Housewarming Party Spread

Hello again, friends.  I hope you all had a good weekend.  I’m hanging on the sofa, enjoying today’s chilly afternoon.  Dave has RedZone football on, and I’m still reeling from a wonderful party at our new house.  Yesterday, we *finally* threw our housewarming party after moving into our home in late May.  It’s been a journey and a lot of work getting the house together… buying some new furniture, painting a few of the rooms, hanging up pictures, etc.  It’s nice for everything to be coming together.  The housewarming party was a great success- lots of friends and family came to visit and we had a great time.  But, more importantly… the spread was fantastic.

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After lots of planning, stress, more planning and more stress- I landed on what I hoped to be enough food for the 60+ people we were expecting.  I wanted to share my party spread and the corresponding recipes with you, in the hopes of maybe making YOUR next open house party less stressful.

Our party was awesome, and the food was absolutely perfect.  There are a few tips I’d first like to give before diving into the yummy recipes I’m sharing.

  1. When you’re going to try and cater your own party, you can never have too much planning.  My first step of planning was for our menu.  I saved recipes with links to the original pages on an email draft, and added as I thought of more.  At the same time, I made my grocery list.  Every time I added a recipe, I would open it up and jot down the ingredients I’d need to buy for it.  I’ve found this to be SO helpful while I’m at the grocery store.
  2. For your menu, come up with a variety of options.  Finger foods are always ideal, less waste and clean up required.  A few hot items, a few cold items are nice… as well as a good combination of veggie-friendly and carnivore-friendly.
  3. Next, plan when you’re cooking EVERYTHING.  If there’s anything you can prep before hand, do it.  The less you have to do the day-of, the better.  Trust me.  Things get crazy and stressful and this will make your life so much easier.
  4. Double check your ingredients.  I had to go back to the store twice, after not remembering to save my onions, or buy extra limes.  Your prep will run smoothly if you check all of your ingredients before starting on your recipes!
  5. Map out your serving plan just as precisely as your recipe plan.  Know what serving utensils, dishes bowls, and space you’re going to use before making up your mind.
  6. Labels.  Label your food and drinks, please.  You wouldn’t want all your hard work to go to waste because someone doesn’t know what’s in the cheesy dip no one’s touched yet.  People feel more comfortable eating food when they have an idea of what it is… don’t you?
  7. Ask for help!  Grab your spouse, Mom, friend, anyone who offers to help you.  It’ll be nice to get to delegate some of the work, but also getting another opinion when you’re stuck with a last minute decision is clutch.

Now that you’re ready to plan… let me share my menu with you!

Before the madness

Before the madness

For our food spread, I wanted to go with most recipes I could make before the day of the party.  I’m a huge fan of dips, so I always have a few of those.  I also had a few cheese plates we got for our wedding that I wanted to show off, so I definitely wanted to do some fun cheeses.  Adding in a few other apps here and there, and Dave’s requested Chick Fil-A nugget platter, we came up with a great variety of food that was pretty much gone by the end of the night!  It was a huge success.

Soft Pretzels:  Being in Philly, I had to order our favorite soft pretzel tray from Philly Soft Pretzel Factory.  I like to get the full tray but only include salted pretzels and everything pretzels.  Yum.  Dave picked these up about an hour before the party started.

Cheese Plates with Crackers:  I ALWAYS try to buy my cheese from Trader Joe’s.  They have an awesome variety and great prices and if you’re not sure what to do, their staff is very helpful.  I went with a crunchy, aged sharp cheddar, a 1000-day aged Gouda, the always reliably delicious and creamy Saint Andre, a nutty Manchego, and a slightly stinky Blue Stilton.  We had a few accompaniments to go alongside the cheese and crackers- Fig Butter, Honey, Dried Cherries, and Truffle Marcona Almonds.  Nommm.

