How to Go Beyond the Cheese Board

How to Go Beyond the Cheese Board

Thank you Gloria Ferrer for sponsoring this post. Elevate your everyday entertaining this season with Gloria Ferrer wines!

It’s my favorite time of year which means there will be lots of gatherings in the near future.

From my birthday to the holidays and all the potlucks in between, there’s no better way to entertain than with a stylish cheese board!

Cheese boards are such an easy way of presenting your favorite cheeses, crackers and nuts in a classy way.

I, however, love taking things to the next level by making appetizers like bacon covered dates, candied nuts, and marinated olives!

Not only are these quick appetizers absolutely DELICIOUS, they also pair perfectly with these Gloria Ferrer wines.

A beautiful cheese board is always impressive. Take it next level by simply adding bacon wrapped dates, marinated olives, and candied mixed nuts!

Gloria Ferrer has received over 500 gold medals and 50 90+ ratings in the last 5 years and is California’s most awarded sparkling wine house.

Their Sonoma Brut and Blanc de Noir are carefully crafted to bring you the best of the best in sparkling wine.

A beautiful cheese board is always impressive. Take it next level by simply adding bacon wrapped dates, marinated olives, and candied mixed nuts!

The Sonoma Brut is very versatile, pairing well with just about any type appetizer like hard aged cheeses or marinated olives as well as white fish and chicken.

It has delicate pear and floral notes with a toasty almond finish. Such a distinctive flavor. Everyone will love this one!

The Blanc de Noirs is more of a blush with bright strawberry and black cherry aromas and subtle vanilla highlights.

This sparkling beauty pairs well with the salty-sweet like these bacon wrapped dates and the candied nuts. It’s the perfect montage of flavors in every sip.

A beautiful cheese board is always impressive. Take it next level by simply adding bacon wrapped dates, marinated olives, and candied mixed nuts!A beautiful cheese board is always impressive. Take it next level by simply adding bacon wrapped dates, marinated olives, and candied mixed nuts!A beautiful cheese board is always impressive. Make it a next level cheese board by adding bacon wrapped dates, marinated olives, and candied mixed nuts!A beautiful cheese board is always impressive. Take it next level by simply adding bacon wrapped dates, marinated olives, and candied mixed nuts!

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A Sassy Holiday Gift Guide 2017

A Sassy Holiday Gift Guide 2017

“It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeear!”

Don’t you just LOVE the holidays? This is my favorite time of the year. I love everything about it. Are you one of those dorks that decorates the house and wraps gifts with Christmas music playing in the background?! Me too!

The only downfall is that I live in Miami so it’s usually Christmas in chancletas (flip flops) and tank tops. Our “winter” weather is about 60-70 degrees and lasts a few days, sometimes hours.

So whenever you hear, the weather outside is frightful, it totally is because it’s hot af in Miami.

Moving on…HOLIDAY SHOPPING!

I never stress shopping because I’m an avid online shopper. Shopping from your couch is my Black Friday.

In case you haven’t even started or need a few ideas, below are, in no particular order, a few of my favorite things. This gift guide is for just about anyone on your list.

If you have any questions or need more ideas, let me know! I’m happy to help!


Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

I’ve had one for years and it’s my favorite kitchen appliance! Not to mention, it looks so pretty on a kitchen counter.

OXO Cookie Scoop

Perfect cookies need a cookie scoop. This one from OXO is super easy to use!

Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker

Best purchase ever. Ice cream all year long with this baby!

6-piece USA Pan Bakeware Set

For the baker in your life. Perfect starter set to give as a housewarming gift or for an avid baker!

Kitchen-Aid 11-Cup Food Processor

Necessary, useful, perfect for someone who loves to cook!

Kitchen-Aid 3-Speed Hand Blender

Best thing ever to make soups!

White and Silver Flatware

So cute, so modern. Looks so nice on the dinner table. I have these in matte black and gold too!

