Adult Gastro Pub Birthday Party with Craft beer + Buffalo Chicken Meatball recipe

Adult birthday party, gastro pub, sliders, crab cakes, soft pretzels, candied bacon
For her Hubby’s 50th birthday, Elle wanted to showcase the handcrafted beer he makes. We decided on a gastro pub theme party with 3 types of sliders, homemade soft pretzels and candied bacon.  She created a personalized newspaper, featuring pictures and articles about her husband, as a table runner.

I love birthday parties, even if they aren’t my own.  When my dear friend and interior designer extraordinaire Elle (check out her blog here) asked me to work with her on her husband’s birthday celebration,  I was happy to be the chef and a guest.  Elle styled the party in black and white using chalkboard paper as a table cover.  If you use contact chalkboard  paper don’t remove the paper on the back if you don’t want the contact paper to stick to your table.

chalkboard contact paper, chalk board paper
Repositionable chalkboard contact paper makes a great table cover or a menu board on a wall
beer, craft beer
The birthday boy’s handcrafted beer was the centerpiece of the party

For the menu we decided that sliders would be the main event.  What goes better with beer than a hearty burger.  In addition to traditional beef sliders I made crab cake sliders and little roasted veggie hoagies as well, something for all tastes.  We did delicious snacks as well like sinful candied bacon and  homemade soft pretzels with sea salt.  The candied bacon was a big hit, and of course I used some of my own homemade house cured bacon coated with brown sugar, cayenne pepper and rosemary.

Salt pretzels, soft pretzels
Homemade sea salt soft pretzels, the perfect partner with craft beer
candied bacon, bacon, sweet
Sweet, smoky, spicy, salty candied BACON! So delicious

Buffalo chicken meatballs with hotwing sauce and bleu cheese was also on the menu.  This is a tasty dish for a party, especially during football season.  The birthday boy’s hand crafted beer was the perfect foil for the spicy sauce.  The recipe is below

buffalo chicken meatballs, meatballs, chicken
Buffalo chicken meatballs with crumbled bleu/blue cheese. Bake the sauce onto the meatballs for 5 minutes and the sauce wont be drippy
party forks, bamboo
I used bamboo party forks like these for the buffalo chicken meatballs. They are sturdier than toothpicks and look good too

Buffalo chicken meatballs for a party

Makes about 32- 1.5 ounce meatballs

1 small onion cut into fine dice (about ½ cup)1 garlic clove cut into fine dice2 tablespoons canola oil

3 pounds ground chicken (dark meat if possible)

3 egg whites

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon paprika

1 ½  teaspoon salt

¼ cup hot sauce

¼ cup butter

4 ounces of blue/bleu cheese

Heat oven to 400°Coat 2 rimmed sheet pans with canola oil.  Saute onions and garlic in canola oil until translucent. Cool to room temperature.Mix ground chicken, egg whites, bread crumbs, salt, paprika, sautéed onion and garlic.  Form into meatballs about 1 ½ inches in diameter

Place on an oiled sheet pan  and roast for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 °

In a separate saucepan mix hot sauce and butter heat to boiling then remove from heat.

Pour sauce over meatballs and bake 5 minutes.  Place on a serving tray with bamboo party forks and top with crumbled blue cheese


Low Carbohydrate Pasta Substitute, Shirataki noodle recipe and review: Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Low carbohydrate, bacon, spinach, shirataki noodles
Low carb shirataki noodle carbonara with spinach.