Caprese Skewers:  This is probably my new favorite entertaining snack.  It’s healthy, it’s easy, and everybody loves them.  These bad boys are simple… buy yourself some small wooden skewers, stack a grape tomato, basil leaf, and chunk of fresh mozzarella.  You can drizzle with balsamic or put a small dish in the center, like I did, for your guests to dip.  I recommend doing this day of so the tomatoes and cheese don’t dry out.

Tortellini Skewers w/ Pesto Dipping Sauce:  Another SUPER simple recipe.  I bought a huge serving of the pre-cooked tortellinis from BJ’s and cooked them up day of.  Throw two tortellini’s on each skewer and then again, either drizzle or offer a pesto dipping sauce.  I wanted to do this instead of a pasta salad, that people would probably serve themselves too much of.

Roasted Shrimp w/ Cocktail Sauce:  This was a great make-ahead snack.  Bought a giant bag of Extra-Large frozen raw, tail-on shrimp from BJ’s.  Shrimp can be expensive, so definitely try to get them in bulk!  I thawed the shrimp, then spread them in a foil-lined, pam-sprayed cookie sheet.  Then, I sprayed the shrimp with coconut oil spray (olive oil drizzle would be fine too!) salt and pepper.  Popped them in the oven at 400 for about 4-5 minutes on each side.  I put those in a tupperware until the day of, when I served with cocktail sauce.  Simple, yet these were the first snacks gone!

BBQ Salami:  Two Hebrew National Salamis- score and place in foil inside a baking dish.  Cover the salami with BBQ sauce.  Sweet Baby Ray’s is a family favorite (and gluten free!).  Bake in the oven for about 45 min or until the BBQ sauce starts getting all carmelizedy on the salami.  Cut or slice and pour any extra BBQ sauce ontop.  Serve with mustard, again, family preference is Nance’s Sharp and Creamy.  Another big hit.

In case you're like me and had no idea what kind of salami to buy :)

In case you’re like me and had no idea what kind of salami to buy 🙂

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Roasted Shrimp and Green Bean Salad

Roasted Shrimp and Green Bean Salad

Now, onto the Dips.

Caramelized Onion Dip w/ Wavy Chips:  Based off of Ina’s Pan Fried Onion Dip.  This was a new recipe to me and I’m pretty much obsessed.  This was the first thing I came to when people were leaving and it was my turn to eat.  YUM.

Recipe- 2 Large Sweet Onions, 4 T Butter, 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil, 1/4 tsp Cayenne, 1 tsp Kosher Salt, 1/2 tsp Black Pepper: Cut onions in half.  Make thin slices with the cut side-down (half moon shape).  Cook the onions for about 30-40 minutes with all other ingredients listed so far in a saucepan.  Put aside and let cool.  Meanwhile, in a mixer, combine 4oz Light Cream Cheese, 1/2 cup Fat Free Sour Cream, and 1/2 cup Olive Oil Mayo.  Once the onions are cool, add them to the mixture and combine.  I tried to remove the onions from the grease, and did not just dump them in together.  

Spinach Dip w/ Carrots and Celery:  A classic staple for us.  I make this all the time just to have for Dave and I to snack on during the week.

Recipe- One container fat free sour cream, 3/4-1 cup of Olive Oil Mayo.  Mix with one package of cooked chopped spinach (I drain mine using cheese cloth.  SO MUCH BETTER than paper towels, i promise it’s worth the small investment), one small can of diced water chestnuts, and one package of Lipton Vegetable soup (dry mix only).  Serve with raw vegg.

Buffalo Chicken Dip:  I never make this because everyone does, but it was a specific request from Dave… so of course I made it again.  Check out my fav recipe here on the blog, not too long ago.  I like to serve this with crackers or my favorite, Fritos Scoops.

Roasted Jalapeno & Honey Hummus:  Another repeat for the blog, but my favorite and really the only hummus in my life anymore.  It’s so good.  I used only 2 peppers, without seeds and it was pretty hot.  Not sure how I used 4 as I talked about in the original post, but go for it if you like heat.  I try to keep things on the less-spicy side for big parties.  Served this with Pita chips.

