9 Tips for Fool-Proof Party & Menu Planning

5 Mar

Do you know that I really like planning small events? Now, when I say plan, what I mean is I think of small events to have for a particular occasion or no occasion at all. For some reason it is in me to entertain people at home or a small intimate space. I don’t really know why. We didn’t do a lot of that while I was growing up; besides family gatherings and holidays. But, ever since I’ve became an adult I always want to plan parties and get-togethers. Mostly, I want people to come over and enjoy each other’s company, eat some good food and, have some fun.

Speaking of good food….Is brunch the new greatness?  Everyone is hosting brunch lately. Everyday on social media, in magazines and is local papers is a brunch social event. It’s crazy! But, I love it. I think I should host one…..  The menu options are almost endless when planning a brunch because it’s literally BREAKFAST AND LUNCH. And, lunch is basically dinner’s twin that was born a few hours earlier sooooooo, I’m all in!

This year it is one of my goals to have people over at least 2 times during the spring and summer months and at least once for the holidays. Nothing big. I just want to enjoy my friends and family at home.


I feel like entertaining at home is a lost art. It seems as though a lot of hanging out and getting together is being done everywhere but at home. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy meeting up, going to events, and hanging out for a bit. But, when you can host people at your home it can be a little more relaxed and non-obligatory for guests to make an investment in your event unless they choose to by offering to bring a dish, beverage or, surprising you with a hostess gift.

So, as the spring season is nearing I am putting together a delightful menu for a nice weekend brunch with a few of our friends and loved ones. Today I am sharing with you  9 Tips for Fool-Proof Party and Menu Planning and a Spring Brunch Menu idea for your next event or get-together.

Spring Brunch Menu

Very Easy Broccoli & Ham Quiche

 I’m addicted to carbs! Cheesy Potatoes or any breakfast potato,

French Toast Casserole & Warm Maple Syrup,

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins,

Fresh Berries or Fruit Kabobs,

Chicken Apple Sausage Links and Pork Sausage Patties,

Orange Juice, Mimosas, Water, Coffee,

Lemon Lime or Ginger Sodas (in case of illness)

Everything above can be partially or completely prepared the day before. This is a great way to prepare for your event. Making a menu that can be prepared a day in advance gives you more time to prepare for your event the day of.

9 Tips for Fool-Proof Party and Menu Planning

  1. Plan your guest list and any possible dietary restrictions. Send out invites.
  2. Create an enticing menu for everyone.
  3. Draft organized shopping lists for your event. Shop.
  4. Mentally prepare a order of food service (courses or buffet style).
  5. Chop, cut, slice, mix, cook and bake anything that be prepared the day before.
  6. Decorate the night before.
  7. Set up a hot & cold beverage station complete with glasses, mugs, spoons, napkins, pitchers, ice bucket &, tongs.
  8. Day of: warm all prepared foods, cook breakfast meats, fill beverage station with cold and hot options including water.

Using these tips will assist in your event being stress free, your guest being excited, happy and, full. Each one of them will be looking forward to your next flawless event.


How do you prepare for your parties and events? Are you planning any for 2018? Tell me!

Be sure to also check out the recipes for Very Easy Broccoli & Ham Quiche and I’m addicted to carbs! Cheesy Potatoes. These are both great recipes for groups.

I hope you all have a very great week!

Talk to you soon xoxo,

Kim Cherie

Very Easy Broccoli & Ham Quiche

25 Feb

img_2252-1There are so many egg based dishes to be made and eaten.  And, they all look delicious….except for sunny side up eggs with the runny yolk….Uh, that’s definitely a big no-thank you from me on that.  I remember I had to make a sunny side up egg for Home Economics class in the 9th grade. And, the yolk had to be just right and runny for me to get 100%. Well, I did get 100% but, I didn’t want that egg as my reward. That was probably the one time I passed up on eating in Home Ec. And, believe me I always looked forward to that class. Outside of that I think I would be willing to try other egg dishes such as an egg soufflé’, hollandaise sauce, huevos rancheros, and breakfast burritos.

By the way I do not like eggs….. I only eat eggs scrambled; hard, as an omelette or, in a quiche. None of those things do I want everyday but there are days when I just have a craving for a something with eggs. My only reason for not liking eggs I think is because my mother didn’t like eggs so, she didn’t cook eggs. And, I never learned to love or want them.

But, I do like this quiche. I especially liked this one I made for today. I normally shred my own cheeses when I cook. There are only a couple of exceptions when I don’t. When I make quiche is one of those exceptions. So, I bought the shredded cheese with the cream cheese blended in. I think the cream cheese gave the quiche a smoother taste.