All-Clad 5-piece Cookware Set

So versatile and so chic too. These are one of those investment sets where you buy them and they last forever. Love these pans so much!

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker

When I’m not making Cuban coffee, I’m using this bad boy and I LOVE IT.

Cuban Coffee Maker (Stove Top Espresso Maker)

But I mean, you also need a stove top espresso maker to make strong (Cuban) ground coffee. ;)

Set of 5.4 oz Espresso Cups

The cutest espresso cups ever!

Monogramed Cheese Board

Serve cheese and then display your initial when done! It also has non-slip rubber feet keep the board in place. I’m in LOVE with how pretty this wood looks!

doTERRA Petal Diffuser

Because sometimes we need to zen the F out. Makes for a great gift for a business owner or a new mommy. Don’t forget the oils!

White and Grey Felt Letter Board

LOVE love love this letter board. Brings 300 white plastic letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. I can’t wait to redecorate my office/bedroom so I can put one of these up!

Amazon Echo Dot

For those techie boys and girls! I have a feeling everyone is getting one of these for Christmas.

Beats Pill Bluetooth Speaker

Portable, compact, high quality sound. It’s the perfect gift for anyone on your list!

NEST Cedar Leaf + Lavender Candle

If you love woodsy smells like I do, you will LOVE this candle!

Lodge 6-Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Does the job at a 1/3 of the price of the other guys. Also, soo pretty!

Cravings Cookbook

Still a fave in my house. I heart Chrissy Teigen. I MET HER. Her cookbook is goals AF. If you know someone that loves to eat good home cooking, this is the book to buy.

The Fearless Baker

Recently got this cookbook and LOVE it to pieces. Not only is Erin’s photography flawless, her tips and tricks for baking like a pro are perfection!

Eating in the Middle

Andie is just amazing. I’ve always loved her writing style! Her memoir for me was so inspiring and got me in my feels. Definitely the perfect gift for anyone who wants to eat balanced and delicious. Jan 1 is right around the corner!

A Cozy Kitchen

So awesome meeting Adrianna in person this past year at BlogHer. I feel like she’s my hood soul sister and we have such similar backgrounds which of course means her recipes are BOMB. Snag a copy of her cookbook for yourself or someone!

The Pretty Dish

Jessica is foodie goals. Her blog, How Sweet Eats, has awesome recipes plus she’s hilarious. If you love her recipes, then you should totally preorder her next cookbook that will be released in March. I already did!

What’s Gaby Cooking Cookbook

Another favorite blogger and another cookbook preordered! If you love Gaby’s California girl recipes, you must preorder her 2nd cookbook that comes out next year.

The Flavor Bible

Any flavor combination you can think of, this book can tell you if it will taste like poop or like gold. What a great purchase!

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!

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Cuban-Style Guava Caramel Bread Pudding

Cuban-Style Guava Caramel Bread Pudding

I have a question. Who decided that soaking bread in milk and eggs and baking it would be so damn good!?

I don’t know who did it but I’m so glad they invented it!

Every holiday season at family gatherings, there always seems to be bread pudding all up on our Christmas Eve dessert tables. It’s such a delicious dessert! Sometimes, part of a delicious breakfast too.

And guess what? It doesn’t have to be the holidays for you to enjoy this amazing tasting bread pudding!

Sweet, moist, cinnamon-spiced, and boozy bread pudding drizzled with a homemade guava caramel sauce and candied maple pecans.

 

 

Traditional bread pudding (at least the way it was made when I was growing up) is usually made with condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, eggs, sweet spices, and… raisins. Ew.

I, however, wanted to give a modern twist to traditional bread pudding and today I’ve done just that.

Next level bread pudding coming your way!

So, the actual bread pudding is made Cuban-style, of course. Who would I be if I didn’t honor the traditions of my childhood? And also, I just love condensed milk so much.

Where does the “next level” part come in? Well, I made a super simple homemade guava caramel sauce that is a TO DIE FOR. I adapted my salted caramel sauce recipe and added guava and allspice.