Cheese, Salad, Hummus, Buffalo Chicken Dip

Cheese, Salad, Hummus, Buffalo Chicken Dip

Spinach Dip and vegg

Spinach Dip and vegg

Time for the “main” dishes!  Not too heavy, I tried to still stay with finger food.

Chicken Nuggets:  I’d like to say this was for the kids we were expecting, but I’m pretty sure the adults devoured them just as much.  Saved myself some time and ordered the biggest party tray available at Chick Fil-A.  They’re the best.

Balsamic Roasted Veggies:  I like to have a healthy option and a good hearty veggie option since Rachel my sister-in-law is a vegetarian, I always try and remember that not everyone can eat meat!  During my prep day, I sliced two eggplants, a few lbs of zucchini, carrots, asparagus, and multi-colored bell peppers (keep those whole!) and threw them in the oven at 400, sprayed with some oil salt and pepper.  I roasted the veggies for about an hour, flipping every so often and turning the bell peppers.  For the bell peppers- you’ll want to get those nice and browning, then toss them in a paper bag.  Let them steam for about 10 minutes, then remove the skin and seeds once they are cool.  I placed all the veggies in a tupperware with balsamic vinegar poured overtop.  Served these room-temp day of.

Strawberry Salad w/ Lime Basil Vinaigrette:  You can make the dressing ahead, but definitely do the salad day-of.  I simplified the salad but used the dressing from this recipe.  Mixed greens, tossed with fresh strawberries, raw slivered almonds, and crumbled blue cheese worked great with this light dressing.  It looked like it wouldn’t be enough, but once I tossed the salad with the dressing, it somehow dressed the whole salad.  Don’t panic if you  make the dressing and it looks small!

Dressing- 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice, zest from the lime, 1/2 cup Olive Oil, 1 T Honey, 1/4 cup Fresh Basil, Salt, Pepper.  Blend in a blender or food processor.  

Italian Green Bean Salad:  This recipe is a favorite of my friend Erin’s family and was passed along to me for my party!  A great additional healthy option, and is perfect room temp.  I did make the salad day of and dressing during my prep day.

Recipe- 2lbs Fresh Green Beans, 1 pint Grape Tomatoes (cut in half), 3 T Balsamic Vinegar, 1 T Dijon Mustard, 1/2 tsp. Salt, 9 T olive oil, 1 large red onion (diced and soaked in cold water).  Drop beans in boiling water.  Cook for about 4 minutes, then drain and place into an ice water bath to stop the cooking.  Mix the dressing, then toss with the beans, tomatoes, and onions.  Serve room-temp.  

Raspberry Chipotle Meatballs:  Another staple for parties of mine.  Easy, sweet, spicy, love it.  I bought a 5lb bag of Turkey meatballs from BJ’s and doubled my original recipe I found years ago from Southern Living.  Made these during prep-day, then threw the cold balls into my crock pot a few hours before game-time.

Recipe- 2lbs meatballs, 1 28oz BBQ Sauce (again, Sweet Baby Ray’s for me), 1 15oz Jar Raspberry Preserves (I use All-Fruit brand!), 3 chipotle peppers + 1 Tablespoon of sauce from a small can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo (found near mexican food in grocery store).  Mix everything but the balls in a large pot, add 1 1/2 cups water and whisk.  Add meatballs and cook until heated through or about 45 min.  Re-heat or place in a crockpot to keep warm.

Roasted Veggie platter

Roasted Veggie platter

Pretzels, Nuggets, Salami, and Meatballs

Pretzels, Nuggets, Salami, and Meatballs

Our desserts were completely provided by our fabulous Moms!  My Mom made a decadent chocolate pizza with marshmallows ontop, chocolate covered pretzels, and her famous “White Trash” (white chocolate rolled chex mix, peanuts, and M&Ms).  Dave’s Mom brought us her famous Magic Cookie Bars, Raspberry Bars, Lemon Bars, and my favorite fall-appropriate Pumpkin Bars.  My mouth is watering again!

