Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Parmesan Thyme Shortbread + 20 Appetizer Recipes for New Years Eve

Happy, Happy New Year Everyone!  Thank you for following my beloved blog and enjoying my journey with me.  I truly appreciate each and every visit, comment, pin, share, tweet and Google +.  I look forward to a fantastic 2014 and hopefully some fun surprises to share with all of you.

Tonight Hubby and I are enjoying a quiet evening at home – which is simply perfect in my book.  Our two week vacation from our careers has been marvelous, relaxing and simply perfect.  We have spent time entertaining at home, eating well, shopping, catching up on movies and doing some nesting & cleaning around the house.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs | Friday Night Bites

Are you looking for that perfect little bite for the holidays?  If so, I think I may have the perfect answer to your question – Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs.  I found this recipe on Dole’s website and decided to give it a go along with kicking it up a tad.  The result was a perfect little bite for a party.  In fact, I served it at our Annual Ornament Exchange last weekend along with enjoying it the night prior for our Friday Night Bites (just made a tad extra).

I have been a busy entertaining bee this holiday season which suits me just fine.  It simply brings joy to my life to entertain for my friends and family – most importantly seeing the reaction on their faces and the large smile that follows.  I always love having a dinner party on the books to plan and look forward to.  Creating the menus and décor let’s my inner Martha escape and my guests are often the recipients of the creativity that gets unleashed.  It simply makes me happy.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Traditional Shortbread with White Chocolate, Cranberries and Pistachios

It is almost unimaginable how quick this year flew by and that the holidays have officially arrived.  Oh how I love this time of year.  As of Friday at 5:30pm my vacation has begun.  Did I say how much I love this time of year? Smile.  Hubby has also taken the same timeframe so we can truly enjoy the holidays and won’t need to return to work until January 6th.  Although we are never 100% on vacation, just need to simply check email and be ready for any urgent requests.  Typically a quiet time of year, but always want to be able to support my team and clients.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Smoked Brown Sugar Almonds | Friday Night Bites

A few years ago I made one of the most unique discoveries.  While shopping at the Napa Farmers Market held at Oxbow Public Market, I stumbled upon “The Smoked Olive”.  I soon learned that this award winning couple from Napa created a patent pending process for literally smoking olive oil which infused the earthy smoke flavor right into the oil – the result was spectacular.  Then to push things over the top, they had smoked brown sugar – I know – shut the front door – right?  I can literally eat a spoonful of the brown sugar and be in foodie heaven.  The combination of the rich sweet flavor and the hint of smoke is so over the top divine.  You can find all of their products on their website along with the brown sugar at Sur la Table and the olive oil at Williams Sonoma.  Both products are worth purchasing – trust me.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Butterscotch and Toffee Shortbread | Food Blogger Brunch & Cookie Swap

It is raining cookies during this time of year. Okay, maybe not literally but ovens around the country are firing on all cylinders.  I can only imagine if you flew low over towns across America, the air would be filled with the sweet scents of holiday cookies.  My house is no exception during this time of year. For the last several weeks, I have been filled with excitement in anticipation for my food blogger brunch and annual cookie exchange.  Granted it is only our 2nd year, I can confidently say it is an annual event now.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Olive Tapenade Crostini | Friday Night Bites

When it comes to appetizers, simplicity is sublime.  Often the limited number of ingredients combined together creates the most spectacular flavor profiles.  My Olive Tapenade Crostinis are a perfect example of this theory.  Between the salty, savory tapenade and the smoky flavor from the red pepper along with the sweetness from the reduced balsamic on top of a crunchy carbohydrate – this is heaven in a two bite delight.

Hubby and I attended a holiday party last weekend in San Francisco which was rather beige unfortunately, but one that we needed to attend. We had great guests at our table, so the event was several shades more enticing.  With any type of mass catering, sometimes the finesse of tasty food is lost in production and as hard as they tried, it was a lack luster attempt.  Perhaps because I have such an affinity for food, I am being a bit too critical and I am sure others were thrilled and I am hapy for them.  Be that as it may, there was one bright light shining at the event and it was on the appetizer portion of this party - thus my inspiration for this week’s Friday Night Bites.  I always try to find the positive in any situation.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jeweled Ornament Sugar Cookies | 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Happy Holidays Everyone!  Honestly it is hard to fathom that it is already that time of the year.  For me baking cookies during this time of year is a natural activity and brings such joy to see the looks and reactions to folks faces when they receive them.  Speaking of cookies, it is time for the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  I have been excited to be participate for since the inception and we are able to part of giving back by supporting a national non-profit called Cookies for Kid’s Cancer through simply being involved in the great cookie swap. I can’t think of a better event than one that involves delicious cookies and being able to help others.  To learn more about particpating in the event for 2014, simply click here.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chive & Parmesan Popcorn | Friday Night Bites

We are experiencing a bitter cold snap here in the Bay Area.  Our temperatures are on par with New York and Chicago at this time of the year.  We are expected to dip into the high 20’s tonight and for the next few nights – for us Bay Area folks - that is cold.  Our heater is running along with our fireplace and the blankets are abounding while we watch television.  It sort of cozy to have these low temperatures and just sets the stage for snuggling and enjoying comfort foods.  Not great for the waistline, but a few days won’t be that big of a deal.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)