How adorable is this mini brie cheese!? We both love all sorts of cheese, but brie is probably one that is always on our cheeseboard. We prefer to add a topping to it, as they can be slightly plain in taste. Brie cheese is so versatile and pairs really well with either sweet, salty or both additions. The sky is the limit when creating anything with this soft and creamy cheese.
This salad takes minutes to prepare; it’s SO easy, delicious and with a beautiful presentation. Start by seasoning the arugula; in a bowl, whisk some good quality olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the dressing with the arugula.
In a salad plate, layer some of the arugula on the bottom. Next, cut the mini brie cheese in the middle; we used Supreme Brie Bites, which you can easily find at your local grocery store. On the bottom half, spread a layer of your favorite fig jam and top it off with the other half. If desired, add a little more of the jam on top! Place the brie cheese on top of the arugula, add fresh cut figs, shaved almonds and top it all off with balsamic glaze.
Feel free to switch up some of the ingredients in this salad; instead of almonds, try pistachio or walnuts. Change the greens to suit your taste; mixed greens will go really well here. Omit the fresh figs if you don’t like it; it tastes so yummy without them too.
It doesn’t get easier than that!! It’s a great appetizer idea for your next lunch or dinner party. Your guests will love this!!
I have been loving serving our family dinners on a large serving board. Placing a food board in the center of the dinner table and letting everyone snack as they please is fun and reduces the number of serving dishes you have to clean. A few dinners I have served in a board are Pulled Pork Sandwich, Spring Rolls, Grilled chicken and cob salad, and of course… Tacos!
Tacos are not only easy to prepare, but it is also a crowd-pleaser. Most of the taco toppings (if not all) you can buy at grocery stores. But if you prefer preparing your own, it is even better, and there is really no secret.
I personally prefer preparing my pico de gallo, or also called “salsa fresca”. All you have to do is dice up tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Place them in a bowl and squeeze in the lime juice and add salt and pepper. Combine well all the ingredients and let them rest for at least 1 hour. You can even prepare one day in advance, and it will taste even better!
As for the protein, I usually go more traditional with ground beef, chicken or carnitas. But you can also add fish, shrimp, or just beans. I use the grocery store spice packets to season the beef, and then I throw it in a very hot skillet and let it cook until it is browned. I like it a bit saucier, so I add a tablespoon of beef stock. That’s it!
Sometimes I add soft tortillas, and sometimes the hard shells. You can pick one or add both to your board. There is no right or wrong! Just make sure to add the tortillas and/or taco shells as the last item to the board. I keep them in the oven and bring them to the table when I am ready to serve.
I have listed below some of my favorite Taco Toppings:
– Pico de Gallo or salsa
– Grilled peppers
– Black Beans
– Sour cream
– Hot sauce
– Fresh cilantro
And follow these easy tips to create your board:
– Choose a large food board.
– In small bowls, add your favorite toppings: cheese, guacamole, black beans….
– I like to serve hot items, like grilled peppers and tprotein in cast-iron dishes. They come from the stove directly to the board, and it will keep it warmer for a long time.
– Add the tortillas and/or taco shells as the last item.
– Add jalapeno and cilantro to finalize!
Once your board is assembled, you and your family are ready to dig in!
We love trifles, especially individuals ones. They are so easy to make, brighten up any dessert table and look so impressive. When I came across this recipe from ciaoflorentina.com, the picture looked so beautiful that I had to try it. It turned out to be SO delicious too! Barbara and I had to share this one since we love yummy recipes with a beautiful presentation. We call them winners! This no-bake tiramisu trifle is definitely one of them.
In a saucepan add the blackberries and blueberries together with the lemon juice, vanilla extract, honey and water. . Bring it to a simmer on low flame, cover with a lid and simmer together for a few minutes until the blueberries have popped. Allow to cool. Once cooled off strain the berry sauce separating the liquid from the solids.
Meanwhile using a mixer with the whisk attachment whip together the heavy cream with 1tbsp of the sugar. Transfer to the refrigerator and keep cold until ready to use.
In a different bowl cream together the egg yolks with 4tbsp of the sugar using the mixer with the whisk attachment. Start adding the mascarpone cheese a little bit at a time until incorporated.
Using a spatula add the chilled whipped cream to the bowl with the mascarpone and gently fold them together. Divide in two bowls.
Add the solid berries from the sauce to one of the bowls with the mascarpone and gently fold together. Set aside.