Dessert Area

Dessert Area

No party would be complete without the libations!  We bought beer, and provided one mixed drink option and two sangrias.  For each of the mixed drinks, I doubled the recipe.  I’ve made the red before and am a huge fan, but the favorite by far was the seasonal Apple Pie Sangria.  I’ll be making that again!  These can be made before the day of, but if you add the fruit in before, take that out day of and replace with new fruit.

Also, with any of the drinks, I’d recommend leaving out the ice and having your guests put their own ice in their cups.  That way, the ice won’t melt and water down the drinks.

Red Sangria, a Bobby Flay Recipe:  I used Spanish Red Wine, and omitted the Blackberries, as they are not in season.
Recipe- 2 Bottles Table Red, 1 cup Apricot Brandy, 1/2 cup Triple Sec, 1/2 cup Raspberry Liquor, 1 cup Orange Juice, 1 cup Pomegranate Juice, 2/4 cup simple syrup, orange slices, apple slices, blackberries, one cinnamon stick.

Apple Pie Sangria:  Followed this one exactly.  The Caramel Vodka we bought was Smirnoff brand called “Kissed Caramel”.

Recipe- 2 Bottles Reisling, 5 cups Apple Cider, 2 cups Ginger Ale, 2 cups Caramel Vodka, 3 honey crisp apples, 3 pears, 2 cinnamon sticks

Maui Moscow Mule:  Vodka, Lime, Ginger Ale, Pimms #1, Mint, Fresh Ginger and Lime Slices.  I made this one too strong at first, so I recommend tasting before serving so you can get the mixture right!  Like the sangria, I had the Ginger and Lime slices as well as mint leaves floating on top.

A pretty picture of my kitchen, where I did all this hard work :)

A pretty picture of my kitchen, where I did all this hard work 🙂

I hope this can inspire you when you’re going to make your own party next!  If you were one of the lucky ones at my party, you’re welcome ESPECIALLY for the Apple Pie Sangria recipe and thank YOU for coming!

BBQ Deviled Eggs

I’m so super excited to brag and announce that this delish recipe was chosen as a Host Favorite (TWICE!) for this week’s Daily Dish Foodie Friends Friday!  TWO big Thank You’s to Ericka & Cindy for choosing my recipe 🙂

Foodie Friends Friday

Read more at http://www.foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com/recipes-that-caught-our-attention-6/#Yrzw1kWkeHqdfcel.99

 

Is anyone hosting an Oscars Party this weekend?  I am so excited to see who’s going to win this year.  Typically, I have very strong hopes for one movie or actor in each catagory… only having seen one or two a year.  This year is different.  I am SO excited!  I cannot figure out who to root for.

I really enjoyed Django, loved Zero Dark Thirty, and am nearly obsessed with Silver Linings.  AH!  Bradley Cooper AND Jennifer Lawrence?  LOVE THEM!

Anyway, I am sharing with you a recipe that would be perfect for a little appetizer for an Oscars Party… or any party really!  I made these for my superbowl party, and they were a huge hit.  I think I ate three of them myself too… whoops!

BBQ Deviled Eggs

Recipe adapted from:  The Neelys

Ingredients:

12 Hard Boiled Eggs

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil Mayo

4 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce

2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s… my fav)

Salt, Pepper, Chives, and Smoked Paprika

Directions:

1.  Carefully slice the hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise.  Scoop out the yolks putting them in a mixing bowl and place the whites on a plate.  Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, salt and pepper, mixing together.  Taste and season accordingly.

2.  Put the filling in a ziplock bag and seal.  Cut a small hole in the bottom corner.  Fill the holes in the egg whites with the mixture from the bag.  Top with Chives and Smoked Paprika (use regular if that’s all you have, but Smoked Paprika would be a GREAT addition to your spice cabinet if you don’t… and you can get it at TJ’s for $1.99)

I happen to think this is like, the best picture I've ever taken on here!

