Category Archives: Entertaining

5 Frightfully Fun and SIMPLE Recipes for Halloween

Avoid the tricks and bring on the treats! Make Halloween extra sweet this year with simple homemade treats. Below are our favorite quick and easy recipes that are sure to delight your guests (and maybe the occasional ghost too).

Spooktacular Pretzels

Spook-tacular Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels are fantastically easy and fun to make! Dip, dunk and sprinkle as you please. Here we are using NESTLÉ BUTTERFINGER and NESTLÉ CRUNCH candy bars plus Spooky NERDS.


Creepy yet delightful, these Pretzel Mummies make a great treat for the haunted night ahead.

Spooky Dentures

Keep your kids smiling with these Spooky Dentures. Perfect for Halloween parties!

Halloween Broomsticks

Too cute to pass up, these Halloween Broomsticks made with NESTLÉ BUTTERFINGER Peanut Butter Cups Mini’s are sure to be swept away in no time!

Banana Ghosts

Universally liked by kids and adults alike, these Banana Ghosts couldn’t be any easier to make.

Happy October!


All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Warm-Weather Favorites: Finger Fare at its Best

Summer is in full swing, so that means cookouts, outdoor parties and weekends packed with activities. Time spent in the kitchen is minimal. Effortless entertaining and finger fare are essential.

When thinking about recipes, those with few ingredients that incorporate seasonal produce always top my list. Throw in finger fare and the ability to make in advance… that’s a recipe for success!

Mini Caprese Skewers-001 (1)

For an instant appetizer, thread sweet summer tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella onto small skewers. Or, make in advance! Before serving, season the skewers with a cracked black pepper and drizzle with a little basil pesto.

Mini Caprese Skewers

Ingredients for 32 skewers:

2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Large bunch fresh basil leaves

10 to 14 (14 to 16 ounces total) fresh small mozzarella cheese balls (bocconcini), cut into thirds

32 (4- to 6-inch) wooden skewers

Ground black pepper

1/4 cup BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Pesto with Basil


THREAD 1 tomato half, 1 basil leaf, 1 piece of cheese, 1 basil leaf and 1 tomato half onto each skewer.

PLACE skewers on serving dish; season with pepper. Drizzle with pesto.

Nutrition facts per skewer: Calories: 45, Calories from Fat: 30, Total Fat: 3.5g (5% of DV), Saturated Fat: 1.5g (8% of DV), Cholesterol: 5mg (2% of DV), Sodium: 75mg (3% of DV), Carbohydrates: 1g (0% of DV), Dietary Fiber: 0g (0% of DV), Sugars: 0g, Protein: 3g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Pesto Hummus-001

Pesto Hummus makes for a delicious, no-cook dip that’s a snap to put together. Simply combine prepared hummus with a little basil pesto and serve with fresh crudité. Take advantage of summer-fresh sugar snap peas and bell peppers for dipping!

Smore Ice Cream Sandwiches-001

S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches are finger fare at its best! And what is summer without S’mores? Create your own ice cream sandwiches using honey graham cracker squares and S’mores Flavor DREYER’S or EDY’S SLOW CHURNED Light Ice Cream. Simply sandwich one scoop (about ¼ cups worth) of ice cream between two honey graham cracker squares.

Raspberry and Sweet Cream Pops-001

Ice pops are a great make-ahead treat and the best way to cool off! Homemade (microwave) simple syrup and summer fresh raspberries are blended together and then divided between ice pop molds. Sweet Cream Flavored NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® natural bliss® All-Natural Coffee Creamer is swirled into each pop creating a marbled look (and adds the perfect touch of cream!).

Raspberry Cream Pops

Ingredients for 10 ice pops:

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 pound (about 4 cups) fresh raspberries

10 to 20 tablespoons Sweet Cream Flavored NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® natural bliss® All-Natural Coffee Creamer


COMBINE water and sugar in small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 90 seconds; stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

PLACE raspberries and cooled sugar mixture in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

DIVIDE mixture evenly between 10 ice pop molds. Top each with about 1 to 2 tablespoons Coffee-mate. Gently stir with end of spoon to create marbling.

