food and drink

Holiday charcuterie board with Tillamook

Thank you Tillamook for sponsoring this post. Try Tillamook Maker’s Reserve! Available at Costco.

Holiday Charcuterie Board

One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the get-togethers with family and friends… and all the delicious food at said get-togethers. It can feel a little overwhelming to whip something elegant and fancy up, on top of hosting a party, so my favorite thing to do is put together a charcuterie and cheese board. It’s always a crowd pleaser, and you can make it look super lush and inviting without a lot of work! And the best part is you don’t have to cook anything!

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Holiday Charcuterie Board

For this spread I partnered with Tillamook to feature their Maker’s Reserve 2013 Vintage White Cheddar. Here in the Northwest we’re pretty big Tillamook eaters, and I’ve actually been to the Tillamook factory in Oregon twice! Watching all those blocks of cheese getting cut and wrapped in the factory is kind of mesmerizing!
I’m a fan of sharp cheddars so this cheese hit the spot for me. The Maker’s Reserve line of cheddars are bold with the flavors unique to the year they come from (2013 in this case).

If you want to add some to your own holiday charcuterie board, you can find Maker’s Reserve 2013 Vintage White Cheddar (18oz.) can be found at select Costco stores in the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco Bay Area (search at https://www.tillamook.com/where-to-buy.html to see if your local store has it!).

Not sure what to include in your Charcuterie + Cheese board?
Here’s a list of some of my favorite things to plate up!

  • Cheese- You can get a variety and get a couple more exotic types of cheese, or stick with something classic and widely enjoyed, like a cheddar or brie

  • Rustic Mustard- This is great for spreading on crackers or bread, and is a little fancier looking than your standard mustard.

  • Fig Jam or Honey- I like having something a bit sweet to counteract all the savory that goes on with a Charcuterie board

  • Olives- There are lots of varieties, and some grocery stores even have an olive buffet so you can pick out a bunch of different kinds!!

  • Prosciutto/salami- There are lots of different kinds you can get, pick your favorite or get a few different types

  • Fruit- Pear slices always make it onto my board, but I also like to pick something seasonal. When I saw Pomegranates in my grocery store, I picked one up to include on this board!

  • Sliced bread/crackers- Gotta have a delivery system for all your cheese! I like to pick a rustic bread, slice it up, bake it with a bit of butter spread on each until they’re slightly golden, then cut a garlic clove in half and swipe it on each little toast- it gives them the perfect bit of garlic flavor!

  • Nuts- Marcona Almonds are my favorite to include, but you can choose whatever you like! Specialty or gourmet grocery stores will usually have some fancy nuts to choose from.

Now you’re ready to party! Grab a plate or a big cutting board to arrange all your items on, and your guests will flock to it! Happy holiday partying!

Apple Rustic Tart

Rustic Apple Tart

My best friend came over today with her little month old baby and we got to spend the afternoon baking! My dad brought some apples from my parents’ house where they have a few apple trees so I had a ton of apples to use for recipes (I made this applesauce last week too!). My pie pans have disappeared since our move last October, so instead of making apple pies, we decide to make Apple Rustic Tarts. This recipe says that the prep is about 30 minutes but if you’re also watching a baby and a toddler it takes like 3x that long…

Apple Rustic Tart

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For the Crust

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold water

For the Filling

1 -1/2 lbs apples (appx 3 large)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/8 tsp salt

For Assembly

1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp apricot preserves, for glaze

Instructions

Prepare the crust:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse briefly to mix.

  3. Add the cold butter and process just until the butter is the size of peas, appx 5 seconds. Then, add the ice water to the mixture and process just until moistened and very crumbly, about 5 seconds.

  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it until it comes together into a cohesive ball, just a few times. Split the dough into two equal balls.

  5. Flour your work surface again and sprinkle one of your dough balls with flour, as well. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a circle appx 12 inches in diameter, turning and adding more flour as necessary so the dough doesn’t stick. Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. Repeat with the second ball of dough.

Make the filling:

  1. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/8-inch-thick slices (you should have about 4 cups) and place in a large bowl.

  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, melted butter, and salt; toss to combine.

Assemble the tart:

  1. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the pastry. Arrange the apple slices on top in overlapping concentric circles to within 2 inches of the edge. Work quickly so the dough doesn’t get too warm. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples, working your way around and creating pleats as you go.

  2. Using a pastry brush, brush the pleated dough evenly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the crust and apples. Chill the assembled tart in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. Prepare the second tart and place it in the fridge as well.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the center position.

  4. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden and cooked through.

  5. While the tart bakes, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the apricot jam with 1-1/2 teaspoons hot water. About 2-3 minutes before your tarts finish baking, remove them, brush the tarts with the apricot glaze, and put them back in the oven for the final two minutes. Remove and let cool.

  6. Transfer the tart to a serving plate or cutting board. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. The tart is best served on the day it is made, but leftovers make for a delicious breakfast treat the next day!

Nettle Florentine Pasta

Nettle Florentine Pasta

One of my favorite things about summer is farmers market season and all of the fresh produce that comes in my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box every week! When I first started getting a CSA last summer, I learned how to prepare a ton of obscure (to me) produce I’d never seen before. One new thing that popped in my CSA this summer was stinging nettles. I worked at a summer camp a few years ago and learned how to eat raw nettles in the wild, but I’d never thought about using nettles while cooking until we got a big batch of them in our CSA share. Nettles are rich in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and calcium, and since they saute-down nicely (and lose the sting when cooked), I decided to treat them like I would spinach and make a chicken Florentine. It worked great.

