Reluctant Entertainer http://reluctantentertainer.com Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:29:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Creating Community with Spritzy Apple Cider Floats http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/spritzy-apple-cider-floats/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/spritzy-apple-cider-floats/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:00:18 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32144 These Spritzy Apple Cider Floats are delicous to serve at a Halloween or Harvest party, and even better if served with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Spending time with people always makes sense to me, because I’m a people person. But not everyone is a people person, so sometimes I feel led to help others […]

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These Spritzy Apple Cider Floats are delicous to serve at a Halloween or Harvest party, and even better if served with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Spritzy Apple Cider Floats | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Spending time with people always makes sense to me, because I’m a people person. But not everyone is a people person, so sometimes I feel led to help others feel more connected.

There’ve been times in my life where people have connected with me, or my husband, and what a gift that was!

So why not pass on the gift of sharing your friends and connections with others?

Creating community.

I call it creating community, where we glean, learn, and benefit from experiences, sharing of wisdom, and relationships building.

It’s an important part of life, and without it, our lives can be very shallow, lonely and … sad.

Spritzy Apple Cider Floats | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Earlier this week I hosted a few ladies for dinner. Oh, and I served these yummy Spritzy Apple Cider Floats for dessert, but more in a bit.

A spark.

This is how it this party came to be. It started with a spark, an idea … (that’s how beautifully hospitality works!), and then it just flowed. I planned a simple menu, and it all came together

Continue reading: Creating Community with Spritzy Apple Cider Floats

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A Chili Party: 5-Ingredient Beef Chili Recipe http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/5-ingredient-beef-chili-recipe/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/5-ingredient-beef-chili-recipe/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:59:30 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32108 This 5-Ingredient Beef Chili Recipe is perfect for Halloween or any chili party–double, triple, or quadruple the batch for a large crowd! Hospitality is all about comfort. No matter what. Being hospitable on Halloween or when celebrating the harvest is about making people feel welcome, warm, and serving them delicious comfort food, such as my 5-Ingredient Beef […]

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This 5-Ingredient Beef Chili Recipe is perfect for Halloween or any chili party–double, triple, or quadruple the batch for a large crowd!

5-Ingredient Beef Chili Recipe | ReluctantEntertainer.com
Hospitality is all about comfort. No matter what.

Being hospitable on Halloween or when celebrating the harvest is about making people feel welcome, warm, and serving them delicious comfort food, such as my 5-Ingredient Beef Chili recipe today!

My favorite part of planning a chili party is setting the table and figuring out the menu! And then, thinking about the details, making sure that the guests are nice and comfy.

You know when it’s been a successful dinner party when the food is devoured and the guests linger, wanting to hang around! I love both of those so much! I think as women–because to many food is our love language–it feels so good to know that our guests have enjoyed the meal and had a good time.

5-Ingredient Beef Chili Recipe | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Two for one.

I’m excited to share with you a very simple chili recipe today that we recently made for our guests, and which I also doubled to surprise another family with a “fall” dinner, as a thank you from our family

Continue reading: A Chili Party: 5-Ingredient Beef Chili Recipe

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Getting to the Soul of Bacon Mushroom Ragu Pasta http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/bacon-mushroom-ragu-pasta-recipe/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/bacon-mushroom-ragu-pasta-recipe/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:00:41 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32090 This Bacon Mushroom Ragu Pasta Recipe is comforting and delicious for any quick weeknight meal. My husband is my inspiration. He runs a small nonprofit, coaches high school soccer, cycles regularly and works out {plus eats very healthfully}, is the best husband and dad in the world, he’s smart, witty, funny, reads a lot, and […]

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This Bacon Mushroom Ragu Pasta Recipe is comforting and delicious for any quick weeknight meal.

Bacon Mushroom Ragu Pasta | ReluctantEntertainer.com

My husband is my inspiration. He runs a small nonprofit, coaches high school soccer, cycles regularly and works out {plus eats very healthfully}, is the best husband and dad in the world, he’s smart, witty, funny, reads a lot, and he often sends me quick emails or texts when he comes across something that could help me with my blog. He’s the gardener around here (I putz in the garden), I cook with the harvest, he tells me what’s “missing,” and then we both play around with the spice. I’ve volunteered for his organization for years booking airfare, emailing, sending out book and DVD orders (he has a new book coming out March 2015!). We’re a team.

We sit together, usually in the living room now that it’s cold and rainy outside, and enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Rarely all 3 in a day, but since we both work from home, it happens more often than not.

We text and email each other from the same house, but in different rooms, which is sort of hilarious. But true.

Getting to the soul of food.

