Marshmallows and Cupcakes and Empanandas, oh my! (Tips for party food prep!)

Everyone loves a party, right? Of course they do! But sometimes when you are the one that does all the food prep, it can be a bit overwhelming.

My oldest son graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in December (Yay, Adam!!) with a degree in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics (yeah, I kind of wonder how he could possibly be my kid!) We are so excited for him and proud of him for his accomplishment so we HAD to have a party to celebrate!

We decided to have the party at Germania Brew Haus in Alton, Illinois. It’s this super cool place that does gourmet coffee, tea and hot chocolate drinks, wine and, of course, BEER! They have a tap wall that is self- pour and I’ve never seen anything like it! When you first come in, they give you a little bracelet that you scan on each tap to pour the beer of your choice. If you want 1 ounce to just taste it, you can just pour an ounce. If you want a full glass, you just pour to your hearts content!

I just love Germania and the people that run it. The Manager, Ben, went to school with my son Adam way back in kindergarten and he is the nicest guy. I will say that he and his crew worked their butts off for our party as well as the Art Show that they had going on Saturday night. They love to support local artists and other small businesses and I think that Ben and his family are single-handedly leading a revival in Alton!

So I am not going to get all of the recipes typed up today that I used but I wanted to share about the party. I purposely decided to go with several recipes that I could prep in advance.

Chicken & Black Bean Empanadas were easy to put together the weekend before and pop in the freezer, then bake right before the party.

A treat that surprised most people but have a long shelf life is Homemade Marshmallows! I planned to make 3 varieties but I’ve been sick and so tired and I only got around to making 2 types – Key Lime Pie Marshmallows and Apple Cider Marshmallows!  Trust me, making marshmallows is EASY and once you have a homemade marshmallow, you will never buy them again! The Key Lime Pie were definitely my  favorite. But I wanted to make things that were inspired by Adam and his personal tastes since it was his party so I just HAD to make the Apple Cider ones as well.

I made Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse cups that were so light and yummy. Everyone loved them and I was able to start putting them together 2 days ahead of time and just keep them in the fridge. The cookie doughs were both made ahead and kept in the freezer and quickly baked the night before. Everything was SO YUMMY and my only regret is that I didn’t make more – especially the empanadas!

Here is a total list of the foods that I made for party and will be sharing the recipes as soon as I can (a few already have links):

Key Lime Pie Marshmallows

Apple Cider Marshmallows

Spiced Cupcakes

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

Mini Lemon Tarts

Chicken and Black Bean Empanadas

Kielbasa Bites

Ham and Cheese Twisty Puffs

Cucumber, Blackberry, Basil & Mozzarella Bites

Salami, Cheese and Green Olive Bites

Chocolate & Raspberry Mousse Cups

Adam’s Favorite Banana Bread

Vege Tray

Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Please check back soon for all the recipes! And please let me know in the comments – what would you have added to the lineup?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Emily V says:

    Everything looks beautiful; I love how you presented it all. If that’s what you do when you are sick I can’t imagine what healthy would look like. I don’t think you needed to add a single thing. Congratulations to you and Adam!

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