How to Host A Party Without Freaking Out

Let’s be honest- having people over is stressful…unless:

A: You are a total dude (like my husband) and you think a few bags of doritos and burger patties =’s party central

B: You are a gazillionaire and have party planners, caters, and servers

C: You just don’t give a snake’s rattle and you enjoy things as they come (if this is you, let’s talk…I’ll $$$ for your info on how you do it)

or…..

You have The Wifey’s Survival Advice!

I used to attend BBQ’s like a deer in headlights- stunned by my friend’s abilities to put on a culinary show and was terrified to try to follow their efforts.

Then I realized something: people like to eat. And drink. And enjoy themselves. If you serve them enough to fill them up they will be happy.

Also? People love tacos. Which is how I came up with Wifey Fiesta Night- a DIY extravaganza. And now I’m sharing the wealth*.

*pennies

You ready? Let’s Get Wife’d Up!

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What You Need/Grocery List:

  • fish/shrimps/meat/chicken of your choice (I like to get pre seasoned shrimp and fish from the counter if they have have it)
  • tortillas (I polled the ladies and flour wins every time)  – a package of flour tortillas is perfect
  • salsa/pico de gallo- it’s your choice (I’d include a mild and medium…if you serve a pico de gallo- you also get your onion serving in there)
  • gauc- make your own or buy pre made – *I like to buy pre made
  • cheese- Mexican blend cheese ideal
  • sour cream/greek yogurt
  • hot sauces of choice
  • tortilla chips! ( I like to have a low fat/organic option and an old stand by as well)
  • put out every hot sauce you own- the more the merrier
  • I like to serve a fruit salad as well, for those who don’t feel like Mexican
  • cut up a few avocados and serve those – they make everything look a little more fancy
  • a tequila drink or Coronas with cut limes

What To Do:

  • KNOW YOUR GUEST ARRIVAL TIME- For a fiesta- most things need to happen right before or as guests arrive
  • fire up your grill
  • put our your guac, hot sauce, salsas, cheese, sour cream/yogut, chips…..
  • set out  tortillas in tin foil and put to the side ( they will go on the grill for 2 mins per side at the last moment)
  • grill ears of corn for about 10 mins on medium, turning every 4 mins or so, season with salt. pepper and a little butter. Cut off ear and serve as a side.
  • microwave a bag of instant Spanish rice (90 seconds) and serve in a fancy bowl
  • Amy’s brand refried beans (or any brand really), is so simple to make- put the beans in a microwave safe dish, nuke for a min or so and stir, serve in a fancy bowl
  • cut some limes up for people to squeeze over the shrimp/fish/meat and beer
  • throw your shrimp on the grill, cook for about 2 mins per side or until shrimp isn’t pink or translucent
  • toss foil wrapped tortillas on – 2 mins per side- then serve on a plate or in a basket , covered with a napkin
  • set everything else out with some pretty plates (paper or not), silverware and napkins and FIESTA!

Why Make It When You Can Bake It

Making your own cauliflower crust pizza is extremely gratifying and totally something to brag to friends about – not that I would know, since that’s a challenge I’m just not ready to tackle yet.

THANKFULLY- I don’t have to and I still get my pizza fix.

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A lot of health food tastes like total crap, even to someone like me who spent years eating it and has tricked their tastebuds for the most part. But not these little pizzas from heaven, they are truly magical.

I found them at my local Plum Market, which is a bit of a specialty store, but I’m sure you can find them on-line as well.

Here’s the real kicker: each pizza has only 57 calories!! And you can eat the WHOLE BOX for 150 calories!! No one is getting full on one of these little guys, but after eating three, I was completely full.

Plus they are gluten free- so even your pickiest eaters will dive right in…well, unless they are dairy free or raw and then…you’re on your own.

Enjoy!

DIY Wifey Fish Filet

Lately I’ve really been craving Filet o’ Fish from good old Mc D’s.

STOP JUDGING ME!!

There is just something so perfect about the ratio of soft bun, melted cheese, crispy fish and cool tartar sauce that makes me want to send Ronald a love letter.

Since hitting up the drive thru isn’t an IDEAL way to spend one’s day, I decided to create my own- Wifey Style.

Let’s Get Wife’d Up!

