Spring Pinterest Partying + Karaoke

by Jenn (eating bender) on March 8, 2013

I took a short break from blogging this past week to enjoy a visit to a city you may have read about once or twice on this blog…Chicago! Officially, I was in town for a work conference, which was very interesting with a lot of great speakers. Unofficially, I arrived a few days early in order to see a few friends, try out some new restaurants – and bring back the Pinterest partying!

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You may recall our Winter Pinterest Party, during which Lauren, Monica, Kelli and I prepared a feast of epic proportions that was as delicious as it was fun to make. After the success of our initial party, the idea of which was concocted in a coffee shop last October, we decided that it would be necessary to have a Pinterest-themed gathering for every season. It guarantees more trips to Chicago from me – though I am also hoping that in the near future a Pinterest party can be hosted at my house in Arizona – and is a great way for us to try out new recipes at all levels of difficulty.

Spring Pinterest Party Graphic

(Photo courtesy of Monica)

Once again, we found it was very easy to finalize our springy menu:

{Come Soon} Spring Pinterest Party Menu

Beverage: Roasted Blueberry Basil Margaritas (pinned here)

First Course: Hummus Cups with Cucumber and Tomato (pinned here)

Second Course: Caprese Pasta (pinned here)

Side Dish: Black Bean Sliders (pinned here)

Dessert: Pie Pops with Peach-Blueberry filling (pinned here and here)

Bonus Dessert: Mini S’mores Hand Pies (pinned here)

We always seem to find ourselves with a bonus dessert. Funny how that works. Our first stop on Saturday morning was the grocery store, in order to pick up all necessary supplies. We then came back to Monica’s apartment and got straight to work snapping pictures of us at work.

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As you may have deduced by the giant container o’ fluff in my hands in the photo above, I started out by working on the filling for the Mini S’mores Hand Pies. It tasted as yummy as it looks.

Note: The majority of the food pictures below are courtesy of Monica’s amazing photography. You can check out her Pinterest party recap here. Thank you for letting me use your gorgeous photos, Monica.

S'mores Filling

I also worked beside Lauren to put together the Peach-Blueberry filling for our Pie Pops.

Jenn + Lauren

Blueberry Peach Mixture

Meanwhile, Kelli rolled out our crust and began cutting the shapes for our pies. We decided that both the s’mores and the peach-blueberry fillings should be used in a mixture of both hand pies and pops in heart and circle shapes.

Hearts

Pie Pops

For the s’mores recipe, we brushed each side of the crust with melted butter before dipping it in the graham cracker crumb and sugar mixture. We then topped every other crust with a bit of filling.

Pie Pops 3

Pie Pops 4

The unfilled crusts were then placed on top of those with the filling to create the completed pie look. For about half of them, we also added the lollipop sticks.

Pie Pops 6

The end result was pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself.

Pie Pops 7

The Peach-Blueberry pies were a bit more challenging to put together only because we used such large chunks of fruit. But we made it through, coating each one with egg whites per the pie pop recipe to help seal them.

Blueberry Peach Pies 1

We were very proud of how these turned out, too – gooey with an ultra sweet fragrance.

Blueberry Peach Pies 2

You might be able to guess which culinary school grad made the authentic, latticed mini pie (cough, Monica, cough). It was really too pretty to eat, but we somehow managed to find a way.

Blueberry Peach Pies 3

Lest you believe we lost our focus with all of this dessert making, there was plenty more going on behind the scenes while the pies were in process. Lauren was reprising her role as expert chopper…

Chopping

…while Monica put together the cups for which the Hummus Cups recipe is named. We decided to do both a regular and whole wheat version with the pizza dough.

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Hummus Cups 1

Once the cups had baked in Monica’s awesome new mini-muffin tray, the ladies filled them with hummus – Sabra, to be more specific – and topped them with the veggies. The result was nothing short of pocket-sized perfection.

Hummus Cups 2

Hummus Cups 3

Kelli was also hard at work on the Black Bean Sliders. Tears of onion joy were spilled in the process.

Kelli

I’d say they all came together quite nicely, wouldn’t you? I should add that this was a real labor of love because Kelli ended up burning her hand in her determination to save these burgers from a terrible floor fate. She deserves an extra round of applause.

Black Bean Sliders

And while we’re at it, let’s give a cheer for yummy burger toppings: sour cream, guacamole, salsa and shredded cheddar cheese!

Black Blean Sliders 2While I was excited to try everything on our menu, I was most intrigued by and thrilled that the girls wanted to make Ari’s Caprese Pasta. I’m always on the lookout for new pasta variations since we make it at least once or twice a week. This recipe was so easy to follow, and the ingredients make it feel extra classy. What more could you ask for at a dinner party?

Caprese Pasta 1

Check out the beautiful colors, too! I will definitely be making this with Bobby again soon.

Caprese Pasta 2

Let’s see…what do we have left? Oh right. The cocktails!

Roasted Blueberry Margaritas

The Roasted Blueberry Basil Margaritas were a blast to make. It’s not often (read: never) that I have a chance to roast blueberries. We stuck them in the oven and watched the transformation.

Before:

Blueberries Before

After:

Blueberries After

Once the blueberries were roasted and the simple syrup cooled, we combined them in a blender.

Blueberry Margaritas

Add a bit of salt to the rim and you have one very refreshing springtime sip.

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Before we knew it – this menu took a lot less time than our previous one – the spread was complete!

