Sunday, September 6, 2015

Baked figs with Prosciutto

I spent a week with my family in Nantucket this August, and had the opportunity to try out some recipes.  When I have some time to "chill", I love kicking back and reading good cook books.  I especially love "Barefoot Contessa" cookbooks and luckily, my mom owns all of them!  This recipe for baked figs looked terrific so I decided I'd need to try it while on vacation.

For dinner one night, Jimmie and I were put in charge of appetizers.  Jimmie, very carefully, re-heated my quesadilla from dinner the night before, cut it up, and placed a toothpick in each piece :) I decided to try these figs, and everyone enjoyed both!  I love how this is such a great combination of sweet and salty, and I also loved that heating the figs in the oven made the figs juicier, and the prosciutto a little crispy.  I added a little bit of honey and pepper to give it an even deeper dynamic. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Homemade Pop-tarts

The strawberry compote
chocolate and marshmallows

So cute!
Ready for the party!
My best friend, Liz, is getting married in 2 weeks and I could not be more excited for her.  She's marrying such a special guy and I am so looking forward to celebrating at the wedding!  Before the wedding though, we had such a blast at her bachelorette party last weekend.  We planned a girls weekend and I wanted to make sure we sent her out of singledom in style with some fun and girly treats.  She's always loved anything chocolate (she's not into fruit desserts), so I concocted a chocolate and marshmallow glazed pop tart.  I also made a fresh strawberry compote for a sweet and fruity twist because there were some fruit dessert lovers in the group.  They were a big hit and even the bride chowed down on the strawberry version.

These are a great fun dessert, no matter what the occasion.  The use of store bought pie dough makes them super simple.  You can really fill them with anything that sounds good to you. I also think hazelnut spread would be great and would also like to try a brown sugar and cinnamon version.  The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lemon Mint Bourbon Cocktails

Cocktails for two!
The simple syrup flavors
I tend to think of bourbon as a winter drink because it feels darker and heavier to me than vodka or gin (which seem to top the cocktail menus at restaurants and bars in the summer).  This cocktail tastes quite light and fresh because the lemon and mint give it a warm weather vibe.  I made these last night for my husband and me.  He really likes bourbon but I wanted to find a way to make a fun summer cocktail while incorporating his drink of choice.   It's important to make the simple syrup ahead of time so it has time to cool, but it will last in your fridge for two weeks so you can take it out anytime you're craving this cocktail :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Key Lime Pie Bars

The Glamour shot
Right out of the pan

Ok - time to eat!
I'm so excited to write about these key lime pie bars! I think they were the best key lime bar I've ever had and they came out so well.  I sometimes see key lime pies and bars in bakeries in the city and they are bright green. Let me tell you, this is not natural! lime juice is very light green and looks quite similar to lemon juice. It's absolutely fine for your key lime bars to look like lemon bars - they will still taste like lime :)

I think that these are the perfect summer dessert. They aren't too heavy but still are a treat! The graham cracker crust is absolutely crucial and I made sure my graham cracker crumbs had some bigger chunks of graham crackers in them too.  This made for a great texture that contrasted the creamy filling really well.  I hope you make these soon.  They will be a great ending to your summer parties, picnics or weeknight dinners!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Brie Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms- Served in the hot skillet alongside cocktails!
Before roasting
Fresh out of the oven
A close-up of the melty cheese

Recently I've noticed that I seem to make the same appetizers all the time.  I tend to serve cheese and crackers or dips when people come over for drinks or dinner.  I've been making a concerted effort to mix it up and research some new appetizers that I can easily whip up.  I had some mushrooms and brie in the fridge this weekend and so I thought I'd play around and make these! They were terrific.  And because i stuffed the brie in a mushroom (rather than on a cracker or crusty piece of bread) I felt like i was being healthy to boot! You can finish these off with any herbs or spices you like.  I happened to have some rosemary in my fridge so I sprinkled some of that on top.  I also added a little bit of red pepper flakes to give it a bit of an edge.  I hope that you'll try mixing things up and give these mushrooms a chance!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wine and Cheese Party

The key to any wine and cheese party - the Cheese... 
Our apartment - ready for the festivities

The vino!
With all the wine and cheese, we needed a healthy chicken salad

Hydrangeas- the vase is filled with cranberries

And most importantly - wonderful friends!
I decided to throw and holiday wine and cheese party for my girlfriends the week before Christmas.  It's always a crazy time of year so I wanted to do something casual and easy on a Sunday night.  We were able to catch up and I didn't need to run around cooking and getting things out of the oven because everything was done ahead of time.   It was such an easy party to throw together!  I wanted to have some other little nibbles out there so I also made some artichoke dip, stuffed mushroom caps (recipe coming soon) and salad with chicken, cranberries and candied almonds.  With all the rich cheeses, the salad was actually a hit.

On each wine bottle, I tied tags explaining what cheese to pair with.  I also put some tags on each cheese.  I got these cute signs from and thought they made it more festive.  It was fun to try different pairing combinations throughout the night.

I served the following cheeses because I wanted to have a combination of mild and strong.

Vermont Cheddar
Double Creme Brie
Smoked Lioni Mozzarella
Smoked Gouda
Herb Goat Cheese/Pepper Goat Cheese

With the cheeses, I put out fig preserves, dried figs, honey, quince paste, and lots of different breads and crackers.

For the wines, I also wanted to serve a combination of red, white and sparkling.

Sauvignon Blanc (my personal favorite)
Cabernet Sauvignon

In the end, the pairings didn't matter very much.  Everyone had fun eating, drinking, and enjoying each other's company! Isn't that what the holidays are all about?  I highly recommend throwing a party like this soon.  Cheers!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Birthday Breakfast!

The entire birthday breakfast spread
Close up of the baked eggs
It was my husband's birthday last month and he wanted to go to a pub in our neighborhood for an easy dinner.  Since his birthday fell on a workday, that meant if I waned to make him a special meal, it would have to be breakfast!  Since we had to eat before work, it also meant that I had to do something quick and easy!  Rather than make individual ommelettes, I decided to make these baked eggs so I could throw them in the oven and get ready for work without having to worry about watching the stove.  They turned out great and I had a very happy husband.   This does not have to be a meal reserved for birthdays.  Make this breakfast any day you want to do something special.

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