5 Recipes for Your Football Party

jalapeno-popper-dipFootball season is here! While we leave behind our summer barbecues and pool parties, we welcome fall football as a reason to have a get together, enjoy a game and, of course, eat really fun food! But when you’re hosting a football game viewing party or a tailgate party, you can’t spend the whole party in the kitchen keeping up with your guests appetites. What you serve has to be a delicate balance of delicious and easy-to-make. Here a 5 recipes for your football party that are effortless and enticing.

Jalapeño Popper Dip It’s one of those favorite appetizers for Friday nights after work with your pals, but you don’t have to leave the jalapeño poppers to the restaurant to make — you can whip up your own version to add a little spice to your tailgate party! This recipe comes from Raining Hot Coupons — it includes lots of cheese and Ritz Crackers, so if you’re counting calories, you may want to skip this one. But who are you kidding? No one counts calories when football is involved!crock-pot-kielbasa

Crockpot Kielbasa Here’s one for meat lovers — Crockpot Spicy Barbecue Kielbasa from Tammilee Tips. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also ridiculously easy to make. If you can flip a switch on, slice chunks of sausage and pour sauce, you can make kielbasa that keeps crowds coming back for more.  loaded-baked-potato-dip

Loaded Baked Potato Dip Serving baked potatoes at a tailgate party is a great idea in theory, but in practice, it may be a little too much of a hassle. But no worries —  Loaded Baked Potato Dip is a more than fabulous consolation dip. Let’s Dish Recipes whipped this one up — and all it takes it a lot of sour cream, a lot of bacon and a lot of cheddar — but it brings a lot of smiles! And what a way to make your potato chips a little more dazzling for game day grub!baked-brie-dip

Baked Brie Dip Of course you want to appeal to sophisticated palates as well as the hardy appetites. In this situation, we are steering you to White on Rice Couple’s baked brie dip. Though the sun dried tomatoes and delicately creamy brie has complicated flavors, it’s very easy to make. If you can cut up sun dried tomatoes and measure thyme, you can serve this at your tailgate party without breaking a sweat.buffalo-chicken-cheese-ball

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball No party is quite complete without two things: 1) Buffalo Chicken 2) A Cheese Ball. The great thing is, you can get both of them in one recipe thanks to Buns in My Oven. The Buffalo Chicken Cheese ball is super easy to make with a stand mixer — a little bit of cream cheese, some cheddar, a few dashes of hot sauce all mashed up and you’re done. Make a little or a lot, your guests won’t go hungry with this one and you can enjoy the game rather than cooking.  

LTD Commodities celebrates any occasion, big or small! Whether you need recipe ideas for your holiday or you need
NFL gear to make your football guests feel at home, shop LTD for products priced for fun.

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week for Fall

camo-fleeceWe are not ready for fall, but it’s coming whether or not we need a few extra days of summer. With just a month left of the season, we have some time to prepare for autumn. To get you started, here are this week’s Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week for Fall.

Fall Fleece This comfortable fleece jacket will keep you warm on all your outdoor adventures. His and Hers Highland Timber Jackets feature woodsy camouflage detailing around the shoulder and collar that adds a fashionable touch to a basic fleece zip-up jacket. The Men’s black jacket has camo elbow patches and 2 front non-zippered pockets. The Women’s pink jacket has 2 front zippered pockets. Both styles have an adjustable cord around the waist, similar to a drawstring, to adjust the tightness.crochet-knee-high-socks

Snug Socks Draw admiring attention to your legs with 2-Pair Crochet Knee-High Socks with Bows. Perfect for wearing with boots, these classic socks are super-soft and lightweight. The bow detailing adds a fun, feminine touch.
country-heart-star-crock

Autumn Accents Oversized Country Heart and Star Crock can hold faux flowers in the living room, or use it in the kitchen as a catch-all for utensils. Decorative design features raised hearts and stars, as well as a sentiment, “Faith Family Friends”, around the rim. plush-sherpa-throw

Cozy & Comfortable The Woods 50″ x 70″ Plush Sherpa Throw is perfect to snuggle up in. Ultra soft plush and sherpa fabric keeps you warm and cozy, while the print shows off your love of the outdoors. It’s oversized to wrap around your entire body.

harvest-stakesHarvest Enhacements Decorate your yard for the season with this Set of 2 Harvest Stakes. Each set includes 2 differently sized seasonal figures. They feature a variety of prints and solids in autumn hues of gold, orange and brown.

