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 

Candy Crunch Cannoli Dip

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This is for sure dessert snacking at it’s finest! YES, you heard me correctly.. “dessert snacking” is a thing, and if you’ve never experienced it, you must! It’s kind of like when you sit in front of the big screen, and dip bread cubs into a delicious, cold, creamy dip of some sort. In the case, you’re snacking sweet, so the same is super super fitting!! You can munch on this at a party you’re planning on hosting, or at midnight with your honey, and a spiked coffee in hand.

When you imagine the ultimate entertaining/party food this is exactly what should come to your mind. This dip is next level, inventive, colorful, and FUN!

It is everything that you love and want in a cannoli, but even more amazing because of the mini candy treasures folded inside, but it is HALF the work!  In this crazy world we all live in, with crazy lives, who doesn’t love something thats going to be a hit, as well as  knowing that it will take a fraction of prep work in the kitchen? That’s everything that everybody wants, especially when preparing for a huge bash!

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In a bowl, drop in one package of 8 oz. cream cheese.

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Sprinkle in one cup of powdered sugar.

 

 

Scoop in two cups of whole milk, ricotta cheese. Don’t skimp and buy low fat ladies! We’re not going to count calories with this luxurious, cheesy mixture!

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Lastly, add one teaspoon of vanilla extract. 

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The delightful mixture! Unmixed, of course.

 

With a hand mixer, beat everything together to create a gorgeous thick and fluffy mixture. To the eye, it will almost resemble a nice silky pie filling!

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All mixed together! This delectable, white glorious site will just need to be finished with our crunchy candy!

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I chopped up pretzel filled chocolate coated candies, mini chocolate bars, and wafer chocolate coated candy bars

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I cut them into small chunks, kind of mimicking the size of chocolate chunks that you would use for chocolate chunk cookies.

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These are some what difficult to chop up with even the sharpest knife because of the pretzel ball inside of the candy coated chocolate, so you might want to use to back of the knife to smash them into small pieces before cutting.

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Scrape the candy into the bowl using the side of your knife.

 

Using a rubber spatula, fold the candy into the dip to combine everything, making sure each piece of candy is scattered throughout.

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I garnished our cannoli dip with some more pretty color coated chocolate candies to make it look cutesy and to give fun vibes!

I also placed in two cannoli chips to add a little extra somethin’, somethin’, and so someone can get right to digging in because you know everyone is going to dive right into this!

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Even if you’re not too much into cannolis, this dip is a must try!

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Look how crispy, crunchy, and sugary these little triangles are. OH MY!

These mini chips also have powdered sugar baked into them, so it makes them even more addicting!

 

Next time on the blog, I’ll be back with another snack attack, but this time, savory and very fall fabulous! Have fun sweet snacking, Diamonds xo

 

An authentic Antipasto

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Without fail, every family gathering we have at the house, I end up having an antipasto platter out on the counter for all of us to pick at, and munch on. It’s one of my brothers favorites, and he always looks forward to them! To be honest, it kind of wins over everyones heart, at least a little bit! Honestly, at any party who can resist a pick tray? It was one of my favorite things ever since I was little, and discovered that I wanted to become a Chef. The presentation, and the food options are actually endless, which makes it super fun to put something like this together, and it’s quite simple if you’re unsure of where to start!

To me, this is an “authentic antipasto” platter because in today’s world when we hear “antipasto” we tend to think of a salad containing some sort of lettuce, peppers, onions, olives, and a whole mix of meats, and cheeses. That could be considered  an “antipasto” salad, but many many years ago when my parents were kids, when people made an antipasto it was just a pick tray. The word “antipasto” itself originated as an existing appetizer! My dads family was Italian and Polish, so food was very big in our family, and still is to this day. He told me stories about how his parents and grandparents would go out into the garden, and pick fresh vegetables, lay out assorted cheese, with anything they already had on hand, and a chunk of Italian bread to create their starting dish for their Sunday dinner. It was simply their appetizer; an antipasto, if you will!

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I found this extremely fitting plate, at this cute vintage shop near me that I adore very very much! It was perfect for the occasion, and it would actually be a crime to use any other serving platter, wouldn’t you say?

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It depends what I am in the mood to use to lay down on the platter before sitting on little vinegary bites that have a lot of oil, and juice glistened on them, but here, I am using red leaf lettuce. You could choose to use endive leaves, kale, or any other kind of whole headed lettuce, but the ombre on the lettuce is gorgeous for this particular dish. You want to definitely lay the “wet” ingredients onto something instead of just sitting them on the plate itself for two reasons.

  1. It keeps from having them slide around, making your platter not look as put together
  2. It keeps the oil and vinegar from getting onto the other items that were going to be arranging, and you don’t want that!

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A side angle.

I have pepper shooters, which are stuffed with prosciutto (Italian ham, which is normally very thinly sliced) and provolone cheese (A bit-y Italian cheese). I also piled on some marinated mushrooms. If you love mushrooms you can never go wrong with these!

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On the other side of the platter, we have assorted olives. The big green ones are stuffed with blue cheese; they have a bite to them, but they add something that something else can. The deep plum colored olives are Kalamata, and they are my absolute favorite olive ever. They have most flavor, and are very oily.

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Every antipasto needs.. no not needs… desires a goodsalty, fatty salami.

Sopressata is the best to use! I love it so much. If you’ve never tried it though, brace yourself.. it does have a stronger flavor than your typical American sandwich salami.

For perfect presentation, cut on an angle!

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I usually always choose two meats for my trays, at the least, so here I have mortadella. It is an Italian bologna, and its special because it’s extra fatty, and delicious with chunks of pistachio bites inside each slice.

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I line all of the slices up, and take my knife straight down the middle to cut them in half.

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Take each slice thats cut and roll it like a cigar.

 

 

 

 

 

Just like the meats, I like choosing two different cheeses, but I choose them in the fact that they will be accompaning the certain type of meats that I chose.

The first cheese is a peppadew cheddar, and the second is a roasted garlic cheddar.

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As I filled the tray, I accompany the food by sections, and put certain things across from each other. I ended the platter by filling it with roasted garlic and rosemary pita chips. I really felt like it would be a great accompaniment to the cheeses. I decorated the tray with wedges of vine ripened tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and chunks of roasted red peppers, to accent the flavor of our peppadew cheese triangles!

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This is everything up close so you can see how beautiful all the colors look on our antipasto platter, and to get a prefect view of how to arrange the food on the plate.

 

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Voila! In no time, and with having fun in the kitchen, you’ll get to experience an authentic antipasto! I just love the variety, and it show cases a rustic Italian flare, which would really kick off a good Italian dinner party!

Enjoy your Italian munchies! Ciao diamonds xoxo