I’ve been wanting to try these shirataki noodles for a while as a pasta substitute.  The noodles have only 3 grams of carbohydrate and 20 calories in each 4 ounce serving.  The brand I used is made from tofu and yam flour.  I’ve been eating low carb for about two months now and I was having a bit of a pasta craving.  I purchased the package a couple of weeks ago but I was a bit nervous because of something written on the label in the directions that frightened me “Drain and rinse thoroughly. Parboil for 2-3 minutes to reduce the authentic aroma”.  REDUCE THE AUTHENTIC AROMA?  ummm, that made me nervous.  I finally got up the nerve to try it and, yes there is a bit of a faint fishy smell to the noodles, but it’s not bad.  After rinsing, parboiling, draining and drying I didn’t smell anything.  I tasted one plain and it had no taste at all, which is a good thing I think.  

shirataki noodles, low carb,
These are the spaghetti shaped shirataki noodles after rinsing, parboiling and draining

A carbonara style dish is what I had been craving so I crisped up some bacon, sauteed spinach in the rendered bacon fat, tossed in the noodles, stirred in an egg and mixed in some Parmesan cheese.  With a little black pepper it was pretty tasty.  The noodles have a slightly different texture from wheat pasta but it was not unpleasant.  I’d make it again.  I found the brand pictured above at my local grocery store but you can also order it and other brands of shirataki noodles from  Next time I make this I’m going to try the Miracle Noodle brand, with less than 1 gram of carbs per 3 ounce serving.  I’ll let you know how they are.  Here’s a great recipe for Miracle Noodle Shirataki Noodles with sauteed Greens

miracle noodle, shirataki noodles, low carb, weight loss
Miracle noodle, shirataki low carb noodles have less than 1 gram of carbohydrate  per 3 ounce serving

Here’s the recipe for Shirataki noodle carbonara, makes 2 servings

7-8 ounces of Shirataki noodles

4 ounces bacon

3 ounces of spinach

1 egg

2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

fresh cracked black pepper

Rinse the shirataki noodles and par-boil them for 2-3 minutes (or follow the preparation directions on the package) Drain the noodles well.

Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch slices and cook over medium heat to render the far out, remove the bacon from the pan and reserve.  Saute the spinach in the bacon fat, add the noodles and stir.  Remove the pan from the heat and add in the beaten egg and Parmesan cheese.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper and top with reserved cooked bacon.


18 pound weight loss and shrimp salad with creamy fish sauce recipe

shrimp, fish sauce, weight loss, low carb, recipe
Shrimp salad with creamy fish sauce

Congratulations to me! So far I’ve lost 18 pounds on my low carb weight loss journey.  Here’s a recipe for a typical lunch that I’ve been eating these days.  This recipe for shrimp salad with creamy fish sauce is delicious and quick to put together.   There are a few carbs in shrimp so keep that in mind when your cooking with them.

shrimp, salad,diet, weight loss,  low carbohydrate diet, recipe
Shrimp sauteed in garlic and ginger
recipe, cooking, shrimp salad
Remove the seeds of the cucumber with a spoon
Shrimp, salad, weight loss, low carb, recipe,
Mix chilled shrimp, cucumber, mayo and fish sauce

Here’s the recipe.  When you try it let me know how you like it

Shrimp salad with creamy fish sauce

Ingredients                                                                                 carbs             calories


12 ounces shrimp

1/3 clove of garlic, sliced

¼ teaspoon fresh ginger grated

8 oz (about one 8 inch) cucumber, peeled and seeded

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise

1 ½ Tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce





























Espresso Rubbed Lamb Ribs

Espresso Rubbed Lamb Ribs Coffee Rubbed Lamb Ribs America's best food blog

Okay COFFEE LOVERS! This recipe for Espresso Rubbed Lamb Ribs is for YOU! Using coffee as a spice adds a delicious depth of flavor to meats and even vegetables. I love using instant espresso along with other warm spices like smoked paprika and cinnamon. Crush the espresso between your fingers or in a mortar and pestle to release the flavor.

Espresso Rubbed Lamb Ribs Coffee Rubbed Lamb Ribs America's best food blog

I cooked these lamb ribs in an oven bag so the ribs cook in it’s own juices. The directions for the oven bags require you toss some flour in the bag before cooking. Another way to cook this is to wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil instead of using the oven bag. If you do this then you don’t have to add the flour making this a gluten free recipe.