LTD Commodities has products and ideas to celebrate every season! From outdoor decor for the holidays to bedding for cold winter nights, shop LTD to make each season bright.

6 Reasons Why Moms Are Awesome

ltd-mothersDAySunday is Mother’s Day and while we’re coming up with ideas for ways to honor the women who gave us life, we thought you could use a little inspiration to make it a memorable Mother’s Day.  Moms do so much for us — here are 6 reasons why moms are awesome.

Mom is Always in Your Corner Everyone needs a cheerleader — someone who picks you up when you’re feeling down, give you a pep talk when things aren’t going your way and gives you a squeeze to put you back together when you’re falling apart. Sometimes we forget just how much love and support mothers give us — Mother’s Day is a good reminder of those times.

Mom Lets You Figure Things Out on Your Own A good mom knows to when to tell you how to do things to do them right but she also know when you aren’t going to listen. When she lets you fail at something, she’s giving you one of the most important life lessons: learn from your mistakes. If mom bailed you out every time you got in trouble, you wouldn’t know how to function on your own. Allowing a child to stumble and fall is no small feat for a mother, but she does it out of love.

Mom Likes Everything You Do That picture of your cat on Instagram, that goofy joke you posted on Facebook — if there were a “love” button to click, your mom would do it, because there’s no end to how much and what kind of support she will send your way.

ltd-mothersday2Mom is Always a Phone Call Away The first time you used your smart phone was to call your mother and the last time you used your smart phone was to call your mother. Probably the only reason you use the call function on your phone is to call your mother. There’s something soothing about having mom to call that a text or an email from a friend just can’t replicate. Mom lends her non-judgmental ear anytime you’re ready to talk and no one else can listen.

There’s No Food Like Mom’s No matter where you go or how far away from your mother, you can always find comfort in her food. Those recipes she sent you are her way of giving you your childhood from the oven.

ltd-mothersday3Mom is Your Voice of Reason That crazy idea you had to start a friendship bracelet business, the silly fight you had with your best friend over vanilla vs. chocolate ice cream, or the ridiculous off-the-shoulder orange taffeta bubble dress you wanted to wear to your senior prom — she talked you out of all of it. We all need someone to tell us we are wrong, and usually that person is mom.

LTD Commodities celebrates moms every day of the year! From across the country to the comforts of your own home, we have ideas and products to make every mom feel special at any season.

Cinco de Mayo Party Essentials

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo! Even though the holiday is only celebrated in a few towns in Mexico, Americans like to celebrate the day to honor Mexican culture — much like we use St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate Irish culture. If you’ve never celebrated Cinco de Mayo it can be a raucous affair. To do it right, there are a few things you should include in your celebration. Here are 5 Cinco de Mayo party essentials to make your party spectacular.pinata

Piñatas The piñata is a  favorite Mexican party tradition. It’s a papier-mâiché animal or shape filled with candy and covered in brightly colored crepe paper. The concept is a mesh between western European and Aztec and Mayan traditions that evolved into a religious symbol. Now, it’s mostly used as a game for kids in which a batter is blindfolded and tries to hit the piñata with a stick or bat until it explodes to spill out candy for the kids.

sombreroSombreros The word “sombrero” means “hat” in Spanish, but a Mexican sombrero is unique in that it has a wide brim. It was originally used to shield people from the bright, hot desert sun. Now it’s worn mostly during cultural celebrations and it has been adopted as part of the uniform of mariachi musicians.

mariachiMariachi Music Horns, violins, guitars, and maracas make up the sweet sounds you know as mariachi music. It’s folk music the combines the instruments of the indigenous people of Mexico with the European instruments brought over by the Spanish. It was originally considered rural folk music, but musicians eventually moved to more urban areas where the sound evolved into the music we here at restaurants and plazas now.

margaritasMargaritas (or tequila) The margarita is the preferred beverage of Cinco de Mayo, but its roots are as mixed up as the drink itself. A Tijauna restaurant owner claims he mixed up the drink for an actress who was allergic to all alcoholic beverages except tequila — which she didn’t like. The other origin story is that a Texas socialite came up with the mix as a signature cocktail for her Acapulco vacation home. Either way, the Margarita was born in Mexico and it’s used to celebrate Cinco de Mayo every year.

tacosTacos The Taco is a truly Mexican fare. According to historian Jeffrey M. Pilcher, the taco probably originated among Mexican miners in the 1700s. “Tacos” were little pieces of paper wrapped around gunpowder to stick in rocks to excavate iron ore. Pilcher believes this was the model for the modern taco.

