Food/Drink

On Sunday, May 6th, with the help of my fabulous co-hosts Jen Znosko, Amy Schuster, and Julie Fowler, I hosted a Mother’s Day brunch to benefit Westchester elementary.  It was a fun way to raise money for the school while also taking time to celebrate moms who work so hard for their families and communities. The goal of the party was to allow moms to have fun and celebrate Mother’s Day free of distractions for a few hours.

Just like the selfie scavenger hunt we hosted back in April, this was also a fundraising sign-up party. In honor of the beautiful spring weather, we created a light brunch menu. First up were some cute “mom-osas” served with pink-and-white straws and “spa” water (fruit-infused water). Along with plenty of brunch finger foods, a simply decadent chocolate tasting courtesy of Bissinger’s Chocolates was a perfect way to round out the menu.

Mom-osa brunch

We wanted to keep the brunch menu simple yet delicious, so we chose finger foods and appetizers that everyone was sure to enjoy. Nothing is more simple and scrumptious brunch food than skewers. You’ll see there were several on the Mother’s Day brunch menu, and they certainly didn’t disappoint!

Here’s what was on the menu:

“Mom-osas”

The perfect fun brunch drink to celebrate amongst fellow hard working moms.  The stunning signs were done by Elizabeth at Gladly Designs.

Mom-osa brunch

Momosa brunch

Spa Water

We loved having two different types of infused water to keep things fresh and light. My favorites were Detox Cucumber (cucumber infused water) and Citrus (oranges, lemons, and basil).  These H2Os were beautiful and refreshing!

Veggie Cups and Dip

Veggie cups

The veggie cups with dip were simple, delicious and healthy; a can’t-miss brunch food idea!  Simply put some dip in the bottom of clear plastic cups, then place carrot and celery sticks, broccoli and a tiny skewer of grape tomatoes in the cup on top of the dip. These made such a bright, colorful, and fun addition to our brunch food.

Bacon Skewers

Bacon Skewers

If you want an amazing brunch item that looks simple but is anything but simple in the taste department, then trust me—these bacon skewers MUST for your next gathering! They were spicy, sweet and simply amazing! Amy found these taste bud electrifiers on Pinterest, and I couldn’t stop eating them. Get the recipe here

Yogurt parfaits with Irene’s granola

Irene's granola parfait

Here’s another simple brunch food idea that was beautiful and easy to assemble. For our yogurt parfaits, we simply layered yogurt over fresh-cut fruit, then topped it off with Irene’s soft granola for a little bowl of heaven!  Irene’s granola is made locally in Kirkwood and is amazing.

Quiche

Momosa brunch

You can’t host a brunch without serving quiche, right? It’s a great brunch food since it’s filling, but pairs perfectly with finger foods and appetizers. For our quiche, we decided to offer some variety with a two-pack from Costco. We chose the spinach-artichoke and cheddar-broccoli flavors from La Terra Fina, and we were super pleased.  They were healthy and delicious!  Check out their site for a coupon.  My friend Jen said the spinach-artichoke dip is amazing.  I can’t wait to try that too!

Fruit Kabobs

fruit kabobs

Who doesn’t love a fruit kabobs?   These little gems were on our brunch menu! So light, so delicious, and so easy! Cut the fruit and skewer.

Donut Hole pops

Donut Pops

This was an easy brunch treat to assemble and provided such a fun presentation.  My friend Julie bought a box of Munchkins donut holes from Dunkin Donuts.  We skewered each one and served.  Perfection!

All these foods were super easy for a busy mom who doesn’t have time to be slaving away in the kitchen.  These would be great ideas if you are hosting a baby or wedding shower, graduation parties or having brunch with your favorite girls.  Whatever your event, this easy and simple menu will give you more time to toast with your friends.  Cheers!

XOXO

Sarah~

Special thanks to my co-hostesses Jen, Amy, and Julie.
The businesses who made this party special:  Elizabeth from Gladly designs for all the beautiful signs and food tents, Irene’s granola for the amazing granola.

Photos from @missverajeanae_

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My Karuna organic drinks.

The beverage section of most grocery stores is flooded with options.  As tasty as a lot of them are, most are loaded with sugars, additives, and preservatives.  Whether it’s a drink to re-hydrate you or one to serve as a meal replacement, navigating away from unhealthy chemicals is sometimes a challenge.

