“Tailgate” At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

This post is sponsored by Farm Rich. All thoughts are my own. Visit your local grocery store to pick up Farm Rich snacks for game day!

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero
"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

It’s about that time of year the regular football season is ending, playoffs are starting, Fantasy Football where our Fantasy Football teams are down to the wire, playoffs are starting, and parties are being planned! 

We all know that when football is involved, so is tailgating.

Tailgating is really fun, but it’s a lot more work to tailgate than it looks. You have to buy your game tickets, get to the game early, find parking in a lot that lets you tailgate, make sure you have all your food with you, and then you have to cook it all… It’s a little like camping but only for a few hours in a parking lot.

Fun? Yes. A lot of work? Yes. Plus, could you imagine tailgating at this time of the year? It’s pretty chilly (unless you live in a warm climate, of course).

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

Instead of going through the trouble of tailgating at the game, you’ll probably have a lot more fun and save a lot more money if you “tailgate” at home! Inviting family and friends over to watch the game in the comfort of your home is a great alternative and far easier way to “tailgate.” You can get a bigger group of people together, and you can serve up delicious food and refreshing drinks without worrying whether you brought all the pieces of the portable grill or worrying about ice leaking out of the cooler into the rest of the car. 

To make things even less complicated and a lot more fun for yourself as a host, it’s a good idea to shop for food that’s ready to go. Buying and making all the food and drinks sound like a great idea, until you realize you only have a few hours the morning of the game to get everything together…plus cleaning your house, walking the dog, etc. It’s a lot to take on, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be falling asleep while trying to watch the game. 

Could you imagine all that you put in to hosting going to waste because you’re just too tired from putting everything together? That doesn’t sound fun at all.

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

Well, Farm Rich, one of America’s favorite snacks and appetizers brands, offers the best snacks for your game day “homegate” and has a few options to make your life easier and watching football games a lot more fun!

Why go through the trouble of making your favorites from scratch when they’ve already made all of your tailgating favorites like Loaded Potato Skins, Mozzarella Sticks, and Jalapeño Peppers ready to go, waiting for you in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store?

Add some cold, crisp Dr Pepper into the mix to go with your favorite tailgating snacks, and you’ve got an unbeatable combination that your guests will go crazy for! This tasty treat combo will be your new #HomegatingHero

Farm Rich‘s products are really easy to prepare and there are 2-3 ways to cook each product, so you can pick your favorite way to cook up everything. What I love about their products is that the cooking time is pretty short (around 10-12 minutes for the whole box) so you aren’t waiting too long for the food to come out, and everything is really easy to prepare. That means more time watching the live game and having a good time with your friends and family, instead of prepping food and watching the replays and highlights after everyone cheers and you realize you missed something awesome.

As we all know, stadium food can be too oily, fatty, and full of salt. Tasty, but not healthy! The Farm Rich products I had a chance to try taste great but don’t rely on butter or salt to flavor their food. You can see in the ingredients they use the basics needed to put the food together, which I really like. 

Even though Farm Rich‘s products are great snacks on their own, it’s fun to take their foods and do something extra! On the Loaded Potato Skins, I added some fresh chives for a little extra flavor. I would have added some sour cream, too, had someone not finished the sour cream I had in the fridge! Haha, I can’t be the only one with that problem. Adding some toppings can take your snacks to the next level, and if you have time to do so or if you have some good ingredients laying around the kitchen, I definitely think you should try it! 

Head to FarmRich.com/homegating to plan an easy, delicious and exciting game day spread from home, and score with your family and friends. There you’ll find some creative takes on Farm Rich recipes and ways to save on Farm Rich products. 

Whether you’re planning a full-scale home tailgating experience or a cozy day in when you watch football these next few weeks, grab some Farm Rich snacks to make things easy!

"Tailgate" At Home With Farm Rich! #HomegatingHero

I can’t wait to hit the grocery store and see what other Farm Rich products I want to try. I’m thinking that meatballs sound like a great idea!

The Easy Way To Make The Perfect Cheese Board

 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Ile De France Cheese

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard
Magazines and Pinterest are always showcasing them–overflowing with perfectly ripe fresh fruit, high-quality cured meats, perfectly flavored cheeses… Is it any wonder why putting together a cheese board or cheese platter can be such a daunting task for those of us who aren’t cheeseboard experts?!

I’ve been pretty intimidated by cheeseboards myself, but I’m finally getting comfortable with them. The truth behind putting a cheeseboard together is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you would like it to be. I wouldn’t call myself a cheeseboard expert but with these steps and tips, you’ll be all set to put together your own cheeseboard with ease.

You’re only a few quality ingredients and a few steps away from putting together a beautiful and inviting cheeseboard. 

