French Hot Chocolate

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

I started taking French in fifth grade, and I’m fairly certain it was right around that same time I first heard tales of le chocolat chaud from my French teacher. Hyped as a thick, decadent mug of melted chocolate, it was when I was sixteen and sitting at a little café in Paris that I first truly understood those tales. The hype was absolutely every bit legit. French hot chocolate is about as delicious a thing that has ever been created. It’s more dessert than beverage for sure and it is undeniably a perfect way to warm up now that we’re into the real, deep cold of winter when spring still seems so far off. Generally it is served with whipped cream, which helps to balance out all of the chocolate and cut some of the sweetness. The pairing of the two is just heavenly.

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate
Makes 4 servings

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 12 oz dark chocolate
  • Whipped cream

Add milk and heavy cream to a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until simmering, being careful not to scald or boil. While the milk mixture is heating, chop the dark chocolate. (For best flavor, use a good quality chocolate that’s at least 60 – 70% cacao.) Once simmering and heated thoroughly, remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate to the saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Pour into small mugs and serve immediately with whipped cream and a little extra chopped chocolate on top.

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

French Hot Chocolate Recipe | Recipes, entertaining tips, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

post-line-before-credits

[Recipe + art direction by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

2 comments

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip | Party appetizers, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

I have one final recipe for you as we head into Super Bowl weekend! This is a to die for slow cooker spinach artichoke dip recipe that really just wins on every level. The prep is minimal – just chop a few things, toss it all in a slow cooker and call it good to go. It’s great if you’re the hostess or if you’re a guest and want to bring something along because the transport is a cinch. Also, the flavors are on point. Creamy and tangy and loaded with tons of spinach and artichokes so it feels really decadent, too. I’m confident enough in this take on the classic crowd favorite to go so far as to say your friends will be begging you to make it at every party once they get a taste.

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip | Party appetizers, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip | Party appetizers, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip | Party appetizers, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • (2) 8oz bricks of cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • (2) jars (15 oz) artichoke hearts
  • 16 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut cream cheese into cubes. Finely mince garlic cloves then trim the ends from all the spinach leaves. Drain artichoke hearts, rinse quickly and then chop finely. Add all ingredients to a large slow cooker, cover and cook on high heat for at least two hours. Serve directly from the slow cooker or transfer to a bowl and serve with pita chips, crostini or other bread, crackers or chips to your liking.

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip | Party appetizers, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip | Party appetizers, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip | Party appetizers, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

post-line-before-credits

[Recipe + art direction by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

0 comments

Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili

Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili Recipe | Super Bowl recipes, entertaining tips, Super Bowl party ideas, party themes and more from @cydconverse

Because I have chili on the brain this week with our Super Bowl chili cook-off going down on Sunday, I’ve got the second of two crazy yummy vegetarian chili recipes to share with you today. This one is a black bean butternut squash recipe that is really quite special. The addition of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce adds a bit of smokiness that really balances out the sweetness of the squash perfectly. Like my the four bean veggie chili that is a mainstay in our house, this chili stands on it’s own, no meat required. Skip the sour cream on top, and you’ve got a vegan dish that will please everyone at your table without a doubt. I’m pretty sure we are going to make both of these chili variations for the chili cook-off this weekend, because even though they’re both vegetarian, the flavor profiles are entirely different. Both of them are worthy of adding to your repertoire!

Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili Recipe | Super Bowl recipes, entertaining tips, Super Bowl party ideas, party themes and more from @cydconverse

Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili Recipe | Super Bowl recipes, entertaining tips, Super Bowl party ideas, party themes and more from @cydconverse

Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili Recipe | Super Bowl recipes, entertaining tips, Super Bowl party ideas, party themes and more from @cydconverse

Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili Recipe | Super Bowl recipes, entertaining tips, Super Bowl party ideas, party themes and more from @cydconverse

Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili

  • (3) 15 oz cans black beans
  • (1) 15 oz can garbanzo beans
  • (1) small butternut squash, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • (3) 15 oz cans of stewed tomatoes
  • (1) small red onion
  • (1) small orange bell pepper
  • 3 chipotle peppers (the canned kind in adobo sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 tablespoon chili powder

Drain and rinse beans very well until all the packing liquid is completely rinsed. Peel, deseed and chop up butternut squash into roughly 1″ cubes. Place beans and squash in the crock of a large slow cooker. Dice the bell pepper and onion, then add to the crock. Chop up the chipotle peppers finely then add them and all other ingredients to the crock Mix well to combine and cook on high heat for two hours. Reduce to low heat and allow to simmer for another hour. Serve warm.

Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili Recipe | Super Bowl recipes, entertaining tips, Super Bowl party ideas, party themes and more from @cydconverse

Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili Recipe | Super Bowl recipes, entertaining tips, Super Bowl party ideas, party themes and more from @cydconverse

Butternut Squash Vegetarian Chili Recipe | Super Bowl recipes, entertaining tips, Super Bowl party ideas, party themes and more from @cydconverse

post-line-before-credits

[Recipe + art direction by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

0 comments

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

I’m pretty sure most people will agree that one of the best parts about the Super Bowl is the food! Now, I’ll be so bold as to say that these crunchy veggie taco cups are one of the best Super Bowl appetizers going. They’re a cinch to make and they are so so tasty. They’re made with wonton wraps (which I buy pre-made at the grocery store) and a vegetarian refried bean filling that is crazy delicious. You could definitely add a bit of ground beef or shredded seasoned chicken to these if you’d like, but I challenge you to keep them vegetarian. I promise you they’re not missing anything! Just make sure to buy vegetarian refried beans or look for fat free refried beans, which are almost always vegetarian since they don’t include the pork fat that comes in traditional refried beans. (Just double check the ingredients list!) Then you’ll have some seriously delicious game day snacks that are not only vegetarian but reasonably healthy, too, at least compared to many of the traditional Super Bowl dishes.

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups
Makes approximately 24 cups

  • (1) 15 oz can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 medium diced red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • Black pepper to taste
  • (2) cups shredded cheddar
  • 48 wonton wrappers
  • Toppings such as guacamole, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

Preheat oven to 350° then lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Line each cup with two wonton wrappers, layered over top of each other form a cup shape. In a mixing bowl, combine refried beans, thawed corn, black beans and bell pepper. Add in taco seasoning, then cracked black pepper to taste. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture into each muffin cup. Top with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese then bake for 15 – 18 minutes until crispy and the wonton wrappers are cooked through. Serve with guacamole, diced tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro, diced scallions and other toppings as desired so guests can top their own taco cups to their liking.

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

You can serve your taco cups alongside a bunch of fun toppings so guests can mix and match their own toppings to their liking. People love interactive foods where they can self serve to their little heart’s content! Or, you can simply top them in a variety of ways and set them out on a tray so everyone can just grab, snack and go without having to fuss with dressing their own. Personally, I could eat these all night and skip everything else on the table, because they are sincerely that delicious. Also, maybe the leftover ones taste really really good pulled straight from the fridge when you’re trying to sneak in lunch while chasing a speed walking toddler back and forth across the house all day long. But I wouldn’t be speaking from personal experience, I swear.

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

Crunchy Veggie Taco Cups | Super Bowl recipes, party appetizers, entertaining ideas and more from @cydconverse

post-line-before-credits

[Recipe + art direction by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

2 comments

Four Bean Veggie Chili

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Happy Monday! It’s Super Bowl week and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m completely excited. For one, we’re hosting the festivities this weekend and I always love throwing a party. For two, I really enjoy screaming at my television on occasion. (Uh, that’s true.) For three, I have a ton of Super Bowl recipes to share with you this week, starting with this awesome chili recipe. This year we decided to put a twist on the traditional Super Bowl party and we’re hosting ours as a chili cook-off. We invited guests to each bring a pot of chili at a buy-in of $10 a pot. Everyone in attendance will get a vote and the fan favorite chili will take the entire pot! Today I’m sharing the first of two chili recipes we’ll be submitting for consideration for the prize. This one is a four bean veggie chili recipe that is not only a vegetarian chili, but actually a vegan chili recipe, too! (Just skip the sour cream and cheese on top, of course.) This is our go-to chili. The meat eaters in the family love it just as much as I do and we’ve served it up at more than one party to universal approval. Most people don’t even miss the meat, plus you can’t go wrong with a big pot of beans, veggies and tomatoes when it comes to serving up a dish that is both hearty and healthy.

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

We generally like our chili about a medium on the heat scale, but I intentionally scaled it back here for those of you who aren’t into overly spicy things. This ratio of seasoning will give you a nicely flavored chili that falls decidedly on the mild end of the heat index. I’d suggest starting here and then increasing the spiciness to your tasting if you like things with more of a kick. I personally would increase the chili powder, cayenne and paprika if you want to take things up a notch or a few. With chili, the flavor really builds over time so add a bit, check it a while later, then add more as necessary to suit your personal preferences. Also, don’t skip the mix of the four types of beans! It adds a lot of flavor and great texture.

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Four Bean Veggie Chili

  • (1) 15 oz can black beans
  • (1) 15 oz can garbanzo beans
  • (1) 15 oz can great northern beans
  • (1) 15 oz can kidney beans
  • (4) 15 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine

Drain and rinse beans very well until all the packing liquid is completely rinsed off. Place beans in the crock of a large slow cooker. Dice the bell peppers, add to the crock. Add all other ingredients, then mix well and cook on high heat for two hours. Reduce to low heat and allow to simmer for another hour. Serve warm and and top to your liking with sliced avocado, fresh chopped cilantro, cheese, sour cream and/or diced scallions or white onion. Remember to skip the sour cream and cheese if you’ll be serving this to your favorite vegan friend!

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

Best Vegan Chili Recipe | Vegetarian chili, Super Bowl recipes, party ideas, entertaining tips and more from @cydconverse

post-line-before-credits

[Recipe + art direction by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

2 comments