Last week he read through comments on this post, and then Heidi’s interview with Gina, and sent me a few words of inspiration. He’s usually right. Did I say that right? LOL. Yes, he’s usually right. (Those are good words to say in a marriage.)

Baby, you get to the soul of food. It’s not Soul Food, but Getting to the Soul of Food

Continue reading: Getting to the Soul of Bacon Mushroom Ragu Pasta

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The Pioneer Woman’s A Year of Holidays Cookbook + Le Creuset {3 Winners!} Giveaway! http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/pioneer-woman-le-creuset-giveaway/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/pioneer-woman-le-creuset-giveaway/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 07:01:55 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32055 Friends, just in time for the holidays, I’ve put together a fantastic giveaway for 3 of my readers to win a copy of A Year of Holidays, by Ree Drummond PLUS a 4-qt. Rectangular Dish from Le Creuset. That’s right 3 people win both items (book and dish) and you get to choose your favorite color (subject […]

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The Pioneer Woman's A Year of Holidays Cookbook + Le Creuset {3 Winners!} Giveaway!

Friends, just in time for the holidays, I’ve put together a fantastic giveaway for 3 of my readers to win a copy of A Year of Holidays, by Ree Drummond PLUS a 4-qt. Rectangular Dish from Le Creuset.

That’s right 3 people win both items (book and dish) and you get to choose your favorite color (subject to availability) of the Le Creuset dish!

The Pioneer Woman Le Cresuet Giveaway.

I feel so lucky to be able to share 2 of my “favorite things” for baking, the holidays, and hospitality with others!

To me, that is what the holidays are about: Spreading peace, love, joy, gathering, feasting, and sharing good food with others!

A year of holidays.

Ree’s book is full of delicious holiday recipes. You may remember a year ago when Blogland and Pinterest went crazy with her recipes. If you don’t have her book, it’s time to WIN a copy today, or you can order it, here.

The Pioneer Woman's A Year of Holidays Cookbook + Le Creuset Giveaway!

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas … here we come!

Le Creuset.

Le Creuset is one of my favorite bakeware brands, and I adore my orange “flame” colored dishes. But check out all of these gorgeous colors, here.

The Pioneer Woman's A Year of Holidays Cookbook + Le Creuset Giveaway!

Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls.

Of course this retangular dish is my favorite size for breakfast casseroles, one-pot meals, and for baking Ree’s delicious Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls. Did you happen to see this recipe yesterday that I posted?

The Pioneer Woman's A Year of Holidays Cookbook + Le Creuset Giveaway!

Head on over and print it out. Double the recipe, or triple, and give it away!

Freeze this recipe!

Cinnamon rolls are the perfect holiday baking gift because they can also be frozen. After baking, I removed the rolls from one 9×13 baker and carefully wrapped them in plastic wrap, then foil, then placed in a Ziploc bag to freeze for our family to enjoy during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here’s your chance to WIN, and happy EARLY holidays, Friends!

Enter the Rafflecopter.

What recipe would you make in this 4-quart (9×12) baker for the holidays?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest ends November 3, 2014 at midnight. Winner will be contacted by email. This post is hosted by me, and sponsored individually by The Pioneer Woman and Le Creuset.

Are you following me on InstagramTwitterFacebook and Pinterest? Thanks being here today, and if you’d like to subscribe to Reluctant Entertainer, to have each post delivered straight to your e-mail box, then please add your email, here. It’s really easy!

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Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls {The Pioneer Woman} http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/caramel-apple-sweet-rolls-recipe/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/caramel-apple-sweet-rolls-recipe/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:00:40 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32057 Perfect for taking to a Halloween Party or for the holidays ahead, try these gooey Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls from The Pioneer Woman’s A Year of Holidays cookbook! I found myself cracking up last week when I was whipping up a double batch of The Pioneer Woman’s Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls, otherwise known as the […]

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Perfect for taking to a Halloween Party or for the holidays ahead, try these gooey Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls from The Pioneer Woman’s A Year of Holidays cookbook!

Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls

I found myself cracking up last week when I was whipping up a double batch of The Pioneer Woman’s Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls, otherwise known as the BEST cinnamon rolls on earth! Which, by the way, come back to RE tomorrow for a surprise, fabulous giveaway! I’m not going to tell you what it is, but you will LOVE it!

Betty Crocker 1950.

While the dough was rising, I thumbed through a 1950’s Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook that my friend Jenny loaned me, and burst out laughing. Here Betty Crocker is sharing some “special helps” tips.

Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls

I thought of my friend, Ree, and her sense of humor; I could just see us girls acting out these recommendations … lying on the floor with our hands above our heads, taking a 5-minute rest.

