For the past few years, my attempts at holiday entertaining have been pretty limited. There was the year Chad and I cooked a turkey while our newborn napped, and then ate pumpkin pie and went to sleep at 9 o’clock. There was the year I burned the potatoes, followed by the year that my entire extended family ate take-out because I was afraid of burning the potatoes two years in a row. (I wish I were kidding!)
And yet, starting in October, any time I consider a new recipe, this little voice in the back of my head starts asking: Would this work for a dozen people? Could this recipe be a holiday recipe? Because if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that holidays are the ultimate test of any recipe: they have to be easy, simple, and virtually foolproof.
So this year, I have a plan. My plan involves cheese wrapped in puff pastry because what plan involving those ingredients could ever go wrong?
The best thing about this plan? This recipe only has four ingredients (really!) and it’s spectacular. Your friends and family will fall all over themselves complimenting your skills in the kitchen, and you can just keep your lips zipped about the fact that it takes less than five minutes to prep. You’re welcome!
My secret weapon is Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Fruit Spread, which is naturally sweetened with honey for perfect balance of tart and sweet flavor! It’s the perfect complement to rich cheese and fresh berries — and it’s made with simple ingredients and no preservatives, so it’s a product that I’m happy serving to my family. I used the Triple Berry Fruit Spread in this recipe, but you have to try to Blueberry Lemon! It’s out-of-control delicious.
To make my raspberry baked brie, I paired brie cheese with Smucker’s Triple Berry Fruit Spread and fresh raspberries. The result was an amazing combination of melted cheese, softened berries, and crisp pasty. The whole thing was melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
For more inspiration, check out a ton of other recipes using Smucker’s Fruit & Honey on their website!
This post was created in partnership with Smucker’s. As always, all opinions are my own!
Tags: appetizers · food · sponsored
November 5th, 2015 · Comments Off on maple-bbq chicken sandwiches
Right before our son arrived, I spent several weeks building up a major stash of BBQ chicken. For weeks, while we devoted round-the-clock care to our new addition, Chad and I ate frozen barbecue chicken… and it basically saved our lives. We managed to pull off reasonably healthy, hearty meals within a few minutes, any time we needed them.
And the best thing about this recipe? It’s made in a slow-cooker, so it doesn’t take hours of prep or cooking time out of your day. Just mix together the ingredients, and come back in a few hours for perfectly cooked, melt-in-your-mouth chicken. When I make BBQ chicken in the slow cooker, I love to shred it with two forks for a pulled-pork-style finished product, which is absolutely delicious. And you’ll never notice the swap of chicken as a healthier main ingredient! This recipe is delicious, easy, and super simple to make. What more could you ask for?
I’m particularly excited to share this recipe with you guys, because I used the most delicious KC Masterpiece Kansas-City-Style barbecue sauce for this recipe. Texans have a big rivalry with Kansas-City barbecue sauce, but this one was completely delicious. Tangy and sweet, it was the perfect complement to the hint of maple syrup I added to this recipe!
Maple BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
5 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
12 ounces KC Masterpiece Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup italian salad dressing
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sandwich rolls, split
Place chicken in a slow cooker. Mix together the barbecue sauce, italian dressing, brown sugar, maple syrup, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken. Cover, and cook 4 hours on your slow cooker’s “High” setting.
When the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred the breasts. Spoon generously onto sandwich rolls (I also like to add a layer of extra bbq sauce to the rolls) and serve.
Makes enough chicken for 6-8 sandwiches.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KC Masterpiece. The opinions and text are all mine.
Tags: food · main dishes · sponsored
October 30th, 2015 · 3 Comments
I’m so excited to partner with Dove to celebrate National Healthy Skin Month! I’m a bit of a fanatic about skin care, so I’ll pretty much take any opportunity to pamper my skin a little, and a whole month of it sounds even better!
I started using Dove products years ago (in law school!) after learning about their Real Beauty campaign, when they used real women as their models in their marketing efforts. Since then, they’ve built their brand around the mission to improve girls’ and women’s self-esteem, and that’s something that I feel proud to support, both on this blog and with my purchasing choices.
That’s why I started, but I wouldn’t have kept using their products if I didn’t love them. And not surprisingly, the beauty industry has taken notice! Allure (which is widely known as the beauty expert) just awarded Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash an Allure Best of Beauty Award for “Best Moisturizing Body Wash.” I agree — I’ve tried a lot of body washes, and this is the one I always come back to. Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash contains the brand’s gentlest cleansers and provides softer, smoother skin after just one shower. It’s also the #1 Dermatologist and Pediatrician recommended brand, and the #1 brand used personally by Dermatologists and Pediatricians at home. And even better, it’s also available as a convenient pump!
In honor of National Healthy Skin Month, I thought I’d share a few of my skincare “musts” — here are the steps I go through every day, no matter what!
I wear SPF 26 every day, even during the winter. I have somewhat fair skin and always make it a priority to protect my skin from the sun! Lately I’ve started bringing a baseball cap if I’m going to be outside for more than an hour or so on the weekends, for an extra boost of sun protection.
I’m also very careful to keep my skin moisturized. I mix my foundation with facial moisturizer in the morning for an extra boost to my skin all day long. I also use Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash in the shower to naturally nourish my skin with the brand’s unique blend of cleansers: Glycinate, NutriumMoisture technology and DEFI.
I’m lucky that my favorite foods are mostly healthy, but I make an extra effort to incorporate skin-friendly superfoods that are rich in healthy fats and vitamins. I try to eat salmon a few times a week, and I always keep our fridge stocked with healthy fruits and veggies, like avocado, spinach, strawberries (Bear’s favorite!) and whole grain bread.
How are you celebrating National Healthy Skin Month? Are you making any changes to your skincare routine? Is there anything else I’m missing that I should try? I’d love to know!
Photo Credit: Rachel Sutherland
Tags: beauty · sponsored