Cherry Preserves & Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Appetizer

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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

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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.

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Wine Wednesday | Pear + Goat Cheese Crostini

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Happy Wine Wednesday!  We’re halfway through the week, y’all!  The past 7 days have been exceptionally exciting and I’m thrilled to be feeling the most inspired that I have in a very long time.  Jake and I spent last weekend in Napa and we’re heading back tomorrow for a big project that we’re working on together for our company (more details on that later), but there have been a lot of exciting changes in the works :-)  In the meantime, for Wine Wednesday, I wanted to share one of my absolute FAVORITE appetizer recipes that we whipped up for our Pink Party.

Inspired by one of my favorite salads, this Pear + Goat Cheese Crostini is basically an easier-to-eat/one-hand-required version that is perfect for a party or wine tasting.  The creaminess of the goat cheese combined with the slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette and pears are LEGIT with a well balanced Chardonnay (light on the oak, but not overly sweet). Get in my bellyyyy!  Check out the recipe below and bookmark it for your next party so you can wow your friends and thank me later ;-)

Prep: 20 minutes
Serves: 10-15

Ingredients

1 loaf French bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic (minced)
5 oz. arugula
3 oz. Goat Cheese
1 Pear (diced)
1/2 cup Glazed Walnut Pieces (I used Fresh Gourmet brand – available in the salad or crouton aisle)

Ingredients for Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While oven is preheating, slice bread into ~1/4″ slices.

2.  Combine olive oil and minced garlic.  Brush mixture onto bread slices.  Place bread on baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes on lower rack or until bread has started to toast.

3.  While the bread is in the oven, combine all ingredients for dressing until thoroughly mixed. I like to put everything in a mason jar and shake it up to get an even consistency. This also makes it easy to save leftovers

4.  Remove toasts from oven.  When they have cooled enough to handle, spread each toast with goat cheese.  Return to oven for 2-3 minutes or until goat cheese has softened.

5.  Remove toasts and transfer to serving platter.  Garnish each toast with a few sprigs of arugula, diced pear and walnuts. Drizzle dressing over top and serve with a glass of Chardonnay.  This one is awesome :-)

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Tropical Sangria

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When putting together our “Sangria Summer” for work, I was having serious wanderlust for Hawaii and was ready to consume anything that satisfied my Oahu nostalgia in the slightest.  The fruit on the Hawaiian islands is insane and I can’t say I’ve had so much pineapple, mango and papaya in my life as I did that week we were away.  I decided to throw this one together from scratch using all of my favorite tropical fruits and it was one of our team’s top picks of the week.  Aside from being just so darn pretty, it was SO delicious and I can’t wait to make it again soon.  Perfect for the hottest months of the year or anytime you’re just needing a mental tropical vacation… if even for a few moments :-)  Cheers!

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Ingredients

1 bottle of ONEHOPE Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 cup guava juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple (cut into 1″ wedges)
orange slices
blood orange slices (optional)
mango slices
passion fruit (seeds and juice from 1 passion fruit)

*consider additional fruit for garnishing before serving

Directions

1) Combine all ingredients in one of your sangria bar carafes and seal tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

2) Fill glasses with crushed ice and garnish with fresh blood orange, pineapple and mango if desired.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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Pumpkin Weekend

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After so much recent travel, Jake and I managed to fly past one another all October long and spent the month apart.  I’m looking forward to having a cozy weekend at home together to catch up, visit our favorite restaurants and enjoy fall.  I’ll be doing some baking as well and I’m really looking forward to trying out some pumpkin based recipes including these waffles and these yummy donut holes.  Can’t wait to see how they turn out!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend :-)

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Valentine’s Day Cookies

For the last two or three years, I’ve had full intentions of sending out Valentines and each year, regrettably, the holiday creeps up too quickly and I simply run out of time.  This year I was determined to get it done and pretty pink frosted sugar cookies seemed too enticing to pass up.  My mom and I made sugar cookies for Christmas and Valentine’s Day or Easter almost every year growing up and since I’ve been feeling a little homesick lately, I decided that using her recipe would be just the tasty pick-me-up I’ve needed.  They turned out just as good as I remembered so I thought I’d share the love <3

Ingredients

4 cups flour
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter
1 ½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
¾ cup sour cream

Directions

Mix flour with the next four ingredients
In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter until smooth
Add sugar to butter, creaming well
Stir in vanilla
Beat in eggs until fluffy
Add flour mixture, alternating with sour cream in 2-3 parts
Mix until dough is consistent
Cover and chill for at least an hour (but I chilled overnight)
Preheat oven to 450, roll dough ¼” thick and cut with desired cookie cutters
Bake on cookie sheet for 5-8 minutes
Wait for cookies to cool before frosting. I used the Royal Icing recipe on this Meringue Powder package.

Let your frosting set before placing them into your Valentine bags.  I used these bags with this baker’s twine and these ADORABLE Kraft Martha Stewart for Staples labels.

Pack and ship… I threw in a bottle of my favorite wine ;-)  And of course, save a few for yourself!  Enjoy!