Of course you don’t have to have all of these things to make your Cinco de Mayo party a blast, but they sure do help make things festive!

We love holidays here at LTD Commodities! Whether you’re planning a big Cinco de Mayo bash or you’re getting your barbecue set up for a Memorial Day cookout, let LTD Commodities help you make your party memorable with unique products at unbeatable prices.

 

7 Container Garden Ideas We Think You’ll Like

Container-GardenGardens aren’t just for those who have big backyards or giant lots in suburban spaces. Perfect gardens can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes that don’t have to fit in the confines of a garden plot. At LTD, we’ve been looking at all the fun ways to give our gardens character. This week, we’re all about container gardens. Here are 7 container garden ideas we think you’ll like.

Old Tea Cups Before you send your old dishes off to the thrift store, think about how they might hold some herbs or flowers. If you have a teapot (these are very popular for container gardens) to match your cups, create a flower tea party!

coffee-can-gardenTin Cans Whether you have coffee cans or soup cans, clean them out, poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage, fill them with soil and seeds and you have a garden. They can be arranged and rearranged to suit your mood, painted to give your patio a pop of color or mounted to create a vertical garden. The Newly Woodwards hung their coffee can planters along the fence to create a welcoming yard — tin cans are about as versatile of a planting vessel as you can find!

Tool & Tackle For those who have a handyman and angler in their lives, old tool boxes and tackle boxes make spectacular container gardens. You really only need casino online to punch a few holes in the bottom of the box for drainage and you have a themed planter. The same idea can be used for those old themed lunch boxes you can’t bare to throw away but don’t have any use for.

soda-bottle-gardenPlastic Soda Bottles Plastic soda bottles can be hacked up into planters of all shapes. Cut off the top and you have a steady container to put anywhere. RiteMail cut out the middle of many bottles and strung them together to create a vertical garden that covers an outdoor wall. The same idea can be used for something on a smaller — but still impressive — scale.

Kitchen Garbage An old lemon peel or an empty egg shell make sweet planters if you plan well. Cut (or crack) the top off your lemon (or whatever piece of fruit or egg shell), scoop out the middle and prepare it for drainage and add the appropriate seeds (small plants and flowers) for your natural planters.

Furniture Not all furniture is in the right condition to become a container garden. They have to have some sort of base or foundation remaining to stand up straight — for instance, you may not be ready to get rid of that antique chair with a missing leg, but that doesn’t mean it should be made into a planter. But that chest of drawers that’s taking up space in the garage may be able to hold all of your favorite plants with plenty of drainage to keep them healthy.

croc-container-gardenShoes They may not be fit to run another marathon, or support you at your next formal dinner, but you can get more mileage out of any shoe in the garden! One family took rubber shoes, made them into planters and hung them on a fence to create an outdoor vertical garden. It’s one more reason to buy new shoes.

From ski boots to a dresser drawer, just about anything can be turned into a garden! As gardening season picks up, LTD has more ideas and products to give you the garden you want to take care of.

Pinteresting Picks For February

New looks for the home are on the minds of LTD Commodities’ Pinterest followers. This month’s most popular pins are of unique accents that personalize a room in minutes. Create a spot for your beloved pet with a decorative gate, and get a start on this year’s outdoor renovation with a charming solar planter. Here are the Pinteresting Picks for February.

Store and display ticket stubs from movies, concerts, sporting events and more with a Ticket Memento Storage Box.

Store and display ticket stubs from movies, concerts, sporting events and more with a Ticket Memento Storage Box.

Show family pride or personalize any space with a Monogram Wall Hanging.

Show family pride or personalize any space with a Monogram Wall Hanging.

Protect your furry friend and keep your furniture safe with a Fashionable Expanding Wooden Pet Gate.

Protect your furry friend and keep your furniture safe with a Fashionable Expanding Wooden Pet Gate.

Put an elegant finishing touch on your home with a Solar Garden Post.

Put an elegant finishing touch on your home with a Solar Garden Post.

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family and great values from LTD! Our customers are making Valentine’s Day a family affair, and it shows in our most popular items of the week. Teens will love little gifts like an animal print frame, and all ages will be proud to wear a sophisticated pendant that comes with a message of devotion. Decorate your kitchen for the holiday, and spend some time at home with a nostalgic puzzle. Here are the Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.

