Big Blind, Little Blind
When we built our barn we included a viewing room that has a full kitchen, dining table, sitting area, fireplace and bar. The idea was that we could host all kinds of events with the horses in their stalls right across the aisle. We’ve had Christmas parties, family and business dinners, holiday meals, and cocktail hours a plenty, but the one thing we had yet to host was a poker night. We had been dreaming of using the full bar as a place to gather, cut loose and play a little Texas Hold ‘Em since it’s completion, but hadn’t yet made it happen. I finally decided this weekend was the perfect time to break in our poker chips and do a little friendly gambling at Badlands.
I usually like to give myself plenty of time to plan a party, at least a few weeks, but because Josh was leaving to start touring for his new album, I knew I needed to make poker night happen sooner rather than later if he was going to be able to join us. I decided on a Tuesday night to reach out to our friends and see if they could make it to a Friday evening poker party and thankfully almost everyone was available. Once I had the guest list confirmed I started to get organized. I ordered a round poker table top from Amazon Prime (thank God for free three day delivery) and picked a wild west theme in order to narrow down food, booze and playlist ideas.
Picking a theme really helped keep me on task and saved me a ton of time sifting through endless recipes on Pinterest. I started bright and early Friday morning and had everything done by 5pm, a good two hours before the party was to begin. Even though I vowed to keep it simple, it still took me the entire day to get everything ready and I’m not gonna lie, my feet were absolutely killing me! It was worth it though, the night was a huge success and I can’t wait till the next one!
Beer Cheese Dip
10 minutes preparation time
Makes 4 – 6 cups
There are a ton of recipes for delicious and easy soft pretzel bites out there. This is the one we used for our poker night party from Chef Savvy and they were a huge hit!!
Spicy Salty Boiled Peanuts
Serves 6 to 8 people snacking
Josh’s Home Made Brine
- 2 quarts water
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups fresh pepper corns
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 stems rosemary
- 4 sage leaves
- ¼ cup agave
- Bring water to a boil in a pot.
- Add all ingredients to the boiling water.
- Remove from heat and let sit for ten minutes.
- Pour the brine over a bowl of ice and let cool before using.
- Can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Dressed Up Rice and Beans
Great northern beans and rice dressed up with bratwurst, onion, garlic and seasoning.
- 2 medium onions diced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 4 packages of 12 oz pork bratwurst chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil plus ¼ cup for fried sage leaves
- 3 cups white rice (I used calrose rice)
- 3 cans of 15 oz great northern beans drained and rinsed
- 3 cups chicken bone broth (I get this at whole foods but if you can’t find it you can easily substitute chicken broth)
- 1 cup dry white wine such as vermouth
- 2 teaspoons ghost pepper sea salt (I get this at my local grocery store. It’s a bit spicy so if you want less heat use only 1 teaspoon)
- ¼ cup fresh sage leaves
Big Skillet Salted Caramel Cookie
15 to 25 minutes
6 – 8 very generous slices
I found the inspiration for the skillet cookie on Pinterest and then went ahead and did my own thing. This gal’s blog PinchOfYum is great!
- 2 sticks lightly salted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 ¾ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 10 oz jar salted caramel
I picked up some Midnight Moon Cherries and Apple Pie Moonshine from my local liquor store thinking they would make the perfect cocktails for a Texas Hold ‘Em poker night and I was right! The Junior’s Cherry Bourbon and Old Fashioned Apple Pie recipes are not only easy to make but so delicious you can’t help but have more than one… thankfully Josh agreed to be the DD (designated driver) that night!
Poker Night Playlist
We created a Johnny Cash playlist in Pandora and here’s a little sample of what came up!
- Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
- The Gambler – Kenny Rogers (of course!)
- King Of The Road – Roger Miller
- Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That – Dolly Parton
- Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys – Willie Nelson
- Mama Tried – Merle Haggard
- You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man) – Loretta Lynn
- Jackson – Johnny Cash & June Carter
- Chug-a-Lug – Roger Miller
- Joshua – Dolly Parton
- Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
- The Fightin’ Side Of Me – Merle Haggard
- Dang Me – Roger Miller
- Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man – Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty
- Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash
- The Bottle Let Me Down – Merle Haggard
- Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn
- Do-Wacka-Do – Roger Miller
- It Ain’t Me Babe – Johnny Cash & June Carter
- Tennessee Homesick Blues – Dolly Parton
- Me and Bobby McGee – Merle Haggard
- Katy Too – Johnny Cash