buon appetito

antipasto plate_jsorelle

We’re Italian and proud of it. We love our heritage and the Italian culture…and of course, the food! Our mouths water with the site of a good Antipasto Platter.

But, how do they do it? How do people create that savory “before the meal” plate that can bring people together and satisfy their cravings? What’s the secret to a beautiful and delicious Antipasto Plate?

We know an expert who can tell us…because we know a place that does everything right when it comes to Italian food and ambiance.


Christine and Simone successfully recreated a little piece of Italy in Denver, Colorado. If you haven’t been, you need to go. And, if you don’t live in CO, you need to add a visit to CO to your bucket list, and add Parisi to your must-eat list.

Here’s owner Christine’s tips for a delectable Antipasto Platter.

- Make sure there’s a balance of olives, cheese, cold cuts & toasted bread with topping.
- Include a mix of soft and hard cheese.
- Tempt the palette with new flavors because people always like to try new things, but also intermingle with a few familiar flavors.
- Keep the toppings simple for the Bruschetta using seasonal veggies. It’s nice to add a little sweet balsamic to the mix to balance out the savory.

parisi antipasto platter_jsorelle

And, what about the essential sidekick to a yummy Antipasto Platter, otherwise known as wine? Christine has us covered there too.
“Reds are a good choice for heartier antipasti plates such as a San Giovese blend {San Giovese is the grape used for Chianti and so many of the Tuscan faves),” she said. “But a refreshing Pinot Grigio isn’t a bad choice for those who insist on white.” 
She added, “Oh, and then there is one of my favorite red Italian blends from the Veneto region:  La Cappuccina’s Madego.. it’s organic and so smooth, but not boring. But I am all for blends these days…I can’t commit to just one grape.”
parisi antipasto platter_jsorelle
The list of ingredients from the mouth-watering plate Meredith Moran of Meredith Moran Photography snapped for us at Parisi includes…
Drunken Goat (harder goat cheese immersed in red wine)
Fresh Asiago
Pecorino Picante
Prosciutto di Parma
Finocchiona salame (with fennel)
Castelvetrano & Kalamata Olives
Bruschetta with an artichoke topping & a cherry tomato topping
parisi antipasto platter_jsorelle
Now are you ready to impress your guests with the most amazing Antipasto Platter ever? Of course, if you need some authentic Italian food for inspiration, a great sandwich for lunch, an impressive place to bring a special date, or you just want to indulge yourself because you deserve it, stop by Parisi. If you want to eat for hours like the Italian’s do in a more intimate setting, make a reservation right below Parisi at Firenze a Tavola {same owners}. I promise, you will want to go back for more. It’s special to us, not only because Florence is our love affair city, but also because Jenna and Will celebrated their rehearsal dinner at Firenze a Tavola, and that was just the beginning to a wonderful life together.
parisi denver_jsorelle
parisit denver_jsorelle
Thanks to Christine at Parisi and Meredith Moran for making this post possible.

gf cookies for breakfast {recipe}

My dad has been known to eat cookies, pasta, pizza and even hamburgers for breakfast. Some of his genes were passed down to me {lucky lady} and I, too, like cold pizza and cookies for breakfast. Nowadays, I try to ‘healthify’ my eating habits {most of the time} and make healthy versions of the refined sugary foods I love for my family and me. Don’t get me wrong, I still can’t say no to a chocolate donut when presented with the opportunity to devour. These Breakfast Cookies are delicious and I don’t need to feel guilty having one or two, or four of these babies for breakfast.

breakfast cookies_jsorelle

Breakfast Cookie
recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
makes 15-20 cookies

2 cups gf quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup almond butter
1 large banana, mashed
1/2 raw and shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or raisins {I made with the chocolate}

Bake it, girl
Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips or raisins in a medium bowl and use a mixer to blend well.
Add the chips or raisins and stir.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Grab a very large tablespoon size dough and place on cookie sheet. The cookies will not spread, so shape dough like an already cooked cookie.
Bake  at 325 degrees for 16 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.