Espresso Rubbed Lamb Ribs oven bags America's best food blog

Espresso Rubbed Lamb Ribs Coffee Rubbed Lamb Ribs America's best food blog

The Espresso Rubbed Lamb Ribs become a beautiful deep brown after roasting in the oven bag. The ribs, bathed in it’s own rendered fats and juices, come out of the bag unbelievably moist and tender. The finished dish, lamb ribs with a glaze of barbecue sauce for the family (no sauce for me, thanks) and a crisp salad with fresh and pickled vegetables on the side

Espresso Rubbed Lamb Ribs Coffee Rubbed Lamb Ribs America's best food blog


Coffee Rubbed Lamb Ribs

Demetra Overton
I baked these ribs in an oven bag so they would be moist and juice. If you don't use oven bags you can wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil before cooking
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings


  • 4 racks of lamb ribs
  • 1 Tablespoon flour if you're using an oven bag
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder crush between your fingers to make a fine powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried garlic or garlic powder


  • Heat your oven to 300°
  • Rub lamb ribs with the spice mixture. Put flour in oven roasting bag and shake around.
  • Place ribs in an oven cooking bag on top of a pan with 2 inch high sides (follow the directions on the oven cooking bag package)
  • Close the bag with the tie that comes in the package and place in the oven
  • Bake the ribs in the bag for 2 hours or until tender. Slice and serve the ribs as is or add BBQ sauce if you like





Crustless Quiche recipe makes brunch easy

crustless quiche, quiche, brunch, delicious, vegetarian, cheese, vegetables, delicious
Crustless quiche, filled with veggies and cheese, is a delicious low carb dish that the entire family loves.
crustless quiche, quiche, brunch, eggs, cheese, vegetarian, food, delicious
Basic custard mixture for deep dish quiche, 2 1/2 cups half and half, 6 eggs
veggies, broccoli, spinach, quiche, crustless quiche, delicious, brunch
1 1/2  cups of cooked veggies. Squeeze out excess water from vegetables or your filling will be soggy.  I used chopped broccoli, spinach and scallions
crustless quiche, quiche, brunch, veggies, vegetables, eggs, delicious, food
Custard filling, cheese and vegetables.  I used 3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup shredded aged asiago cheese.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup of grated hard cheese like Parmesan, Romano or aged asiago over the top to promote browning.  This quiche is ready to bake.
quiche, crustless quiche, brunch, food, delicious, veggies, vegetables, eggs
Finished crustless quiche. Serve with bacon and fresh fruit and brunch is done,

Quiche Recipe

pre heat oven to 325 degreesBasic Custard:

2 1/2 cups of half and half

6 eggs

3/4 teaspoon salt

Finely chopped fillings, 2 1/2 cups total:

Cooked; spinach, broccoli, leeks, peppers, caramelized onion, bacon, chicken, ham, crab. Shredded cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella. Soft cheeses like goat cheese

Raw; scallions, soft herbs like chives, thyme or basil


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Butter a pie dish, the one I used is for “deep dish” pie.

Cook vegetables (should be cool before you pour custard in) or use leftover cooked vegetables.  Chop them to very small size and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  Evenly distribute vegetables, meat and shredded cheese in pie dish.

Beat half and half, salt and eggs until combined.  Pour over vegetables. Top with grated hard cheese like Parmesan, Romano or aged asiago.

Place on a sheet pan in case it bubbles over. Place in center of the oven and bake for 50 minutes.  Should be a bit wobbly in the center, kind of like a Jello mold.

Let quiche rest for 15 minutes before slicing.


My Grocery shopping addiction, Kroger and inadequate couponing

produce, salad, Kroger, grocery store, grocery shopping
The produce isle at Kroger puts me in a salad mood.

