Last month, I was chosen to host a Tapeña® Wine and Tapas House Party™. For those of you unfamiliar with House Party I highly suggest you check out there website. Most of you know that this isn’t my first House Party I’ve hosted, you can also view my other various House Parties I’ve hosted in the past year; Shutterfly, Bull’s Eye Bold Sauce BBQ, Boboli, Thai Kitchen, and Tombstone Pizza! Needless to say, I was excited to throw a wine party, but a bit intimidated to throw a tapas party. I really did not know anything about tapas other than the word tapas means “small plates”. I asked for all of my guest to bring a tapas dish to share with others. My husband and I provided the wine and a few tapas dishes as well!

We received a box a few weeks prior to the party that all the things you would need to throw a great tapas party! 

Everyone who came to the party got rubber fork wine charms, magnetic picture frames, coupons, and wine tasting cards. 

Prior to the party I went to my local Total Wine & Beer to purchase the Tapeña® wine. As people started coming in to our home we started opening up bottles of wine! 

 Above, I am pictured with two of my newly made food blog friends, Julius from Droolius the Blog and Terri from Love & Confections. I met them last month at the Food Blog Forum Seminar

Terri’s husband, Matt, was our sommelier for the evening! He did a great job explaining the two wines to  everyone! We had the Garnacha and Tempranillo wines. Unfortunately, my Total Wine & Beer does not carry any of the white wines. Hopefully one of these days I’ll get to try the whites! 

I received a small bag of Spanish spices and decided to toss some steamed cold shrimp in a little olive oil and spices. 

I made two different types of pork skewers! One tossed in the Spanish spices and the other tossed in an oregano mixture {recipe to come later this week}. 
Julius cooked up some Mushroom and Onion Quesadillas. He is not a cook he is a food photographer, but did an awesome job making these quesadillas! 
I made shrimp and parsley toast {recipe to come later this week}. 

My friend Lindsay made a quick and easy baked brie… really no baking involved, just a little microwave action! 
I made some sweet and savory pumpkin empanadas {recipe to come later this week}! The sweet were chocked full of brown sugar and cinnamon and the savory had bits of bacon, thyme, and black pepper! 

           Friends talking about food and wine! 

I made some mixed grilled vegetables {recipe to come later this week}!

I also put together a nice tapas sampler platter which included some quince paste. I searched high and low for this stuff. As I shopped store to store I kept getting looks like I was some sort of alien. If you are looking for it I found it at Whole Foods. It is also known as Membrillo. It’s very sweet and pairs well with manchego cheese. 

Terri from Love & Confections made an amazing Spanish Almond Custard Tort. Keep your eyes peeled on her blog–she will be posting the recipe in the coming weeks! 

I made these delicious little white chocolate raspberry mouse phyllo cups. I wasn’t happy with the picture so the next day I bought the ingredients again, made it, and rephotographed them! Of course it didn’t hurt that they are amazing and super easy to make! I’ll be posting the recipe later on this week!
We all had a wonderful time and we were past due for an awesome House Party get together. I hope you enjoyed my virtual House Party! 

read more

At the beginning of last month I saw on the House Party site that they were looking for applicants to host a Tombstone Haunted House party! Without hesitation I put my application in. I knew this would be the absolute perfect party for me to host since for the past 2 years we’ve hosted a Halloween party, and we were planning on hosting a 3rd! I was wishing and hoping I would get this party–not only to try a wide variety of products, but to cut down on my total grocery bill for this annual event. Well, sure enough… I got it, and began planning my menu around Tombstone pizza’s! 

I must admit that not only myself, but ALL my guest were pleasantly surprised by how delicious the Tombstone Pizza’s were. I think it had been quite some time since all of us had bought the Tombstone Pizza brand, and I know that–that will not be the case any more! In fact I loaded up on a few pizza’s today since they were on sale at my local grocery store!

We also got to try some delicious Nestle Tollhouse Cookies, now who can resist these awesome prepackaged cookies? Not I, nor anyone else at the part! Out of the 48 cookies I had baked only a handful of sugar cookies were left by the end of the night!

Not only did the kids get to bring some candy home, but so did the adults. Wonka candy, to boot! Butterfingers, nerds, sweet tarts, and laffy taffy! 