Here’s what you need to know!

Decide what kind of cheeses you would like to put out.

Soft, semi-firm, aged, or bleu, there are so many different types of cheeses you can put out! To keep things simple, it’s best to stick to one or two types and perhaps get a couple of cheeses that fit into each of those categories. Here I have goat cheese, brie, and Saint André, which are all soft cheese, and a bleu cheese for those who love the flavor. 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Ile De France Cheese

Here are the exact cheeses I’m using:

  • Ile de France Brie 
  • Ile de France St. Agur
  • Ile de France Saint André
  • Ile de France Plain Goat Cheese

Each of these cheeses should be available in your local supermarket! Ile de France brings great flavor to all their cheeses. 

Decide which crackers/bread you want to put out, based on the cheeses.

There are so many types of crackers and breads to choose from, just like how theres plenty of cheese to choose from, too. Whole-grain? Water crackers? Woven wheat crackers? Multigrain? Seed crackers? White bread baguette? Breadsticks? One or two simple but tasty crackers and/or breads are a good choice for a cheeseboard. If you’re looking to make things simple and easy, pick crackers that will go will multiple cheeses and be able to hold the weight of the cheese. 

Any jams, dried fruit, or nuts to go with the cheese and crackers?

The stronger cheeses can be tied together with simpler ingredients like honey and nuts, while the milder cheeses will be well complemented by flavorful jam. You can also go the savory route with tapenades, pestos, and hummus spreads. Remember that you don’t need to have any of these, but they do add to the cheese and crackers, helping to tie all the flavors together. 

Any components to complement the cheese and crackers?

This is where you can get creative and think of what meats, fresh fruits, dried fruits, olives, etc. go with the flavors of your cheese board. Salamis, grapes, dried apricots, marinated olives, etc. help to really make the cheeseboard like it’s overflowing with so many options and flavor combinations. Don’t be afraid to add some color, texture, or flavor. 

If you’re skipping the toppings for the cheese and crackers, do make sure you have a few options to complement the cheese and crackers. If you’re skipping the meats, fruits, and other snack foods, have more options for spreads, jams and toppings for the cheese. Just don’t serve plain cheese and crackers–you’ll need something to make it look, feel, and taste more like a cheese platter. 

Arrange the board!

Layer the cheese and crackers in between all the other components of your board. To make things pretty, think of patterns in which you can arrange things. I’m using a simple wooden cheese board here so that the food on the board really stands out. 

Set out wines that pair well with the flavors of the cheeses!

Keep in mind that you may need to have 2-3 bottles to pair the wines and cheeses well, but it’ll be well worth it. Do a little research to figure out what types of wine go well with the cheeses you’ve selected. 

On this cheese board, the bleu cheese goes well with a cabernet sauvignon, the Saint André pairs well with a chardonnay or a white blend, the brie pairs well with any white wines, and the goat cheese pairs well with Bordeaux wines. So I’ll need at least a cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay or white blend, and a Bordeaux (which is closest to a merlot and cabernet sauvignon blend) to get the best flavor pairing. 

Here are the exact wines I’m using:

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Légendes wines are quite elegant but also affordable at about $18 each. The Georges Duboeuf wines are highly rated with the ones I’ve used rated at 90-91 points. The prices however are anywhere from $10-$35. Both makes are excellent, and I highly recommend their wines. 

And… that’s about it! Keep these simple rules and steps in mind, and you’ll put together a cheese board that no one will be able to keep their hands off of. Make a plan and stay cool! It’ll look great, and taste even better!

Things to keep in mind:

If you really want your cheese board to leave a good impression, you’ll want to read these tips. Keeping these things in mind will help you to assemble the best cheese board for your guests! 

Dietary restrictions and food allergies. Do any of the people you’re entertaining have dietary restrictions or food allergies? Any vegetarians in the group, or perhaps someone with the need for a gluten-free diet? If you don’t know or are unsure, it’s better to play it safe by keeping the certain components of your cheese board separate. It’s totally alright to arrange two or three smaller boards with those ingredients grouped separately, say by meat, cheese, and crackers. Your guests might thank you for it!

Cheese preferences. While most of us are probably big fans of cheese (the more, the better am I right?!), not everyone loves the same cheeses. Even within my own family, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to so many varieties of cheese. Stronger cheeses might not be universally loved by all your guests, even if you personally live for something as strong as a bleu cheese.  Do a little research and make sure your guests love the cheeses you wish to place on the board. It’s safe to have a mix of mild and strong flavors. Be sure to have different cheese knives for the different types of cheese so that they don’t mix! 