Dip the ladyfingers in the berry sauce and layer them in the bottom of the serving glasses or trifle dish. Add a layer of the berry mascarpone mixture followed by a layer of the plain mascarpone mixture. Repeat the layer until you run out of ingridients
Refrigerate for a couple of hours or until set.
Serve chilled garnished with some fresh blackberries, blueberries and fresh mint.
Who doesn’t love the classic blue and white color combination!? Try adding a vibrant green in the mix, and you got yourself a bold color scheme. When we designed this tablescape, we wanted a twist on the traditional blue and white, and by adding small green accents, we were able to achieve a beautiful and striking look.
The navy blue linen tablecloth worked beautifully here; how gorgeous are the white hydrangeas popping against the blue background? This white hydrangeas arrangement is so easy to put together, a great one for anyone, even those with zero floral skills. Watch the tutorial video at the end of the post.
Green apples as decorations pieces!? Yes!! Fruits look beautiful as decor items on a table, don’t be afraid to add them next time you set the table. They add so much texture and color. And who knows, you might have guests nibble on them – they act as food and decor! Win, win!
We love ginger jars and their versatility! They look beautiful in different settings and an exquisite addition to any tablescape. So get those jars out of the cabinets and place them on the table! The blue-rimmed dinner plates added another blue and white element to the table; however, if you don’t have them at home, plain white ones work beautifully as well.
The evergreen linen napkins, along with the green apples, added the perfect amount of green pop to the tablescape. Just what we wanted to give a little twist on the classic blue and white color combination.
This tablescape is a great inspiration for lunch or a casual dinner; we hope you enjoy it! Below are some links to items that we used here and other ones for pieces that will work well in this tablescape.
Hosting at home has never been so popular; it’s a safer and more controlled manner to gather with your family and intimate friends (the ones in your bubble). However, most people think that hosting at home can be exhausting and time-consuming. It doesn’t have to! Pizza, Salad, Dessert and let’s not forget the wine, everything served on the kitchen island. Easy Peasy and looks adorable. People just want to get together in person; that’s all it matters now. Keep it simple but cozy; all your guests will love whatever you plan.
The kitchen is the heart of most houses and most likely the best place to host a casual gathering. Lay everything on the kitchen island, and guests can help themselves. Very simple! If you want, add some flowers to enhance your kitchen’s decor. We always think that flowers can instantly transform any room or tablescape, but you can always live it out if a floral arrangement is not your thing.
Pear Naan Pizza with Honey and Goat Cheese! This pizza is SO easy to make, and it’s so delicious; we have made it so many times. The original recipe is by https://bygabriella.co
It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to create your own floral arrangement! A flower arrangement can instantly transform your home decor or your tablescape. However, most people feel overwhelmed to design a bouquet. We will help you create a simple yet beautiful hand-tied bouquet with a selection of flowers that you can find at your local grocery store.
One of the questions we get the most is where do we buy our flowers? Most of them are from grocery stores. The blooms available in grocery stores tend to last a long time, and usually, they are low maintenance, cheerful, and very affordable. We agree that flower shops carry a larger variety and much better quality flowers. But for those who don’t know much about flowers, this can be intimidating, so there is no problem starting with the grocery store ones until you decide to move with different colors and shapes.
When selecting the flowers, one tip is to avoid buying the blooms fully open. You should also always check the stems and leaves. You want to make sure that they are firm.
The first step when designing a flower arrangement is to decide on a color scheme. It is best to work with one or two main colors. And when it comes to floral design, the green act as a neutral tone that accents any decor.
There are several different ways that you can design and create your own flower arrangements. The hand-tied technique is simple and very quick to master.
Start by following the steps below:
1- Once you have chosen your color scheme, select flowers that have fine stems but are full of flowers, like roses, alstroemerias and hydrangeas.
2- Strip the foliage and thorns of the stems and lay them all on your table. You don’t leave any leaves on your stems for a bouquet because most of them will fall below the flower line. You should also always make sure you do this before you start arranging the flowers.
3- Begin by holding a single flower on your left hand (or your non-dominant hand), and then, using your other hand, add the second flower on an angle (crossing the stems). Keep adding the flowers at an angle, working your way around it.
4- Remember: One hand holds the arrangement, and the other hand adds the flowers.
5- Make sure to always turn the bouquet and slightly drop the stems’ height to get a rounded shape.
6- Make sure to look at the bouquet from the top and ensure that the flowers are nicely spaced.
7- Avoid having many flowers of the same type sitting together. Make sure that you mix them up to create a cohesive arrangement.
8- If you are not happy with the arrangement, don’t be afraid to put it down and start again.