I happen to think this is like, the best picture I’ve ever taken on here!

I will probably never use my normal Deviled Eggs recipe ever again.  The flavors in this recipe are SO amazing and work so well with the eggs.  You can taste the BBQ sauce AND the mustard, and even the zing from the hot sauce.  The Smoked Paprika puts the final touch.  YUM!

So a side note about this recipe… it originally called for half the amount of eggs. I was expecting about 20 people for our superbowl party, so I decided to double it.  Thank god I did.  Despite following the strict perfect-hard-boiled eggs rules, my eggs were a NIGHTMARE!  They took me about a half hour to peel and were a huge pain in the ass.  I ended up ripping into the whites on a few of them.  UGH!  So, needless to say, I was happy to have made extra… and used the “rejects” for egg salad 🙂

This recipe can be found at this week’s Foodie Friends Friday!!

Foodie Friends Friday

Barbacoa, Ardmore PA

I love having workout partners.  Whether it’s a girlfriend I convince to take my Powerstrike class with me, or it’s Dave lifting while I run on the treadmill… it’s always better to have someone with you.  It’s great motivation. 

I normally don’t need any kind of outside motivation to workout.  I really do love it, and it’s usually my favorite part of my day.  However, since I work at the gym there are some days all I want to do is just go home after work and lay around and watch TV with Stella.  On those days, I LOVE knowing that my friends Kelly and Sam will be coming to the gym to take classes with me.  I feel more obligated to stay, and it’s always more fun. 

Kelly has been telling me about this great new BBQ place in Ardmore near us that they go to called Barbacoa.  We finally got it together to make plans and head over there.  Before I go into the gory details of our meal… let’s just say I’m SO happy we worked out first. 

How cute is that Rooster?!

Kel and I split two things (in my true indecisive fashion) , and each get two sides.  Kelly ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich and I got the Half-Rotisserie Chicken.  I can’t even decide which I liked better, because they were both unbelievable.  The chicken is Peruvian Style:  Soaked in brine for 12 hours before being cooked over an open fire of hardwood coals and local oak.  The chicken was super juicy and flavorful.  The pulled pork was also very moist.  The sandwich was delicious and came with some of their signature slaw and wasabi sauce ontop.  The wasabi was a surprising flavor with the pulled pork but i loved it, it worked so well together.

1/2 Chicken: 1 Breast, 1 Leg, 1 Thigh. The two sauces were both awesome, super-flavorful and spicy. YUM.

Pulled Pork is great from Barbacoa- the sandwich includes Slaw and Wasabi Sauce which work really well with the tangy BBQ Sauce.

As if the tasty bbq meats weren’t enough… wait until you hear about the sides.  Kelly ordered the mac and cheese and the creamed spinach.  Mac and Cheese- forget it… OMG  it was ridiculous.  I also picked the creamed spinach… mmmmmm!  So yummy.  My favorite side though was recommended to me by our server:  Cornbread Pudding.  Yup… I said it.  Cornbread.Pudding.  It was creamy and sweet but salty and just so so yummy.  Wow.

The Mac and Cheese- definitely WTC (worth the calories!)

Cornbread Pudding…I don’t even know how I managed to snap a pic before diving in… yummmm

… I feel hungry just looking at it.

The restaurant is small but you can BYO which is great.  With all of the food we ordered, including tip, the total was $21 a person- not too bad!  Since I ate at Barbacoa with Kelly, Dave and I have tried it again as takeout.  We went with the Pulled Pork Sandwich again but also tried their Brisket Sandwich which was really only just okay- a little bit dry.  I’ll definitely be back though for those delicious sides and rotisserie chicken!

Kel:  Where are we going next!?

Grilled Chicken, Veggies, & Roasted Potatoes w/ Dill

So, it’s almost the 4th of July!

Is everyone’s grill-mode on full swing?

Since we’ve been hardly home this summer, and super busy when we are… I haven’t been grilling enough.  It’s depressing.

I was really happy this week when Dave offered to grill up some veggies & chicken for us while I roasted potatoes in my new Dutch Oven.  (Okay, he came into the house and I told him he was grilling… but he did it without complaining!)

Grilled Chicken & Veggies

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts (ours were 8oz each)
1/2 Cup Lawry’s Herb & Garlic Marinade
2 Zucchinis, halved
1 Onion, sliced into thick rings
Olive Oil sprayer
Salt, Pepper, Paprika
Directions: 
  1. Marinade the raw chicken breasts for a half hour covered in the refrigerator , turning halfway through.
  2. Cut your veggies, spray with just a touch of olive oil and season.
  3. Turn on your grill to medium-high.  Both veggies and chicken take a while so they can go on at the same time.
  4. Flip the chicken once it looks like it’s halfway done, then carefully flip the veggies.  Grill until they’re both cooked (chicken should be 165 degrees inside).  I like the veggies a little bit burnt!

    It’s simple and you can top off the chicken with any flavor sauces when it’s done grilling with this!

    This is the sauce we picked to top our veggies and chicken with tonight.

I also was able to try out a new recipe in my brand spankin’ new Dutch Oven that Dave bought me for my b-day!

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes w/ Garlic & Fresh Dill

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook
Ingredients:
1lb Fingerling Potatoes, rinsed
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
8 Cloves Roasted Garlic (or minced garlic if you don’t have roasted)
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Fresh Dill, chopped
Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Directions:
1.  Heat the dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat.  Melt the Butter.  Add the potatoes, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
2.  Open lid and stir the potatoes every 7-10 minutes or so.  You can check the done-ness of the bigger ones by sticking a fork in it.  It’s done when it goes in and out easily.  
3.  Add roasted and minced garlic.  Stir.  Cook for 5 more minutes or until the potatoes are done (depends on the size!)
4.  Remove from dutch oven and strain away any excess butter.  Toss with dill, and serve with extra salt/pepper if desired.

Potatoes were so good!

Add some hot sauce and you’ve got yourself some dee-licious potatoes!  YUMMY!  The roasted garlic becomes almost sweet, and is a great addition to this dish.  We buy a little container of it at our local italian marketplace.  It’s cheap and you can use it on so much (smashed on bread… mmmm).

The finished product. I was so full after!

Asian BBQ’ed Chicken & Grilled Romaine

I’m ready for summer!  That means its time to get out the scrubber and clean off the BBQ!

5-Ingredient Asian Marinade

for BBQ Chicken
Ingredients:
4 Shakes Hot Chili Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce
2 teaspoons Sweet Chili Sauce
4 teaspoons Teriyaki Sauce
1 teaspoon Honey
Directions:
1.  Place 2 chicken breasts in a freezer bag.  Add all 5 sauce ingredients.  Zip up and mush the chicken around in the bag (with the bag closed!) until the sauce is mixed well.  Put in the refrigerator for an hour.  Flip the bag over once during that time.
2.  After it sits for a while, take the chicken out.  Fire up your barbie (cleaned and sprayed with Pam BEFORE lighting).  Place chicken on the grill over medium to medium high heat.  Depending on thickness, heat flipping once until it looks done.  If you aren’t sure, go ahead and take a piece off, cut it in the middle and make sure it’s no longer pink.  Put it back on if it’s not done.
3.  That’s ALL!!!

I’m not the best judge with checking to see if my chicken is done.  I’m so paranoid that I always end up taking it off too late when it’s all dried out.  This time around, I made sure to not over-cook it and it was perfect!  You can use this chart for some helpful tips!

Chicken marinating…

I was able to get some nice grill marks on there!

I served this sweet and spicy chicken over a really yummy salad… with GRILLED ROMAINE!  Have you ever had it before?  It’s so good!  It was so easy to do and I will absolutely be using this again, really soon!