This quiche is so easy to assemble and bake. It is perfect for a quick breakfast or brunch item or a food gift. And, your meat and veggie filling options are endless. I chose the broccoli and ham because, I love broccoli. The ham was already cooked and cubed and I just had to throw it in the pan. You add the eggs, milk and cheese and bake for 45-55 minutes and then you have a hot pie with melty cheese and eggs with your most loved veggies and meat options. The pie is absolutely satisfying and I am encouraging you to bake and take one to your next gathering.

Ham & Broccoli Quiche


1 9-10 inch frozen pie crust (thawed)

2 cups shredded cheese

4 eggs

1 cup whole milk or half & half

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 to 3/4 cups cubed ham

1 broccoli bunch rinsed, cut and, chopped into small pieces (saving one larger piece for a top garnish)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

On a large cookie sheet place a large piece of parchment, wax paper or aluminum foil. This will protect your cookie sheet when the filling over flows while baking. (You will thank me later.)

Place the thawed pie crust on top of the cookie sheet and with a fork, poke holes all over the pie crust.

Partially bake the pie crust in the oven for 10-12minutes. Just to barely brown it and get the crust firm.

Remove the crust from the oven.

Leave the pie crust on the cookie sheet while assembling the quiche.

In a large bowl beat eggs with a fork or wire whisk.

Add in the black pepper and sea salt.

Mix in the whole milk or half & half with the eggs.

Place a light layer of shredded cheese on the bottom of the pie crust.

Next spread the cubed ham over the light layer of cheese.

Add the broccoli on top of the cheese and ham layers.

Slowly pour the egg milk mixture into the filled pie crust.

Cover the cheese, ham and broccoli with the remaining cheese.

Place the assembled quiche in the oven and bake for 35 minutes uncovered.

After 35 minutes lightly with aluminum foil and bake 15-20 more minutes and check for doneness.

Quiche is fully cooked when it is firmly set. You can also check for doneness with a butter knife by sliding a butter knife into the center of the baked quiche and if it comes out clean it is done.

Poke holes in the thawed pie crust using a fork.

Partially bake the plain crust in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Add a light layer of cheese to the bottom of the partially baked crust.

Now layer in the cubed ham.

And, the cut up broccoli.

Carefully pour in the milk and egg mixture into the filled pie crust.

Top the quiche with the remaining cheese and bake 45-55 minutes.

This is why you will want to line the baking pan. Save your oven and your cookie sheet.

Let your quiche rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

This quiche can serve 6-8 people.


See ya next time,

Kim Cherie

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Thank you so much!

7 Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day When You’re Single & Red Velvet Cupcakes

11 Feb

Valentines Day is approaching super fast. I’m sure the ones who are lucky in love are trying to figure out what to get each other and are planning the perfect date…. But, what if your not lucky in love and looking at Valentines Day as a sad reminder that you are “Single” party of 1? I’m going to give you seven ways to celebrate and enjoy Valentines day and make it one to remember!

  1. Self- care day: All Day, make it all about you. Even if you have to go to work that day. Dress up, wear that outfit and shoes you’ve been holding onto for that one special event that you don’t even have in your planner yet. Treat your-self to goodies all workday: Starbucks or McDonald’s fries and a coke are some ideas. While you’re at work plan your after work events: Do you want your nails done or maybe a massage? Do it!!! Finally, take your self out to dinner. Yes, everyone will be out and all coupled up and that can sometimes be depressing but, don’t even think about that. Every thought you create on your Valentines Day should be only amazing thoughts about you!! What makes you great? Say it and claim it!!! Are you awesome at baking, do you have great style? Think that! How awesome are you at accomplishing your life goals? Are you crushin’ it? That’s the bomb!!! You should be totally pumped about that! So just make this “ME” Day. Because it’s all about you!!!
  2. Send physical Valentine’s Day cards to everyone that you love (not romantically): Send to your mom, dad, sister, brother, grandparents and/or BFF’s. That’s right, go to the store and buy several Valentines Cards picking each one out especially for that loved one. Then sign the card, address the envelope and stick a real stamp on it and put it in the mail! How classic is getting a hand written letter or card in the mail? How special is the person on the receiving end going to feel? Very. Which in turn will make you feel special too. Send some love in the mail. Boom!
  3. Spend some time with an elderly loved one for Valentines Day: Create a memory with them or listen intently while they share their’s.  That’s really something special.
  4. Create a Valentines Day wish list with your Girls over cocktails or mocktails: So, make your significant other wish list; I’ll start: Intelligent, attractive, motivated, christian and God-fearing, employed or self-employed (making money) and, able to hold a great conversation. That’s just for starters….
  5. Take yourself on that dream date you’ve always wanted to go on: Is it to a fancy restaurant or going to listen to live music in an intimate setting or, is it a trip to the museum you’ve never been to and the little 24 hour coney island/breakfast spot in the college district? Do it girl!! What’s stopping you? Go. Something serendipitous might just happen.
  6. Make a romantic dinner at home: Just for YOU! Make your favorite whatever!!  Get your ingredients from the store and turn on that iPad and stream your best-loved tv  show or movie. Light some candles, pour some wine and enjoy YOU! Celebrate you. Oh! Don’t forget dessert! Try the recipe below for Easy and Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
  7. Shoot your shot (Take a chance): If he’s single, why not? But, be cool. Just let him know you think he’s pretty dope and you want to wish him a Happy Valentines Day.


