tartlet pans on a small rimmed baking sheet and bake in 400-degree oven for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove and let cool completely. If you’re not composing the tartlets that day, wrap the pans in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to use.

To make the filling:
  1. In a small saute pan, melt the butter. Once butter is melted, add the minced shallots and thyme and saute until fragrant and translucent. Transfer mixture to a small mixing bowl. 

  2. Add your triple cream cheese, crème fraiche and pepper to the mixing bowl and use a spatula to combine all of the ingredients. If you’re not composing the tartlets right away, transfer filling to a resealable container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. 

To make the marmalade (you will have extra marmalade left over, but that means all the more to put on your toast in the morning!):
  1. Using a microplane, gather 1 cup grated blood orange zest (being careful not to scrape the bitter white pith.) 

  2. Once you have the zest, peel the blood oranges and gather 2 cups of pulp, squeezing it out of the translucent white membrane that’s segments the orange into slices. 

  3. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the zest, pulp, Cointreau, lemon juice and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer until mixture is thick and reduced, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. If not composing the tartlets right away, transfer to a resealable container and keep refrigerated for up to three days. 

To compose the tartlets:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Use a spatula to put the filling into a piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag (no piping tip needed) and pipe it into each of the tart shells. Use a small spatula to spread it and make it even. 

  3. Place tartlets on a small rimmed baking sheet and place in oven for just 5 minutes (you might not even need this much time, you just want the cheese to get melty so keep an eye on it!)

  4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Top with a scoop of the blood orange marmalade and serve immediately.

 

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta
Prep Time
55 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
 

Rosemary and garlic crusted lamb lollipops are placed over a bed of creamy, cheesy homemade polenta and topped with a perfectly balanced blackberry reduction.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the polenta:
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup shredded aged Gouda cheese
  • Salt and pepper
For the reduction:
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup red wine (it would be best to use the Tablas Creek here)
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
For the lamb lollipops:
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bone-in lamb chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
To make the polenta:
  1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, slowly pour in the cornmeal, whisking as you pour to avoid clumps. 

  2. Turn down heat to a low simmer and let cook for about 40 minutes, whisking every 10 minutes. If polenta gets too thick at the end of this, simply add a bit more water. 

  3. Whisk in butter in two parts, then stir in Gouda cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Keep polenta over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.

To make the reduction:
  1. Combine all ingredients (except butter) in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a heavy simmer. Turn down heat slightly and let simmer until mixture is reduced by at least half. 

  2. Remove thyme sprigs from sauce and remove sauce from heat. Whisk in butter continuously until it is completely melted, or your sauce will break. Return to very low heat until ready to serve.

To make the lamb lollipops:
  1. In a small bowl, form the herb rub by combining the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place the lamb lollipops on a plate and rub the herb mixture all over both sides. Let lamb sit with the herb rub on it for 20 minutes if possible. 

  2. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot, add the lamb lollipops (you should hear a big sizzle when you put them on.) Cook the lamb lollipops for about 5 minutes each side, or until they get a nice dark golden crust. Remove from heat and let rest for about 10 minutes before plating.

To plate the dish:
  1. Scoop a large spoonful of polenta into two individual gratin dishes. Place a lamb lollipop on top of each dish, then spoon the blackberry reduction over top. Serve immediately.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Savory Triple Cream Tartlets with Blood Orange Marmalade | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

Herb-Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Blackberry Reduction Over Creamy Polenta | A Valentine's Day Wine and Food Pairing Dinner for Two on CaliGirlCooking.com

21 Recipes to Get Hygge With

Hi friends! I’m soooo excited to share today’s post with you because it’s inspired by the new lifestyle trend that’s been getting a ton of buzz in the news lately – HYGGE! (pronounced HOO-gah.)

21 Recipes to Get Hygge With | CaliGirlCooking.com

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of it yet, hygge is a Danish concept that, in a word, translates to “coziness.” It encourages people to take some time every day to do all things warm and snuggly – whether it be cuddling up under a warm blanket with a book and cup of coffee in hand, or sitting in front of the fireplace with your loved ones watching a TV show.

Of course, any time spent “hyggelig” (the verb form, pronounced HOO-ga-lee) merits some delicious comfort food to go with it, and that’s what I’m bringing you today! I’ve put together a fantastic roundup of the ultimate hygge recipes, guaranteed to make any time spent hyggelig a smashing success.

So let’s get to it!

1. PULL-APART BEER BREAD WITH COMTE AND wHOLE gRAIN mUSTARD
Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirl Cooking
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
2. Healthy Mushroom Risotto
Healthy Mushroom Risotto | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Lively Table
3. Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb
Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb | 22 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // The Purple Ladle
4. Vanilla Coconut Matcha Latte
Vanilla Coconut Matcha Latte | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Bourbon and Honey
5. Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Gluten-Free with LB
6. Danish Smorrebrod with Remoulade
Danish Smorrebrod with Remoulade | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Caroline’s Cooking
7. Skillet Cornbread with Manuka Honey and Cinnamon Butter
Skillet Cornbread with Manuka Honey and Cinnamon Butter | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Veggie Desserts
8. 5-Ingredient Broccoli Cheese Soup
5-Ingredient Broccoli Cheese Soup | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Wholesome Yum
9. Caribou
Caribou | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
10. Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet
Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Grits and Pinecones
11. Easy One-Pot Mac ‘n Cheese with Hidden Veggies
Easy One-Pot Mac 'n Cheese with Hidden Veggies | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Raia’s Recipes
12. Black Pepper Rose Puff Loaf
Black Pepper Rose Puff Loaf | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Elegant Meraki
13. Mushroom and Cauliflower Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Mushroom and Cauliflower Vegan Shepherd's Pie | 22 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Delicious Everyday
14. Kentucky Coffee
Kentucky Coffee | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
15. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lentils, Kale and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lentils, Kale and Sun Dried Tomatoes | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Lauren Caris Cooks
16. Vegan Florentine Biscuits
Vegan Florentine Biscuits | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Anna Banana
17. Easy Swiss Chard Lentil Soup
Easy Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // My Wife Can Cook
18. Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole
Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
19. Coconut Braised Chickpeas and Spinach
Coconut Braised Chickpeas and Spinach | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Bunsen Burner Bakery
20. Savory Pretzel Bread Pudding with Cheddar, Apples and Sausage
Savory Pretzel Bread Pudding with Cheddar, Apples and Sausage | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
21. Apple Crumble with a Twist
Apple Crumble with a Twist | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // The Dessert Spoon

All-Dressed Party Mix

Where are all my Canadian/Canada-loving readers??

All-Dressed Party Mix | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you live up in our northern neighbor country or have visited there for any significant period of time, then I bet you’re no stranger to the “all-dressed” phenomenon. I had never heard of it until my trip to Quebec City a couple of weeks ago, when my flight attendant friend and I were browsing through a convenience store for some hotel room snacks and she informed me that the “All-Dressed” flavor of chips was a “thing” in Canada. How did she describe it to me? “It’s like a shmorgasborg of a ton of different chip flavors.” What can I say, I was intrigued so we grabbed a bag to enjoy with a nice frost local beer in our room before dinner.

The two words I would use to describe those All-Dressed chips are “deliciously interesting.” They’re just one of those things that you can’t quite figure out. You’re not quite sure why they taste so delicious, they just do. I immediately knew I wanted to bring this idea back to my homeland, and this All-Dressed Party Mix is the super-tasty result!

All-Dressed Party Mix | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now, I know I still owe you my Travel Diaries post for Quebec City, but I just couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you. It is, after all, the perfect snack to have on hand as you’re drinking bubbles and counting down the minutes until midnight on NYE. Did I mention that it’s all made in just three hours in the slow cooker? If you ask me, there’s no better way to make an addictively delicious snack when you’re entertaining a crowd.

Speaking of New Year’s Eve, tell me, what are your plans? I am a bridesmaid in a dear high school friend’s wedding that night, so the hubs and I will be celebrating with her and dancing the night away in Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, that means we won’t be able to chow down on All-Dressed Party Mix all night, but you can bet we’ll be packing some Ziplocs full for our trip up to Tahoe the next day!

That’s right, we’re headed to Tahoe with both of our parents on New Year’s Day and we couldn’t be more excited. The past couple of times we’ve been there we’ve JUST missed the snow, so this time we wanted to be sure we made it up there while there was still fresh powder on the ground. The weather report is looking good for that so far!

All-Dressed Party Mix | CaliGirlCooking.com

So, let’s get back to this All-Dressed Party Mix. After a little bit of Internet research, I discovered that the “all-dressed” seasoning actually DID consist of a little bit of everything. We’re talking BBQ sauce, ketchup, sour cream and onion AND salt and vinegar. Wowza. No wonder I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on when I first tasted it!

I decided to make my All-Dressed Party Mix a riff on the classic Chex mix after my friend and I grabbed a bag of All-Dressed Snack Mix later in our trip that we were quite disappointed in. I told her I bet I could make a better version and, boy, did I deliver! I’m such a good friend. Jo, this one’s for you!

If you’re big into the food blog world, then you’ve probably stumbled across my gal Ali’s recipe for Slow Cooker Chex Mix on her blog, Gimme Some Oven. I used her recipe for inspiration, and simply mixed up the “sauce” recipe by omitting the Worcestershire and instead adding in BBQ sauce, ketchup, vinegar and onion powder to coat the cereals and nuts. I used a combination of Wheat, Corn and Rice Chex, but you can really use any combination you want. I also added in some pretzel sticks, and used peanuts and pecans for the nuts but, again, these are all substitutable depending on your personal tastes (or what you have in your pantry.)

All-Dressed Party Mix | CaliGirlCooking.com

Once you have all of your ingredients, the rest of this All-Dressed Party Mix recipe is SUPER easy. Simply dump all of your cereals, nuts, etc. into your slow cooker, mix up your dressing, and pour it on. After giving the mixture a good stir, all that’s left is to turn the slow cooker on low for three hours and give the mixture a stir every once in a while. Once that’s done, you’ll need to spread the mix out and let it cool a bit, then you’re good to go!

