I love board games. I come from a board game family, if you will. Last weekend I had a few of my girlfriends over for appetizers and game night. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my friends did!
How cute are my little card plates? Nicole gave them to me a few years ago specifically for game night. Danielle looks pretty delighted with them!
For the menu, I just wanted simple, delicious food that I could prepare without ever turning on my oven. (It’s 100 degrees in Texas right now.) That meant a cheese plate, a few cold appetizers, and one crazy easy stovetop sausage kabob.
P.S. My camera was unfortunately dead so all of these photos were taken with my iPhone.
4 blocks of cheese: a cheddar, a bleu, a goat, and a fourth of your choosing (I chose brie but gruyere is another favorite of mine)
Fruit for garnish (I chose red and black currants)
Nuts for garnish
Jam or compote (delicious with brie!)
1) Arrange cheeses on a platter at least half an hour before a party so that they can come to room temperature.
2) Include apple slices, some kind of fruit for garnish (blueberries, grapes, and currants are all delicious), a sprinkling of nuts, and a jam of your choice that would pair nicely with your cheese selections.
3) Serve alongside assorted crackers and baguette slices.
Healthy Avocado Dip
2 small avocados
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plain yogurt*
Pinch garlic sea salt
1) Slice avocados in half, remove pits, and use a spoon to scoop out the meat. Puree with freshly squeezed lemon juice, yogurt, and a pinch of garlic sea salt in a food processor until smooth.
For game night, serve in individual ramekins so that you don’t have to pass dip back and forth. Besides, having your own means you can double and triple dip! Great with sugar snap peas (seen here), carrots, tomatoes, and crackers.
*I used half Greek, half regular because that’s what I had in my fridge. Greek will make it thicker, plain will make it runnier. Experiment with both to see what you like.
3 links chicken sausage
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
12 basil leaves
1) Slice sausage links. Toss slices in a pan with a bit of olive oil (just a bit – you’re not frying them!) and cook over medium heat, until browned on both sides. Yum! Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.
2) Skewer a cherry tomato, sausage slice, basil leave, another tomato, and another sausage slice. Repeat with remaining ingredients and arrange on a platter.
Northwest Cucumber Bites
Salmon mousse, purchased or homemade
1 hothouse cucumber
Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt* (or standard sea salt)
1) Thickly slice hothouse cucumber. Arrange on a platter.
2) Top with a spoonful of salmon mousse.
3) Sprinkle with Alaea sea salt (you can also use regular sea salt or Hawaiian sea salt) and chopped rosemary.
Note: I only used half the salmon mousse and half the cucumber for the five of us.
*Call Clara Ida Frances to have their delicious Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt shipped to you anywhere in the world: 903-342-6137.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn
I sadly can’t take credit for this recipe. I used Tiffani Thiessan’s recipe for peanut butter chocolate popcorn but I used hazelnuts instead of macadamia nuts and added cocoa nibs. Yum!
Fiori di Sicilia Whoopie Pies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tspFiori di Sicilia extract (1/2 tsp if using concentrated such as Amoretti)
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) Sift together flour, baking, and salt. Set aside.
3) Beat butter, shortening, and sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes with a stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well until incorporated. Add the buttermilk and beat well.
4) Combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar until frothy. (Isn’t baking fun?!) Alternate adding the milk mixture and the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until just combined. Add the fiori di sicilia extract and beat until combined.
5) Using a spoon, drop a tablespoon of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about two inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes each or until the whoopie pies start to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.
6) When cooled completely, fill with Fiori di Sicilia Marscapone, recipe below.
Fiori di Sicilia Marscapone
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup marscapone cheese, at room temperature
4 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp Fiori di Sicilia extract (1/2 tsp if using concentrated such as Amoretti)
1) Beat the marscapone with the butter until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar, beating well after each addition. Add the fiori di sicilia extract and beat until combined.
These keep in the fridge for days…if you manage not to eat them all the first night! Here’s how I styled them the following night to serve at a dinner I hosted:
Last but not least, my favorite photo of the night immortalizing that moment when Danielle drew a rough circle and a line and I correctly guessed “FISH BOWL!”