Happy New Year! I know it has been a while since I have posted and one of my resolutions for the new year is to post at least once a week. As you all know, I am slightly obsessed with appetizers. If you follow me on Instagram, then you see my Friday Night Bites with wine and often cheese plates. My goal for this year is to bring you more interesting Friday Night Bites and spice up my little corner of the internet.
Unfortunately over the last couple months, hubby and I have had to attend a couple funerals. One was for my wonderful Aunt Mary who would have hit the young age of 101 in February but at least made the century mark, which was her target. Up until the last couple days, she was sharp as a tack. We visited her a week before she went to heaven and I am so happy that we were able to visit, catch up and see her. Before we left, I gave her a hug, said I love you and then proceeded with see you later instead of goodbye (seamed to permanent – even though I knew this would be the last time I would see her alive). She smiled and said she was so happy we came to visit her. She gave me a beautiful jade necklace which I will treasure forever. I know she is in heaven, happy and will always be in my heart.
A few weeks later, we saw on Facebook a friend of ours who was one of our grooms man at our wedding that his long time girlfriend of 21 years and father to one of his 4 sons had a brain embolism. We sent many prayers yet after 2 weeks, she too went to heaven. Ginger was one of the sweetest people and our friend Greg is simply devastated – which I can’t even imagine. The celebration of life was wonderful and hundreds turned out for the event to remember and celebrate the life of Ginger. I am glad we could be a part of it.
With these events, you can’t help but reflect on your own life. Ever since I was nineteen and literally had to be brought back to life with the paddles from a tragic car accident, I truly appreciate life each and every day. I appreciate my health, family, friends, career, dogs and all that I have been able to experience in life thus far.
I look forward to a wonderful 2018 with daily appreciation and lots of goals for this year. Events like above simply put life into perspective and I encourage each of you to live life to the fullest and as cliche as it sounds – don’t sweat the small stuff. Be positive, energetic and look at life through a open lens.
Okay, let’s get on with a lighter note and part of my enjoying life – my Friday Night Bites. After a long week at work, I really look forward to sitting at home with my hubby enjoying a supreme bottle of wine and some appetizers. We typically catch up on the day over our first glass of wine and a few appetizers, then dive into our favorite television shows. Of course always hanging with our havanese puppies – Marty and Stewie. I guess since they are almost 4, they are not technically puppies, but I will always affectionally call them puppies.
This week I have a tasty and easy appetizer to share with all of you – my Apricot Mostarda Brie Cups. A Mostarda is a condiment that is made up of dried fruit with mustard. I think of it like a chutney of sorts. It has a tartness, herby and sweet combination of flavors. It is super easy and quick to make.
Apricot Mostarda Brie Cups
Micro Basil or regular Basil
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Water
1 1/4 Cup Dried Apricots (diced small)
2 T Sugar
1 T Honey
1 Shallot (finely minced)
1 Garlic Clove (finely minced)
2 T. Whole Grain Mustard
1 T. Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Salt
Place all of the above ingredients into a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir with a spoon to combine. Let cook for 5 to 10 minutes until it thickens. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
To assemble the appetizer, place 12 to 15 of the phyllo cups onto a baking sheet and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the outer rind of the brie and place a couple teaspoons of the brie into each phyllo cup. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with about a teaspoon of the Apricot Mostarda on each and top with the micro basil or small piece of regular basil cut thin. (Found the micro basil at Safeway and Whole Foods) Serve and enjoy!
Wine pairing: This would be great with a crisp dry Riesling or Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc.