Let the Good Times Roll!

Involvement is the key to throwing a good party, period.  Parties that stand out in your guest’s minds are those at which they got to participate in the event.  Coming up with activities that will involve them isn’t always so easy, but we have a great idea for you.  We all love a little DIY, so why not try your hand at rolling sushi! A sushi rolling party involves everyone and let’s them try something out of their normal comfort zone and get creative. Sushi Rolls

A sushi party is best to do with smaller groups, as sushi is considered a communal, yet intimate dining occasion.  Invite 6 – 12 or so of your closest friends and get the party started. This is also a great party for couples, because sometimes it takes teamwork to get everything right.

Getting all of the supplies and materials together isn’t as difficult as you would think. Most of these ingredients can be found at your local farmer’s market, local asian restaurant, or even at Kroger. Here are your steps to get your party going:

1) Use a table that is low to the ground, like a coffee table or two.

2) Provide pillows as chairs.

3) For each person, set out a large plate, a small plate such as a saucer, a steamed facecloth and chopsticks.

4) Set out two to three plates of prepared wasabi and vinegared ginger.

5) Provide one or two bottles of soy sauce (we prefer low sodium soy, generally with a green top).

6) Get your protein ready. You will want to cut your sashimi, or raw fish, into small slices. Fresh selections of fish can usually be found at your local supermarket. Our favorites are tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and crab. If you are worried about working with the raw fish, boiled or  tempura shrimp or fish can be used as protein fillers as well. Remember, you can never undercook fish.

7) Provide other fillings, such as cucumber slices, avocado slices, bell pepper, cream cheese, and crunchies.

Sushi Prep

8) Cut nori (seaweed) into 4-by-4-inch squares and stack onto two plates.

9) Provide shari (sushi rice) in a large wooden bowl.

10) Pass around the nori, rice and fish and have each person assemble his or her own sushi rolls

11) Great side dishes to offer with your sushi rolls are pork gyoza (steamed dumplings), edamame, and miso soup. These really finish off your asian experience.

12) Don’t forget the sake and Japanese beer. Our favorite beer is Sapporo.

Sushi Sapporo

Here are a few simple combinations for your group to try:
California Roll: crab, cucumber, and avocado
Smoked Salmon: smoked salmon, cucumber, wasabi and avocado
Crunchy Shrimp: fried shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and wasabi
Yellow Tail Roll: yellow tail and green onion
Spicty Tuna Roll: tuna, Sriracha, and green onion

Sushi Rolls 2

If you don’t think you can do this all on your own, don’t fret. We will be happy to help you host a sushi rolling party. We often work with Allison Borders, owner of the famous Two Stick in Oxford, MS. She will demonstrate in an at home sushi rolling event, exactly what you need to do.  Your group can learn from an expert, while enjoying some cocktails. Who could ask for a better evening? Good friends. Good food. Good wine (or sake in this case). That’s what we’re always looking for in a good party.
Give us a call if we can help you host your next sushi rolling party (or any party– from grand openings to kids’ birthdays)!

Team America Sausage Balls

I had quite a few other ideas in mind to represent America at our Winter Olympic party, but I had to make a last minute change because two of our guest refuse to eat cheese (I KNOW. What is wrong with them?!). Luckily they haven’t yet figured out that sausage balls actually contain cheese. Let’s just keep that our little secret.

America Olympic Dish

These sausage balls are something that I make constantly for football and baseball games. They are delicious whether they are served piping hot or have cooled off some. There are never any leftovers. Luckily, these are also super easy. The key ingredient is to use cream cheese to keep them super moist. I also add a little Tony Chachere’s to add a little spice. I’m sure any Cajun seasoning/BBQ rub would work.

1 lb. sausage (I use regular vs. hot)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (buy a tub over a brick)

1 ¼ cups Bisquick

4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (or more)

1 Tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning

I put all of these ingredients in my Kitchenaid mixer, using the dough hook attachment, and mix until everything is combined. Once everything looks every throughout, roll into balls about the size of ping-pong balls. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400F.

There are a lot of times that I will make these the night before for early football games. They work just fine if you freeze the balls ahead of time. I would leave them in the oven a few more minutes than normal.

Cheesy Guacamole

If you saw yesterday’s post, you noticed we served food from different countries to represent all the athletes from different countries coming together for the Olympics. We promised you the recipes from that party this week, and here is the first one. For Mexico we served guacamole, cheese dip, and salsa. The salsa and cheese dip were store bought (Jack’s Special Salsa and Pancho’s Cheese Dip), but we went homemade with the guacamole. I had never had guacamole with cheese in it before, but I generally think just about everything is better with cheese. I was excited when I came across Chrissy Teigen’s Easy Cheesy Guacamole recipe a little while ago and got the idea to add cheese to guacamole. I combined hers with the sun-dried tomatoes from my previous favorite guacamole recipe from Babalu Tacos & Tapas. Both of these are great recipes, but I love the spiciness of the sun-dried tomatoes versus regular tomatoes and really enjoyed the cheese and spices she used. I’m also not an onion fan, so I omitted the onions of both recipes in my final concoction. The result was an absolute crowd pleaser.

Mexico Olympic Dish

The bowl was scraped clean by the end of the party. I had several people call or text for the recipe the next day. Without further ado, here is what you will need to make the best guacamole you’ve ever had:

3 ripe avocados
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbs sun dried tomatoes, minced
Dash of garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar

1. Begin by shredding your cheddar cheese. It’s easier to buy pre-shredded, but the flavor is not the same. Continue by mincing your garlic cloves and sun-dried tomatoes.

2. Slice the avocados in half and remove the meat. Cover with the lime juice.

3. Mash with potato masher or fork. Don’t get overzealous. You still want it to be chunky.

4. Add the next four ingredients: salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne, and fold into avocado with a fork.

5. Add cilantro, garlic and sun dried tomatoes and combine with fork.

6. Throw in the dash of garlic powder and the 1 cup freshly shredded cheese.

7. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!