The best thing about entertaining, there is NEVER a bad time to do so! Needless to say, us Gold Leaf girls look for anytime, and anything to celebrate with friends, full glasses, and snacks. If you are like us here in Aspen, you are enjoying bright skies, open windows, and trail runs with the pups. It may be throwing our bodies into shock and our ski's feeling cheated on, but we will take it with open arms! The weekends are filled with smells of roasting grills and we feel it is the perfect time to have some friends over for a cookout on the deck! (East coasters please don't hate us, we are truly envious of your powder). Since we are all praying this changes quickly and we can get our winter fix, we have included 2 easy appetizers for a Saturday get together: one for the warm weather, and one for the cold!
Our first option- Baked Tomatoes with Basil and Feta.
I was lucky enough to grow up with a momma who always had the garden stocked with the most incredible tomatoes, and basil, among many other amazing veggies. This was my go-to almost everyday and friends and family gush over this insanely simple easy appetizer.
-3 Large Tomatoes -5 Sprigs of Basil -1/4 Crumbled Feta -Extra Virgin Olive oil
Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Make sure your tomatoes are just BARELY ripe, even a little under works perfectly. Cut one tomato into 4 thick slices width wise. Too thin will wither away once baked. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and lay out your slices so there is no overlapping, drizzle with salt, pepper, olive oil and a sprinkle of feta. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes. While the tomatoes bake pick off all your basil leaves and leave them full and beautiful or slice them up so it's easier to eat. Once your tomatoes are out place the basil leaves on top and let cool. Serve as is or on your choice of water crackers with a spritz of balsamic.
However, are you having a normal February? Cold and wrapped in blankets? Watching 'The Holiday' on repeat? Whip these up for your guests and be warmed by the compliments.
Warm Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini Drizzled with Honey and Olive Oil.[caption id="attachment_1987" align="aligncenter" width="640"] http://www.marshallsabroad.com/2014/08/warm-fig-and-goat-cheese-crostini.html[/caption]
We'll give you a second to take that in...
Okay, go -
-4-6 Figs Sliced -4 oz. Goat Cheese (Gouda and Mozzarella also work wonderfully) -1/2 Baguette of Sourdough -Extra Virgin Olive Oil -Sea Salt -2 Sprigs Rosemary
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut baguette into 1/2 inch slices and generously cover with olive oil, a quick sprinkle of sea salt and rub both in with a sprig of rosemary (leave the leaves on if they come off on the bread-delish)! Once all slices are covered, top with cheese and bake for 5 minutes until bread is golden and cheese is soft. Once out of the oven top with figs, and drizzle with honey! Feel free to personalize this and make it completely your own. Choose your bread, add more cheese, or if you're like me, add some arugula on top of the fig and before the honey! The peppery taste compliments the sweetness perfectly.
We hope you give these a try and please let us know how they turn out! Bon appetit!
Our snow dances don't seem to be exuding the "I think I have the flu", call into work powder days. A friend of ours suggested we start having summer celebrations to aggravate the snow gods and get them to open up! All myths aside, what's the one thing we know we will do for sure? Make some warm cocktails and hope. Personally, we think making the most cold weathered, winter cocktails will give everyone the warm and fuzzies, if nothing else. No harm in that. Today we have found one, that honest to God stops us dead in our tracks:
Smoked Maple Bourbon Chai Tea
6 ounces steaming hot water 2 chai tea bags 3 ounces Knob Creek Maple Bourbon 1 ounce half-and-half Cinnamon stick for garnish
Pour the steaming water over the chai tea bags in a heatproof mug. Let steep for 3 minutes, then remove the tea bags. Add the maple bourbon and half-and-half and stir to combine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Double the Chai, double the fun as far as we're concerned. Grab a flannel and enjoy! And if you get more snow than us, stop enjoying and have a pina colada!
Welcoming your friends, family, and even co-workers to an event is one of the most enjoyable experiences we can think of. Typically it is a time for celebration, happiness, relaxation (sometimes), and experience. The art of the "welcome wagon" is growing to be just that, an absolute art form.
We are featuring, and frankly giving a huge high five to some of our favorite companies around making custom welcome boxes. If you aren't familiar, custom welcome/gift boxes are a beautiful way to welcome your guests to your event. For example: A wedding hosted here in Colorado, guests may expect welcome boxes with a bottle opener to represent (and help consume :)) craft beer, which Colorado is becoming more heavily known for. They may also expect to find, locally sourced beef jerky, or a travel size sunscreen to protect those cheeks from the high altitude sun. So on and so forth, you get the picture. Either way, companies are doing an exceptional job welcoming guests from around the globe. Without further adieu,
Our local Go-To: Bundles Gift Co.
Beautifully and expertly crafted, Bundles keeps it elegant, simple, fun, and valuable. They feature gifts only found in Colorado and exceptional custom calligraphy.
We just discovered this team while attending the Bliss and Bespoke retreat (blog up soon) in Charleston, South Carolina. Absolutely stunning work.
Based out of Vancouver, BC, we love By Broken Arrow for using local products, ready to display floral arrangements, and re-usable items.
Alright folks, with these suggestions you have no excuses! I love wine and chocolate, I will be checking my door step frequently!
Ladies and gentleman, it's here again. The time of year when you pull out your classiest. When the men are covered in seersucker, navy, and forest green, while the ladies peek out from their large brims with black thick lashes and pastel lips matching a pastel dress: the Kentucky Derby.
We pick our favorite horses, and quickly switch to favorite outfits. We chat with friends and are overcome with excitement of beautiful weather and a 12 second race. There's nothing better!
The hors d'oeuvres have been planned for months, while the cocktails are remaining classic and iconic. What cocktail says Kentucky Derby, like a mint julep!? NONE. We have brought you the easiest, tastiest and biggest crowd pleaser today:
3 Sprigs Mint 2 oz Oyo Bourbon (or any favorite, that's just ours) .5 oz Simple Syrup Crushed Ice
In a julep cup (or a highball glass) muddle 2 sprigs of mint with the simple syrup. Fill cup 3/4 full with crushed ice. Add bourbon. Stir. Fill remaining glass with crushed ice and a sprig of mint.
Serve to friends and family, and find a good seat!