Wilted Frisée with Coarse Grain Mustard Vinaigrette and Granny Smith Apples

Frisee-Salad-5

No meal is complete without something green so when putting together a 3 course wine dinner, I knew we needed a little something fresh that would be a perfect pairing with Chardonnay. While I was bouncing around ideas with our Sommelier, she threw out the idea of a wilted frisée salad.  Honestly, I was skeptical.  Frisée are the little bitter greens that I’ve always picked out of a mixed green salad simply because they’re always a little too tough or frankly, bitter (which they are by nature). I’ve never been a fan. Creating a salad comprised of all frisée scared me, but she convinced me when she suggested slightly wilting it to make it easier to eat and to help meld the flavors of a course grain mustard vinaigrette. I decided to take the chance and I’m so glad I did. I could not believe how much I LOVED this salad – I actually went back for seconds! The combination of light, slightly bitter greens, mustard vinaigrette and apples are the prefect compliment to our California Chardonnay. The chopped, granny smith apples bring out the hint of apple and pear in the wine while the mustard vinaigrette offers the perfect touch of acidity to compliment the bitterness of the greens. This is a delicious, light and crisp salad to enjoy before a hearty main course (coming tomorrow). YUM! Give it a try this weekend for your Valentine and I promise you’ll love it.  Just be sure to pair it with a little Chardonnay. The combo is pretty spectacular.  Scroll down to view the recipe!

Frisee-Salad-1

Frisee-Salad-2

Yield: 2 salads

Ingredients

1 head frisée
1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup feta
1/2 medium granny smith apple (chopped)

Directions

1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Toss greens in pan until slightly wilted and just starting to brown.
3. To make your vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, red wine vinegar, black pepper, salt and remaining olive oil.
4. In a large bowl, toss greens, chopped apple, feta and drizzle with vinaigrette.  Serve with a crisp chardonnay.

Frisee-Salad-3

Frisee-Salad-4

Frisee-Salad-7

Frisee-Salad-9

Cherry Preserves & Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Appetizer

Cherry-Pastry-15

Happy Wine Wednesday!  With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I wanted to share a little something I put together for work – Valentine’s Day food and wine pairings.  Jake and I are true foodies and we love exploring new restaurants in our area, but some of my happiest memories with him are when we’ve cooked together and enjoyed a great bottle of wine at home.  The goal was to create 3 easy-moderate recipes that paired deliciously with three of our wines and could be simply replicated by a couple or whichever partner has decided to treat the other on Valentines Day.  I did some research and after bouncing ideas around with our Sommelier, we decided on a few that would be perfect.  We gave them a try and they were SO GOOD!  I will definitely, 100% be making each of these again… and maybe this weekend :-)

The first one is a sweet and savory pastry that will melt in your mouth. Paired with ONEHOPE California Chardonnay, the goat cheese, cherry and buttery pastry highlight the crisp apple and pear notes in the wine. Enjoy the hint of caramel on the finish to perfectly meld with the savory goat cheese and pastry. YUM!  Find the recipe below and stay tuned for two more yummy treats tomorrow and Friday. xoxo

Cherry-Pastry-1

Cherry-Pastry-2

Cherry-Pastry-3

Yield: 4 large pastries

Ingredients

2 sheets puff pastry
8 oz. cherry preserves
8 oz. chevre
Egg wash (1 egg + 2 tablespoons of water lightly beaten)
2 tbs melted butter
Powdered sugar (optional)

…and the perfect Chardonnay :-)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. If using frozen puff pastry, allow it to thaw for 30 minutes.  You want your pastry to be workable, but not sticky.
3. Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin. Roll dough to just under 1/4″
4. Cut out your dough using a large cookie cutter. We were able to cut out 8 large hearts (enough for 4 pastries) and 4 small hearts (enough for 2 pastries).
5. Place half of the cut out dough on your work surface and layer shapes with chevre and preserves. Be careful not to use too much of the either cheese or preserves. For a 4″ heart cookie cutter, we used about 2 tablespoons chevre and 2 tablespoons preserves per pastry. Be sure to leave a 1/2″ border of dough around the filling.
6. Place the remaining dough shapes on your work surface. Using a knife, score the dough in whatever design desired. This will allow your pastry to vent while baking.
7. Give the scored dough shapes a little stretch and place over the shapes with the chevre and cherry preserves. Make sure the edges line up.
8. Using a fork, press the top and bottom layers of dough together around the edge of your pastry to seal it shut.
9. Using a brush, lightly coat each pastry with egg wash and melted butter. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes (or until edges are golden and pastry begins to flake).
10. Remove from oven and allow pastries to set for 2-3 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Cherry-Pastry-4

Cherry-Pastry-20

Cherry-Pastry-5

Cherry-Pastry-6

Cherry-Pastry-7

Cherry-Pastry-8

Cherry-Pastry-9

Cherry-Pastry-10

Cherry-Pastry-11

Cherry-Pastry-12

Cherry-Pastry-13

Cherry-Pastry-14

Cherry-Pastry-16

Cherry-Pastry-17

Cherry-Pastry-18

Cherry-Pastry-19

Lately…

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.02.20 PM

 {A shot of our famous glitter bottle.  How rad is this thing?!  AND each one provides 15 healthy meals to a child fighting hunger}

Hey there!  No matter how prepared we feel for the holidays at work, it’s always insane in December and blogging just falls by the wayside.  November and December are the two months when over 70% of our business for the YEAR occur and we trade our spaces behind the computer to high-tail it to the warehouse to help with fulfillment.  I realized it had been a few days since I last posted so I wanted to drop by with a note to say hello.  Check out a few of the things I’ve been working on and be sure to follow me on Instagram for more realtime updates :-)

