Risk and Reward

I have decided to take more chances. One of those chances was entering to host a party sponsored by Food Buzz and Cost Plus World Market. Since I love Cost Plus World Market, I figured, "What the heck, might as well give it a shot instead of my usual 'they wouldn't take my proposal attitude'". So when I got back that they accepted my proposal, I was shocked and very excited. I'm already at Cost Plus World Market at least every few weeks, so a sponsored post was amazing.

So we had originally planned to have friends over, who hadn't met C yet. I had the whole menu planned and ready to go when we got the call. They couldn't make it. So since I had already started the drink and the food, I thought, "You know what, we are still going to have something. Just the 3 of us." It was finally nice out and I wanted to celebrate that. So we continued on as planned, with one, minor yet delicious, substitution.

As you can see, I made a ton of my fake out sangria, because I like it to sit and let the flavors muddle together. So I figured, "Might as well go with it, and let it finish muddling." I made a large dent in the final consumption so not all was lost. :)

And I love the dispenser that I used. I had been pining over it for a while, thanks to the mason jar craze that is hot right now. Now that I have it, I really want another. It was already a hard sell to P as it's something I don't need blah, men and their practicality.

Now everything you see here, minus the silverware, is from Cost Plus including the table and chairs. Told you I love them. Even if it wasn't a post sponsored by them I would be singing their praises. It's honestly a one stop party shop for me. If I'm going to a party or throwing one they have everything I need.

Ok. back to the dinner. After the success of pork a palooza, we have decided to have a yet unnamed burger event and we are testing burgers for it. So this weekend the test burger was 'Big Blue'.

And originally we were going to make potato chips, but since it was just the 3 of us (and only 2 of us were actually eating) we decided on baked zucchini fries. Which were amazing I can't wait to make them again.

The Big Blue Burger
For the patty
1 lb of ground beef I like to use 80/20 when I make burgers
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
Mix to combine form into 3 patties stuffing about 1 1/2 table spoons of blue cheese into each patty.
Cook the patties over a pre heated grill about 8 minutes a side or until medium.

For the sauce
1/4 cup mayo
1/3 cup blue cheese
Stir to combine and let sit in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be made in advance.

For the Onions
1 onion, really thinly sliced
2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
Cook the onions in the olive oil until they are just starting to get some color on them then add in the balsamic vinegar and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside until the burgers are ready.

Take a pretzel bun and put a generous amount of sauce on both sides and place a leaf of lettuce on the bottom bun and some balsamic onions on the top. Place the burger on the bottom bun and carefully top with the top bun.

Zucchini fries
4 medium to large zucchini cut into sticks
1/2 Cup of milk
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Brady street cheese sprinkle
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese grated
Pinch of salt
A few grinds of pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Spray 2 baking sheets with non stick spray. Combine the bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, cheese sprinkle, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and set to the side.

Dip the zucchini in the milk and the dredge in the bread crumb mixture, lay out on the baking sheet with a little space between them repeat until all are done.

Bake for 25- 30 minutes rotating the pans once half way through the cooking.

Fake Out Sangria
I need a better name for this so I’m taking suggestions!
1 64oz container of lemonade
1 bottle of prosecco
2 cups of raspberry vodka – you could use another flavor that works with the fruit you use.
Assorted fruit – I used 1 lemon, 1 orange, 2 limes, 3 peaches, reserve some for the glasses.

In the bottom of the serving container you are using place the fruit in the bottom and muddle or mash it so that it releases some of its juices. Then add in the lemonade, and vodka and chill in the fridge. Right when your guests arrive, put in some ice and the prosecco and serve. I like to put some fruit in the glasses because it looks nice but I know it bothers a lot of people when there is fruit floating in their glass, so completely up to you.
Cost Plus World Market has, in my opinion, some of the best Italian soda around. I like their Orange Passion Mango flavor, so I thought it would make great ice cream float, which would be really refreshing on a day like today. And those straws in the jars; they are reusable. So cute and environmentally friendly? It's a win win.

So P, C and I had a great Welcome Summer Party.

And if you don’t have a Cost Plus World Market near you, check them out online.

Click here to shop the Cost Plus World Market eCatalog. You can find all of the items I used and honestly if you have been pining over a drink dispenser this one is amazing and won’t break the bank. So just buy it!

Disclaimer – I received a gift card from Cost Plus World Market and a stipend from Food Buzz for this post.

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