WHAT YOU NEED/GROCERY LIST:

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  • Trader Joe’s reduced fat fish sticks. (3 per sando) You can really use any fish stick, but these are healthy, tasty and fit so nicely on the bun..
  • Kraft singles- 2 per
  • hamburger buns
  • tartar sauce

What To Do: 

  • pre heat your oven to 400
  • bake the frozen fish sticks till they are brown and crisp
  • cut the bun, throw a slice of cheese on one side of the bun and pop into the oven for about 3 mins, until the cheese gets melty
  • remove from oven, spread cold tartar on the other half of the bun
  • close your eyes, bite into sandwich and praise Ronald for the inspiration!

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The Wifey’s Mother’s Day (or any day) French Toast Casserole

Mother’s Day can be stressful, right?!?

We all want to show our Mom’s some major love, but scoring that “perfect” reservation or cooking a delicious breakfast can seem nearly impossible.

Growing up, my Mom made the best French Toast EVER…and I’ve tried to recreate that delicious dish…and add a Wifey Twist.

I got it* from my mamma *my height at the very least

Me and my Mom on the day I became a Wifey

This French Toast feast is pretty much guaranteed to be flawless and it’s fun to make with kids. (it involves ripping things with your bare hands!)

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PLUS- it’s inexpensive and can be customized for the Mamma in your life.

Ready? Let’s get Wife’d Up: Mother’s Day Style.

The Wifey’s Mother’s Day (or any day) French Toast Casserole

What You Need/Grocery List:

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  • a loaf of bread. I used Challah bread from my local Plum Market, you can use any variety including; whole wheat, raisin, white bread or even a loaf of stale stuff. tip: if it’s moldy, it ain’t gonna work
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1 cup of milk, I used low fat vanilla (can be; skim, full fat, vanilla, almond, soy- I’ve even seen people use Rumchata)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon * in the video I only use about 1tsp- but in the batch before I used 3 tbsp and it tasted MUCH better*
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • a 9 x 13 pan and either butter or Pam spray to grease the pan
  • any *extras* you’d like to throw in. Examples: walnuts, bananas, blueberries, raisins…get CRAZY with it.

What To Do: 

  • set your oven to 425
  • grease your pan & pour 1/2 syrup to coat the bottom

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  • slice your loaf

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  • then rip apart the slices into about 1 inch pieces- don’t stress over the size- in this case it really doesn’t matter

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  • crack your eggs in a bowl, add half and half, milk , cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and sugar and mix it with a whisk or fork until combined

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  • dump your bread pieces into the pan
  • dump your egg mix over the bread , slowly and evenly

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  • take your hands and mush down the bread to make sure every piece has taken an egg bath
  • pour 1/2 cup syrup on top
  • pop into the oven for 30 mins, check on it-it should be fluffed up.  if it’s getting burned, take it out. If it looks ok, let it bake 10 more mins.

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  • serve with anything you like! Cool Whip, Strawberries, etc.
  • Kiss your Mom!

SEE HOW SIMPLE IT IS TO MAKE VIA VIDEO…COMING SOON.

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My family- LOVE YOU MOM!

Wifey Bars

My name is Kelli Zink Levy…and I’m addicted…to Lara Bars.

It’s true, I’m obsessed with nearly every flavor (minus the minty one) and how well these little healthy bars travel along in my purse or pocket.

Just last week I whipped one out at Soho House while having drinks with friends including Marshall Faulk & Cam from Modern Family- but that’s a story for another time.

In true Wifey form, I read the simple list of Lara Bar ingredients and decided I could make my own version. My first few attempts landed me with the Zexy Mamma Bars, but now with a few tweaks, I’ve come up with my most genius version yet.

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Oh, and BTW- these are NO BAKE! That’s right, all you do is blend ’em and they are good to go.

Ready to try ’em? Let’s get Wife’d Up!

Wifey Bars

What You Need/Grocery List: 

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  • dried pitted dates- if you can only find them with the pits in – that’s fine- you’ll just have to remove them. You’ll need about  cup
  • 1/2 cup dried oats
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup honey- I use Manuka honey for the added health benefits
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter (you can also use peanut, cashew, etc)
  • a blender (or not and they will be chunkier)
  • mini foil baking pans or non stick plastic muffin sheets
  • plastic wrap or zip lock baggies

What To Do: 

  • dump the dates, oats, almonds and walnuts into your blender
  • put your honey and almond butter into a small bowl and microwave until both are soft. start with about 20 seconds, stir and continue- but make sure the ingredients don’t burn
  • transfer the hot mix to the blender
  • mix and stir, stir and blend until it all looks the same. if you like yours chunkier, that’s cool too- I prefer to blend mine a bit
  • lay a sheet of plastic wrap down and lay a layer of the mix, spreading evenly and covering with plastic again. Watch the video for the demo of the ziplock baggies too. Or simply dump even spoonfuls into the muffin tins – no plastic needed
  • pop into the freezer for 20 mins and “set”
  • if using the pan, cut into bars…eat and enjoy!