INSERT sticks. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Nutrition Facts per pop: Calories: 80, Calories from Fat: 15, Total Fat: 2g (3% of DV), Saturated Fat: 1g (5% of DV), Cholesterol: 10mg (3% of DV), Sodium: 5mg (0% of DV), Carbohydrates: 17g (6% of DV), Dietary Fiber: 3g (12% of DV), Sugars: 14g, Protein: 1g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Savor every last minute of summer!


All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Berry Goodness: Two New Recipes

Written by: Chris

Chocolate Filled Raspberries

Let the goodness of berries speak for themselves in these simple and delicious desserts. They are sure to be a hit with kids as well!

While strawberries are available year-round, they are actually in-season April through June. Nothing beats in-season berries! Raspberries are best during the summer months, but available now and tasting pretty spectacular!

Chocolate Filled Raspberries

For this Chocolate-Filled Raspberry recipe, all you need are NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® morsels and fresh raspberries.

For one serving, which is 10 filled raspberries, you need 10 NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Morsels and 10 fresh raspberries.

Chocolate Filled Morsels

Simply place one morsel inside of each raspberry. It’s that easy!

Chocolate-Stuffed Berries

For Chocolate-Stuffed Strawberries, all you need are fresh strawberries and NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® morsels. Both semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate morsels work great!

Chocolate-Stuffed Berries

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients for 1 serving (3 stuffed strawberries):

3 fresh strawberries

6 to 9 NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Morsels

Chocolate-Stuffed Berries

Cut stem and leaves of strawberries off. To hull, push a fat straw through the bottom of strawberries to the top, removing center portion.

Chocolate-Stuffed Berries

Fill each strawberry with 2 to 3 morsels.

Sometimes simple really is best! I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Game Day Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Written by Chris –

chicken tacos 1

Do you like to host game day parties? Regardless of who is playing, game day is a great excuse to try new recipes! And we have a new one for you that’s made in a slow cooker, packs a little heat and serves a crowd. Plus, it’s versatile! Think tacos, wraps and nachos. I’ve made these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos a number of times so I can tell you, they’re tried and true and sure to become a favorite!

From start to finish, you need to give yourself about 5 hours before you plan to serve it. No pre-cooking or browning is required. Just add the chicken, onion, garlic, fresh jalapeños, bouillon and tomato sauce to the slow cooker. Cook for approximately 4 hours or until tender. Shred the chicken, add a can of black beans and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes. The recipe serves 5, but you can double the ingredients if your slow cooker can handle the volume.  Then you can serve a crowd, or have plenty of leftovers.

To make it easier on you, set up a self-serve station for your guests. Next to the slow cooker, set out plates, napkins and utensils and toppings (like shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, guacamole and lime wedges). Offer tortillas for tacos or wraps and baked tortilla chips for nachos.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients.

ingredients 2


Ingredients for 5 servings (2 tacos each):

  • 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI® Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon OR 1 tablet MAGGI® Chicken Flavor Bouillon, dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • Toppings of your choice: cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole


slow cooker ingredients 3

PLACE chicken in 5-quart slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, jalapeños, bouillon mixture and tomato sauce.

slow cooker ingredients 4

STIR to combine; cover.  Cook on low setting for 4 hours or until chicken is tender.

slow cooker cooked 5

SHRED with a fork.

slow cooker add beans 5

STIR in black beans. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

slow cooker with beans 5

So easy! This is what it looks like when done.

chicken tacos final 6

SERVE warm in corn tortillas with toppings of your choice.

chicken tacos final 7

Or…make nachos.

Shredded Chicken Wrap

Or…make a wrap!

For more Game Day recipe ideas, check out

MAGGI® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Related Recipes:

Tequila Citrus Wings BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Tequila Citrus Chicken Wings
Barbecued Beef Sandwiches

We Love Potlucks!