Here is some more information on Tombstone Pizza found directly from the website
Founded in 1962, TOMBSTONE® pizza began its days in “The Tombstone Tap,” a bar located across from a graveyard in Medford, Wisconsin.  Today, TOMBSTONE is a nationally distributed frozen pizza brand that provides consistently good, unmistakable flavor with just the right combination of sauce, cheese, crust, and every day toppings.
“What do you want on your Tombstone?”  With over 12 different flavor varieties and multiple crust types to choose from, your family can have TOMBSTONE pizza your way.  Whether you want Original Pepperoni, Half Pepperoni/Half Cheese, or Garlic Bread crust, TOMBSTONE has something to please everyone! 
You can find TOMBSTONE in the frozen section at your grocery store. 
We love Halloween in my house, so naturally we love to decorate for the holiday. Here is a picture of the front of the house during the daylight hours (not too creepy, but when you see it at night it can be a little eerie)! 
One of the very cool spooky tree’s my husband painted for our party! 
This is what the entry way to our home looked like… Fun House mirror, rustic coffin, hour glass that ultimately translates to “your time is running out”! 
And if you look closer at the coffin you just might see that someone is trying to escape!!! 
Now that you’ve gotten a small glimpse at our decorations now its time for the food! If you want to see more decorations and how we made some of it make sure you stop by our craft blog; Sew Woodsy
**Now onto the food!** 
The prep work… look at how cool these cookies are??? They come pre-stamped. 
Here are a few of the pumpkin sugar cookies. 
I took all the remaining cut out pieces and molded them into 5 extra cookies! 
No wasting here! 
Some of these pumpkin cookies look scared baking in the oven!
Mmm freshly baked chocolate chip cookies! 
**The night of the party**
Pulling the pizza out of the oven!
Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza (Look at all that pepperoni)!!! 
Cutting the Tombstone Supreme Pizza!

Tombstone Supreme Pizza; full of veggies & meats!!! 
Tombstone Pizza & Jazz Hands!
Ok, now a little leisurely pose with the Tombstone Pizza! 
Tombstone pizza is fit for princesses, too! 
I must say I made a rocking Spinach & Artichoke dip (recipe to come)! 
Along with some veggies and tortilla chips to dip with! 
Eyeball Caprese’s anyone?
Intestines anyone? 
Actually it was an awesome Jalapeno Popper Dip (recipe to come later on this week)!
6 layer spider dip (recipe to come later this week)! 
Look at Frankenstein… peaking above my fridge! 
Spooky baked sweet treats (New awesome red velvet cake recipe to come)! 
Nestle Tollhouse Cookies!
Sugar cookies on the left, Chocolate Chip Cookies on the right! 
**Some of the best costumes of the night**
Funniest Costume went to the 1950’s Nerd! 
Best Couple went to Jack & Oogie Boogie! 
Most Creative went to the “tea baggers”! 
The host & hostess; Mr. Chaplin & his ladies! 
Lastly… a few of my blogger friends in real life!
On the left is Christy from Through My Looking Glass, next to her (silver flapper) is Kristi from The Unknown Florida, ME w/ Katie’s Cucina & Sew Woodsy, and lastly, Ricardo from The Beer Guerrilla.
Thank you House Party for choosing me to host the Tombstone Haunted Pizza Party, and a big thanks to all my friends who came and made the night memorable! 
Disclaimer: I received free products from Tombstone and House Party. This post is a reflection of my opinions and is not tied to either of the brands. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. 

Linked to: 

Entertain Exchange

read more
A few week’s back I was selected to host a Thai Kitchen House Party (some of you may have already known that if you follow me on twitter). I’ve used Thai Kitchen products quite a few times, and was so excited to see a party like this being offered, so I instantly applied, and was very happy when I found out that I was selected to throw this house party. I knew that a majority of my friends had never cooked Thai food at home, and some have never even consumed it! I knew it would be a great product to represent and introduce to my friends. 
I am declaring this week as Thai Week at Katie’s Cucina. 
I’ll provide you with all of the recipes I made at my Thai kitchen party PLUS one lucky winner will receive a Thai Kitchen reusable grocery bag with a recipe pamphlet and coupons! One winner will be selected at random on Friday, October 1st at 12:00pm EST. You will have up to three chances to enter; here’s how:
1. Become an active follower on my blog 
 (leave a comment under this post letting me know that your a new follower).
2. If your already are an active follower of my blog leave a comment below. 
3. Follow me on twitter (leave a comment below/if you already follow tell me).
4. “Like” my Facebook Page (leave a comment below/if you already follow tell me).