Animal Print Frame and Box Gift Set stores your trinkets and displays a special photo in leopard and zebra prints with rhinestone accents.

Animal Print Frame and Box Gift Set stores your trinkets and displays a special photo in leopard and zebra prints with rhinestone accents.

This Love Pendant Gift-Boxed Set is the perfect way to show someone how special they are to you.

This Love Pendant Gift-Boxed Set is the perfect way to show someone how special they are to you.

Holiday Kitchen Coordinates add festive cheer while you cook and clean.

Holiday Kitchen Coordinates add festive cheer while you cook and clean.

Inspire new memories while piecing together the good old days with these 1,000-Pc. Nostalgic Puzzles.

Inspire new memories while piecing together the good old days with these 1,000-Pc. Nostalgic Puzzles.

National Cherry Month: Cherry Cobbler

cherry-cobbler

We know you’re mind is on Valentine’s Day right now, but February also happens to be  National Cherry Month! And we love cherries at LTD.They’re not in season — they have a short growing season that lasts just the month of June. To celebrate cherries, we’re going to share our favorite, easy cherry recipe: Cherry Cobbler.cherry-cobbler

Cherry Cobbler

Cherries:

  • 3 14.5 oz cans cherries in water (tart or sweet cherries both work)
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

cherry-cobblerCombine all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for ten minutes. Set aside.

Topping:

Preheat oven to 375℉.

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TB  sugar
  • cherry-cobbler1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • cherry-cobbler1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 TB cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk

cherry-cobblerWhisk together the dry ingredients. Add the butter. Mix and squeeze the butter in the flour mixture until it looks like chunky sand (the butter pieces should be the size of small peas). With a fork, gently stir in the buttermilk. Mix until it’s just combined. It should be lumpy.Pour the cherry mixture into an 8”x8” casserole dish or a 9” pie plate or divide them among two ramekins. And drop scoops of the topping on top of the cherries. Bake for about 20 minutes or the cherries are bubbly and the top is golden brown.

Cherry cobbler is so easy to make and so easy going down, we had to share the recipe with you! Happy National Cherry Month and enjoy your cobbler!

cherry-cobbler

 

 

Our 10 Favorite Valentine’s Day Movies

HeartsOn Valentine’s Day, there’s nothing quite like making some popcorn, curling up with your sweetie, and watching a great romantic movie. In addition to being incredibly cozy, a movie night is an easy and inexpensive date night. To help you plan, here are our 10 favorite Valentine’s Day movies.

Enchanted A rare romantic movie that can be enjoyed by all ages, Enchanted takes the fairy tale idea of love and plants it on its head. Amy Adams plays Giselle, a princess from an animated world banished to New York City (“where there are no happy endings”) by a wicked queen (Susan Sarandon). Giselle’s prince is on his way to save her, but meanwhile, she befriends a lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) and his young daughter. Can Giselle’s ideas about storybook love survive the real world…not to mention a dragon attack? Released in 2004, Enchanted has a lot of PG laughs, making it perfect if your romantic evening must accommodate some younger viewers.

Patrick-Swayze

Image source: Alan Light via Flickr

Dirty Dancing Set in 1963, this 1987 movie was a low-budget box office smash that introduced the world to Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The coming-of-age drama follows a privileged teenage girl’s relationship with a dance instructor she meets during her family’s summer vacation. The soundtrack from Dirty Dancing is almost as popular as the movie, ensuring a fun nostalgic trip for your Valentine’s Day.

Somewhere in Time Somewhere in Time is an unusual romance that weaves in hypnosis and time travel. Christopher Reeve plays a young writer who becomes fascinated by an elderly woman he has never met who approaches him and acts as though she knows him. He becomes convinced that they did meet…over 60 years in the past. He studies the idea of time travel through the power of self suggestion. What follows is a story that has made this 1980 movie a true cult classic.

Empire-State-Building

Image source: Roger via Flickr

An Affair to Remember Fate is a complicated thing in this 1957 film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. A playboy and a singer meet on a cruise ship and fall in love—despite the fact they both are engaged to other people. They agree to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building and see if their feelings for each other have not changed.  An Affair to Remember is a wonderful reminder that while true love’s road is never smooth, it is worth the effort to travel it.

