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Party Perfect Blue Cheese & Fig Crostini

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The holidays are upon us! It’s time to be festive and jolly…by golly. Together with my food-soul-sister-partner-in-crime [Sarah] we’ve cooked up some seriously deelightful & seriously simple appetizers that will make your holiday entertaining a snap.

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Blue cheesy baby. It does so much with so little. Add a few slices of dried fig on top & you’ve got a winning bite.

Party Perfect Blue Cheese&Fig Crostini

Ingredients

french baguette
blue cheese
dried figs

Instructions

  1. toast baguette slices under broiler for approximately 2-3 minutes
  2. spread blue cheese & top with dried fig slices
  3. serve & enjoy!
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I’m sharing 1/4 of the crostini recipes Sarah and I toasted up last weekend right here [you’re welcome]. No your eyes aren’t fooling you. There are three savory crostini’s on that beautiful [ombre] plate. There’s one more sweet treat that I’m alluding to. Interested? Check out her blog post here for the brie crostini tutorial. For the remaining two crostini creations, check out our Taste, Gather, Enjoy website. What’s Taste, Gather, Enjoy? It’s our brain child. Our mobile-cocktail party-pop-up-shop. We come to you, with ingredients, menu and decor ideas in tow to help you throw a stress-free and fun cocktail or dinner party in your own home or business! It’s the most wonderful time of year. Also know as…the most hectic time of year. Let us help you! We’d love to help you with any of your holiday entertaining needs. And in the meantime… we’re helping you put together a few bites that will put the wow in your weekend. Take a breath, another sip, and savor it all!

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The Intangible, Tangible Words

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So when you’re struggling to find the words to express your inner-most thoughts and feelings, often reading words from someone else can either spark a surge of your own or at the very least give you the moment of ‘yessss’ that you’ve been desperately searching for. I’ve had a couple yesss moments this week already. Words are powerful, even if they’re not your own. The tangible comfort of pure relatable-ness that words can string together is true linguistic magic..reach out, hold on, and carry these with you.

1. “Life is not a race with some imaginary finish line, so stop comparing your journey to everyone else’s. Being a real adult is about finding out what makes you happy and going for it. Everything else will fall into place after that.” // The Ten Commandments of Modern Dating – Elite Daily

2. “We are fat and sick and dying because we have handed a basic, fundamental and intimate function of life over to corporations. We choose to value our nourishment so little that we entrust it to strangers. This is insanity. Feed yourselves. Feed your loved ones. And for God’s sake, feed your children.” -Alton Brown // 23 Delicious Food Quotes – (a)Musing Foodie

3. “What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?…This disease of being “busy” (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.” // The Disease of Being Busy – On Being

4. “Nobody looks stupid when they are having fun,” and “forget the facts and remember the feelings.” // Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes Please’ Is The Best Non-Self-Help Self-Help Book Ever – Splitsider

5. “The single word for vertical, 0 to 1 progress is technology.” // Zero to One – Peter Thiel with Blake Masters 

6. “It’s when things feel really wrong that one gets the best sense of what feels really right, you know? I decided it was time to quit dicking around already and start to take my intuitions seriously.” // One Year Older ( And Wiser Too) – Hey Natalie Jean

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Thursday Things…

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writers block is a brutal brutal beast. a beast I am currently battling.
i feel like my car just died in the HOV lane on 270 during rush hour.
all these thoughts-words-feelings are zooming past and i can’t budge.
i’m stuck in this place somewhere between a flood of words and no fluid way to funnel them together.

at this point i can only be honest with myself about it and not force it. forced words aren’t authentic.
one day I’ll find the right words, and they will be simple.
simple & powerful.

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Roasted Asparagus Pepper Jack Bisque

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Soup and fall? Yeah they’re basically BFFs. They go together like that song from Grease…like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong. They’re always there for each other and just seem to get along so well. This recipe might be my new BFF (aka best fall food). Aww snap. Stop it.

This recipe was one that was honestly pretty random [eh, such is my life]. It sorta developed for practical reasons and turned out way better than expected. Happy accidents! We love those! The idea for this soup evolved from a over supply of fresh asparagus that needed to be used complied with a really crisp fall day. I wanted some soup and needed some comfort. Because lets face it soup is pretty much a security blanket in liquid form. Please sir, I want some more.

My favorite thing about this soup is that when blended or emulsified, the asparagus takes on such a silky-smooth texture. It’s really kind of luscious and unexpected. Roasting the vegetables as a first step builds depth of flavor in a major way. And yes, I use Montreal Steak Seasoning when roasting ANY vegetable. Once you try it, you’ll never want to season your vegetables with anything else. Seriously. It packs a mighty punch.

The pepper jack cheese really kicks it up a notch [I always imagine a small ninja high-kicking when I say that…hiii-yah!] It’s subtle at first, but the heat gradually catches up with you…in a good way! Not in a choking, smoke coming out of your ears, or tearing up way. Promise. It warms the back of your tongue as you swallow and leaves a gentle heat that is insatiable. As always though, if you prefer milder cuisine I’d suggest using a quieter cheese. You know. One that’s not going to give ya any lip ;).

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Speaking of emulsified. My emulsion blender changed my soup making world. If you don’t have one, I’d highly suggest adding on to your kitchen gadget arsenal. They’re pretty inexpensive, so easy to use and really make such a difference. Especially when making ‘cream’ based soups. I say that lightly because most of my ‘cream’ based soups are made with almond milk. What the what? Yep. Girl you know it’s true. The more dairy I can cut out of a recipe the better in my opinion. Not only because it makes my tummy feel better but also because of its health benefits. Too much dairy is no bueno for multiple reasons. And since I’ve had an intense love affair with cheese since birth, the heavy creams are on the chopping block first. I mean…nobody wants to cut the cheese. Ha.

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Roasted Asparagus Pepper Jack Bisque

Ingredients

2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
4 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp quick mixing flour
1 cup almond milk
2 cups chicken broth
2-3 tbsp EVOO
1 cup (stale) bread for croutons
2 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Begin by roasting your vegetables @ 400 degrees on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.
  2. Coat asparagus & chopped onions with EVOO & Montreal Steak Seasoning in a medium bowl. Then roast for approximately 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Remove and let cool.
  3. While this is cooling, take advantage of your warm oven and toast up the bread for croutons. I usually spray mine with EVOO before throwing them in the oven. Watch to make sure they don't burn!
  4. Next begin making your "roux" by melting butter in your soup pot. Once butter is melted add flour and begin whisking to make a paste. Once paste has formed, slowly whisk in almond milk over medium heat. Once this has been combined, bring to a boil.
  5. Once liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat and add chick broth and roasted vegetables. Cover and let cook for 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally. Don't let it boil!
  6. Then using an emulsion blender (or by pouring mixture into a blender), blend liquid and vegetables to create a smooth substance.
  7. Once blended, slowly stir in shredded cheese. Reduce heat to low and allow cheese to melt in completely. Add nutmeg and lemon juice. Stir well.
  8. Top with chopped parsley, drizzle (lightly) with your favorite EVOO, pile croutons sky high & enjoy!
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