Bri loves Brie ;)

Everyone that has known me for a very long time, or is really close to me in my life knows I love cheese. I mean I LOVE cheese. Brie is extremely special to me considering I thought it was so adorable that we had the exact same name, besides one little letter of a difference. ūüėČ In all seriousness though, it is by far my most favorite cheese on the planet. You can literally create any dish with it, and it will make it that much more perfect. I wanted to show you diamonds, how to adorn a beautiful brie board. Also.. knowing me I couldn’t pick just one way that I enjoy indulging with brie cheese, so I created this platter in a way that shows the brie both baked, and unbaked, along with all the amazingness that should be paired between the two differencing ways!

To start off any board/platter I always start with something big and colorful. A lot of the times that means fruit, and in this case; grapes! I actually love putting grapes on many of my boards, as you can probably tell from my recent posts. Secondly, after placing focal points, you want to “fill in your corners”. I believe starting off any huge platter to please the eye, needs the corners filled in with texture, and something fun to get the flow of the tray going.

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Once the flow has begun, I placed a plate down for the baked brie to be presented on, and I cut & arranged the unbaked Brie on the other side of the board. Starring at each other, but never touching..

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For the baked brie, all you need is a drizzle of honey, and to place it on a baking dish to get put in the oven at 350 degrees for almost 10 minutes. You can leave it in anywhere from 5-10, but I wanted this baked brie in particular to get a little more ooey-gooey as I like to call it ūüėČ so that it would spread immensely on whatever you fancy to smother it upon!

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Caramelizing a handful of macadamia nuts in a pan with a teaspoon of butter, and a tablespoon of honey to pour onto of the baked brie is essential to this board!

  • 3-5 minutes until the nuts are golden brown on medium heat

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The creaminess and meatiness of this delicious mild cheese goes absolutely outstanding with sliced apples, and crunched up cranberry filled dark chocolate bars.

To go along with both levels of the cheese.. I put together an onion, mushroom
“jam”. I sliced a whole container of mushrooms, along with one onion, thyme, honey, salt, and pepper. The longer you cook this mixture, the more “jam like” it will become. I started saut√©ing the vegetables in the pan on medium high heat to get as much ¬†caramelization as possible, then after about ten minutes, I turn the heart down to medium-low for about another half hour.¬†

I decided to place the mushroom/onion jam in-between the two different types of brie to show the intention of being able to go along with either side.. with any adornments!

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Since I was topping the baked brie with honey glazed macadamia nuts, I couldn’t help but think that I didn’t have a choice but to top the unbaked brie! I did not want to leave her undressed.. that wouldn’t be fair. LOL I decorated around the baked brie with dried blueberries.. which by the way, if you’ve never had them, you MUST. They are so super yummy, and kind of honestly tastes like candy. Anyway, since I wanted to stay within the theme, I played blueberry preserves all over the unbaked brie. It couldn’t have paired better with the prosciutto that I put down later when the tray is more completed.

There’s some instances where I don’t actually love how the tray is looking until I’m almost finished arranging, and rearranging the food on the board, but I really fell in love with this platter instantly! It’s actually kind of ironic too thinking about the fact the I just have genuine love for everything on this board. Also, these are the fixings just about a little more than half way completed. If you are making this for entertaining, I highly recommend investing in cheese knives… as you can see it looks so professional, really put together, and it is just down right convenient for serving!

Decorating all different kinds of boards no matter what it may be, can might as well be considered a hobby of mine! I love decorating so much, even my house, so I intended on making this “Bri Loves Brie” board be as beautiful as it could have been because I wanted it to represent me and everything I love.¬†

  • Butter cookies laced with a dark chocolate layer on the side of it, butter crisp crackers, rosemary Triscuits, and prosciutto finished this board off in such a classic, yet glamorous way; while all having the flavors compliment each other when combined.

Again.. mentioning the “cheese knives”.. I think they look so appealing to the eye, and it looks like such effort was being put into the platter making process.