Or, harboring pleasant thoughts.

So much is still true today; we just do it differently. Like, we go to yoga, most of us exercise more on a regular basis than they did back then, we have book and supper clubs…pretty much the same ideas.

Hopefully we don’t count “spending hours on Pinterest” as recreation, though.

And, when is the last time you visited your neighbors?

Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls

Visit your neighbors.

Last night when these delicious rolls came out of the oven–cooled and frosted–I did take a pan over to our neighbors.

Continue reading: Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls {The Pioneer Woman}

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Favorite Things: Bespoke Global $500 Giveaway http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/bespoke-global-500-giveaway/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/bespoke-global-500-giveaway/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:00:14 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=31681 When Bespoke Global asked me to highlight some of their gorgeous items in their gifts and entertaining collection, I was very excited to put together a dream list and collage of my favorite things, and host a $500 giveaway for my readers! Who wouldn’t love these beautiful candle holders? “Bespoke” means custom made, or made […]

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Favorite Things: Bespoke Global $500 Giveaway

When Bespoke Global asked me to highlight some of their gorgeous items in their gifts and entertaining collection, I was very excited to put together a dream list and collage of my favorite things, and host a $500 giveaway for my readers! Who wouldn’t love these beautiful candle holders?

“Bespoke” means custom made, or made to individual order. We sometimes see the word in reference to the clothing of royalty, like Britain’s Princess Kate.

What is Bespoke Global?

Bespoke Global is a luxury home & lifestyle eCommerce platform, that offers a unique variety of artisan crafted products. The way this company works, is that artists create products specifically for each customer, with customizable options available for all items. They are the leading source for made-to-order luxury home and leisure products. Very beautiful and unique!

Bespoke Global

Holiday entertaining.

Continue reading: Favorite Things: Bespoke Global $500 Giveaway

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Ordinary Days and Salted Caramel Apple Cake http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/salted-caramel-apple-cake/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/salted-caramel-apple-cake/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:00:18 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=32025 Today I’m sharing about ordinary days, and a fresh-picked apple Salted Caramel Apple Cake recipe! Lately, with the change of seasons, the nights getting dark earlier, the cooler weather, feasting on one-pot dinners, hanging around as a family at dinner time, it’s been nice to linger. You know, slowing down. Not running from one thing […]

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Today I’m sharing about ordinary days, and a fresh-picked apple Salted Caramel Apple Cake recipe!

Salted Caramel Apple Cake | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Lately, with the change of seasons, the nights getting dark earlier, the cooler weather, feasting on one-pot dinners, hanging around as a family at dinner time, it’s been nice to linger.

You know, slowing down.

Not running from one thing to the next.

Just letting the moments take on their own flavor, so to speak, and enjoying them and ordinary things. I do miss our son, Garrett, who’s up at college.

Salted Caramel Apple Cake | ReluctantEntertainer.com

I wish I would have slowed down enough to have gone to pick these apples with my sweet friends Roger and Faye, but instead, they picked them and brought them to me. Which was sooo nice!

Being rushed.

When we are rushed, we tend to be grumpy, we yell at each other, we’re unaware, drive too fast, shop on a whim (not good for grocery shopping), and miss out on ordinary moments. My older son reminded me that we lack mindfulness when we are too rushed. I agree.

Ordinary is fine.

Ordinary moments are good. They remind us of the mundane things in life, that still have meanin

Continue reading: Ordinary Days and Salted Caramel Apple Cake

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Swiss Diamond Giveaway: Apricot Chicken Orzo with Marcona Almonds http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/apricot-chicken-orzo-with-marcona-almonds/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/apricot-chicken-orzo-with-marcona-almonds/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:01:42 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=31187 This Apricot Chicken Orzo with Marcona Almonds was made in a beautiful Swiss Diamond fry pan {giveaway} and served in the great outdoors! **Contest is closed. Winner has been contacted. Thank you for enterting! Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite kitchen brands, Swiss Diamond, and my incredible 12.5″ Induction Nonstick Fry Pan […]

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This Apricot Chicken Orzo with Marcona Almonds was made in a beautiful Swiss Diamond fry pan {giveaway} and served in the great outdoors!

Apricot Chicken Orzo with Marcona Almonds

**Contest is closed. Winner has been contacted. Thank you for enterting!

Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite kitchen brands, Swiss Diamond, and my incredible 12.5″ Induction Nonstick Fry Pan with beautiful glass lid. I was first introduced to Swiss Diamond when I visited Asheville, NC, a few months ago. Isn’t it beautiful?

Win me.