Here are just a few of the products sent to me for the Thai Kitchen party (at the time of the picture I had already used 2 cans of Coconut Milk). 
On top of all the great product Thai Kitchen sent me they also sent place-mats, napkins, and chop sticks (along with the goodie bags handed out at the end). 
Here is a picture of our pool table converted into a 12-top dinning table; set and ready for guest! 
Some of our friends enjoying there food! 
I must admit that I really enjoyed planning the menu for this event. I knew the sky {was kind of} the limit with this party. The Thai Kitchen website gives so many great recipes and examples of way to cook dishes that I honestly had a difficult time limiting myself to just a few dishes! All-in-all I would say that the Chicken Satay Skewers, Chicken Pad Thai, and Thai Fried Rice were among the favorites. 
We had 12 friends and 3 children who attended the party (not including my husband and myself), and everyone loved the easy recipes and readily available ingredients used to make these dishes. Out of our 12 friends; five had consumed Thai food at a restaurant before and out of those five only one had cooked Thai food at home. All five friends had agreed that they would definitely be making a Thai Kitchen recipe at home and having “Family Thai Nights”. The other seven had never had Thai food at a restaurant nor at home, and they all really enjoyed the diverse flavors that Thai food has to offer. All of them talked about making the Chicken Pad Thai at home now knowing that its a simple and quick recipe to cook on a busy work night!

On a side note: two of my friends in real life came to my house party and are also bloggers. Make sure you check out: Anngela & Ashley‘s blogs!

Here is what our menu consisted of (recipes to come later this week): 
Thai Iced Tea (A twist on a Southern classic)
Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut & Sweet Chili Sauces
(messy to make, but delicious to eat)
Red Curry with Shrimp & Vegetables served with Jasmine Rice
Thai Fried Rice (*Vegetarian Option)
Cold Peanut Noodle Salad (*Vegetarian Option)
The infamous Chicken Pad Thai
… And for dessert:

Coconut Ginger Ice Cream was churned a few days prior to the event
Chocolate Coconut Cake (complimented very well with the ice cream)! 
I hope everyone will enjoy Thai week at Katie’s Cucina and have your own Family Thai Night at home! Remember, to enter the contest!!!

read more
Once again I was chosen to host a house party. This time it was sponsored by Boboli pizza crust. Boboli’s marketing campaign for the summer is “Beat BBQ Boredom” and it makes a lot of sense. Instead of grilling the same old hamburgers and hot dogs–grill pizzas! Most people (like me) don’t even think about grilling pizzas, so this was a nice change and a great way to introduce a wonderful product to our family. We had the chance to sample the original, whole wheat, and thin crust varieties along with some wonderful “gourmet” (as they were called at our party) pizzas! 
I think the over all consensus of the favorite pizza of the evening tied… both the Lime Chicken & Cilantro Pizza and the Honey Mustard Chicken pizzas were among the favorites (both of these recipes to come).  Below you’ll find a few pictures from our party. *Stay tuned for a cool Boboli giveaway!!!
My husband the “grill master” grilling the pizza crust before we could start putting the toppings on!

Our 4 pizza’s on the grill cooking!


            Honey Mustard Chicken Pizza       Lime Chicken & Cilantro Pizza

              Spinach & Artichoke Pizza            Caprese Pizza

Look at that beautiful pizza (oops I mean husband)!

Honey Mustard Chicken pizza moving off the grill in action!

Cooked, Cut, & Ready to eat! 

The family enjoying there Boboli Grilled pizzas!

Pizza is on the table and moving quickly!

Stay tuned for some great pizza recipes!

read more

Bull’s Eye Bold Sauce BBQ

As I announced a few week’s back. I was chosen to have a Bull’s Eye Bold Suace BBQ powered by House Party. Well last night was the big night and I think it was a success. Everyone seemed to enjoy all the food and had fun playing games. Bull’s-Eye was gracious enough to provide us with there 4 new BOLD sauces; Kansas City, Memphis, Carolina, and Texas! I think the overall consensus of the BBQ was that everyone loved the Kansas City BOLD sauce. I had paired it with a wonderful Pulled Pork!

But I honestly think the biggest hit of the evening was my home-made ice cream bar!!! Starting this week I’ll start posting about a few of the items I cooked up at the BBQ; Pulled Pork, Cucumber Salad, Mandarin Coleslaw, and quite a few recipes for home-made ice cream and sherbet! Below are some pictures from yesterday’s festivities. I can’t wait to host my next House Party!!! I love the site and it gives a great excuse to bring friends together for an evening! If you haven’t joined House Party yet you need too!

My husband, the grill master!
The chicken wings & the sauces that were used!
Bird’s eye view of most of the food! 
The gang enjoying all the food!
The guys enjoying corn hole. Duane & Cody were the winners!!!
The Home-Made Ice Cream bar!!!
Picture from Front to back; Triple Berry Buttermilk Sherbet, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cookies & Cream, French Vanilla, Vanilla with Strawberries.
Kyla & Cody enjoyed making there own ice cream treats!!!

read more