Easy and Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients for cupcakes

1 package boxed German Chocolate cake mix with pudding

1 cup sour cream

½ cup water

¼ cup vegetable or corn oil

2 tablespoons or 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Pre heat oven to 350°. Place 18-21 cupcake or muffin liners in the muffin pans.  In a large bowl mix together the eggs, oil and, water with a heavy wire whisk or electric mixer. Next add in the cake mix, sour cream, vanilla extract and, red food coloring stir together with wire whisk until combined or on low for 30-60 seconds if using mixer (batter may have a few small lumps).

Using a portion scoop and rubber spatula fill each muffin cup with cake batter. You should end up with 18-21 cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 15-18 minutes. The  cupcakes are ready when the tops spring right back when lightly touched on top. Do not over bake.

When the cupcakes are done, remove from oven and cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely; about 1 hour.  In the mean time make the icing.

Ingredients for icing

½ cup or 1 stick salted butter at room temperature

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature

1 pound box confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt


In a medium to large bowl blend together the softened butter and cream cheese. Add in half the confectioners sugar and mix on the lowest speed so the sugar won’t splatter everywhere. Next, pour in the remaining powdered sugar and the vanilla extract and mix again on the lowest speed till all sugar is incorporated. Add in salt and stir the mixer on the highest speed for 1 minute to make light and fluffy.

***Feel free to add in some food coloring if desired change the color of your icing for a little flare.***

Happy Valentines Day no matter how you decide to spend it. I hope you get some ideas from this post and try out these yummy cupcakes! Send me a picture in the comments if you do. And, let me know how you did spend Valentines.

If you like this post and/or others, please share with your friends and family. Let me know in the comments if you have questions on any of the recipes or other posts on mouthfuloffood.com.

Thank you so much for reading, liking and sharing,

Kim Cherie

Follow me on FB, Instagram, and Twitter @ mouthfuloffood

Here’s some pictures of the cupcakes being made…..

This recipe whips up in like 5 minutes!

Put the eggs, oil and, water together in a large bowl.

Scramble together lightly.

Add in the cake mix, sour cream, food coloring and vanilla extract.

Stir again until all ingredients are incorporated.

I picked up these silver liners from a cake and candy supply store. And, you can get a portion scoop from your restaurant supply store.

Bake the cupcakes 15-18 minutes. Using a portion scoop makes your baked goods come out the same size.

They should look just like this when done.  Can’t wait to bite into one!!

Now lets make the icing!

In a medium to large bowl mix together the cream cheese and butter.

Mix in the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract.

Stir in salt last. (I need something to cut the sweetness a little)

And, if you want separate a little icing in a small bowl with a drop of food coloring to change the color.

Decorate your Valentine Red Velvet Cupcakes however you desire and ENJOY!!


Dear Momma,

3 Feb

Hey everyone,

It’s the beginning of February, it’s the weekend and, it’s also my momma’s birthday today!!! If you are reading this please help me celebrate her. She is nothing less than amazing, beautiful, cool, dope, empathetic, friendly, generous, hopeful, inspirational, joyful, kind, loved and lovable, motivated, notable, outgoing, passionate, quiet, respected and respectful, soft-spoken, talented, uniting, vocal, worthy, x (meaning christian), yearning and, zealous. My mom is all of that and then some!

Let me tell you a little bit about her…..She is the oldest out of 6 kids. The guard and protector of each one who came after her and the two who made it possible for her to be on earth in the first place. Yes, she is a super hero. She is our family’s event planner, organizer and boss……

Side note: Mom is not a big fan of photo ops so, I had to dig hard for the ones we have of her here today.

A few of my mom’s favorite things are: unique jewelry, old school music, the TV show Bonanza, knitting one of a kind hats, scarves and, gloves, reading recipes, cooking and baking, Tom Selleck (her most favorite actor), good barbecue and, home decor inside and out.

Where would I be if it weren’t for my mother? That question I have heard from others and said to myself more than once. Where would I be without her examples? I don’t want to know.  Grateful, is what I am for everything my momma is and, all she has yet to become.

Dear Momma,

Today I want to profess what an incredible woman you are. There are so many things that I admire about you. You are totally devoted to your mother and our entire family.

