Party Pecans


Talk about a crowd pleaser! These little gems are just perfect for any party! Great for any gathering! And they are quick and easy to make!! Even better, right?

1 12oz bag halved pecans

3 T butter

1/3 c brown sugar

1/2 t each ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt

Melt butter, stir in all ingedients toss with nuts, stir well. Dump on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast at 350 tossing nuts around every 5 mins. DO NOT OVER COOK! Mine were done in about 12 mins.

ENJOY!! Mama Bird

a few of MY favorite things {party}

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The”favorite things” party has quickly become my favorite kind of “exchange”party out there! We brought 5 of our fav things under $6. I brought my all time fav, go to wine Vinho Verde from Trader Joes.

Favorite Things 2013

Vinho Verde Trader Joe’s

room spray (I got one last year and it last forever!!)

opi nail polish (x2)

lottery tickets (most creative!)


eso chapstick (my fav)

socks, I got these & oh my they are heavenly!

Allegro marinade, I love this on pork!

Wind & Willow Bruschetta dip mix

dish towel



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And then the FOOD! Everyone brought their Fav App to share!

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This dip rocks! SUPER EASY!!

It’s been flying around pintrest so I had to give it a shot! I mean anything that has is attached to Neimans (the best shopping in the world!) has got to be good!  I added tish bit of  sugar & lemon juice! I always make it my own! ENJOY!!

Neiman Marcus Dip 

2 c mayo

8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

1 bag bacon bits

1/2 c almonds

1 bunch scallions, sliced

1 t sugar

splash of lemon juice



Tina’s Holiday Pie

2 – 8oz cream cheese

1 – 8oz sour cream

1 jar 4.5oz chipped beef

1/2 onion chopped

1/2 green pepper chopped

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix first 5 ingredients and spread in a dish.  Next melt a little butter and pour over pecans.  Place them on a cookie sheet and roast for 5 minutes on 350.  Remove pecans and sprinkle them over mixture and bake on 350 for approximately 20 minutes until bubbly.  Serve with crackers.


Erin’s Peppermint Fudge

1 7oz jar marshmallow creme

1 12oz bag semi sweet morsels

1 tsp peppermint extract

3 cups sugar

3/4 c butter ( 1 & 1/2 sticks)

1 5 oz can evaporated milk

1 cup Andes peppermint chunks

Line 13×9 pan with foil and grease. Sprinkle 1/2 the peppermint chunks on bottom of pan.

In a large bowl combine marshmallow creme, morsels and extract. Combining these ingredients now simplifies the process.

In saucepan combine butter and evaporated milk on medium heat until mixed well. Then add sugar to butter/milk mixture. Be sure to keep your spatula on the bottom of the pan as much as possible. Once combined stir constantly.

Bring mixture to a full and rolling boil and set your timer for 5 minutes.

Very carefully pour your mixture into the large bowl of other ingredients. Stir ingredients together.

Pour into your prepared pan.  Smooth well and top with remaining peppermint chunks.

Refrigerate until firm.

Lift the foil from pan and cut into squares 



Nannie’s Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
This is the best little addition to any party! My MIL introduced this to me years ago when Hubs and I were first dating. I have taken it so many places for so many different things and everyone always wants the recipe. It is great served with graham crackers.

1~ 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter (don’t substitute, will not work!)
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 c conf. sugar
2 Tb brown sugar
3/4 c mini choc chips
3/4 c chopped pecans
Cream butter and cream cheese together, add vanilla and sugars and mix well, fold in chocolate chips. Reserving pecans. Chill overnight or for several hours  so that you can roll into a bal, chill again and roll ball in pecans. Serve with graham crackers and  cinnamon pita chips are awesome!  Delish!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Erin’s {best ever} Pimento Cheese



Seriously, this is a slap your mama, yum-o, delish, I wanted to lick the bowl and made it my dinner PIMENTO CHEESE! My girl Erin who doesn’t even really love to cook, but does love to entertain made this superb pimento cheese and I have personally requested that she make it for every function! So today she has graciously agreed to share with you guys the recipe! This is originally from Southern Living (one of my personal favorite mags of all time!)

