Cold Pressed Watermelon Mimosa

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Easter is fast approaching and besides the obvious reasons for the holiday, when I think of Easter I think of family and brunch. This year my cousin and I are not going down to New Jersey to visit family for Easter so we will be holding our first annual Cousins Easter Brunch. We did two annual cousin Thanksgivings in the past and they were a BLAST, so I am very excited to spend the day cooking, eating, and drinking.

So today I am going to share with you a delicious (and healthier?) Mimosa Recipe featuring Trader Joes cold pressed watermelon juice. All you have to do is pour some in a glass and top it off with your favorite Prosecco. A nice Sparkling Rose would also be really good with this and would make the pink color pop even more. SO FESTIVE.

So there you have it, an incredibly simple and delicious mimosa perfect for your upcoming East Brunch. And for all spring and summer long really.. I think this might become a brunch staple.

xx Casey

Winter Golden Beet Salad

I’ve always thought that some of the best recipes come to me while walking through the grocery store. It can be an awesome ingredient or beautiful piece of produce that sparks the idea for a delicious meal. In today’s case this awesome ingredient is golden beets. When I saw these bad boys I immediately thought of whipping up a rustic winter salad with the beets being the star.

To prep these delicious little golden nuggets start off by roasting them whole with the skins on. Once roasted the skins will come right off. I then cut them into cubes and caramelized them with a little butter, brown sugar, and pepper.

I used a mix of spinach and mesclun greens as the base of the salad. I then topped the salad with the beets, some thick cut maple bacon, blood orange slices, brie cheese, and a couple homemade croutons. Lastly for the dressing I used some of the blood orange juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, and some spices to taste. The tartness of the blood orange mixes perfectly with the creaminess of the brie and the sweetness of the golden beets.

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This salad has everything, and what makes it even better is that it is seasonal. The quality of your ingredients is always going to better when choosing items that are in season at the time. Winter is all about beets and root vegetables and I am living for it.

xx Casey

Baked French Fries

Guys – to those who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too, you were wrong. I am here today to tell you it is possible to have amazingly crispy french fries while trying to eat clean. How you ask? Let me tell you all about it…

Start off with some new potatoes. And I don’t mean “new” as in fresh .. well yes, I want you to buy fresh potatoes… but I mean the type of potato. New potatoes are great because they have a thin soft skin which you can leave on the potatoes preventing you from having to peel them.

Cut your potatoes in half, and then in three’s. You want to keep them thick – this is part of the trick to keeping them crispy, not soggy. The next thing you want to do is fill a pot with cold water. Put the potatoes in the pot and bring the pot to a boil. Just as the pot begins to boil and bubbles rise to the top of the pot, take them off the stove. This should be about 8-10 minutes.

Drain your potatoes and transfer to a bowl. Add in a tablespoon of flour and your choice of seasonings. I like to use Trader Joes Chili Lime seasoning on my fries but I am thinking some Garlic Parm fries would be awesome too! Transfer potatoes to a sheet pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Watch them – I like mine super crispy, so 30 minutes works perfectly. If you want them a little less crispy then check them at 20.

These are seriously the most amazing baked fries I have ever had. I have tried this recipe by halving fingerling potatoes and they turn out great as well. Let me know if you guys give these a try! What kind of seasonings do you put on your fries?

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xx Casey

Merry Christmas & Poinsettia Recipe

Hello Friends! I just wanted to pop in here really quickly and say that I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, Happy Chanukah, or whatever you celebrate! I had a wonderful weekend visiting family in New Jersey eating way too much food and drinking bubbly drinks.

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I had to share the super easy/super delicious drink we all had a couple glasses of on Christmas day. My cousin Jennifer let me know that there is actually a name for it – a Poinsettia. How festive! All it consists of is some prosecco and cranberry juice. This may or may not be my drink of choice for the winter. And spring. And summer. I just love bubbles!

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I hope you all had a wonderful weekend wherever you were, whatever you were doing! All I know is we are probably all feeling that Tuesday morning struggle. Thank God for all the Starbucks gift cards!

xx Casey

The Perfect Cheese Board

Yesterday I shared my top holiday entertaining tips with you. Today I am talking about the thing that is going to bring your holiday party over the edge – the perfect holiday cheese board. I love cheese. I love bread. I love everything that accompanies cheese and bread. Creating a beautiful cheese board is an entertaining art form. So I am going to share my top tips to creating an Instagram worthy cheese plate for your holiday get together.

Variety. It is important to have three or four different varieties of cheese on your board. Make sure you have a good mix of soft, semi soft, and hard cheeses. My favorites to incorporate are Brie, Gouda, Parmesan, and Mozzarella. I typically stay away from the cheddar, but it is by no means a negative. Go for what you and your guests will love!

2 Slice It. If you are serving hard cheeses on your board like Parmesan or Gouda, pre-slice it. If it is not sliced, guests are not going to dig into it. No one wants to be the person awkwardly trying to cut into the cheese on the table.

3 It’s More Than Just the Cheese. Hard to believe, but sometimes the star of the cheese board isn’t the cheese at all, it’s the accompaniments.

4 Don’t Skimp on the Crackers.

Now that I have shared my tips, let’s get into my board shall we? I chose four different cheeses: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Gouda, and Brie and two meats: Prosciutto and Pepperoni. I accompanied the meat and cheeses with blackberry jam, fresh blackberries, olives, cornichons, and artichokes. It’s good to have a nice mix of sweet and savory items on your board.

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I also may have eaten half of that board myself… I have no regrets.

xx Casey

Gingerbread Truffles

Today I have a quick and easy recipe that will truly wow your friends at your upcoming holiday party or cookie swap. Each year I come up with a new truffle recipe, and this year I decided to incorporate gingerbread.

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Cookies – I used Ginger Snaps

Cream Cheese

Chocolate – I used both white and milk chocolate

Sprinkles

Method of Prep:

Crush the cookies. If you have a food processor, awesome! If you don’t have one like me, put those bad boys in a ziplock bag and crush them with your cast iron pan until there are no large pieces left. Then mix in the cream cheese until the cookie crumbles and cream cheese are incorporated together. Do not use too much cream cheese – you do not want the mixture to be too wet. Roll the mixture into little balls and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make them easier to dip into the chocolate.

In a double boiler melt your milk or white chocolate. With a toothpick, coat the frozen truffles with the chocolate and lay on a baking sheet. Top with your choice of sprinkle right after dipping. Since the truffles have been frozen the chocolate will cool very quickly. Repeat this process until all of your truffles have been coated. Place in fridge to finish setting the chocolate, and enjoy!

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xx Casey

Cranberry Apple Sangria

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I couldn’t leave you without at least one recipe to get you through today. My family loves Sangria so during the holidays I always try to come up with a new version to spice things up. This year the main ingredient is Jack Daniels Winter Jack Whiskey. This is an apple cider whiskey that kind of tastes like candy. Yum.

Ingredients
2 bottles chilled Pinot Grigio
1 cup apple whiskey
1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups cold club soda
2 apples, sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries

In a large pitcher add wine, whiskey, and fruit. Let sit for 45 minutes so the fruit can absorb that liquid. Add club soda right before serving and enjoy.

This sangria is simple and delicious. Not a fan of whiskey? Add your favorite liquor and then add half cranberry juice/half apple juice to still have that awesome fall flavor. I may have had a glass or two.. or three already.

I am very thankful that I get to spend this Thanksgiving back home with my family. Now let’s eat, drink, and watch football.

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xx Casey