Bowls and bowls of deliciousness ready to snack on all through a long night of festivities and watching the clock countdown to midnight. Now who’s bringing the bubbly??

All-Dressed Party Mix | CaliGirlCooking.com

All-Dressed Party Mix | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
All-Dressed Party Mix
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 10 mins
 

Traditional Chex mix gets a makeover with one of Canada's favorite seasoning combinations - BBQ sauce, ketchup, onion and vinegar come together to make this totally addictive party mix!

Course: Snack
Servings: 12 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 9 cups various Chex cereal
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks, broken in half
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Combine Chex cereal, pretzel sticks and nuts in your slow cooker.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, BBQ sauce, ketchup, salt, onion powder and vinegar. Pour over the cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly.

  3. Turn slow cooker on low for three hours. Stir mixture a few times throughout the cooking process so that the mix on the bottom doesn’t burn.

  4. Pour party mix onto a large cookie sheet and spread out evenly. Let cool for about 30 minutes and then serve, or store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to two weeks.

All-Dressed Party Mix | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Yummmmm…

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze

Little bites of heaven right here ↓

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

These Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze are going to be your new favorite thing. Pinky promise.  They’re perfectly sweet and tart at the same time, yet laced with savory herbs and cheese…and did I mention they’re drenched in the most fabulous, winter fruit-y glaze? C’monnnnn…You know you want to make these for your next holiday get-together!

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time now, you’ll know that I love anything that can pass for an hors d’oeuvres OR a full-fledged dinner. Take, for example, these Asiago Chipotle Shrimp Toasts or these Crab Zucchini Stuffing Cakes with Lemon-Basil Aioli. I mean, if you’re going to nail a recipe, you might as well nail one that can multitask, am I right?

These Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze most definitely fit the multitasking bill. I mean, I wouldn’t even be made if these showed up on the table for brunch. They do, after all, have a hefty serving of antioxidant-packed fruit AND protein. Can we get a heck ya?

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

A little BTS look at the development of what has become one of my go-to, most tasty recipes of the season: I actually had to practice these meatballs (and the accompanying sauce) a couple of times to really nail down the recipe. For the first go-around, the meatballs came out just a bit too dry and the sauce was just wayyyy too spicy yet tart at the same time. Even with a trip to Quebec City looming ahead of me, I just couldn’t bring myself to post the recipe as it was. I take this food blogging job very seriously and would hate to lead you astray with something I wasn’t completely happy with!

But then, oh but then. Round two of Turkey Cranberry Meatballs recipe testing began and the finished product was just showstopping! Hence, why I’m so very excited to share it with you today.

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

So, because I thought the meatballs were too dry the first time I tried this recipe, I decided to add some whole-milk ricotta in addition to the milk, Parmesan and egg. It gave these balls the perfect, even cheesier touch. I was a little worried that they would fall flat in the oven, but no sir-ee! They turned out just perfect.

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

For the glaze, I decided to tone down the orange juice and red pepper flakes and use maple syrup instead of sugar to add some extra dimension to the sweetener. These were the perfect adjustments! The glaze turned out perfectly sweet with just a hint of savory spice from the addition of some chicken broth and the pepper flakes.

The other great thing about these Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze is that they are sooo easy to prepare. All of the ingredients for the meatballs come together in one bowl, and the glaze can be made while the meatballs complete their first round in the oven.

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

We douse the meatballs in the glaze before the second round of baking, which results in them being perfectly moist and marinated. Once they’re done cooking through, the meatballs are ready to be served!

The hubs and I enjoyed these over some whole wheat pasta, but you could also serve them (as I mentioned) with toothpicks as an appetizer, or even over mashed potatoes or some sort of grain. I’m also thinking some Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze might be over-the-top delicious sandwiched in a hoagie roll or hot dog bun? Danggggg….I think I need to go make myself another batch now….

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Perfectly moist, cheese-y meatballs studded with dried cranberries and topped with a tangy cranberry, orange and maple glaze. The perfect appetizer or main dish for entertaining!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 18 meatballs
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the meatballs:
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup panko (or breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the glaze:
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Place dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, until cranberries become plump. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Add the olive oil to a small saute pan over medium heat. Once olive oil is heated, add the shallot and garlic, and saute for about 3 minutes, or until mixture becomes fragrant. Remove from heat.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, milk, egg, Parmesan, panko, ricotta, thyme, fennel pollen, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Drain the cranberries from their water and add them as well, stirring the whole mixture until all ingredients are well combined. 

  4. Coat a large baking dish (I used one that was 8 ½” x 12”) with nonstick cooking spray. Take approximately 1/3 cups’ worth of the meatball mixture at a time and mold it into a ball. Place in baking dish and repeat with rest of mixture. It’s okay if you have to pack them in tight to fit them all.

  5. Bake meatballs in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

  6. In the meantime, start making your glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until cranberries break down and a loose glaze forms. 

  7. When time is up for the meatballs, remove them from the oven and turn it down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If the glaze isn’t quite ready yet, just leave the meatballs out until it is (it shouldn’t be too long.)

  8. When the glaze is ready, pour it over the meatballs and return them to the now 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve warm.

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Oh yesssssss….