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Loaded with brie, and love.. this board is all of me and more. It represents what I love, ¬†what I love to do, and what I love to indulge in. You can of course adjust the things that this tray is filled with, or keep is exactly the same; it’s all on your preference, and my opinion. This is a great idea for a wine night, an accompaniment on your island to have your guests nibble on at your next house party, or something like this is even ideal for a house warming party to bring everyone together to show them something special in your life. No matter what you make this for, anyone.. including yourself will be 100% happy as Brie with it ūüėČ

 Get your Brie on diamonds!      xoxo

The Snowed-In board.

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Every single time it snows.. even if I’m not home in that very moment, I immediately want to snuggle up in my pajamas, make a hot cup of cocoa, and munch on a smorgasbord of snacks! I love taking days like that where you just take some time to relax, indulge, and forget about things, for just a few hours. I think that doing things like that, that you love; what makes you happy is just as important as making a living for yourself. You Can’t work, and never be treated for it, am I right? Almost as if you’d be working for nothing, and not even in the sense of money. Since during a snowstorm you’re usually staying in anyway.. you might as well make the most of your cozy time! The best way to do that, especially if you’re having a lounge fest with the rest of your family, or maybe some of your girlfriends battled their way through the snow to come over to indulge in the snowy festivities with you… is to make some sort of a huge platter board!

When you’re lounging all snuggled up on the couch.. you are some what rolled up in a ball.. SO I got a little creative and wanted to mimic that with the food we were eating in the special instance. I chose to make three different flavored wraps, and cut them into two inch pin wheels. This effect also makes for great presentation.

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  • Top middle– A spread of ranch and drizzled hot sauce. (choose high quality ranch and your favorite hot sauce!) Believe me.. the ingredients you use DOES make a difference. Do not cheap out on yourself !!
  • Bottom left- Drizzled spicy brown mustard.
  • Bottom right– A spread of good mayonnaise, then drizzled with yellow mustard.

 

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  • Top middle- After the hot sauce I added buffalo chicken from the deli, and topped it with tangy blue cheese crumbles before rolling.
  • Bottom Left– ¬†On top of the drizzled mustard I added Cooper sharp cheese with slices of sweet Lebanon.
  • Bottom right– On top of the mustard I added white American with slices of bologna.

All of them before the roll ups begin.

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Look how cute they look all rolled up!

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The arrangement before the fries arrived! I l enjoy placing the rolls sectioned off within their own flavors, across from each other. After piling the pinwheels onto the board, I decorated the platter with snacks that go extremely awesome with sandwich like goodies, and that of course has to be chips and pretzels. I chose plain sourdough pretzels, along with regular kettle cooked potato chips for that extra crunchy goodness.

Whenever I create something like this I always love adding vinegary elements to be board along with fresh ones, so that calls for pickles, olives, and fruit!

  • Bread and butter pickles
  • Plain green cocktail olives
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Red Grapes

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous those little root vegetable fries are?! I’m really digging how they give the board just a pop more of color, aside from the strawberries decorating the edges.

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Talk about gorgeous, and also such a great game day platter that anyone could end up throwing together in no time at all! If you sit back and think about it… usually you have most of these ingredients lying around anyway unless you’re one to not keep lunch meat in your fridge, but ever since I was a little girl that is something you can always always find in my house.

I’m sure after all of this iv’e made you hungry for some great deli eats! Throw on your comfy clothes, grab a platter, and get rolling! You won’t regret it.. you may just even find that it’s snowing when you take a glimpse outside as you make your way into the living room to indulge in a snowed-in board, and HEY, if it’s not snowing.. pretend!! ūüėȬ†

Brie-eeze into Thanksgiving Appetizers!

Apple Pie baked brie will be a show stopper at your Thanksgiving feast this year! The holiday is now in less than a week, and I know for sure there are people out there panicking.. asking all of the usual hosting questions during this time of year.. What’s on my grocery list? What appetizers should I make that people will actual want to enjoy before the epic turkey spread?! I have your answer right here diamonds! Everyone and their mother loves loves loves¬†apple pie (especially on Thanksgiving) and let’s be real.. who doesn’t love a good cheese? Honestly, this starter board is so satisfying that it will be just enough to serve all of your guests, and to get their taste buds soaring, making them extra ready for that perfect sit down meal we look forward to all year long!

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Start with two apples to create the apple pie filling to put onto of our brie! You’ll need a peeler because we will not be keeping the skin on in our mixture.