9- Once you’re happy with the way it looks, tie the stems together firmly with a string or a rubber band.
10- Trim the stems gradually to fit the container.
For these two small arrangements, please find below the list of materials we used:
LOVE IS IN THE AIR!!! Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday this year, the perfect day to celebrate with an extra special Sunday Brunch. Whether with your immediate family, or some very close friends, this year, take the time to set up something a little special. This past year was a rough one for us all; we definitely need some love and to show some love, so cheer up your home with a Valentine-themed Brunch.
Brunch is probably one of the easiest meals to plan as you can serve several store-bought items. Add a variety of pastries, pound cake, bread, yogurt and fruits to your shopping list. The only dish you may want to prepare is the main one, like scrambled eggs, omelettes, french toast, croque monsieur or madame, or whatever you enjoy. Make the main dish easy or a little more elaborate, depending on your cooking skills. No brunch is complete without some champagne to toast, so add a little bubbly to your list. Mimosas or Bellinis are perfect for the occasion too.
You don’t need valentine designed dishes; you can simply add pink or red (or both) flowers to capture the season’s style. A ton sur ton pink roses arrangement like the one above is so easy to design. Pick three different shades of roses, remove all the leaves and cut all the stems around the same height. The pinkish vase definitely helped to elevate the theme, but it can look so beautiful in a clear vase as well.
A great way to serve yogurt is by placing them in a bowl full of ice to keep them nice and cold. This one is a decorative crystal bowl that I have on my coffee table, but didn’t it look so beautiful here!? On the side, add some optional toppings for the yogurt, I served berries, but the sky is the limit. You can serve nuts, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, granola, and so much more.
I bought this pink 3 tier stand for my daughter’s one-year tea party themed birthday. They are so cute, and I have used them a few times already. They are perfect for V-Day! However, any 3 tier stand works! This type of serving dish displays pastries beautifully, I tend to use a lot when serving brunch.
I am sending extra love on this year’s Valentine’s Day! I hope you have a day filled with pink, red, hearts, flowers, chocolates and all things valentine!
Shop items from this post here and some of our picks!
Chocolate boards became a hit amongst our family and friends. They are a beautiful display and so easy to put together. All you have to do is display your favorite chocolates and fruits on a board! The best part… NO BAKE IS REQUIRED!
The first thing is to choose your board. This is the type of dessert that can be scaled to serve any number of people. You can arrange a chocolate board for two or 50! The number of people you will be serving will dictate how big or small your plate should be. We chose a round wood board, but it also looks beautiful on a marble tray or even a ceramic plate.
The next step is to choose what you want to add to your board. This is where you get creative! There are no rules, and you can combine your family favorites.
On this board, we added:
– Chocolate ganache;
– White chocolate;
– Belgium chocolate biscuit assortment
– Dark chocolate bar
– Milk chocolate bar
– Chocolate covered finger cookies
– Bite-size wafer cookies
– Strawberries and raspberries
The only thing homemade is the chocolate ganache! Not even sure if we can consider this as homemade, lol! It’s is a 2-ingredient recipe: semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream, at a 1:1 ratio of cream to chocolate.
How to make chocolate ganache:
1- In a microwave safe bowl, add the finely chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) and heat in the microwave for about 1 minute.
2- Pour the heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds.
3- Combine the warm cream and chocolate and whisk together until well combined and smooth. If needed, return to the microwave for another 30 seconds.
After you stir the chocolate and warm cream together, use the ganache right away.
Don’t try to do the same with the white chocolate. It doesn’t work! Using a heatproof bowl, microwave the white chocolate, stirring every 15 seconds, until it is melted and smooth.
Now it’s time to assemble your board. There are no rules, but here are some tips:
– Start by placing the bowls on the board;
– Place the cookies and chocolates creating different heights and mixing the colors (for example, the dark chocolate on top of the milk chocolate, or vice-versa);
– Fruits not only go so well with chocolate, but they also add a beautiful pop of color to the board.
Chocolate covered strawberries are extremely easy to make but are so elegant, beautiful, impressive looking and romantic. We love them! I mean, who doesn’t love them!? They are beautiful on their own, add elegance to a dessert table, or the final touch on top of a cake or cheesecake.
White, Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Melting Wafers or Baking Chocolate Chips
Wash and dry the strawberries. Make sure to dry them well; they must be completely dry. The water will prevent the chocolate from sticking to the strawberry.
Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper.