Written by Chris


I absolutely love potlucks! There is nothing better than getting together to share favorite recipes and celebrate good family, friends and food. It seems like every month there is a work function, school activity or gathering of friends that revolves around a buffet style meal, and I love it!

Here are some tips and ideas to help with your next potluck:

Feeding a Crowd
One of the biggest questions when cooking for a potluck is, “How much do I make?” Try to take an estimated headcount and plan accordingly, but you don’t need to make full portions for each person. Remember, there are always many options and dishes at potlucks! Typically, count on having enough food for 8-15 small servings, depending on the dish.

Making the Perfect Dish
When choosing a main dish to share, think simplicity and portability. Focus on recipes that combine common ingredients into one dish or pot so that it’s recognizable, easy to serve and will please even the picky eaters. Casserole and crock pot recipes are great ways to combine flavorful ingredients into one transportable meal – just make sure the dish is cooked prior to transporting.

Keep Cool with Appetizers
One concern with potlucks is keeping food warm. You can avoid the hassle by bringing a dish that can sit at room temperature. Salads, vegetable and fruit dishes, and dips are great contributions to the buffet line!

Don’t Forget Dessert
Potlucks are a great time to try out a new cookie, brownie or other decadent recipe. Dessert recipes are often easy to multiply or divide to accommodate any amount of guests, and are an added bonus to the end of the meal.

Find Your Go-To Dish
There is nothing wrong with bringing the same crowd-pleasing dish to multiple potlucks. Find a couple fool-proof dishes that you can rotate throughout the year. Having your go-to meals will reduce the amount of time and planning spent on your end.

Tips and Etiquette
Serving: Be sure to bring the appropriate serving ware for your dish so people can easily fill their plate and move on to the next yummy treat.

Portions: Everything on the table looks amazing! Don’t let your eyes fill up your plate! Be sure to take small portions of the dishes you like, and pass on others.

Thank the host: Always thank the host or coordinator of the evening before leaving. For an added touch, bring a small gift as a special way to show your appreciation.

Recipe Ideas
Looking for a new recipe to wow the crowd? Check out some of our favorite potluck dishes!
Baked Potato Casserole
Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese
Creamy Chicken and Rice Bake
Spinach and Fresh Fruit Salad
Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip
Italian Antipasta Cold Salad
Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s in Your Drawer? Top 10 Kitchen Tools & Gadgets

Written by Chris

Kitchen Gadgets

Whether you are setting up your very first kitchen or have mastered the art of cooking, certain tools and gadgets are essential.

  1. You don’t necessarily need a big block of knives.  But I’d recommend having a good sharp Chef’s and a bread knife at minimum.
  2. Every kitchen needs a cutting board whether it be wood (I like Boos brand) or plastic.
  3. A digital instant-read thermometer that can be used for checking doneness of meat and poultry, as well as for use with deep frying and candy making, is essential.
  4. I love my microplane zester, this is another must.  You can add instant flavor with a little grated citrus or even spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.).
  5. To measure the correct amount of flour or cheese or to make sure that pieces of meat, poultry, and fish are the specified size, use a food scale.
  6. Kitchen shears are perfect for cutting small amounts of herbs, chopping canned tomatoes directly in the can and trimming fat from meat and skin from poultry. When pinched for time, I even cut my kids cooked meat with kitchen shears. It’s much faster than using a knife.
  7. Stainless steel measuring cups are used for measuring ingredients like flour, sugar, grains and cereals.  Liquid glass measuring cups, sized from 1 cup to 4 cups, used for measuring wet ingredients. Both are must haves. As are measuring spoons. These items ensure that your recipes come out just right. Use them for your baking recipes, at minimum.
  8. Whisks in assorted sizes are ideal for beating eggs and egg whites, blending salad dressings, and dissolving solids in liquids. They are available both in stainless steel and nylon; the nylon ones won’t harm nonstick surfaces. I’d recommend having both.
  9. A peeler removes the skin from both vegetables and fruits. It’s also handy for making chocolate curls!
  10. A cookie scoop makes the most uniform cookies every single time. You can also use it to make melon balls.

What kitchen tool or gadget are you most passionate about?


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