  • You will also need a block of brie cheese, pastry sheets, salted butter, and cinnamon butter biscuits.

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Chop the two apples up into medium dice pieces, and have your butter on guard! lol

Melt two tablespoons of salted butter in a sauté pan. Let it fully melt before adding in the apple pie ingredients.

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Pile the chopped apples, cinnamon, and a handful of brown sugar on top of the melted butter.

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After about five minutes of sautéing on medium low heat, this is what the glazed apple pie filling will look like!

  • Take this filling out of the pan and put it into a clean bowl to cool down in the fridge, while we prepare our pastry dough.

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Grease a pie pan with butter spray.

 

Prepare an egg wash to glaze over the top of you brie wrapped in puff pastry dough. ¬†All an “egg wash” is, is one egg whisked with either a splash of water, or splash of milk depending on what you would like to use. Adding liquid to the egg just makes it easier to brush on.


Uncover your brie cheese from the wrapping, and place it onto a full sheet of puff pastry over our greased pie pan.

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Pile the pie filling on our brie cheese.. make sure it is cool; getting prepared to wrap it up like a little Christmas present! Hehe

Ugh! Thanksgiving in plain sight ! WOW

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In order to wrap this baby up you’ll need to just take each corner to the center! So, when I finished wrapping the brie, all I did was take this last corner up to the middle of the little pie, and finished with the brushing of the egg wash.

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For some sugary goodness, and wonderful presentation, I sprinkled on coarse gold sugar. It makes the outside glisten when it’s finished.

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Now.. time for a trip into the oven at 400 degrees for a half hour.

  • We want to dough to be fully cooked!!

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You can create these cinnamon twists I am about to show you while the brie is baking, or you can do it before it goes in the oven to bake at the same time as the brie.. which is exactly what I did! Simply, for the reasoning of everything being hot, and ready to serve at the same time!

So since two pastry sheets come in a box and I had a full one left over, instead of just sticking it into the freezer leaving it for another time, I decided to use it to make a cookie twist! All you do is lay out the sheet of dough on a cutting board, and use a pizza cutter to cut one inch strips so we could create our twisted twists!

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All twisted up like a pretzel, before brushing with our egg wash, so we could make them yummy and seasoned with sugar.

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Make sure to really coat the entire twist with the egg wash, and cinnamon sugar.

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Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. I advise checking on them throughout the cooking process.. you want them to be soft, and flaky. If overcooking occurs, they will begin to get dry and hard.

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So puffy and so yummy looking! I bet you wish you can just grab one through the screen! HAHA .. Keep in mind too.. these are so simple to make, and they will absolutely impress your guests, making a total statement!

OH. MY. GOODNESS. Have you ever seen anything more deliciously golden brown?

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On a holiday, I always think that your appetizers should line your counters; and your dinning room table should be filled with the whole meal. So in that case, I set up this beautiful board with sliced honey crisp apples, and cinnamon butter biscuit cookies. The two will pair absolutely gorgeously with the flavors of the apple pie mixed into the melty brie.

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I decorated this pumpkin plate with the cinnamon twists. I think it looks really tasteful when something “unusual” is on a small sandwich plate. It makes your counter scape look like it has a lot of interest, and layers going on.

                                                           Closed.. to opened! 

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I have no words actually for how warm, and inviting this set up is going to look at your holiday gathering this year!

Let’s be so incredibly thankful for that ooeey gooey-ness!! Also, for family of course. (;

Happy Thanksgiving Diamonds! I hope you indulge in food and family fun.. and maybe just maybe follow at the bottom right hand corner if you love this post! 

   xoxo


A Seasonal Sangria

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Every host wants that perfect party drink. Something refreshing that celebrates the flavors of the season, with endless bubbles that sparkle throughout the glass until the very last sip.. because whats a holiday cocktail without effervescence? Speaking of a holiday.. Thanksgiving and all the other amazing festivities are right around the corner, and we need to celebrate that in full fledge before Christmas comes into play! I wanted to literally take all the fall fruits and put them into a juicy, succulent sangria to indulge in at any holiday affair you might be throwing in the near future. Aside from the delectable refreshing taste, this glistening jeweled filled glass is just stunning! I absolutely love to use fresh cranberries around this time of year, especially to impress guests with how beautiful they make a presentation appear! Sangrias to me.. are the very best way to entertain a crowd because they have an extreme amount of flavor, they quench the palette, and they please a crowd of many!! People who have much to do will greatly appreciate this recipe because it will save time by letting the host mingle instead of being a bartender all night, making one drink at a time.

