Hello Loves, and Happy Flashback Friday!! Here’s a little inspiration, My favorite recipes for the holiday season to add to your spread, and some holiday cheer and memories from 2015.
Happy NOVEMBER!! #HappyFlashbackFriday
November has been a great month so far, but can be at times the most stressful and hectic due to work obligations, industry events, and personal engagements that occur in all of our lives. But even through all the madness with the holidays in full swing, and no matter how busy our schedules keeps us, I feel it’s vital and important keeping a balanced life, in all aspects.
Balance I believe keeps our minds and souls happy and no to mention grounded. One of the things I’ve always practiced is continuing to ALWAYS count my blessings. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t do this. My husband and I remain grounded in all that we do, and we continue to count our blessings day in and day out. And during the holidays, this is the time where we think most about our families, friends, and how blessed and thankful we are to have you all in our lives. Our lives have become so full, complete with so many blessings and joy because of all the love and positivity in our lives. This is what life is to us. This is what keeps us going in life and we are reminded this daily.
With the holiday season in full swing, my husband and I had our 2nd annual Friendsgiving this past weekend (11/21/15). It was a great way to celebrate the start to the holiday season with some of our closest friends and family. With Thanksgiving in just a few days, we thought what better way to celebrate the holiday season and enjoy some Pre-Thanksgiving festivities than to celebrate and enjoy a night to eat, drink, and be thankful, all together. While also adding more memories to the books. It was a great evening filled with lots of laughs, fun, and very full bellies. In this blog post, I’m sharing some photos from the evening, some of my recipes from the night and what I love to make during the holidays, and some inspiration when planning parties like this one and other holiday get togethers. .
Whenever I’m planning an event or hosting a party, I alway give myself time to plan and prep. For my Friendsgiving I alway plan in advance– the menu, decor, table arrangements etc …. This years Friendsgiving I planned it out 3 months in advance, from setting the date and all the little and big details. Once we finalize a date, I sent out all the invites giving guest ample time to plan. The inspiration behind the decor and tablescape ideas came from either Real Simple Magazine, but I get a lot of my ideas and inspiration from Pinterest. Pinterest is a great source for just about anything. Check out my Pinterest page and boards at : https://www.pinterest.com/SocFashBeaut17/. I love reading up and exploring new ideas and creating things. For me, I LOVE a good DIY! A good DIY project is right up my alley!!
As far as my menu, I get my inspiration either from Pinterest or my long list of my cooking channel shows on my DVR, that I try and catch up on when I can. I adapt a lot of my meals, making each and every meal uniquely mine and giving it a touch of my own cooking esthetic. I like to use a lot of Organic and natural ingredients as much as I can, so I can continue sticking to my healthy lifestyle even during the holidays.
Enjoy two of my recipes I featured that evening for appetizers and dessert. Great to try and enjoy for during the holidays!! Try them out, take a picture and tag me using the hashtags #SocialFashionistaBeautyDoesTheHolidays #SocialFashionistaBeautyRecipes
HARVEST FRUIT, GOAT CHEESE, CHOPPED PECANS CROSTINIS
A quick and easy appetizer that combines juicy apples and grapes with creamy goat cheese and toasted pecans for elegant and flavorful bite.
1 c. grapes quartered
1 green apple diced
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, broken into small pieces
¼ c. fresh orange juice
½ c. pecans, toasted
1 French baquette & Olive Oil -or- Crackers
Honey to drizzle over Crostinis
Slice your baquette into ½” pieces and heat up a pan on your stove. Brush the tops of each piece with olive oil. Brown each side of your crostini until its lightly browned then to allow to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly toss the apples, orange juice, grapes, pecans and goat cheese.
Top the crostinis or crackers with ¼ c. of the fruit mixture and serve immediately.
Drizzle with Honey to top everything off
Plate and serve and enjoy these easy colorful and delish appetizer!
Mini Salted Caramel Apple Pies
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For the filling:
2 cups small diced (peeled) Granny Smith apples
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
8 store-bought soft caramels, roughly chopped
Large flake sea salt
Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water)
Crystal sanding sugar (optional)
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Make the filling:
In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Assemble the pies:
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14×14-inch square.
Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles. (You should have approximately 20 3-inch circles.)
Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).
Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.
The cubed apples should be no larger than the size of corn kernels to ensure they become tender during the quick 15-minute bake time.
Large flake sea salt is available in most supermarkets.
If the dough is too firm to work with after refrigerating, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting out the circular shapes.
If the sour cream in the dough makes it too sticky at any point in the rolling out process, just simply sprinkle a pinch of flour atop the wet areas and continue rolling.
Plate and serve. These are so great and you won’t feel guilty about all the calories, because they are mini, cute and oh so delicious!! Enjoy!
This year I’m thankful for….
My husband has been my rock and a huge support from day one, now and always. Always cheering me on in all my endeavors and projects that I’ve taken on this year. Always loving me and putting me and our family first. And for all the things he does for us and for our future.
For my friends who’ve always kept me grounded, always keeping a smile on my face and bringing laughter and joy in my life.. Keeping all the positive loving vibes flowing. Grateful for moments like these with them. Always reminding me to smile always, laugh often, stay carefree, and ALWAYS eat well!
For the family whose been there for me through thick and thin and remain a positive light in my life. The people I can call on and count on and whom I’m grateful to have in my life. Those near and dear to my heart. I am who I am today because they’ve been a huge part in shaping the person I am today.
What are your favorite recipes for your holiday spread?
What are you Thankful for?
For more inspirational moments and thought,, recipes and more stay tuned!