brie bites with sugared cranberries

Brie Bites  with Sugared Cranberries | daisysworld.net

Oh my gosh!  I can’t believe the holidays are here and that means parties galore. Whether you’re hosting a party or need to bring something to one, why not give this recipe a try? These Brie Bites with Sugared Cranberries will make a stunning addition to any holiday table and is a wonderful accompaniment to the festive cocktails of the season. It’s made with rich and creamy Brie cheese and topped with sugar-frosted cranberries. They make a simple, yet elegant appetizer. It’s  actually quite easy to make, but it requires some planning as the fresh cranberries are best when soaked in simple syrup overnight. 

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cocktail hour: pink grapefruit mojito

Pink Grapefruit Mojitos

In our household, Chris and I share cooking duties pretty equally. Actually, during the week, he probably prepares dinner more often than I do because he is usually home first.  He has turned into quite the cook, often making pasta or pizza dough from scratch or trying one of the recipes he’s jotted down in his spiral “cooking” notebook. While we both love desserts, he isn’t interested in baking or making desserts unless it’s ice cream. What he really enjoys is making beverages, which is good since I don’t really like to make drinks.

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vietnamese spring rolls

Vietnamese Spring RollsVietnamese Spring Rolls are essentially are bundles of salad wrapped in rice paper. They are very versatile and may be made with whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand. It takes a little bit of time to prepare all the ingredients and a little practice to wrap, but the resulting spring rolls are certainly worth the time and effort. Make these for your family or serve them at your next party and they are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

…traditionally filled with shrimp and pork, noodles, and an assortment of vegetables and herbs.  They are eaten dipped in either a spicy peanut sauce or nuoc cham, which is made with fish sauce, garlic, and chilis, or both. What I love about them is that they are fresh, healthy, and a lot of fun to make (and eat!).

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sumo citrus slices with crème fraîche, pistachios, and mint

Sumo Citrus

Sumo Citrus.  Have you heard of it? I hadn’t until I walked into Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and was greeted with a beautiful display of these uniquely-shaped and brightly-colored fruit with a thick, dimpled peel and distinctive “top knot”. These large mandarin oranges are seedless, easy to peel, and very sweet. They’re juicy, but not so much that the juice drips down your arm when you peel them like some oranges can do.

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strawberry mojitos

After all of the weekend’s chores were done, Chris and I had a chance to relax and enjoy an absolutely gorgeous Sunday afternoon.  We sat on our deck and welcomed the cool breeze under a shady spot, amidst the swaying bamboo and peaceful sound of the water in the nearby pond.  We watched an orange butterfly flutter around and a couple of colorful birds splash around the water. For a short while, we were transported to a distant tropical island, without a care in the world, sipping these refreshing Strawberry Mojitos, and enjoying each other’s company. Continue reading