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.59.04 PM

{Sneak peek at a fun new project I’ve been working on with my mom.  Pillows galore!  I’m dying over the colors!}

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.58.40 PM

{The 31 Bits holiday party is always an absolute blast.  How dreamy is their space with those lights and balloons?}
Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.58.20 PM

{Finally found a few hours to put up our tree :-) Half of the lights weren’t working, Target didn’t have any white lights in stock and the process took a million times longer than I expected, but her glow makes me SO happy.  And kitty is clearly enjoying it too.}Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.57.59 PM

{Behind the scenes at yesterday’s NYE shoot featuring our glitter bottle with Zoom Theory!  By the end of it we were covered in confetti and champagne, but I’m stoked at how this turned out and can’t wait to share the final images.}

Cheers!

DECEMBER

Wreath-Under-Arm

{images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9}

Happy December 1st!  Can you believe it’s the last month of 2014?  I’m both ecstatic and terrified – excited that my favorite time of the year is here and scared to death that every year seems to fly by even faster than the last.  The feeling really hit me yesterday while working in our warehouse with a group of 25 volunteers who were there to pack up our orders from our Black Friday sale.  Over 27 pallets of boxes were packed, stacked and hauled onto a UPS truck late last night and the reality really set in.  Not only are we having a great year, which I am thankful for to my core, but the holiday bustle is truly here to stay for the next four weeks.  Even in the madness, I vow to make this season merry to the very last minute.  My Christmas playlist is on shuffle/repeat, I can’t wait to attend a few holiday events this week and our Christmas tree is going up whenever I can find a few free hours to make her pretty.  Are you feeling the holiday cheer yet too or am I just a crazy #basicwhitegirl?! ;-)

PS: Take a look at the holiday images that are making me feel all warm and fuzzy on my Pinterest – feeling so inspired by some of these!

Christmas-Lights-2

Spiced-Eggnog

Christmas-Tree

Wreath
Cinnamon-Sticks

Cheers

Eggnog-2

Wreath-Door

Thanksgiving Week

Fall-Entertaining-Tablescape-2

Happy Thanksgiving week!  Jake and I took the red eye to New Orleans on Monday night to be here with his family for the holiday and it’s a little different than what we normally do, but I’m happy to be in such an amazing city with loved ones.  I just wanted to pass along the Fall / Winter Entertaining Guide I put together for ONEHOPE in case you were looking for any more recipe ideas for tomorrow.  There are definitely some yummy ones in there so check it out.  All of the images from that shoot can be seen here so be sure to visit there for some more decor tips and ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Meg

Fall-Entertaining-Beets-3

Fall-Entertaining-Tablescape-5

 

Images by Brian Tropiano.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut-Squash-Soup-9

One of the many things I love about fall is eating seasonally and experimenting with fall flavors.  Fall is the perfect time to experiment with butternut squash, figs, root vegetables and all sorts of yummy produce and I always find myself craving a great, hearty soup around this time of the year.  A quick internet search for a great butternut squash soup recipe lead me to this with an almost perfect 5 star review average with over 1,900 reviews (!!!).  I knew I had to give it a try.  I adjusted it a tiny bit to make it slightly healthier and the end result was nothing short of incredible.  We served it with warm sliced sourdough bread and a crisp Sauvignon Blanc to cut through the hint of spice and creamy, buttery flavor one weekend when we had friends in town and we were thrilled with their feedback. This is something really great to make on a cool fall weekend so I wanted to pass it along.  Cheers!

Ingredients

6 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
4 tablespoons butter
1 5lb. butternut squash
3 cups water
4 chicken bullion cubes
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 8oz package reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

For Apple Topping

1 apple diced (I used a fuji apple)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Season with garlic salt and olive oil.  Place in a baking dish cut side down and fill dish with 1″ of water.

2.  Roast squash for 45 minutes or until soft and tender.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

3.  Once squash is cool enough to handle, remove skin, discard seeds and dice remaining squash.

4..  In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

5.  Puree squash and cream cheese using a hand blender until smooth.  Heat for 10 more minutes (do not boil).

Directions for Apple Topping

1.  In a small pan, heat butter until melted.

2.  Add apple and brown sugar.  Saute on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

Butternut-Squash-Soup-1

Butternut-Squash-Soup-2

Butternut-Squash-Soup-4

Butternut-Squash-Soup-5

Butternut-Squash-Soup-6

Butternut-Squash-Soup-7

Butternut-Squash-Soup-8

Butternut-Squash-Soup-10

Butternut-Squash-Soup-11

I’m Back!

BlogEdit670auholiday_0187

Huge apologies for being MIA this past week, but my computer that I’ve had since design school finally kicked it.  And by “kicked it” I mean that it took 90 minutes to resize 10 photos last week, I could feel my stomach ulcer attacking my insides and I was about to be hairless if I didn’t start PULLING OUT MY HAIR in frustration and stress.  I finally caved and got a brand spanking new computer that feels like absolute lightning and my life is complete again.  Transferring files, fonts and contents has been a bit of a process while trying to keep up with holiday madness already happening at work, but I’m back with some SUPER fun content lined up for this week and next.  I can’t wait to share :-)  Thanks for your patience!

PS: This image reminds me that my favorite time of the year is almost here, gets me excited to wrap presents for loved ones and gets my creative juices flowing.  Isn’t it so wonderfully simplistic and just perfect?! Image via.