Roasted Fruit, Nuts and Cheese Plate With Wine

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Looking for a perfect cheese plate to pair with wine? Try our Roasted Fruit, Nuts, Cheese Plate with Notable Chardonnay. #ad #Chardonnation #NotableHoliday

Did you know there’s an art form to preparing food for parties and get-togethers?

I probably should have realized this years ago, as a child, when my parents threw the most summer and winter get-togethers I can remember. My mom would make peanut butter bars and lemon bars, and even Crème Brûlée in ramekins with torched and crispy tops. She hand-rolled homemade dough into chicken pot pies or raspberry pies. She can make a humongous vat of chili, while simultaneously checking on casseroles in the oven, and putting out two coffee urns. One urn is always decaf, one is, of course, caffeinated, and both with a host of fancy mugs, colored sugar, and real cream. Always all these necessities!

cheese plate

I used to think such fine attention to party planning detail had skipped a generation, but I was wrong.

I’m third in line! Both of my grandmothers put out the most exquisite spreads for every occasion. And while I can be erratic and eclectic at best (often both), I’m in love with the subtle art of food/beverage planning. Yes, sometimes I’d rather serve everyone chocolate peanut butter candies and cheese curls in cupcake wrappers, like I did when I was seven, but the adult party planning rocks. One of my favorite things is to pair foods with wine. What I love about Notable SO MUCH is that it’s the first wine to highlight the flavor profiles right on the front of the bottle. This makes wine choosing much less confusing.

cheese plate

When you’re in the wine aisle, you’ll see how wines vary in style, region and taste. However, most labels don’t define the delightful flavor you’re about to sip. Notable is refined and expressive and I dig that! It helps me choose.

I just follow the flavor notes! Simple. Accessible. Awesome.

Whether you’re going for the oaky and buttery Chardonnay or the fruity and crisp Chardonnay, or both, you’re giving your guests an awesome experience. This holiday season, follow the flavor notes. Put on some awesome music, light some candles, and serve Notable. I chose both varities because I love experiencing their different tasting profiles together.

In fact, it’s fun to do blind tastings and see if all of your guests can tell which is which! My guess is a “yes” since both are distinct and expressive. When having guests over, it’s important to serve the right small bites/appetizers with wine. I’m a sucker for a great cheese plate, but decided to do a roasted fruits, nuts and cheese plate. This is an elegant dish, easily made in your own home. It incorporates the best flavors of the season. This is what makes me proud to have people over.

Roasted Fruit, Nuts and Cheese Plate

Roasted Fruit, Nuts and Cheese Plate

Ingredients

  1. 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  2. 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  3. 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 2 cups pecans
  7. 2 apples
  8. 1/2 onion
  9. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  10. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  11. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  12. Various cheeses of choice!

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • In a medium bowl, toss in the confectioners sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and pecans
  • Add a couple teaspoons of water to the pecan mixture so everything will stick together
  • Transfer the pecans to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer
  • Bake for 12 minutes, until the pecans are crusty on top and caramelized and golden on the bottom
  • Let the pecans cool and break up any large chunks
  • Meanwhile, quarter and slice two apples - we left peel on
  • Finely slice half an onion
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a non-stick pan
  • Saute mixture on low for 5 minutes
  • Cover and let simmer on low until apple softens - about 10 minutes
  • Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Continue cooking on low until at least half the liquid is absorbed
  • Serve spiced pecans and apple mixture in low dishes
  • Pair with a mild cheddar, a creamy havarti and Manchego
  • Enjoy!
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Looking for a perfect cheese plate to pair with wine? Try our Roasted Fruit, Nuts, Cheese Plate with Notable Chardonnay. #ad #Chardonnation #NotableHoliday

Looking for an oaky and buttery Chardonnay or a fruity and crisp one? Find out more HERE for your holiday gatherings!

Which variety would YOU choose?

Looking for a perfect cheese plate to pair with wine? Try our Roasted Fruit, Nuts, Cheese Plate with Notable Chardonnay. #ad #Chardonnation #NotableHoliday

The Best Avocado Tasting Party We Ever Did Have!

This post was sponsored by Fresh Avocados – Love One Today® as part of an In-Home Party Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

How would you like to have the best avocado tasting party EVER? That's right. Recipes. Fun facts. Photos. Food. Fun. It's all in this post! #ad #AvoKids #IC

Here’s the thing, guys.

