roasted turkey, arugula and aged Harvarti

_DSC2888sponsored post- however all opinions expressed are my own

It’s that time of year when I forget to eat lunch  food, in between shopping, wrapping, crafting, cooking and baking, housecleaning and oh yes there are  kids and work, pets and parties, birthdays and weddings…

More often than I’d like to admit, this time of year finds me scarfing down crackers at 3pm- constituting them as breakfast and lunch. Oh dear….

Not too healthy.

Fortunately, the kind folks at Castello and Honest Cooking provided me with some of my favorite cheese to nibble on (and yes, even put on my crackers at 3pm.)

But this cheese deserves so much more than crackers…

Fortunately, with  the holidays comes  leftover roast turkey. add  a smudge of mayo to highlight the buttery richness of the Harvarti… add some crisp peppery arugula to tie them altogether…. you won’t find me skipping lunch, or breakfast for that matter.

(Try this in a cheese omelet…oh.my.gosh!!!!!)

_DSC2884For those of you unfamiliar with aged  Harvarti cheese, it’s a must try… creamy and buttery with just enough bite from it’s 12 months of aging. Perfect complement to turkey, crackers, even that leftover ham that’s bound to surface in the next few days…

_DSC2895For more great recipes and information on the Castello brand of cheeses, feel free to click here: Castello







perfection takes time- rum raisin cinnamon rolls

_DSC2434 sponsored post*

There are some things that you can’t rush. The best things come with time; for instance: maturity, wisdom and patience, fine wine, diamonds and your  grandmother’s spicy tomato sauce that simmers all day, or bread that has been kneaded by hand and risen and baked in a low oven, permeating the air with it’s comforting aroma of vanilla and cinnamon. Bread that has bean studded with rum soaked raisins, and drizzled with a cinnamon vanilla glaze.
This bread takes time, but it’s well worth it.
Because perfection takes time.

Set aside a rainy day for this. Cozy up to a cup of warm tea while you wait patiently for your dough to rise, curl up with a good book and grow your wisdom and patience while making the most delicious cinnamon raisin rolls you’ll ever sink your teeth into.
But, before you begin, you have to soak your raisins. 24 hours before, at least.

In rum, of course so that they can be rum raisins. Don’t worry, the booze bakes out…

_DSC2439Bread baking takes time, so do some of the finer things in life, for instance, Fiji water. Did you know that   FIJI Water trickles down through the layers of volcanic rock over time and gathers minerals and electrolytes along the way that create a soft smooth taste - the same way slow cooking and baking often brings out the most amazing flavors and scents of almost any ingredient.

The time involved in bread baking, waiting for yeast to proof and rise, kneading and shaping loaves is time consuming, but the end results in satisfaction of a job well done,


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“Get this and many other Perfection Takes Time Recipes on  FIJI Water’s homepage



lemon thyme chicken kabobs

grilled lemon thyme kabobs

Kabobs are the ultimate in traveling meals. You have your veggies and protein all in one convenient skewer, and you can eat it with one hand. I guess the only danger involved is that stick. Kabobs should have a warning label: Not intended for children under the age of 5.
Because those sticks can quickly become swords when you’re a little kid.
Just sayin’
lemon thyme chicken kabobs

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Caprese bites with rioja wione reduction sauce

mini caprese bites with rioja wine reduction

Note: This is a sponsored post for RIOJA wine, however opinions expressed are my own.

Caprese bites with rioja wione reduction sauce  The steamy days of summer are just beginning to ease their way into our memory, and the lure off Fall is beginning to beckon me with its rich flavors again, spiced coffees and latte’s , buttery squash and crisp apples, warm apple cider and crisp leaves underfoot….the sun seeming to shine just a little more amber, and the evenings appearance  an hour earlier.


I live in Florida.

We don’t have Fall.

But, I am able to grasp the small little compounds in my life that equate to fall. And, all of the above noted happen to me in the fall. Even the crisp leaves … of course they aren’t everywhere, and there is no showcase of colors before the drop- there is, however, a gum maple tree next door, and, every year mid September it will shed it’s leaves in small painted patches of orange, yellow and green.. that is my tiny Florida fall.

Right now, it’s still slightly summer and with the kids back in school I am keenly aware of what’s next.  Until the temperatures tell me it’s time to warm things up I will still be making cool, refreshing tidbits to nibble. Like these:

caprese salad bitesThese are light, refreshing.. yet also have that hint of richness from a wine reduction sauce drizzled over, the same way the seasons bid adieu to one another in time passing.caprese bites with rioja glaze

The juicy tomatoes nestled with fresh mozzarella cheese and rich pungent basil, glazed with a savory  wine reduction-it’s the perfect appetizer between summer and fall…
Rioja wine is a classic choice for the ensemble, it’s rich flavor permeates the sauce and complements the sweet tomatoes, peppery basil and creamy cheese beautifully.


mini caprese bites with rioja wine reduction
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup Rioja wine (any dry red)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • dash pepper
  • salt to taste
  1. In a saucepan over medium high heat, reduce the chicken broth to ⅓ cup, add the wine and remaining ingredients and continue to cook until reduce to ½ cup
  2. Drizzle over fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella that has been skewered on small picks.
  3. This sauce is also wonderful on meats




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A little food, a little fun, and a little laugh in between, enjoy!