dinner done simply. (+ a giveaway!)

As a busy and single twenty-something living in New York City, one of my favorite things to do is have dinner then hit the town with my girlfriends. Sometimes instead of going to one of our favorite restaurants, though, it’s nice to spend the evening at home and have a relaxing dinner before heading out for the rest of the night.

Last week my best friends Jessi, Erica, and I did just that. We all met at my apartment after a long day of work, and I greeted them with a Cranberry Lime Mocktail.

To make: combine one part Simply Cranberry Cocktail, two parts lime-flavored club soda, and a generous squeeze of lime juice in each glass. Add a few ice cubes and a handful of frozen berries. Garnish with a slice of lime.

This was one of the most refreshing drinks I’ve ever had and the perfect way to finish a long day of work. I loved the flavor of Simply Cranberry Cocktail – it had a unique and delicious taste that is different than other cranberry cocktails I’ve tried before; I’m so glad Simply Orange Juice Company asked me to try it! The balance of tartness and sweetness was perfect. It’s also made with not-from-concentrate cranberry juice. Simply Cranberry Cocktail is newly available at grocery stores in the refrigerated juice section, so be on the lookout for it!

We continued to unwind by chatting and catching up on life – and by life I mean work, boys, gossip…the norm.

Then it was time for the main course – what I like to call All-Nighter Energy Salad. We love eating salads before a night out because they’re not too heavy but still give us the energy to stay out until the wee hours of the morning.

…because being healthy is all about balance, right?

all-nighter energy salad.


4 cups romaine lettuce

3 cups baby spinach

1/2 pound chicken breast, grilled and sliced

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/4 cup almonds, chopped

dressing of choice

directions: Chop the lettuce and spinach and place in a large serving bowl. Top with the chicken, avocado, cheese, and almonds. Toss and serve with dressing of your choice (we went with a Champagne Vinaigrette).

We finished the meal with 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies…aka the most simple yet delicious cookie recipe ever. I’ve seen this recipe all over the internet but followed Katie’s lead.

To make: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 cup smooth peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Drop golf ball-sized spoonfuls on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and press down with the back of a fork. Bake for 6-8 minutes (mine needed the full 8 minutes). Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

With the Cranberry Lime Mocktails, the salad, and the cookies, it turned out to be the perfect girls’ night in…before going out, that is 🙂 I can’t wait for our next get-together!

What is your favorite way to make a party or get-together at your home more festive? Tell me about it in the comments for the chance to win a $100 gift card!


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/7/2012 – 6/6/2012

Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

“Simply Cranberry” is a trademark of Simply Orange Juice Company.


  1. Heather says

    What a fun pre-party night! That salad looks delish. To make my parties more festive I like to have a special cocktail for everyone, tasty finger foods, and just the right amount of decorations.

  2. Dee says

    I love making a party more festive by making cupcakes catered to the theme of the get together as well as themed ice cubes! 🙂

  3. Kerry says

    I like to make sure I have a lot of different types of foods at a party to make sure I please everyone’s taste.

  4. Christina Tong says

    My favorite way to make a party or get-together at my home more festive is selecting a theme but with simple decorations. I love to prepare homemade finger food, nice dessert and drinks. Love your Simply Cranberry Cocktail idea, will plan it for my next party. Thanks for the giveaway.




  6. Gina M Maddox says


    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  7. Gina M Maddox says

    I love to add great music and lighting to make a gathering more festive.

    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  8. Samantha Jo Campen says

    I love adding fresh flowers to the table. It really adds to the ambiance.

    Samanthajocampen at gmail

  9. Denise L says

    I always like to have a theme for the food & drink. We did a taco bar one year for my daughter’s birthday and all the appetizers and drinks were authentic Mexican too.

  10. Betty C says

    The most festive times are spent with close friends or family. We don’t need a theme or decorations when this group gets together.

  11. Jessica F says

    I love having tons of little finger foods as the main course! You can have a huge variety of food to offer and appetizers are always delicious!

  12. says

    Its all about the music! Pick your theme and then have lots of slightly louder than normal music to go with it. Example: if your theme is the full moon or celestial, look for songs in your music catalog that have the words moon, lunar, stars, planet, earth, etc. in them!

  13. Debra F says

    I do like entertaining and my favorite thing is to do theme parties. I customize my food, drinks and decorations/decor around a theme and everyone really enjoys it….I just try not to get too hokey!

  14. Erica Best says

    I love having bring a dish party it help everyone feel like that are a part of it and it keep me from having to cook everything and every love to show of by bring the best dish.
    purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

  15. Mari says

    We play festive music and put up décor that creates an ambiance.

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com