Hi, my name is Demetra and I’m a grocery shop-a-holic.  My Last visit to a grocery store was yesterday and I must admit that I’m going back today. I go to the grocery store at least 3-4 times per week, I go whenever I get the urge to experiment with a new recipe…which is often.   Maybe I shouldn’t count yesterday because I was at  Kroger grocery store for a bloggers event, but I did some shopping as well.  I couldn’t resist.  Kroger reps gave our group of bloggers a tour of the store, lots of info on their programs (like their Simple Truth line of products and the beloved fuel points) and a nice bag o swag.   While I do try to patronize local farmers markets, sometimes you need a quick, convenient grocery store to run to so you can get dinner on the table.

Kroger, Boars Head, deli, grocery, grocery shopping, Grocery store
Kroger’s Deli section knows my love of Boar’s Head products well. The Sopressata, GENIUS

The folks at Kroger wanted to get out the word about the new lower prices on over 3,000 items, which I appreciate because I don’t use coupons often and lower prices would help my budget out a lot.  Kroger will also do away with doubling coupons (as of September 22) which doesn’t really affect me because any coupons I clip generally end up in the bottom of my purse, not to be found until the day after it expires.

Kroger, grocery shopping, gas, discount, fuel
Kroger fuel points are the business. I’m going to shop anyway, might as well get a discount on gas while I’m at it.
soft drinks, beverage center, Kroger, grocery store
The Kroger I visited yesterday was not the one at which I normally shop. The one I frequent does not have this mega drink dispenser. My kids would lose their minds if they saw this beverage center when we went shopping, it’s BANANAS

Gotta go, we’re out of milk…and I need gas


WINNER WINNER Chicken schnitzel dinner

When I’m making a meat dish that’s breaded I skip the flour, beaten egg and bread crumb process.  I streamline it by making a slurry of cornstarch and egg white to hold the bread crumbs.  This creates a well coated piece of meat and the coating won’t separate from the meat while cooking.

Chicken Schnitzel with melted mozzarella and salad
Chicken Schnitzel with seared tomato, melted mozzarella and salad

4 boneless chicken breasts pounded to about a 1/4 inch thick

salt, pepper, garlic powder

2 egg whites

1/4 cup of corn starch

2 tablespoons of cold water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 cups bread crumbs

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

Part skim mozzarella cheese ( not the fresh kind, it’s too watery for this purpose)

1 tomato, sliced

chopped parsley

lemon wedges

Heat the oven to 250 degrees.

Use a skillet large enough to hold 2 pounded chicken breasts.  You will need a cookie sheet to put the chicken in the oven

Season the pounded chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Beat egg whites,  water and corn starch together.  Dip the chicken breasts in the corn starch mixture then dredge in bread crumbs.  Saute in oil for about 4 minutes each side on medium high heat until the chicken is cooked through.

Drain the chicken on a paper towel then put cooked chicken on a cookie sheet and top with sliced cheese (please don’t put the paper towel in the oven) .  Place in warm oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.  Sear the tomatoes and place on top of the chicken breast, sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and a salad.


because BACON! That’s why!

I’ve been curing and smoking my own bacon (insert yo mama joke here) for quite a few months and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned to do in the kitchen.  It’s so good that I’ve totally given up on purchasing bacon from the grocery store.  Here’s the recipe, let me know if you give it a try, I think you’ll be happy that you did.

We’ve been out of bacon for a quite a while, which I don’t mind because we don’t need to eat it everyday.  If it’s in the house it WILL be eaten so it’s best not to have it available all the time.   My people were starting to crave it.  My Mom asked why I didn’t bring any on my last visit and my youngest son has been walking around the house singing the bacon pancake song (yes, that’s a real thing) so I had to get a batch started.  It’s not difficult to make but it is time consuming.  It takes over a week but it’s well worth it.