I recently came across My Karuna a line of drinks that will keep you on a healthy track, leaving you feeling better about what you’re putting in your body.

My Karuna

My Karuna is a St. Louis-based company started by Angela Zeng in 2017.  The core philosophy behind their drinks is compassion for good health.  Their four main categories are coffee, smoothie, detox, and hydration.

As an on-the-go working mom, I need a major jolt of caffeine to start my day.  However, I’ve found that the average cup of coffee wears off halfway through the morning.  My Karuna offers two kinds of coffee drinks that are focused on extended energy, so you won’t experience a crash or drop-off like with most drinks.  The energy comes from not just the organic coffee beans, but the other power food ingredients.  Actually, the caffeine content and calorie count are significantly lower than a gourmet cup of coffee, so less is actually more in this case.  You can choose from their sesame or turmeric options.  Sesame promotes heart and bone health, and turmeric helps maintain a healthy inflammation response.  Both drinks are chock full of vitamins and minerals, like B6, copper, and manganese.  One of these will give you a steady level of energy so you can tackle whatever comes at you during the day.  My absolute favorite of the two drinks is the Boost Sesame coffee.

My Karuna coffee

My Karuna’s smoothie line is a fabulous alternative to the local smoothie store, whose choices are packed with sugars and unnecessary chemicals, even though they advertise as being a healthy addition to your diet.  My Karuna’s whole plant smoothies contain terrific levels of protein and fiber, and come in three different focuses: empower, pro-wellness and pro-fit.  While some other smoothies may cause concern about the fiber levels cooperating with their digestive system,  My Karuna’s is made with almond milk, which is easy on the tummy.  If I know I’m going to have a busy day and may have to work through lunch I’ll take a smoothie with me to drink on the go.  I like the pro-wellness flavor the best it has a sweet-tart taste.

My Karuna

One trend that has gained a lot of popularity in the past several years, is the detox line of products.  Whether drinks or a structured diet, the focus is to clean your body of toxins.  When you think of great antioxidant foods, one of the first that comes to mind is blueberries.  One bottle of My Karuna’s tonic contains the same ORAC level (a measurement of antioxidants) as 3.5 cups of blueberries!  St. Louis is notorious for being an area where people with allergies suffer during the spring, summer, and fall.  This drink is an absolute cure-in-a-bottle because many dedicated customers vouch that their allergies improved and they avoided paying for costly over-the-counter or prescribed medicines.  This product is also great to give to kids with their breakfast, ensuring a healthy start to the day.  To help make the taste more appealing to little ones, just add a little orange juice, and they’ll guzzle it down.

My Karuna with boys

 

 

 

 

 

My Karuna Detox with boysMost people don’t drink enough water during a day and tend to be under-hydrated.  My Karuna’s low-calorie whole plant tonic hydration formula is just the answer.  While re-hydrating you, you’ll also be getting a huge dose of Vitamin A, and the other organic ingredients promote healthy skin and hair; so you’ll feel and look good!

Now, remember that because all these drinks contain only the best organic ingredients, they’re not going to taste like the sugar-loaded drinks you’re used to.  It took me a little time to adjust to these healthy flavors, and now I crave them.  My kids are fans too.

My Karuna drinks can be found in Whole Foods, Dierbergs, Fresh Thyme and Straub’s in St. Louis.  To all my LA friends they are coming to you soon.  Check them out.  Which one are you ready to try?  To learn more check out MyKaruna.com

XOXO  Sarah

 

*This post is sponsored by my Karuna but all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy appetizers and drinks I served at my holiday swag bag party.  

Cheers Sarah, Christine, Rachel and Ann Santa define nice

 

 

 

 

 

I was in search of some easy appetizers and drinks to make for my holiday swag bag party.  I called my go-to foodie friend Christine to discuss options.  I knew she’d be a big help, because she knows I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking, but still want to wow my guests with a fun snacks and drinks.  

The primary goal for my menu was to serve appetizers I could assemble quickly, that would require three or fewer ingredients. I decided to showcase a mix of sweet and savory apps that were served cold and hot.

Here’s what I chose:

filo cups

Spinach Filo Cups.  