Avocados are a perfect food. Just perfect. They were a bit under my radar when I was a kid, but when I was a young adult traveling the west coast, I discovered that every restaurant had the option to serve them with breakfast. I couldn’t get enough! I always felt awesome starting my day with avocado in or with my breakfast. Now, it’s a regular part of my life. Whenever Cassidy comes home from food shopping, he’ll bring home a handful of avocados for me to eat or use in recipes.

I’ve had a lot of lost time to make up for when I was younger. That said, I didn’t want my kids to miss out on this superfood. Both kids ate avocados regularly as babies. Boy, I have so many photos of them eating their favorite food.

How would you like to have the best avocado tasting party EVER? That's right. Recipes. Fun facts. Photos. Food. Fun. It's all in this post! #ad #AvoKids #IC

How would you like to have the best avocado tasting party EVER? That's right. Recipes. Fun facts. Photos. Food. Fun. It's all in this post! #ad #AvoKids #IC

Introducing avocados to my kids at an early age was a wise move. Over the years, we have some famous dishes we make often that incorporate our favorite food, and it’s also fun to try new ones. Recently, we had an Avocado Tasting Party because that’s just how we do! You know us by now! Go big or go home. You see, it all started at an ice cream social in May. It was a “Meet the Kindergarten Teachers” event so we were able to meet a bunch of Des’ future classmates and families.

avocado

Here’s where it gets more fun. We met three families in particular – all living in our neighborhood or somehow connected to us through music or mutual friends. In fact, two of the families live a few houses over from us! We live in the woods, which is why we don’t always know or see our close neighbors! So we got each other’s contact information and kept in touch during the summer. We got to see each other a few more times at kindergarten playdates and that’s when we had the idea. We’d have an Avocado Tasting Party! Why? It’s because it’s a great way to incorporate avocados into family-friendly recipes, and then share them. Also, a few of our new friends have special diets/restrictions, but avocados are a favorite for all.

So we got to work and threw our party just a few days before kindergarten started. It was a late summer hurrah. I made three avocado dishes, and we had avocado plates and avocado shirts. Like I said, we go big or go home. And since we were already at home, we went big. Luckily for us, our friends did too. Our first guests arrived in style up our driveway.

You could hear them coming long before they arrived:

Now, you may be wondering – why avocado, right? Well, you’re probably NOT wondering that because it rocks, but I can give you three major reasons for why we had an avocado party. It’s a staple in our household, and for our new friends too:

  1. Consistency: The avocado’s smooth, creamy consistency and mild taste makes it one of the first fresh fruits a child can enjoy.

  2. Nutrient Density: Avocados contribute nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and phytonutrients, that are important to infant/toddler nutrition.

  3. Freshness: Wholesome, fresh foods are less likely to contain added sugars, salt and other processed ingredients.


For both kids, avocados were their first food at the table. Avocados are perfect for babies, toddlers, kids and adults. I wish I could remember the first time I tried avocado as a kid, but I really think it was adulthood for me. And it was memorable.

For the party, we settled on three avocado dishes. First, we made Cassidy’s famous guacamole, which goes with EVERYTHING, and is a party favorite. Then I made one kid-friendly favorite of Chicken & Turkey Bacon Avocado Wraps.

Scarlet is a dainty eater, but she was a huge fan.

How would you like to have the best avocado tasting party EVER? That's right. Recipes. Fun facts. Photos. Food. Fun. It's all in this post! #ad #AvoKids #IC

Then we made Chipotle Avocado Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes. These bite-sized creations were made with adults in mind, but since our cherry tomatoes are growing everywhere these days, the kids were interested in them too. I made some non-spicy.

As you can tell, we had a great time. I was pleasantly surprised by how much my kids loved our avocado dishes, and also that they were proud to show them to their new friends. I was also pretty happy to have the kinds of new friends who are happy to come and have fun with our family! I can’t wait until the next party! I also have new lunch box favorite foods.

The favorite dish for the kids was the Chicken & Turkey Bacon Avocado Wraps, and the adults loved it too. Of course, guacamole is a must-have. I would love to hear about your favorite avocado dishes in the comments below! I can’t wait to make them.

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How would you like to have the best avocado tasting party EVER? That's right. Recipes. Fun facts. Photos. Food. Fun. It's all in this post! #ad #AvoKids #IC

What would you serve at YOUR Avocado Tasting Party?