My latest batch is finally ready and this is what we did with it:

bacon, sliced thick and ready to cook
bacon, sliced thick and ready to cook
tomatoes, shallots and herbs
A plate of thick bacon, ready and waiting
A plate of thick bacon, cooked, ready and waiting
BLT with two kinds of tomatoes because one is not enough
BLT with two kinds of tomatoes because one is not enough
It looks good, doesn't it?  mmmm, yeah it's so delicious
look at it. It looks good, doesn’t it? mmmm, yeah it’s so delicious
Marinated tomato salad with bacon
Marinated tomato salad with bacon


2 Cups of fresh tomatoes chopped into1 inch pieces

1 shallot thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients together and let marinate refrigerated for about an hour

Bacon kettlecorn with rosemary. Oh yes I did.  A little salty sweet herbal and bacony goodness
Bacon kettle corn with rosemary. Oh yes I did. A little salty sweet herbal and bacony goodness



1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon bacon fat

½ cup unpopped popcorn kernels

¼ teaspoon fine salt

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup bacon, finely chopped and cooked until crisp

½ teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped

Use a large heavy bottomed pot with high sides and a lid.  Please be careful.

Add canola oil, bacon fat and three popcorn kernels into the pot ( these three kernels are used to test the heat of your oil), cover and heat over medium/high flame.  When the popcorn kernels start to pop your oil is ready to add the rest of the popcorn kernels, sugar and salt. Cover and shake the pot to keep the kernels from burning, carefully moving the pot off and on the heat.



Variety, and veggies, The spice of Life

Small farmer’s markets are popping up all over and I love to drop by and browse the freshness.  I’m so happy to see the wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and other products that you may not find in large chain grocery stores.

Welcome to the Riverside Farmer's market, Roswell GA
Welcome to the Riverside Farmer’s market, Roswell GA
Beautiful bright yellow watermelon
Beautiful bright yellow watermelon
beautiful red beans from the market
beautiful red beans from the market
Chanterelle mushrooms from Dragonfly farms
Chanterelle mushrooms from Dragonfly farms
These cakes from Saint Rita's Cakes were absolutely DELICIOUS! They have a great cream cheese pound cake and the Fudgy chocolate pound cake is to DIE for
These cakes from Saint Rita’s Cakes were absolutely DELICIOUS! They have a great cream cheese pound cake and the Fudgy chocolate pound cake is to DIE for [caption id="attachment_686" align="aligncenter" width="595"]Best bread baking co Best bread baking co
I have never seen red yard long beans before. AMAZING
I have never seen red yard long beans before. AMAZING
David's Garden Products
David’s Garden Products
Zocalo Salsas
Zocalo Salsas
Beautiful farmers market flowers
Beautiful farmers market flowers
And of course sweet Georgia peaches
And of course sweet Georgia peaches


Waldrep's fresh country sausage
Waldrep’s fresh country sausage
Waldrep's fresh country sausage, cooked and on my plate. DELICIOUS!  Spiced just right
Waldrep’s fresh country sausage, cooked and on my plate. DELICIOUS! Spiced just right

pickled Shrimp for a party

Pickled Shrimp, a great make-ahead dish
Pickled Shrimp, a great make-ahead dish

It was our turn to host movie night last weekend and I wanted to make an appetizer that could be done ahead (it’s even better done the day before) and still taste and look great.  I made this pickled shrimp dish on Friday and served it on Saturday in a large bowl, but it would have been equally as good served in individual glasses.

A different king of shrimp cocktail
A different king of shrimp cocktail

Pickled shrimp

2# medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Vegetable oil for sautéing

2 cloves chopped garlic

½ of a red onion, sliced thin (about ½ a cup)

1 yellow or orange sweet bell pepper, sliced thin

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice, peel in long strips and reserve the rind (no pith please)

½ cup of red wine vinegar

1/2 cup  Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped

Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt, paprika, cayenne and garlic powder.  Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan and heat over medium/high heat.

Sautee the shrimp with garlic in batches until they turn pink and curl.  Cool the shrimp in the refrigerator, then, layer the shrimp with onions, peppers and lemon rind.

Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar Worcestershire sauce and oregano and pour over the shrimp mixture.

Marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight up to 2 days. Add fresh chopped parsley and chives when ready to serve.

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