Spread 2

Monica’s husband Patrick – who also happens to be Susan’s brother – snapped a photo of the Pinterest party planning committee once we had all filled up our plates with our creations. Simply ignore Lauren’s miscellaneous can of Dr. Pepper and paper towel napkin to complete the masterpiece. Just kidding, Lauren…kind of. ;)

Pinterest Party Team

Everything turned out beautiful and tasted like – dare I say it? – spring!

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We had such a wonderful time dining and dishing, but the fun didn’t end there. We played a competitive game of Mario Party before making our way to a new experience that will forevermore be a part of the Pinterest party tradition. Thanks to Monica, we now know about Lincoln Karaoke, and our lives have been changed for the better.

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Lincoln Karaoke is a private-room karaoke club. Parties of all sizes – from four like us to as many as 30 if you have a big group of professional karaoke singers in training – can rent out a room for a certain period of time, complete with flat screen televisions, tambourines and flashing disco lights – not to mention a song list that features anything you could possibly imagine.

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After warming up with some classics like Ace of Base and Aqua, we let ourselves get lost in the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Olivia Newton-John and Blackstreet, among others. It was an absolute BLAST.

No diggity, no doubt.

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I had video evidence of these shenanigans, but I seem to have conveniently misplaced it…

Hanging with these ladies never fails to be a (P)interesting overload of fun. I can’t wait to see what our summer pins will look like. If the past two parties are any indication, we’re in for a treat.

Have you had a Pinterest party yet?!

I can’t recommend them enough. Especially with such great company.

Thanks again to Monica for hosting and for supplying the amazing food photos!

Abrazos,

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica March 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Those pie pops look amazinggggg! As do the burgers. This is so fun! Girl- you look fantastic!
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2 Jenn (eating bender) March 11, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Aw, you are incredibly sweet – thank you!

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3 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 8, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Those hummus cups look fabulous! I’m definitely going to make them for an upcoming soiree. I would love to try a Pinterest party sometime–unfortunately, I don’t think as many of my friends are as addicted as I am.
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4 Jenn (eating bender) March 11, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Definitely let me know if you try the hummus cups! I just saw your comment about Divergent, too – sorry it took me so long, but I’m SO excited you read it!

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5 emily (a nutritionist eats) March 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Such a smart and fun way to try out a bunch of new foods!
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6 Jenn (eating bender) March 11, 2013 at 11:56 pm

I never feel more inspired to cook then I do when we have these parties, haha!

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7 Ari @ Ari's Menu March 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Can we have a pinterest party here???? It looks like so much fun! So glad you had a good time in Chi town, and that you guys enjoyed the pasta! I want to make those dessssserts! YUM!
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8 Jenn (eating bender) March 11, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I would LOVE to have a Pinterest party here sometime soon! Thanks again for the awesome recipe – hope you’re loving NOLA!

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9 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) March 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I’m seriously envious! That food looks delicious! What a fun party idea.
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10 Jenn (eating bender) March 11, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Thanks, Kelli! It was a lot of fun and I definitely recommend it!

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11 Jess March 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Wow that looks amazing!!! I want to come! :)
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12 Jenn (eating bender) March 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm

You are welcome to fly in anytime and join us! ;)

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13 Monica March 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Awesome post! I’m a huge fan of your collages and the graphics on the second picture – very impressive :) And I really love the shot of the margarita from above. I’m glad to hear your lives have been “changed for the better” now that you have karaoke in it! I’m thankful to have such amazing Pinterest & karaoke companions. Like I said before.. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday :)
Monica recently posted..Spring Pinterest PartyMy Profile

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14 Jenn (eating bender) March 12, 2013 at 12:01 am

Thanks so much again for letting me use your photos! Also, I used PicMonkey for the first time do make the graphics on that second picture. You should definitely check it out – I may have found another photo editing time suck tool… :) http://www.picmonkey.com/. So thankful to have you ladies and our Pinterest party/karaoke adventures. Can’t wait for the summer edition!

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15 Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian March 9, 2013 at 10:11 am

Looks amazing! What a fun time.
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16 Jenn (eating bender) March 12, 2013 at 12:01 am

Thanks, Kelly!

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17 Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady March 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

Everything looks so amazingly delicious. I’m still not on Pinterest effectively, It’s hard keeping up with social networks.
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18 Jenn (eating bender) March 12, 2013 at 12:02 am

Thanks, Joi! I completely agree with you – to be honest I mainly use it for these parties. :) There are just too many social networks now!

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19 Cara (Twinthusiast) March 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I am very, very interested in those pie pops. And margs.
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20 Jenn (eating bender) March 12, 2013 at 12:03 am

Let it be known that this aunt would love to make pie pops with the girls next visit! And then make margs with you, of course. :)

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21 Shannon March 11, 2013 at 8:44 am

omg, everything looks delicious!!! what a fun party idea :)
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22 Jenn (eating bender) March 12, 2013 at 12:03 am

Thanks, Shannon!! :)

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23 Megan (Braise The Roof) March 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Oh man, Lincoln Karaoke…there are no words. :) I actually ended up karaoke-ing this weekend, too – what are the odds? Sorry I missed you while you were in town!!
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24 Jenn (eating bender) March 12, 2013 at 12:04 am

Haha – no words indeed. :) Awesome that you went karaoke-ing, too. Next time I’ll give you a better heads up when I’m in town and we should definitely grab drinks or dinner!

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