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Place a tall glass pitcher on your kitchen counter filled with a half a bag of cranberries. (the smallest bag of cranberries that your grocery store carries)

  • on a cutting board.. just to have all of your ingredients prepared & ready to use; arrange one chopped up golden delicious apple, two chopped Bartlett pears and one naval orange.¬†Slice the orange in half and cut one half in half again. Then take the other half and ¬†cut into four segments.¬†

Pour a bottle of your favorite Prosecco on top of the bright red cranberries in the pitcher.  Most white sangrias use moscato because they want to give it that sweetness and brightness, but I chose to use a sparkling wine.. focusing more on the bubbling aspect rather than sweetness, since we will be getting enough of that from our fruit.

After the wine goes in.. squeeze the half of orange into the pitcher that we had cut into two bigger wedges than toss the rind out after the juice has been extracted. Then, add in the four small wedges into the pitcher for appearance and flavor.

You should let this combination sit for at least an hour in the fridge before serving so that the fruit steeps into the alcohol. If possible, you could even make this the morning of your event so that it is at it’s full potential come party time!

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For proper hosting & throwing a party “101”… fill up a cute ice container for a quaint presentation, and a self serve experience for your guests.

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For the final sangria making step.. on top of all that orange goodness, you’ll drop in the whole apple that you chopped up along with half the pear you had left on the board.

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When creating this cocktail, you’ll fill up a large wine glass half way with ice cubes. Then use the pear, and cranberries left over to garnish in the glass.

Now.. pour our luscious liquid into the wine glass leaving an inch from the top. Lastly, bubble in cranberry ginger ale for that final touch of everything a sangria needs.

I mean look at how seriously stunning this sangria looks! The colors in it would even match perfectly for a “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” themed Christmas party!!

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My mom and I actually go nuts for sangria’s, and I feel like it’s necessary that everywhere we go we need to try if they offer them, but once you start making your own you’ll realize that best ones you’ll ever sip on, are the ones you created yourself! That’s the truth (;

I promise you especially at a holiday party.. there ain’t nothing like a sassy sangria to brighten up the night!

 

I have more Thanksgiving goodies coming your way next week diamonds, so don’t forget to follow to make sure you don’t miss a post! ¬† ¬†xoxo¬†

 

Cinnamon caramel pumpkin hot chocolate!

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We’ve hit November which means Hot Chocolate season is officially here. All of October I fill myself up with pumpkin spice iced lattes, so by this time of the fall season.. I’m ready for some cozy hot drinks to cuddle up with. By the name of this drink it doesn’t seem like it is the easiest thing in the world to create, but it absolutely without a doubt, is! This hot chocolate would even be great to double or triple the recipe, and have it kept held warm in a crock pot for guests while entertaining for Friendsgiving, or a seasonal soiree with your closest girls! It tastes like autumn..with dessert sweetness and lots of warm spice.. everything you could want in a warm toasty beverage!

 

Normally, as you guys know I love to do step by step instructions on how I go about creating all my dishes that I have on the blog, but it wouldn’t serve any purpose showing you the things I’m putting into boiling milk ..due to that fact that as soon as the ingredients dropped into the pot, everything would go right to the bottom. Therefore I’m going to create a simple recipe down below ..

  • Pour four cups of milk into a soup pot ( one cup of milk per serving)
  • After the milk comes to a boil – on medium high heat, use a whisk to whisk in two tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • Scoop in one cup of pumpkin puree
  • Drop in one cup of milk chocolate chips and one cup of cinnamon chips
  • Lastly for sweetness instead of adding sugar.. drizzle in one half cup of caramel syrup! ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†

Stir the hot chocolate off and on for five minutes, letting it simmer, ensuring that all of the flavors are combined, and that our drink will be hot hot hot! 

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Fill your festive cups with the yummy chocolatey goodness!