  • Filo cups
  • Your favorite dip (spinach artichoke works great!)

This is my “go-to” appetizer for all my parties, and are a huge hit.  They look really fancy, but they’re the easiest tasty bites to assemble.  Dierbergs carries already-baked filo cups.  While you’re there grab some of their fresh spinach artichoke dip.  All you do is spoon the dip into the filo cups, and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  You can also order them at pre-assembled, and take them home to bake.  

Anne and Sarah Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crockpot Meatballs

  • 1 package of meatballs
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays’ Honey Chipotle is really good).
  • 1 jar of apricot jelly

The crockpot can be your best friend when hosting a party.  Just throw the ingredients into the crock, and it takes care of the rest.  The apricot jelly adds a different twist to this classic appetizer.  My guests raved about this one, and requested the recipe.

cream cheese stars

Red Pepper Stars

  • 1 brick of cream cheese
  • 1 bottle of red pepper jelly

Divide and cut the cream cheese into a creative shape using a cookie cutter.  To prevent the cream cheese from sticking, spray the cookie cutter with Pam.  Then just top your shapes with the red pepper jelly, and enjoy with toast bites or crackers.  These are a simple way to make the holidays special.  For Valentine’s Day do hearts, shamrocks for St Patrick’s Day, and pumpkins for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

Baked goat cheese and marinara

  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara
  • 1 log of goat cheese
  • Fresh basil for garnish

This appetizer was inspired by my favorite tapas restaurant in St. Louis: Barcelona.  It’s so simple and looks so festive.  All you have to do is pour the marinara sauce into small baking dish.  Next slice the goat cheese and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until toasted and sauce is bubbling.  Serve with toast bites.

Cinnamon Chip Breadbowl

Cinnamon chip bread bowl

  • Cinnamon Chip bread bowl  from @Great Harvest Bread Co
  • Cheesecake fruit dip
  • Apple slices

I love making this Cinnamon Chip bread bowl into an amazing party treat.  This bread tastes like heaven!  Just core out the top and put in the smooth and tasty cheesecake fruit dip from Dierbergs’ deli department.  I also like to serve it with fresh apple slices.  If you’re looking for a show-stopper; this is it!

 

chocolate dipped clementines

Chocolate covered clementines

  • Clementines
  • Dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • Sea Salt

First, peel and divide the clementines.  Next, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, and dip half of the clementine into the chocolate.  Sprinkle with sea salt before the chocolate hardens.  Finally, place them on parchment paper and let cool in the refrigerator.  

Veggie Platter

Veggies and Dip from Dierbergs

I like having veggies as a healthy option for my guests.  I ordered a veggie platter from Dierberg’s because they’re always fresh and beautiful.  Just throw them onto your own platter and it looks like you did all the preparation.  

Buntini's

Bundtinis from “Nothing Bundt Cakes”

These delicious miniature bundt cakes, may be small, but pack a punch for any sweet tooth. Nothing Bundt Cakes has two   locations in Chesterfield and Brentwood.  They have a compact variety of flavors in six types of products (i.e. bundt cakes and bundt towers).  I went with chocolate chocolate chip (yep, that’s twice the chocolate) and red velvet for this party, and they all disappeared quick.

What we drank:

Very peary cocktail

Very Peary Breeze

  • 1 part pear vodka
  • 1 part cranberry juice
  • 1 part apple juice
  • Frozen cranberries
  • Rosemary

Just like the name indicates, this drink is like a fresh breeze.  Once mixing the three drink ingredients, throw in some frozen cranberries.  These make for festive ice cubes, a nice pop of color, and keeps your drink cold without watering it down.  Finally, garnish with rosemary.   

Wine decisions red or white? Heather C

I also had a variety of red and white wines and water on hand.  You can jazz it up the water by putting a large ice cube with frozen oranges and cranberries inside the container.  

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So that covers what we ate and drank at the Swag Bag Party.  If you missed all the fun swag items you will want to check that out here.  The recipe for the Peary Beary Cocktail here and other party ideas here.
Next I’ll be showing you how I turned my office wall  into a photo back drop.  Here’s a sneek peek.
Photo wall
XOXO  Sarah
Party Pic photos by the talented @verajeanaephotography

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