Labels. Labeling the items on your cheeseboard with little picks or maybe with a chalkboard next to your cheese platter will help your guests decide what they want to eat! It will help answer a lot of the questions your more curious guests might have. 

Show guests how to pair their wines and cheeses. It’s best to not assume that everyone is an expert when it comes to pairing their wines and cheeses. Kindly recommend some wine and cheese combinations for guests who may be a little shy, anxious, or just don’t know what to pair together! You can also put up a sign next to the cheese with some recommendations if you’re hosting a larger group of people. 

Use high quality ingredients. Sometimes it can be tempting to assemble a cheeseboard with inexpensive ingredients. I’m talking raisins, saltine crackers, overly-salted nuts, etc. It’s so much better to stick to a few high quality ingredients than to deck out the board with a variety of snacks. 

Add some character with some decorative flair! Candles, flowers, foliage, and other decor can take the look of your cheeseboard display to the next level! Just be sure that people can still get to the food easily enough. You don’t want anyone burning their sleeves on a tea light just because they wanted to slice some brie. 

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // Legende Wines The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard // George Duboeuf Wines

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

The Easy Way To Build The Perfect Cheeseboard

What do you think? How do you feel better about assembling a cheeseboard now? What else would you add to your cheeseboard?

Raspberry Mules with Absolut Elyx

This post is sponsored by Pernod Ricard, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

To kick off one of the best times of the year, we celebrated with some raspberry mules using Absolut Elyx. A twist on a simple and gently sweet Moscow mule, the raspberry cordial used gives the raspberry mules a hint of fresh fruit.

It’s not every day that I have the time or patience to put few cocktails together at home, but sometimes it’s a really nice change of pace. Now that we are all entertaining more than usual due to the holiday season, I’m getting into the habit of making and serving drinks at home when friends and family are over.

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

One of the best things about making cocktails at home? Getting to control all of the ingredients that go into the drink. Plus, it can be pretty fun to put cute cocktails together am I right?

I’m using Absolut Elyx. as the vodka in these raspberry mules. It’s the world’s first single estate copper crafted vodka, coming straight from Sweden.

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

What do we they mean by “single estate?” It’s pretty cool—all the wheat used in product is grown on one single estate in southern Sweden. And the entire production of the vodka takes place within a 15 mile radius. This is how Absolut can guarantee their high quality vodka. They control the entire process themselves.

How does Absolut Elyx taste? Simply put, really good. Absolut Elyx has a silky smooth taste to it due to the way it’s made. They actually use a unique copper catalyzation process to produce Absolut Elyx. Absolut works to make sure the vodka achieves maximum contact with copper. They also use hand operated copper techniques and skills that only a select few know. Copper isn’t just in the name, it’s part of the process. Copper makes it better!

With quality ingredients and state-of-the-art processing, it’s pretty easy to see why this luxury vodka deserves a place on our bar carts.

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

Raspberry cordial is simple to make, and making it at home instead of buying a bottle at the liquor store can make all the difference in how refreshing the cocktail tastes. Store brands may have additives you’re unaware of or high levels of sugar, which isn’t very healthy.

Knowing that I’m using high quality ingredients when I’m using freshly squeezed lime juice, homemade raspberry cordial, and Absolut Elyx makes me feel like I can have a nice cocktail without worrying about additives, extra sugar, or anything else that could be harmful. Plus, I feel so much better about making drinks for friends!

It’s easy to take shortcuts with what we put in our bodies—low quality alcohol, low quality liqueurs, low quality fruits and garnishes. In fact, it’s all relatively inexpensive. But we might really pay for it someday, and I don’t really want to wait around and find out what that stuff will do to me.

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

 

Raspberry Mules with Absolut Elyx

Ingredients

  • 3 parts Absolut Elyx.
  • 1 part Fresh Homemade Raspberry Cordial
  • 1 part Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • Top Ginger Beer
  • Fresh raspberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a copper mule mug or a highball glass with crushed ice.
  2. Pour the vodka, raspberry cordial, and lime juice over the ice.
  3. Top with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
http://www.thesassylife.com/raspberry-mules-with-absolut-elyx/

The copper bar tools I’m using made things a lot more fun. The color and shine on the tools are so stunning, I found myself mesmerized as I was using them (ooooh, shiny!). You can browse through all the shiny copper bar tools on the Elyx Boutique. They’re the perfect addition to your cocktail-making arsenal. Plus, they’re seriously beautiful in person. The way they catch the light—wow, you would think I’m talking about diamonds or something. Copper makes it better!

Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules Absolut Elyx // Raspberry Mules

Making and serving raspberry mules to friends and family is fun, but I love having the peace of mind of using quality ingredients like Absolut Elyx. Available in select stores, I highly recommend Absolut Elyx for both its quality and its taste.