Using a heatproof bowl, microwave the chocolate wafers and a little bit of the coconut oil, stirring every 15 seconds, until they are melted and smooth. Coconut oil is not essential, but it helps hardens the chocolate faster and makes it a little thicker.
Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip it into the chocolate, turning it to coat. Lift and let excess chocolate fall off.
Lay the strawberries on the parchment paper.
Wait 30 minutes for the chocolate to set, or place the strawberries into the refrigerator for 15 minutes to speed the process.
Enjoy them the same day, that’s when they are best. However, you can keep them in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days.
For a marbled effect, melt the dark and white chocolate as described above. Using a small spoon, drizzle some of the dark chocolate onto the white one. Do not stir! Dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture, twist and turn when lifting up to create the marbled effect. Watch the video below for the full tutorial.
Is there anything better than staying home on a cold night enjoying cheese fondue and a glass of wine!? Sounds like heaven to us! So why not add one to your cheese platter!? We don’t know about you, but for us, we can’t get enough of cheese.
Serving cheese fondue feels super special, like being in the Swiss Alps (lol), really simple to prepare and so cozy for a winter night. Although growing up in Brazil, we always enjoyed going to a fondue restaurant. I guess you can have it in any weather (lol)!!!
There are many ways to make cheese fondue; however, use a Fondue mix for a quicker and easier way. Just make sure to make it on the stove and then transfer it to the fondue pot. Serve with crusty bread, crunch vegetables like broccoli or cauliflowers, fruits like apples and pears, cherry tomatoes and potatoes. Make sure you have enough skewers for everyone, the last thing you want is people sharing them.
This Holiday Season, we are staying in and celebrating with our immediate family. This year it’s all about staying home, connecting with them, and trying new recipes. We will be cooking a lot!!! So, when Mezzetta sent us their castelvetrano and kalamata olives, their marinated artichoke hearts, and their sun- ripened dried tomatoes we wanted to create something yummy for our families to enjoy. After all, Mezzetta Makes it Betta!
This is a sponsored post by Mezzetta. All opinions are our own.
Growing up, our dad always served olives, whether we had guests or not. He loves them so much; he could eat off a jar. Maybe that’s why we both love olives since we always had them in our pantry. They can strengthen the flavor of any dish but are also amazing on their own. Green or black, we love them all!
Homemade Olive Spread is so delicious and comes together in minutes. We also love how versatile it is and how it adds a fantastic salty and savory flavor. You can serve it by itself, add to your charcuterie board, or on top of pizza, sandwich; so many possibilities!
As you probably already noticed, we are all about simple recipes that are full of amazing flavors! This recipe combines the buttery sweet flavor of Mezzetta’s castelvetrano olives with the rich and unique taste of Mezzetta’s kalamata ones. Mezzetta olives are so rich and delicious that it was not hard to create this appetizer that we can now rely on each time.
This recipe has no secret! It is just a combination of high quality ingredients that will make this spread a success.
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Since it’s a small amount, an olive spread can go a long way; we recommend using a small food processor or an immersion blender. Pulse a few times, but don’t overdo it; you want the olive pieces to be small but not pureed, a little chunky in texture. Serve with bread and crackers.
Don’t be afraid to play with the ingredients; if you don’t like parsley, add your favorite herb. Or better than that, mix a few of your favorite ones. Also, you can try different varieties of Mezzetta olives; they have so many options that will please anyone.
Did you know that orzo is pasta!? It’s shaped like rice, but it’s actually pasta. This salad is such a hearty and filling one that you probably don’t need much else for dinner.
When planning our holiday meal, we all tend to spend all the attention on the main dishes, the appetizers, and the desserts., and the side dishes tends to get overlooked. But with just a few steps, you can create an amazing salad that is as much as comfort food as the other traditional dishes.
This hearty winter salad combines 6 ingredients that are profoundly delicious and comes together as a very festive side dish. We tossed the orzo with arugula to add lots of green, Mezzetta sun-ripened dried tomato for a sweet-tart flavor, pine nuts for a toasty crunch, parmesan cheese for a gritty texture, and finally, the artichoke on top. The Mezzetta marinated artichoke hearts add an essential briny flavor; it’s the perfect final touch.
Start by preparing the orzo: boil water, add the orzo, and cook for about 7-9 minutes or until “al dente.” Be careful not to overcook it! Drain the orzo and gently run cold water over to cool off. We like to wait a few minutes for the orzo to dry a little and then add the other ingredients. Add the arugula, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, shaved parmesan, and top it all off with Mezzetta Marinated Artichoke Hearts.