— SIDENOTE: If you would like to get your party on ( And you are 21 years of age) you could always splash in¬†some¬†chocolate¬†liquor.. that would be super good, and a nice boozy touch! (;

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To top this delicious drink off, dollop whipped cream as high as you could pile.. drizzle with caramel, drop some left over chocolate & cinnamon chips onto the pillowy-goodness, sprinkle pumpkin jimmies on top, and finish with a warm scented cinnamon stick!

Everyone knows theres nothing better than a delicious cup of hot chocolate, but this is next level hot chocolate, and it is a MUST TRY!!

I loved this so so much that I decided to make it a series on the blog.. so be prepared for seasonal hot chocolates as the holidays/seasons change!   xoxo

 

October calls for Oktoberfest festivities

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Something I mean to do every October is have an Oktoberfest party with all kinds of German food, and goodies to go along with the theme. Planning a themed party where the food and decor are a match made in heaven is my absolute favorite thing in the world to tackle. It makes me super happy doing something that gets me excited.. letting me have fun while doing what I do best, and I am the best at throwing bashes (; Now, there are many different types of munchies/appetizers that you could put out for an Oktoberfest bash, but the two flavors I wanted to focus on was mustard and cheese! When mentioning mustard and cheese.. my first thoughts were pretzels!  Pretzels are a must have on an Oktoberfest platter .. hard and soft! Some other things that I thought would pair exquisitely on this tray are mini sweet gherkin pickles for a tart, vinegary bite, ring bologna, fresh radishes, and sharp cheddar cheese; that goes incredible with this sweet and tangy vidalia onion relish.

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You could see how gorgeous the radishes are this season, and how beautiful the relish looked. In this picture it even almost reminds me of jelly! So so yummy!!

Of course the snacks on this tray are super addictive and totally celebrate Oktoberfest.. but the star of this platter is for sure the creamy dijon cheddar dip. Not only does it pair amazing with the pretzels, but it literally goes with everything scattered around! If you’re having lots of company over I would go ahead and double the recipe! It will go fast – beware ! lol

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To start the dip off, you’ll need to drop 8 oz of cream cheese into a glass mixing bowl.

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In with the cream cheese, add one cup of mayonnaise.

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For the mustardy-ness that I was talking about earlier,  revolving around the flavors of our food will come now!

Just go ahead and add two tablespoons of yellow mustard, and three tablespoons of dijon mustard with our creamy ingredients.

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Whisk everything together using a hand mixer! If you prefer using a kitchen aid you’re more than welcome, or if you do not have either,¬†you may use a kitchen whisk. It will mix together either way!

After combining everything.. throw in four dashes of hot sauce, dried parsley, granulated onion, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste.

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Lastly, for richness and cheesiness.. pile in three cups of shredded Colby jack cheese.

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Grease a small, deep casserole oven dish.

Spoon the dip into the greased dish, and top with paprika.

  • Bake at 350 degrees for a half an hour.¬†

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I mean come on, how glorious and cheesy does that look!!! Grab a pretzel on the sneak while it’s hot¬†and take a taste! You won’t regret it, and no-one will know because we are transferring it into a serving bowl.

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Mid platter making – to kind of show you guys how to plan out where you will put your bowls and where you’ll place your actual pieces of food.

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Since the previous picture only got a shot of the relish.. look at those pickles!! How CUTE are they?! lol

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You can choose any hard pretzels you would like, but honey wheat is what I decided on. I truly felt that the sweetness would pair amazingly with the dijon dip!

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Your guests will love everything about this platter. It’s gorgeous and it definitely has everything you could want to snack on for an Oktoberfest bash. My family thought that the pretzels not only went super well with the dip, but even the relish. Everything complimented each other to a T. This is a must try, and should be on everyones October bucket list. It’s fun, exciting, and thrilling to try out something out of everyones, everyday comfort party food.

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This is essential.. and I probably don’t even have to mention it, because you guys are already getting your bottle openers ready, but BEER is a need while indulging in these snacks! It is an October MUST HAVE for Oktoberfest festivities.

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Get your Oktoberfest on before it’s over and we’re onto Thanksgiving!¬†

Oh gosh diamonds.. where did the year go? 

                                                          xoxo