The desire you have to make your neighborhood and this community a better place is more than noteworthy. Throughout my life you have displayed courage, character, dignity, tenacity, and wisdom. From a classroom to a boardroom, you have never stopped educating yourself. That is a true life lesson. Your visions and ideas for a better tomorrow are now my visions and ideas for the same. I have witnessed you being an agent of change, board member, a chairwoman, a project manager and a program founder all because you wanted everyone to have a great community to work and live in.

Your schedule is always full with meetings and events but, you always make time for your family.  Thank you for caring for us the way you do. Thank you for providing infinite examples on how to keep going no matter what. Thank you for showing me how to be a mother. Thank you for being the calm in my storms. Thank you for being my critic and my supporter, my friend and, my momma.

Thank you for being everything that is you!

I wish you the happiest of all birthdays,


Kim Cherie


Confirmed. The Best Banana Bread EVER!

28 Jan

That’s right. I have confirmed this at least 6 times. This recipe for Banana Bread is the best. This is not my own recipe; just one I have tried in search of a really good one. And, I found it with this one. The best quick breads and muffins have to be fresh, moist and flavorful.

Before I found this recipe, the one I liked best was at the bakery (King Arthur’s Pasties, here in Flint, Michigan) I worked at almost 20 years ago. After I moved on from there I would still special order a large loaf of Banana Bread without nuts, just for me. (I don’t like nuts by the way; unless, it’s peanuts covered in M & M’s or a Snickers…… I’m just sayin’)….. Ok, back to the subject of Banana Bread:  I really like it. I like it right out of the oven with a pat of butter smeared and melted all over the slice. And, I also like it when I pack it for lunch within a zip lock baggie and give it time to re-create some extra moisture. Not like a hot and sweaty slice of bread but, like a room temperature marination period. IT’S THEE BEST!….. And, don’t knock it till you try it. Again, I’m just sayin’.

So this is another recipe that is super easy. The only thing that you would have to be concerned with here is letting your bananas really ripen or finding some really already ripe ones. FYI, in case you ever need ripe banana’s in a hurry. Go to your neighborhood discount grocery (ex: Sav-a-lot, Aldi); they almost always have ripe, ripe bananas that are ready to be turned into banana bread or banana pudding. And, you can get them for almost nothing. Pick bananas that have brown spots and stems. Those will give the sweetest banana flavor.

Slice 3 to 4 medium to large bananas in a large bowl prior to mashing.

Banana Breads and other quick breads make really good thank you gifts. So, bake some of this good stuff up and send me a note on what you think. Then, put this recipe in your recipe box or binder and save for the next time you need to say “Thanks!”   This is the perfect way to extend your thank you into action with a token of appreciation.

Purchase these disposable bakers online from King Arthur Flour Company or Sur la Table.

You can bake this bread in 2 (8×4 inch) or 1 (9×5 inch) loaf pans. Also, as a option you can bake mini loaves in disposable oven safe loaf bakers. I purchased the ones shown above online from Sur la Table.

All the players are here: butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, bananas, flour, baking soda and salt.Mash the bananas with a potato masher or electric mixer prior to mixing the other ingredients.

Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl.

Blend the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer.

Add in the eggs and vanilla extract.

Mix in the vanilla and eggs until the yolks disappear.

Add in the buttermilk and mashed bananas.Blend until evenly combined.

Lastly, add in the flour, soda and salt.Stir in the flour just until it disappears.Scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold in nuts if using.

Evenly divide the batter among the pans.Bake in the small baker at 35-40 minutes.

Bake the 8 or 9 inch loaves 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.Serve warm with butter or cool to room temperature and save for later.


The Best Banana Bread

*adapted from Gold Medal All Purpose Flour*


1¼ cups sugar

½ cup butter (1 stick) softened

2 large eggs

1½ cups mashed very ripe bananas (3-4 medium)

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 350°.

Spray or grease your metal or glass loaf pans with non- stick spray or shortening. If using disposable bakers skip this part.

With an electric mixer blend together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until the yolk of the egg disappears. Add in the bananas and buttermilk, beat with the electric mixer until combined. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt just until the flour disappears. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and fold in nuts in using.

Evenly distribute the batter into the pan or pans.

Bake 8 inch loaves 1 hour,

Bake 9 inch loaves 1 hour 15 minutes,

Bake small bakers 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Immediately run a butter knife around the perimeter of the metal or glass pans. Cool the loaves in metal or glass containers 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of the loaves from pans, remove from pans to cooling rack or place on a platter and serve warm with butter.

Don’t try to resist, answer the calling of The Best Banana Bread. You’ll thank me after.

Let me know what you think in the comments, or on social: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ mouthfuloffood

Hit me with your questions too! I’ve got answers for cooking, baking, being a mom and life. I’ll be sure to get right back!

Have a great week!

Kim Cherie

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