Swiss Diamond Giveaway | Reluctant Entertainer.com

My good friend, Sommer, hosted a fabulous party in her home, and in the goody bag was a 7″ Swiss Diamond frying pan. I thought to myself, no big deal, I’ve used all sorts of nonstick frying pans and they’re all the same–eventually they are overused, worn thin, the coating comes off, and we toss them and buy new pans.

I was pleasantly surprised, and so was my family.

Apricot Chicken Orzo with Marcona Almonds.

Apricot Chicken Orzo with Marcona Almonds

My son recently helped me make a delicious Apricot Chicken Orzo with Marcona Almonds, and he really could have done his own commercial.

Continue reading: Swiss Diamond Giveaway: Apricot Chicken Orzo with Marcona Almonds

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How to Introduce Others: Butternut Quinoa {Vegetarian} Enchiladas http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/butternut-quinoa-vegetarian-enchiladas/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/butternut-quinoa-vegetarian-enchiladas/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:00:46 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=31977 This Butternut Quinoa {Vegetarian} Enchiladas recipe is excellent to serve next time you have a gathering. Either make enchiladas or use the mixture in individual bowls with extra toppings. My friend was next to me in our kitchen, finishing up the dishes after a small dinner party, making small talk, putting away leftovers, glasses, and wiping […]

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This Butternut Quinoa {Vegetarian} Enchiladas recipe is excellent to serve next time you have a gathering. Either make enchiladas or use the mixture in individual bowls with extra toppings.

Butternut Quinoa {Vegetarian} Enchiladas | Reluctant Entertainer.com

My friend was next to me in our kitchen, finishing up the dishes after a small dinner party, making small talk, putting away leftovers, glasses, and wiping off counters. She pulled me aside and shared a secret that she had been keeping. Feeling her life wasn’t as exciting as the other dinner guests, it was a little intimidating for her to speak up and get to know the other party guests, or share the details of her life.

How we meet.

The first thing people want to know when meeting someone new is usually: What do you do for a living? Or, how many kids do you have? Or, how long have you lived in the Rogue Valley? Or … what have you done that is extraordinary? Right? Don’t we usually want to know the “flashy” stuff about people?

Most conversation seems to revolve around family, volunteer work, schooling, where we go to church, or we update one another on our work lives. Sometimes sports and politics and travels.

But for the person who feels they have an ordinary job, life, not a whole lot of interests or going ons—this may be something they are embarrassed by, possibly feeling their life isn’t as glitzy or exciting as the person they are talking to.

Ordinary people.

I wrapped my arms around my friend and told her how much I love her. I like ordinary people.

Continue reading: How to Introduce Others: Butternut Quinoa {Vegetarian} Enchiladas

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Sunday Supper with One-Pot Vegetarian Pasta Bake http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/one-pot-vegetarian-pasta-bake/ http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/10/one-pot-vegetarian-pasta-bake/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:00:03 +0000 http://reluctantentertainer.com/?p=31945 This One-Pot Vegetarian Pasta Bake is unbelievably easy, perfect for Sunday Supper with crunchy bread, and our family (and kids) love it! Happy Monday, Friends! I just returned from 4 days in beautiful Deer Valley, Utah, at a retreat with a group of food blogging friends. The weather was so gorgeous, our time together was amazing, […]

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This One-Pot Vegetarian Pasta Bake is unbelievably easy, perfect for Sunday Supper with crunchy bread, and our family (and kids) love it!

So easy for a QUICK dinner: One-Pot Vegetarian Pasta Bake at Reluctant Entertainer.com

Happy Monday, Friends! I just returned from 4 days in beautiful Deer Valley, Utah, at a retreat with a group of food blogging friends. The weather was so gorgeous, our time together was amazing, and Maria and Heidi {the creators behind this retreat} did such a great job bringing all of us together to share, learn, and achieve new goals (Better Blog Retreat – #BBRetreat if you want to follow along on Instagram). I was thinking about the areas in the US that the 14 of us represent—UT, OR {me!}, AZ, AL, FL, TN, KS, NC, TX, NY, NJ. Many of us have spent time together over the years, so it’s more like “sisterhood,” or like college roommates getting together, where we really know one another.

Our time together was very soulful, you know, getting to the heart of the matter, which is more than “food” talk. It’s beautiful “soul talk” mixed in with a lot of R&R.

BBRetreat at Deer Valley Resort #deervalleyresort #ut

Here are the gorgeous colors from the Salt Lake City area, and by the way, Deer Valley Resort is right outside of Park City, nestled in Utah’s picturesque Rocky Mountain Wastatch Range.

Continue reading: Sunday Supper with One-Pot Vegetarian Pasta Bake

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