Appetizers, Lifestyle

Party platters


These past few days I have been going through all the pictures on my phone and daydreaming of traveling again, going out with friends again, and having house parties.  To be honest, I don’t know what I will do first once the SARS-COV2 lockdown lifts, but one thing I know is that I would love to entertain again.  As I was going through these pictures, I stumbled across pictures from a holiday party we hosted, last year, after Thanksgiving.  While I did get too caught up in the party to take pictures of the actual platters, I did have sketches from the way I decided to set up a Cheese Board and a Veggie Platter.  I often like to draw things out before I execute a design set-up.  I started this with my cake designs, and these are my first sketches for party platters.  It may seem unnecessary, but I firmly believe that you eat with your eyes first.  So, I like to have a plan–a plan that I can follow to a) decide how much food to buy, b) figure out dishes I will need to use and eventually wash, c) envision where the food will be placed around the house, and d) extrapolate what my guests will see once they walk in through the door.  Surprisingly,  taking an extra minute to plan it out really reduces the rush of putting food out “elegantly” when guests arrive.   I am not a party planner, but here is my little tip to make your next party platter, “party-ready”!

Dinner, Poultry, Stew

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chilli


Need a new idea for using up leftover squash from all those holiday meals?  Try this chilli, a meatless meal that will leave even the biggest meat eaters satisfied.  Spicy an belly-warming, a sure hit !


2tbsp of olive oil

1lb of chopped butternut squash

2 tsp of minced garlic

1 medium onions diced

1, 14 oz can of black beans, risned

2 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 tbsp. of cumin

1/2 of 1 7oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo

3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/2 tbsp of dried oregano

2tbsp of honey and 2tbsp of lime juice

salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a pot and cook onions, garlic, tomato paste, peppers and cumin till onions wilt and soften.




Add beans and squash and sauté till softened.


Add chicken stock and dried oregano.

Simmer on medium low heat till the stew thickens-about 20-30mins.

Adjust seasoning and then stir in lime juice and honey–this will cut the heat of the peppers.

Serve hot with tortilla chips, sour cream and avocado slices.