Grilled Romaine

Ingredients:
2 heads Romaine, rinsed and patted dry
Olive Oil sprayer
Salt & Pepper
Directions:
1.  Slice the romaine in half, lengthwise with a large knife so you make it through the entire head, leaving the bottom white part in tact.  Pat dry and let sit for 5 minutes.  Spray with an oil sprayer, or carefully lightly drizzle olive oil on.  You really don’t want to use too much.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2.  Fire up your Barbie!  You’ll only need medium-low heat for these babies so make sure it’s not too high.  Place the lettuce slice-side-down onto the grill.  Let the sit for 5 minutes before checking on them.  Once they are starting to get some grill marks, cook for another minute or two, then using tongs, take off of the grill.
3.  Cut off the white-ends of the lettuce, cut up and serve in a salad!

cut the romaine length-wise so the leaves stay together

finished product!

This was so delish!  You seriously won’t believe how easy it is and how much of a difference it will make to your salad.  Try it!!!

The rest of the stuff in this salad were some strawberries, dried currants, sunflower seeds, red bell pepper, celery, a hot cherry pepper and some blue cheese crumbles.  It all came together really well with the chicken and some Ken’s Light Asian Sesame.

yummy salad with both the romaine and the chicken

Jimmy’s BBQ in Malvern, PA

For those of you who don’t already know, I am obsessed with Groupon deals.  Living Social, Buy With Me, Dealyo, etc etc… I love them all.  Besides the obvious savings they provide, I like buying these coupons because they allow me to try new places.  In this case, Dave and I had a deal that brought us all the way out to Malvern, PA for Jimmy’s BBQ.

Oink Oink!

I knew I was going to like Jimmy’s when we walked in the door.  Besides the entire restaurant smelling heavenly, the first thing I saw was a sink in the dining area… which is amazing after getting messy eating BBQ!  What a great idea.

At Jimmy’s BBQ, EVERYTHING is made from scratch.  The BBQ meats are house-smoked using hickory and cherry woods, dry-rubbed, and then served to you so you can slather as much of their homemade BBQ sauce on as you’d like.  Not only did we come to Jimmy’s on Wednesday (one FREE beer with any order after 5pm), but we had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy himself.  He talked to us about the differences in their three types of BBQ sauces, how they smoke their meats, and even was kind enough to give us a sample of their fall-off-the-bone ribs.  Now that’s what I call good service!

It’s no surprise knowing how indecisive I am, that we both had to order the Meat Sampler Plate including 5 oz portions of our choice of three meats.  Dave ordered the BBQ Chicken, Pulled Pork, and Brisket while I chose the Brisket, Chicken, and Hot Italian Sausage (also from scratch, house smoked).  We each got to pick two sides, and per Jimmy’s suggestion we each ordered the Smoked Beans, and then the Dirty Corn Salad and Corn Bread.

Delish sides

Brisket, Chicken, and Hot Italian Sausage (from left to right) mmmmm!

Let me tell you, I don’t even know where to start!  Everything we ate here was delicious.  ALL of the meats were tender, juicy, and flavorful.  At first, we couldn’t decide which of the three BBQ sauces we liked best, and I’m sure you’re not surprised that the “Hot” won out… duh.  Jimmy told us that they use white cayenne pepper in the Hot BBQ sauce, which I had never heard of.  I will definitely have to go buy some for home.

Dave loaded up on the BBQ sauce

Dave’s favorite was the Brisket, which happens to be one of his favorite foods.  Although everything was so yummy, I couldn’t stop eating the hot Italian sausage.  It was so good!  I could hardly finish my plate so I got to take home some leftovers and some extra BBQ sauces.

Dave and I will absolutely be returning to Jimmy’s BBQ in the near future.  It’s hard to find good BBQ food in the Philly area and it is so nice to know we have such a great place less than a half hour away.  Both of us recommend Jimmy’s, and make sure you say “hi” to Jimmy when you go try it for yourself!