OMG.

I also made candied maple pecans for some added crunch but really to replace the raisins because again, ew. Unless raisins are covered in chocolate, I just honestly have 0 interest in them. #sorrynotsorry

Sweet, moist, cinnamon-spiced, and boozy bread pudding drizzled with a homemade guava caramel sauce and candied maple pecans.

 

 

If you only have guava paste at home, you can use that too! Just simply place about three 1-inch thick slabs of the guava paste in a microwavable bowl with a tablespoon of water, and microwave it for about 30 seconds, until it becomes a thick liquid. Add that to the caramel mixture and you’re good!

This guava caramel with the candied maple pecans was such game changer for the traditional Cuban-style bread pudding.

I’m in love.

Can't wait to make this Cuban-style guava caramel bread pudding! #asassyspoonClick To Tweet

What are some of your favorite recipes to make this time of year?

I love baking so much – and making these warm comfort foods make me the happiest girl ever!

Sweet, moist, cinnamon-spiced, and boozy bread pudding drizzled with a homemade guava caramel sauce and candied maple pecans.

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Leftover Cranberry + Turkey Turnovers (Thanksgiving Pastelitos!)

Leftover Cranberry + Turkey Turnovers (Thanksgiving Pastelitos!)

If you’ve ever visited Miami, currently live in Miami, or have ever had Cuban pastries, you’d totally think these are pastelitos de guayaba (guava pastries).

Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you. If you’re a regular around here, you’d know that I have quite the love affair with guava. See here. So you wouldn’t be wrong about thinking it’s a guava pastry.

But guess what? These are NOT guava pastelitos (aka turnovers). Although, if you’re looking for the recipe, click here.

These turnovers are actually SAVORY!

They are turnovers for Thanksgiving leftovers. That rhymes! Specifically, cranberry & turkey turnovers.

I mean anything you make with puff pastry is goals, am I right?

Leftover Cranberry + Turkey Pastries. Repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers by making savory sweet pastelitos (aka pastries or hand pies) using puff pastry sheets!

So, here’s the deal.

I always hear of people wondering what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers. In my head, I’m always like…umm, eat them?

What else would you do with delicious leftovers except eat them all until there’s none left? Either that or give them away.

Now in the spirit of creativity, I thought, well what if we fill delicious Thanksgiving leftovers inside puff pastry.

Sweet potato casserole with shredded leftover turkey?

Or what about a pastry filled with cranberry and brie?

Leftover mashed potatoes and green bean casserole?

Cranberry and turkey?

See where I’m going with this? Thanksgiving leftovers get a second chance at being a star and turn into a turnover!

I made this recipe using leftover cranberry sauce and shredded turkey with store-bought puff pastry.

And it was BOMB.

It may look like a Cuban pastry but it’s actually next level repurposing action. And it’s delicious!

You can always just eat your leftovers if you’re in a food coma. Totally acceptable.

But if you’re up for the fun challenge, think of all the pastry possibilities you can make!

The recipe included here is a guide but the ingredients is up to your imagination.

As I love to say… CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!

Leftover Cranberry + Turkey Pastries. Repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers by making savory sweet pastelitos (aka pastries or hand pies) using puff pastry sheets!

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Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

There’s just something comforting about the smell of cinnamon, the sweetness of the warm mashed sweet potatoes, and toasted marshmallows that just make me happy.

I mean… all types of food make me happy but you know what I mean. ;)

Would you consider sweet potato casserole a dessert or a side dish?

Hard to decide, right?

I’ve always considered and enjoyed this as a side dish. Kinda like a pregame to the real dessert. OH YEAH. I know a lot of people that rather enjoy sweet potato casserole as dessert. Either way, it’s a win win!

Whether it’s a potluck, Thanksgiving or just dinner with the fam, this classic sweet potato casserole is by far the BEST side dish!

A simple yet classic sweet potato casserole made with cinnamon, pecans and then topped with toasted mini marshmallows!