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I love giving these away as little gifts. I’ve given them to; book club girls, friends who are always on the go, and for thank you gifts.

Feel free to add your twist on them and throw in whatever ingredients YOU and your people love!

WATCH AND LEARN HOW TO MAKE EM :

Bikini Poppers- Wifey Style

Remember years ago when the South Beach Diet was all the rage and those egg bakes were super popular??

Well, the Wifey is bringing ’em back- thanks to a reminder from my Brother in law Andy (yes Andy AGAIN- what can I say- he’s an eggcellent cook) (hee hee)

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The beauty of these little poppers is that you can realize personalize them. For example:

Andy uses eggs , mine call for egg substitute. Andy adds peppers and other veggies, mine simply call for cheese.

You can add meat, various veggies- whatever you want. I’m keeping it basic and I’ll let you build if you like.

And while we’re using this baking method, I’m also going to show you how to make my version of the “egg” in the egg mcmuffin- Mc’D’s style.

The best part about both of these is that they are low carb and you can freeze and reheat for breakfast all week long. AND these are the perfect pool/beach party snacks to throw into the cooler…they energize without weighing down your bikini style.

Ready? Let’s get Wife’ed Up!

What You Need/Grocery List :

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  • a carton of egg substitute and or eggs
  • a container of crumbled goat cheese
  • a bag of Mexican blend cheese
  • PAM spray or butter
  • salt and pepper
  • a muffin baking tin- I use the disposable kind
  • something to pop the eggs out with- I think above is a frosting spreader… real technical , I know.

What To Do: 

  • pre heat your oven to 350
  • spray the muffin pan with PAM or grease with butter
  • pour equal amounts of egg mix into each muffin area- NOT all the way to the top – it will expand when it bakes
  • sprinkle goat cheese equally into each area, it will sink and mix
  • sprinkle Mexican blend on top
  • IF USING EGG- crack open and pour entire egg, unmixed into area
see how fluffy!?

see how fluffy!?

  • salt and pepper
  • bake around 20 mins
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Ronald called- he wants the Wifey’s recipe!

  • serve with toast, english muffins, salsa/guac/sour cream or simply eat on it’s own and ENJOY!

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STEP BY STEP VIDEO COMING SOON

Slam Dunk Spinach Artichoke Dip

Considering the fact that 40 million Americans fill out NCAA brackets- I’m assuming at least a few of you will watch the games and attend a viewing party or host friends…am I right?

That got me thinking about a recipe that travels well, and is at least SEMI healthy….and this dip is the answer.

I made it for my family over the Christmas holiday as an appetizer and even my brother was a fan, so I tweaked it some more and if I may say- it’s delicious.

Plus, it’s green…just like my team THE MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS!

Slam Dunk Kale Artichoke Dip

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What You Need/Grocery List:

  • either a can of quartered artichoke heats or a healthy serving of artichokes from the salad bar.
  • a bag of spinach and/or a container full of spinach from the salad bar.
  • a bunch of kale- I get mine pre chopped from Whole Foods salad bar. You can also buy your own and chop it
  • a small container of Greek Yogurt- PLAIN. I like to use the 2% fat version
  • 1/2 cup of light mayo
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • a head of garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • either a fresh round load of bread or crackers/bread for dipping
  • a blender or food processor
  • a round or square baking dish- oven safe

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What To Do:

  • pre heat your oven to 350 degrees, cut off top of garlic and place cut side up , wrapped in tin foil and drizzled with olive oil in the oven for about 30 mins. When the garlic is soft enough to squeeze- it’s done.

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and after

  • sautee 2 tsp olive oil , kale and spinach for about 5 mins or until everything is “wilted”.

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  • dump the mixture into a blender, add the artichoke and garlic and pulse until blended

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  • return this mix to a bowl and add your cheeses, yogurt and mayo- and a dash of salt and pepper as needed- stir until it’s all one happy family

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  • layer into your baking dish, sprinkle some extra cheese on top
  • bake – un covered- for around 25 mins or until the top begins to get golden brown

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  • (IF USING ROUND LOAF) cut off top, scoop out middle and break or cut into pieces. Pour dip into bowl and serve with pieces for dipping.
  • Otherwise- serve with tortilla chips, or crackers and track that bracket without starving!

* STEP BY STEP VIDEO COMING SOON*