Archive of ‘Featured’ category

Halloween Appetizer :: Goblin Eyes!

 

Halloween appetizers

You know what gets me excited? When you find new ways to put a twist on a favorite recipe. And today folks, we have just that! I was recently asked by Pepperidge Farm to come up with a fun Halloween appetizer that incorporates Puff Pastry Cups and I was up for the mission.

My go-to spinach and cheese dip was the perfect compliment to the flaky and light puff pastry cups. To spook them up I topped them with sliced olives, transforming them into spooky Goblin Eyes — EEEK!

Super simple to make, healthy and cute!

puff pastry appetizers

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Perk Me Up :: Coffee Smoothie

I love a good smoothie recipe. Add in caffeine and I’m ALL over it. This  is my absolute go-to smoothie recipe (which I happen to typically finish in 2 minutes flat). YUM.

Coffee Smoothie Recipe

This recipe is great for breakfast as it has peanut butter for protein and a bit of espresso for a pick-me-up. It is also great after a workout, during an afternoon slump, or as a tasty dessert.

The star players in the glass? Banana, coffee and peanut butter.

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3 Lessons Learned from Martha’s Blogger-Blunder

Yesterday was the day many craft, food, and lifestyle bloggers saw Martha Stewart fall from her pedestal. It was the day, it seems, that  Martha let her fear of competition get the best of her.

Here’s  the video that stabbed some bloggers in the heart (and surely made the rest of us cringe).

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This open letter to Martha sums up the issue very well. Check it out if you want to know “what the problem is” with what she said.

But you know what was worse than Martha messing up and insulting the very group that helps build her empire? How her social media team replied and how her PR team failed to even show up to last night’s party. So far, this is the only response we’ve seen:

 


Yes and that was in 3rd person. #Fail

You see, when you’re building a brand (small or gigantic like Martha Stewart’s), you are going to mess up. You will, I promise. But what will set you apart is what you do next.

Here on Thoughtfully Simple, I have decided to write more business-related posts in our new Work It! column which we will officially roll out with our upcoming re-design (stay tuned!). Why? I spend 95% of my day as a Senior Community Manager for an online brand. It’s what I do and love. I want to share with you tips and lessons learned that might help you in building your own brand. Or in this case, what not to do.

Thank you Martha for timing your blunder so well with my new upcoming launch. ;)

So what lessons can we learn from the day Martha dissed us bloggers?

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A Simple Way to Serve Ice Cream

I am always looking for ways to make things more simple when entertaining. I believe when you keep things simple, you enjoy yourself more (and make other feel more at ease). This week I shared my hostess tip for serving up ice cream at a party on the SC Johnson blog.

how to serve ice cream at a party

 

An extra “win” for me is when you can do things the night before your party (like pre-scooping these ice cream cups).

Do you have any tips to making hosting a party more simple? I’d love to hear about them! 

I am also sharing all the great tips I discover on this Pinterest board. Be sure to check out all of the helpful hostess tips I find here.

 

 

 

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Strawberry & Goat Cheese Crostini + Pairing

I enjoy pairing food with wine and have to admit that experimenting with pairing food with something other than wine is new to me (but I think I’m hooked!). I was recently asked to try the new Stella Artois Apple Cidre and pair it with something delicious.

This is a European-style cider made from fresh, hand-picked red apples with accents of peach, apricot, and orange. It tastes light, crisp, and refreshing. I thought it would pair nicely with an appetizer that is also light yet had a little crunch.

Strawberry Appetizer

Strawberries fresh from the farmers’ market were my inspiration for this appetizer. Topping a toasted baguette with goat cheese, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette glaze — these were the perfect accompaniment to a nice cold Stella Cidre. Score 1 for food pairing!

Strawberry Appetizer

Strawberry & Goat Cheese Crostini {with balsamic glaze)

Ingredients:

2 cups sliced strawberries

4 ounces goat cheese

1/2 french baguette (cut into 1/2″ pieces)

Balsamic vinaigrette glaze

To Make:

Slice baguette and top with goat cheese. Place sliced strawberry on top and then drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette glaze.

Variation: You can toast the baguette slices first if you prefer. Simply brush on ised with olive oil, place on cookie sheet, and back for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Assemble as instructed.

I hope you’ll try pairing something with this new Stella. I would compare it to pairing food with white wine — so that should get your wheels spinning with ideas! Cheers to the new Stella Cidre. Oh and … it’s Cidre, not cider. :)

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Stella Artois via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Stella Artois.

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4 Cucumber Drinks to Keep You Cool

Summer may be officially winding down, but our 105 degree days still have us sweating out these long days here in southern, CA. This year I’ve been mildly obsessed with all-things cucumber (which is a perfect crisp and refreshing summertime ingredient), especially drinks! Here’s a quick roundup of  4 cucumber drinks that will keep you cool this (end of) summer.

1. Cucumber and Mint Cooler  ::  2. Cucumber Margaritas   ::  3. Rosemary and Cucumber Lemonade :: 4. Cucumber Gin Cooler

What flavors have you been craving this summer?

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