Erin’s Pimento Cheese

1 1/2 cup Duke’s mayo

1 (4oz) jar of diced pimentos, drained

1 t Worcestershire sauce

1 t grated onion

1/4 t ground red pepper

1 cup chopped pecans

1 (8oz) block extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 (8oz) block sharp cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Make the mayo mixture. In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, diced pimiento, Worcestershire sauce, grated onion, and ground red pepper until blended.
  2. Toast the pecans. Toasting brings out the rich flavor of the nuts. Preheat your oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, shaking pan halfway through.
  3. Shred the cheese.  Using the small side of a box grater, finely shred extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. Then use the large side of the grater to coarsely shred sharp Cheddar cheese. Fresh cheese makes all the difference.
  4. Stir and enjoy. Add pecans and shredded cheeses to mayo mixture, stirring until blended. You can store it in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Serve with celery sticks and assorted crackers, pretzels, tortilla chips etc…

Southern Living MAY 2010

ENJOY!!! Mama Bird


Kate’s Christmas Cheese Tree & Snowman


Last week I shared a Favorite Things Christmas Party! Each girl brought a favorite app or sweet as well and Kate brought, what looked to cute to eat, a Christmas Cheese ball in the shape of a CHRISTMAS TREE & a SNOWMAN!! The pic is Kate’s handiwork and I will have to reference it as I try and make mine!

They were freaking adorbs and I immediately had to snap a pic! When I finally tasted, as I was honestly afraid to ruin the look! I was so glad I did! BEST ever! So different, so fresh tasting, so YUMMY!!!

Yeah! just in time for menu & party planning Kate is sharing her yum-o recipe!! Thanks girl!!

Kate’s Cheese Ball

6 packages of 8oz cream cheese
8 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese ( I always grate mine off the block, it tastes soooo much better)
4 tablespoons pesto

1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
3/4 cup chopped pine nuts and 4 tablespoons whole pine nuts
4 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1 lemon
1 baby carrot (buy a bag and use them to eat the cheese ball)
Fresh thyme
1 Cucumber
Pretzel sticks



Let cream cheese come to room temp. before trying to mix or your arm will fall off trying to get the cheese incorporated. Place the cream cheese, shredded cheddar and pesto in a large bowl and mix it together. After mixing, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm enough to shape.

When the mixture is firm divide it in half. Place half of the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap and cover the cheese mixture. When it is covered shape it into a cone shape for the Christmas tree( You can also leave out the plastic wrap step and just use your hands, but I find it more appealing to eat something that has not had someone’s hands all over it). After you have shaped your cone roll it in the chopped parsley or cilantro and set on a serving platter.

Take the other half of the mixture and divide it into 2 parts making one larger than the other. This is to make the head and body of the snowman so just use the amount you want for the size you are going for. I used plastic wrap again for shaping the balls. After shaping the balls roll them in the chopped pine nuts. When they are done place the larger ball on the platter and the smaller ball on top of the larger ball and press together.

At this point you can start to decorate the tree. Cut off a slice of lemon peel and shape it into a star. I just free handed mine but if you have a small star cookie cutter that should work too. Use the whole pine nuts as garland on the tree and the chopped red bell pepper for ornaments.

For the snowman, wrap the thyme leaves around the head like a scarf, use a carrot for the nose, 2 pretzel sticks for the arms, pieces of olive for the eyes and buttons, red bell pepper for the mouth and cucumber ends for the hat. Serve with veggies and crackers.


Totally making this for my family Christmas party!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Party Ham Rolls {perfect Tailgate!}


GAME DAY!! no tailgate is complete without these yummy ham sammies! My Mema had them at every Wake Forest football game and now I make sure to have them at APP STATE!!! They are so old school and oh so good! She always used pepperidge farms small rolls but I recently switched it up and am using Hawaiian King Rolls and man that sweet bread with the tangy mustard is SO GOOD! I recommend giving them a try!

Party Ham Rolls:

2 packages Hawaiian King Rolls

1 stick butter, soften but not melted

2 T mustard

2 T minced onion (the dried in the spice section works great!)

2 T poppy seeds

1 t Worcestershire sauce

8 oz package of baked ham

6 slices of Swiss cheese

Mix butter, mustard, onion, poppy seeds and Worcestershire sauce, spread on rolls and layer ham & swiss. Cut and wrap in foil and place in 350 degree oven for 20 mins. These are great hot as well as room temp.


Salsa Bar!