For Thanksgiving, I make this every year. Every time, there’s a potluck, I bring sweet potato casserole. If it’s Friendsgiving, guess what I’m bringing? You guessed it – sweet potato casserole.

Let’s talk about how incredibly easy it is to bring all this together.

You literally throw a bunch of sweet potatoes (peeled and cut in cubes) in a Dutch oven or pot, cook them until tender and then mash them UP.

You mix in all the spices which is what gives these mashed sweet potatoes its cinnamon sweet flavor. It just compliments the sweet potato so well.

Here’s the best part. You can stop right here and make the rest tomorrow.

Say whaaaa. Yep, you can totally make this ahead of time.

Once the sweet potato mixture has cooled and all the spices are well combined, add the mixture to the casserole dish or baking pan that you will be making it in and place it in the fridge until the next day.

The next day, you bring the casserole dish to room temperature then top with pecans and mini marshmallows. Bake for about 15-20 minutes in the oven and that’s it!

Ta-daaaa. See how easy that is?! That’s why I make this every year!

A simple yet classic sweet potato casserole made with cinnamon, pecans and then topped with toasted mini marshmallows!

You just can’t go wrong.

Adding this classic sweet potato casserole to my to-do list! #asassyspoonClick To Tweet

Alternatively, you can, of course, make it all in one shot and serve warm. The final outcome will always be ooey gooey, cinnamon-y and crunchy. I promise there won’t be any leftovers.

A simple yet classic sweet potato casserole made with cinnamon, pecans and then topped with toasted mini marshmallows!

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The Best Thanksgiving Shortcuts for Sides & Dessert

The Best Thanksgiving Shortcuts for Sides & Dessert

Thank you The Fresh Market for sponsoring this post. Visit a store near you to get everything you need for a memorable and delicious holiday!

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.

You have a potluck tomorrow at work and you have no idea what to make nor have the time to really do anything too fancy. Whether it’s Friendsgiving or that Thanksgiving potluck at work, there’s no better way to save time and eliminate stress than by “dressing up” store-bought items!

I’ve teamed up with The Fresh Market to bring you these quick and easy Thanksgiving ideas. The Fresh Market is offering traditional holiday fare, as well as simplified, time-saving solutions for the favorite meal of the year!

Let’s start with…this cheesy baked whipped potato casserole using The Fresh Market’s Yukon Gold whipped potatoes.

Did you know you can buy store-bought mashed (or whipped) potatoes and turn them into a cheesy casserole? It’s easy!

You just mix them up with cheese and spices then transfer them to a baking dish. Sprinkle more cheese on top and bake to perfection. You’ll look like you’ve been peeling potatoes all day!

Yum! Look how good that looks!

Next, you can liven up dinner rolls with a simple herbed butter or in this case – a sweet butter. When you make herbed butter, all you need to do is mix unsalted butter with your spice of choice. You can even add some garlic in there! Mmm.

With the same idea in mind, you can make a sweet butter with cinnamon, honey and salt. Just mix it all together and voilà!

This cinnamon honey butter compliments these sweet potato biscuits perfectly.

Lastly, take any store-bought pie to the next level with a simple homemade bourbon whipped cream. Making whipped cream at home is beyond easy. All you need is heavy cream and patience.

Place heavy cream in the mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Be sure to keep an eye on it, sometimes it can turn from cream to butter in seconds!

Once those soft peaks form, you can fold in any ingredient you want. In this case, you fold in a tablespoon of bourbon and salt. Keep whipping the mixture until you see stiff peaks form then chill until serving time.

That’s all folks!

Aside from these items, The Fresh Market’s meal solutions deliver a range of options for Thanksgiving like perfectly-cooked turkey made ready to heat and serve, cranberry relish with walnuts, mashed sweet potatoes, and corn soufflé.

For now, grab these three simple recipes below so you can ‘fake it til you make it’ at Thanksgiving this year!

Don’t worry, it’ll be our little secret. ;)

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