New Year, new healthier you!

Every year around this time I start thinking about healthier changes I could make in the New Year.  It seems like a perfect time to get back on track after all the treats over the holidays.  In the past, drinking more water and making green smoothies have been on my healthier new year list. My goal is not striving for perfection but making more attainable changes.

This year I’ve decided to direct my attention on breakfast and reduce the amount of sugary cereals on the table.  I want to focus more on quality ingredients for my whole family.  Introducing Tre Stelle cheese will be a deliciously easy change!  Cheese is one of the richest sources of calcium helping to build bone density and the high-quality protein in cheese provides essential building blocks for strong muscles.  Adding Tre Stelle cheese also guarantees my kids will eat.  It just makes everything better!

When we don’t have time to sit down for breakfast it’s handy to be able to grab something and go such as muffins or scones.  To cut down on butter and oil I use Tre Stelle Ricotta to add moisture in baked goods.  It’s also a great way to add a boost of protein.  If you’ve never tried Ricotta Cheese in waffles definitely give it a try.  The soft cheese replaces all the oil or butter and you’ll never miss it!

Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats are convenient since they are made the night before.  If you don’t have peaches on hand, swap out any type of berry for a colourful burst of flavour!

 

DSC_1225Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats

1 serving

Total Time: 10 minutes plus overnight refrigeration

Ingredients:

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/3 cup milk

1/2 tsp honey, optional

2 tbsp Tre Stelle Mascarpone cheese

1/2cup frozen or canned sliced peaches, diced

Directions:

Combine the oats, milk, honey, mascarpone cheese and diced peaches in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake to combine and refrigerate overnight.  Serve with additional diced peaches and sliced almonds if desired.

 

Host an Awards Night Viewing Party

With the holiday’s officially behind us, Award Season is now in full swing.  Whether you’re a film buff or music lover, there’s a show for everyone.  Award shows are great for red carpet moments and celebrity-watching, but they also give you an excuse to throw a soiree!   Gather your friends for the hottest ticket in town – an Awards Show viewing party.

When planning your party, be mindful of the experience you want your guests to have.  Do you want Old Hollywood Glam, or perhaps you favour a more relaxed vibe?  Do you want to serve swanky hors d’oeuvres or keep it casual with movie theatre munchies?  Pops of gold and black are a classic combo to add elegance.   A popcorn bar with different toppings served in boxes is great for a relaxed, casual event.  Either way, it doesn’t take a lot to achieve an awarding winning vibe.

Invite the crew over early, have them strut down the Red Carpet and don’t forget a photo booth to document the evening.  Kick off the night right and serve your guests champagne or cocktails –  bonus points if you create cocktails influenced by the nominees (Queen Bey Spiked Lemonade, anyone?).

Finger foods will steal the show at your Awards Night Party.  They’re easy to pass around and are perfect for feeding a crowd of star-struck guests.  The award for Best Feature Appetizer goes to Parmesan and Thyme Sablés.  These delicate, crumbly shortbread cookies are the epitome of classy snacks.  They’re perfect on their own, with a glass of white wine, or served with a dollop of fruit preserves (fig is my favourite) and a thin slice of prosciutto.

You may not get to mingle with the stars in real-life on awards night, but you can still embrace your inner celebrity when you host an Awards Night Party.  It’s the perfect excuse to get dolled up, invite your friends over and enjoy great food and cocktails.  Be sure to serve these Parmesan and Thyme Sables to impress your guests regardless of the theme.  Black tie optional.  Cheese Mandatory.

Award Season_Nicole

Parmesan and Thyme Sablés

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperatures

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp finely minced fresh thyme

2 oz grated Parmesan (about ¾ cup)

1 cup all-purpose flour

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add in salt, thyme and grated parmesan.  Mix until well combined.  Add in the flour and mix until almost combined, but still crumbly.

Turn the crumbly dough out onto a lightly floured surface and work with your hands until a cohesive dough is formed.  Only work the dough until it has just come together.  Roll the dough into a log about 8 inches long.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and remove plastic wrap.  Cut the dough into ½ inch thick rounds and place on the lined baking sheet about 1-inch apart.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Serve on their own, or with fruit preserves and prosciutto, or on a cheese board.