For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. This salad also tastes great with only olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s a great alternative for a simple and quick dressing.
You can try different variations to this salad by switching the greens; spinach works well. You can swap the nuts; shaved almonds would work beautifully here. If parmesan cheese is not your favorite, try feta or your favorite kind of cheese. The sky is the limit; you can swap ingredients to the ones you like best.
We hope you can enjoy these two recipes as much as we did! There is nothing better than cooking at home, staying in, and connecting with your family. Savor these moments!
With a chocolate cake base and creamy mousse topping, this make-ahead chocolate raspberry mousse cake is as easy as a pie and a great dessert for the Holiday season. There is no secret! It is just a soft and moist chocolate cake, topped with a creamy chocolate mousse and covered with fresh raspberries! Does this sound amazing or what!?
For this recipe, we used a boxed chocolate cake mix. It’s hard to beat the convenience of a box mix cake, and we are always looking for ways to simplify a recipe but keeping a delicious taste. The cake combined with the chocolate mousse will taste as you made it from scratch.
We made and baked the cake as directed on the box. You can bake it in a 9’ pan or in a 13 x ’9’ pan. The cake should not be too tall, aiming for a thin cake layer (about 2’ tall). We baked ours in a 9’ pan and ended up removing the top to make it thinner.
While the cake is baking, you can start preparing the chocolate mousse. You will notice that this recipe calls for gelatin. The gelatin is a stabilizer and also helps maintain the light and airy texture in the mousse.
When adding the whipped cream, carefully fold into the chocolate and stop immediately when the chocolate mousse is incorporated.
It is also very important that the mousse has a firm consistency; otherwise, it will run all over the raspberries. We recommend chilling it in the fridge for at least 1 hour before adding it to the dessert.
When the chocolate cake is ready, and the mousse is firm, you can start assembling the dessert. Watch the video for the tutorial.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we love flowers and flower arranging. Fresh flowers add color and bring life to any Home Decor!!!
If you feel intimidated by creating a flower arrangement at home, this three-vase arrangement might be a great start! This arrangement is a no-fail, and you will love it. It has a balance of simplicity and visual impact. The three different heights play a role in creating an impactful floral arrangement with minimum effort.
All you need is three glasses vases of different heights (these range from 15 inches to 9 inches), two varieties of flowers in the same color, and some foliage! We love the traditional red and green for the Holiday season, so we stick to this color combo here. We chose to work with red alstroemerias (18 stems) and red roses (12 stems). This arrangement would also look beautiful with amaryllis or red lilies.
The first step is to fill the vases with room temperature water; unless the flower buds are tight and you want to help them open up faster, you add warm water. Don’t forget to add flower food to your vase water (they usually come with the flowers when you purchase them at grocery stores)! It will help slow down bacterial growth.
This is a loose arrangement, so all you gotta do is to keep your flower stems long and just give them a little trim as needed. When trimming the stems, make sure to do it at an angle. Doing this ensures that the flowers will be able to absorb plenty of water and nutrients.
We prefer starting with the highest vase as this will dictate how high the other arrangements should be. Add the first set of flowers to the vase and tip them over. Make sure that there are no leaves below the waterline. Follow the same step with the foliage and the roses. That’s it!!! It is just three vases with flowers leaning on them! It can’t get any easier than that.
Pumpkins are a staple of fall and the perfect addition to the season’s table decor. Paired with one of our favorite flowers: hydrangeas and autumn-themed plates, it created a seasonal flair.
In this tablescape, we went with the small white pumpkins for a more elegant and clean look. We added dried green hydrangeas that we kept from the summer!
The two tall vases on each end of the table gave an exquisite look to the table decor. The hydrangea burgundy and dark green shade of colors complemented the fall feel. Check out our you tube channel for a tutorial on this arrangement.
For the dinnerware, first, we selected a natural willow placemat (we also love this one) followed by a whitewash colored charger plate, dinner plate, and an autumn-themed salad plate. These pieces’ colors all followed a fall hue; carefully consider the dinnerware’s design and color scheme to match the table decor’s theme. We kept drinkware simple and sweet! As for the flatware, we went with a bright stain place setting embellished by detailed braiding, so unique.
The classic white tablecloth got an uplift by placing table runners vertically, not your typical table linen selection. Don’t be afraid to experiment with what you have!
Sweet Summertime can become even sweeter with this Blackberry and Vanilla cake. These two flavors come together to create a showstopper dessert, that will have your guests reaching for seconds. It’s so easy to make and looks stunning. Definitely a must-try!!