For our Memorial Day Cookout and Pool Party I thought I would do a bunch of different salsas and lots of fun chips to have out all afternoon while we swim & smoke the pig! I found some great salsas that I thought I would try from some of my favorite Foodie Friends!!Here is what I did.
Katie’s Watermelon Salsa & Crippen’s Country Inn in Blowing Rock inspired my NEW Fav
Watermelon Salsa
2 cups diced watermelon
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced red onion
sea salt & pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 oz feta cheese
I make a wonderful salad that uses many of the above ingredients and thought that the salt of the feta and the twang of the balsamic really pushed this over the top!!
My Carolina Salsa
P1010125 this is always a hit and was the first gone!

Ninfa’s Green Sauce THIS IS A MUST TRY!!! It really deserves a post all it own. Coming soon!
Mango Salsa
2 mangos, diced
1/2 pineapple, diced
1 jalapeño, diced super fine
1/2 red onion
1 T fresh cilantro
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T lime zest
sea salt
The Mango/pineapple Salsa was by far the least eaten, it was good I am not a cilantro fan but those who are enjoyed it, those who are not didn’t! It would be really good with fish.


Saints and Super Bowl Food!!!


Can you tell who I am pulling for?!
For the Super Bowl I have to go with some old school classics, nothing to frilly for the boys and the kids!

Pigs in Blankets: sauté onions & red peppers and roll with the lil smokies in crescent rolls 
Artichoke Dip
2- 14 oz cans artichoke hearts
1 c mayo
1 c parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Mix everything together, pop in 350 oven for 30mins
Carolina Salsa
2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cucumber, seeded & chopped fine
1 red onion, chopped fine
2 cans mexicorn, drained & rinsed
1/3 to 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
2 Tb sugar
Toss everything together and place in fridge for at least 2 hrs, better if you can do it the night before. Guest will love a little something different!
Curry Dip
1 c mayo
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 Tb lemon juice
1 Tb grated onion (opt)
1 red pepper (to serve dip in, again opt)
Whip all the ingredients up and chill, again over night is preferred. Serve with steamed fresh asparagus or any veggies you like. 
Mexi Dip
Must have at all sporting events! (per Hubs)
1 sm box Velveeta Mexi Cheese
2jars fav salsa (Herdez)
1 can chopped green chiles
1/3 lb sausage, browned
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
Throw everything in the crock pot, set on low and let it go!
Almost forgot about the sweets! Go HERE for my Fav Frosting.
Hope everyone has a great Super Bowl and that we don’t get SNOWED in!!! GO SAINTS!!
For more great Super Bowl Recipes Go HERE!

Al’s {soon to be} Famous Greek Dip

A dear friend, Al who resides in Charleston (now) with her adorable family makes this yummy and oh so easy greek dip for all of our Girl’s Get Togethers. Al’s {soon to be famous} Greek Dip is the perfect addition to any party buffet, a great weekend snack, or just a fun app for most any occasion! It is healthy but has alot more glitz than a boring veggie plate.

10 oz Sabra Hummus (I love the Roasted Red Pepper)

1 large cucumber, peeled & diced

1-2 tomatoes, diced

4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Tzatziki sauce (recipe follows)

Layer ingredients starting with hummus and finally topping with the tatziki. Serve with pita chips and fresh veggies. Doubles wonderfully. You can make ahead. DELISH!!

Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce)

8 oz plain Greek yougart (strained for an hour or 2 to remove excess moisture)

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded & excess moisture removed

1 t fresh dill

1 T fresh lemon juice

salt & pepper to taste

Toss everything in the food processor and blitz for a minute. Chill in fridge. ENJOY!!


Yip~eeeeeeee! Over at Blessed with Grace they are asking what do you NIBBLE on during the Holidays! These are some of the apps that I keep on hand through the Holidays. You can make all but the dates way ahead and keep in the fridge for a week to 10 days. I just had to add some of my picks of favorite munchies. Here are a few:

Curry Dip
1 cup mayo
1 tsp Curry powder
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients well and chill overnight. Serve with fresh veggies.

Bacon Wrapped Dates
2 dozen dried dates, pitted
1/3 c ricotta cheese
12 slices of bacon, cut in half
Preheat oven to 450. Use a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Stuff each date with a teaspoon of ricotta cheese and wrap with 1/2 bacon slice. Place on cookie sheet and bake 20 mins.

Tina’s Cheese Ball
(this makes 1 large or 2 small cheese balls)
2~ 8 oz cream cheese
1 Tb Accent seasoning salt
1/4 c chopped green pepper
2 Tb minced sweet onion
1 sm can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts
Mix all ingredients except nuts, roll in a ball, chill in fridge and roll in nuts.

Hot Pepper Jelly with Cream Cheese & Crackers