Nettle Florentine Pasta
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Nettle Florentine Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Penne
  • 4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cups dry white wine
  • ¾ cups low-sodium broth (more if needed)
  • 3 cups stinging nettle leaves
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, shaved
  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. For more flavor, add a pinch of salt to the water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into chunks and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over high heat. Add chicken in a single layer and don’t stir for a minute or two to allow the chicken to brown. Flip the chicken and brown the other side. Cook until done. Remove chicken and set aside.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and add garlic, making sure to stir quickly to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, add wine and broth, stirring to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to bubble up, then continue cooking until it’s reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point).
  5. Turn off the heat and add nettles, tomatoes, chicken and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the nettles will wilt as you toss everything. Add plenty of Parmesan shavings and toss to combine. Serve with extra Parmesan shavings.
Nettle Florentine Pasta

How to Handle Nettles  
Nettles can give you nasty stings if you don’t handle them carefully, so make sure you don’t sting yourself while preparing meals or while harvesting. Wear gloves when handling. Use tongs and a salad spinner when cleaning nettles. Stinging nettles have hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems, which act like tiny hypodermic needles to inject histamine and other chemicals that cause an uncomfortable stinging sensation. If you do get stung, though, there are a few natural remedies to relieve the sting. First, you can make a paste out of a little baking soda and water and rub that onto the affected area, which should help reduce the sting. You also can mix a couple drops of lavender essential oil into a tablespoon of coconut oil to make a little salve and rub it onto the sting, and it’ll help take away the stinging sensation. 

Nettle Florentine Pasta

Perfect Summer Raspberry Frosé Recipe

Raspberry Frosé Recipe

So I'm sure it's no secret that I'm loving rosé (along with everyone else, right?), and since hot summer days are nigh, I wanted to try my hand at some Frosé!  When Stevia In The Raw contacted me to see if I'd be interested in partnering up for a fun summer cocktail recipe, it felt like the perfect time to try making Frosé. 

Since I've been trying to keep my sugar intake down on Keto, Stevia seemed like a great way to give my Frosé some sweetness without the extra carbs, and it's a zero-calorie sweetener which contains extracts from the sweet leaves of the stevia plant.  It comes in convenient 1g packets, so you can easily pop one in your iced tea to add some guilt-free sweetness!  I wanted to add a little something fun to this recipe, so I included raspberries, but if you want to stay really low-carb, nix the raspberries in this recipe!

Raspberry Frosé Recipe

3 cups Rosé wine (I used Ruza from Winc!)
2 cups Fresh Raspberries
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Stevia In The Raw Simple Syrup

01/ In a blender, blend the Rosé, raspberries, and lemon juice.  Pour the mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the berry seeds.

02/ Pour the mixture into ice trays and place in the freezer to freeze for a few hours.  Since there's alcohol in the mixture, it won't ever freeze solid (which is actually perfect for the texture!)

03/  Make Stevia In The Raw simple syrup by heating 1 cup of water with 1/8 to 1/4 cup Stevia In The Raw (1 packet of Stevia In The Raw® is as sweet as two teaspoons of sugar, so keep that in mind!).  Let cool.

04/ When you want to make your Frosé, empty the "ice cubes" into the blender and add 2 tsp Stevia In The Raw simple syrup (you can add more to taste). Blend it all together, (it'll quickly get a slushie texture) and pour!  Makes appx 4 servings.

I actually tried the Frosé with and without the simple syrup added, just to see how it changed the flavor, and I definitely prefer it with that little bit of sweetness added!  This is the perfect summer grown-up slushie, and I plan on spending the next hot day on my patio with a glass of Frosé!  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can keep it in the freezer until you're ready, so it's great if you want to prep for a party beforehand, or if you just want to keep it on hand for yourself!

Want more Stevia In The Raw recipes? Check out these summery recipes:

Raspberry Frosé Recipe
Raspberry Frosé Recipe
Raspberry Frosé Recipe

The product, information, and gift card have been provided by the makers of In The Raw® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Stevia In The Raw®. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the makers of In The Raw® sweeteners.

Cheers Delivered

Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow

I've pondered the idea of a wine subscription for a while.  I used to be a beer drinker, but as I've gotten older I feel like beer just makes me sleepy, so I usually opt for wine these days.  Even more recently as I've ventured into doing the Keto diet, white wine and rose have been my lifesavers as their pretty low carb (and my favorite summer wines anyway!).  So when Winc contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying their wine subscription I was like, um absolutely.

To be honest, I pick wines at the grocery store based on how cool the label is (sorry not sorry I used to be a graphic designer, I can't help it!).  So having a wine service that evaluates my personal tastes and then has a professional recommendation for wines is rad.  And you can pick how many reds vs. whites you want in each box!  So for this summer box I went for, you probably guessed it, all whites.  It's summer!  All I want on hot summer nights are chilled sparkling wine or rose!

I'm super stoked about Winc, and they were kind enough to send over a discount code for me to share with you guys so you can get $40 off 4 bottles too!  Just head to trywinc.com/lizmorrow to get your summer wine fix!

Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow
Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow
Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow
Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow

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