The Princess Bride It boils down to those three little words we all long to hear on Valentine’s Day: “As you wish.” The Princess Bride from 1987 is a rare combination of romance, comedy, fantasy, and adventure that actually makes the mix work. Buttercup (Robin Wright) and poor a farm boy Westley (Cary Elwes) are in love. He disappears while seeking his fortune. Buttercup becomes engaged to the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). Will Westley return in time to save his true love from her murderous fiance? A flop when it premiered, this film has developed a wide following with its quirky blend of comedy and adventure, not to mention its incredible cast that includes Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Andre the Giant, Fred Savage, and Peter Falk.

Ryan-Gosling

Image source: Gordon Correll via Flickr

The Notebook Based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook captured the imagination of a generation. It tells the love story of Noah (played by Ryan Gosling) and Allie (played by Rachel McAdams). In 1940, the young couple is torn apart by class differences, but they never forget each other. This 2004 movie tells their story in a series of flashbacks as an elderly man reads the tale out of a notebook to a fellow nursing home resident.

Better Off Dead If pure romance movies sound a little mushy to you, try Better Off Dead from 1985. It stars a young John Cusack as Lane Meyer, a teenager whose girlfriend just dumped him for an arrogant bully. While he deals with his feelings and tries to get her back, Lane must manage his weird family, wacky friends, and an obsessed paperboy. Through a mix of imaginative dark comedy, attitude and a hint of romance, the movie reminds us we are better off moving on rather than dwelling on a love gone wrong.

When Harry Met Sally… Can men and women just be friends? This 1989 romantic comedy hit tried to answer that question. Along the way, it gets in plenty of laughs over the relationship problems of Harry Burns, played by Billy Crystal, and Sally Albright, played by Meg Ryan. With a snappy script by Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally… introduced concepts like “high-maintenance” people, as well as the notorious line, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Meg-Ryan

Image source: David Shankbone via Flickr

Sleepless in Seattle Set up a Meg Ryan double feature with When Harry Met Sally… and this romantic comedy from 1993. It also stars Tom Hanks as a recently widowed father whose son calls into a radio talk show to help his dad find a new love. Reporter Annie Reed (Ryan) is touched by their story, and she writes a letter to try to meet them. This film also makes a wonderful double feature with An Affair to Remember, because it directly references the classic film, complete with a meeting at the Empire State building.

Casablanca A classic from 1942, Casablanca is, perhaps, the ultimate romance movie. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid set up a crackling love triangle in a desert outpost on the edge of a world at war. As the forces of Nazi Germany close in, difficult choices and sacrifices must be made in order to keep love and hope alive.

Origins of Groundhog Day

Groundhog-DayIt’s February 2 — it’s the day we look to a hibernating rodent to determine whether we’ll have six more weeks of winter or we’ll get an early spring. Unfortunately, this year, winter gets another stretch, but this is a tradition we’ve clung to since 1887 when the groundhog we rely on was crowned chief prognosticator. But the tradition goes back further in time and farther afield than Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Here’s a brief history of the origins of Groundhog Day.

Referring to a hibernating animal to predict the weather is a German tradition to mark half-way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox called Murmeltiertag (it’s also associated with the religious holiday Candlemas). In the 1800s there were quite a few German settlers in Pennsylvania and they adapted the tradition for their new home. In Germany, they use a hedgehog which is not related to the groundhog, but they both hibernate. It was 1886 when some of the Pennsylvania Germans (a club that now calls itself The Groundhog Club) went into the woods to find a hibernating animal similar to the hedgehog (the hedgehog is not native to North America). What they found is the groundhog they now call Punxsutawney Phil. The club claims the same Phil still makes the prediction every year and stays alive thanks to a special “groundhog punch” he drinks in the summer.

Groundhog-DayWhat might be confusing about the groundhog tradition is how seeing his shadow is a prediction of weather. If it’s sunny enough to create a shadow, you’d think spring is coming, however, according to the German tradition, sunshine and clear skies means storms are brewing. If it’s cloudy with no way for the groundhog to cast a shadow, that means the winter storms are moving out to make way for spring temperatures.

It’s also similar to the Gaelic festival celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and Isle of Man called Imbolc which, over time, sort of fused with the Christian tradition of Candlemas. They had a rhyme for the coming weather:

Groundhog-Day If Candlemas be fair and bright

Come, winter, have another flight.

If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,

Go, winter, and come not again.

Though the origins of Groundhog Day are a patchwork of other traditions, it’s a tradition we love to celebrate. Whether it’s to give us hope for warmer weather to avoid cabin fever or we need a midwinter holiday to get through the following six weeks, it’s something to look forward to every year. And for those of us who are snowed in, it gives us a reason to re-visit the movie Groundhog Day.