These are healthy and nutritious, and these moms {us} are giving you and your kids permission to indulge in cookies for breakfast!

breakfast cookies_jsorelle

{images via j. sorelle}

peach fruit nachos {recipe}

peach fruit nachos_jsorelle

Peaches are abundant and a fave at our local Farmer’s Market this summer. Marscapone cheese has been a favorite around our house too. Combine the two, and its pure decadence. This would make for a great dessert for the last summer BBQ on the calendar.

Peach Fruit Nachos

Cinnamon-Sugar Candy Pecans, chopped {follow this recipe…it’s so so good. Save the leftovers for a sweet snack}
2 peaches
2 tablespoons butter
8 oz container Marscapone cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons honey
Puff Pastry or Pillsbury Crescent Roll

How To:
Bake Cinnamon Sugar Candy Pecans according to these instructions. I rubbed off all the excess sugar once the pecans baked, and then chopped the pecans for these nachos.
Roll out the Puff Pastry or Crescent Roll dough. Press in the seams {if any} and then cut into triangle-shaped chips.
Place the chips on the baking sheet, brush the top of each of them with butter, along with 1/4-1/2 tsp sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar mix, then bake according to packaging instructions.
Combine the Marscapone cheese with the honey and mix well.
Cut the skin off the peach and chop into small pieces.
Once cool, top with a large scoop of the Marscapone mixture, peaches and pecans.
If you feel extra sweet, drizzle with melted chocolate.

peach fruit nachos_jsorelleblog

peach fruit nachos_jsorelle

peach fruit nachos_jsorelle

peach fruit nachos_jsorelle

{images via j. sorelle and adorable banner from The Banner Shoppe}

beware the frozen heart

frozen hearts popsicle_jsorelle

If your little princess {or prince} is still into Frozen, or at least knows about the movie Frozen {and reference to a frozen heart}…or knows every word to every song like my kids, this is the perfect summer time treat for them. Frozen Heart Popsicles.

Frozen Heart Popsicles
6-8 servings

You’ll Need
Wilton Petite Silicone Cavity Heart Pan

Muffin pan
cupcake liners
wooden popsicle sticks
grape juice
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1.5 cup greek yogurt
5 strawberries
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 banana

How To
Pour grape juice into the heart mold and freeze for several hours.
Once the hearts are frozen, make the popsicle mix. Add the ingredients {banana, strawberry, honey, vanilla, blueberry and yogurt} in a blender and mix well. If you have a favorite shake or other shake recipe with healthy ingredients, anything will work.
Place cupcake liners inside the muffin pan.
Place a frozen heart in the middle of each lined muffin cavity, and then pour popsicle mix over it. Fill it 3/4 to full.
Place the muffin pan in the freezer. After 1 hour, or until popsicles are semi-frozen, place a wooden popsicle stick inside each cavity {not all the way to the bottom, but 3/4 down}.
Wait until the popsicles are completely frozen, then remove the muffin pan from the freezer. After a couple of minutes, you can remove the popsicles. You may need a knife to help you ‘pop’ them out of the tray. Then, remove the liner.

frozen heart popsicles_jsorelle

frozen heart popsicles_jsorelle

frozen heart popsicles_jsorelle

frozen heart popsicles_jsorelle

{images via j. sorelle}

there’s something about mary

bloody mary recipe_jsorelle

There’s something about a Bloody Mary. So, so good. It’s a tradition that we cheers with a Bloody Mary in hand at my grandma and grandpa’s Easter celebration. My incredibly cool aunt Marti is our volunteer bartender {it’s on her resume from her college days}, and she is good y’all! I asked her to share her delish Bloody Mary recipe with us because I was craving one and honestly hers in the best, and she kindly obliged. So, either start the FAC early with one of these this evening…or start the day off good with one tomorrow. She sent a bonus recipe for another cocktail too, so we’ll share soon.

bloody mary recipe_jsorelle

Bloody Mary Recipe
recipe by cool aunt Marti
servings: good for one Bloody Mary

You’ll Need
1 shot vodka (if you want it stronger, 2 is ok and good quality vodka Kettle One or Absolut is recommended)
5 dashes of worcestershire sauce
3-4 shakes pepper
3 shakes celery salt
1/4 cup pickle juice
Tabasco to taste {5 dashes tasted good}
Fill the glass with tomato juice {ends up being about 1 cup} and mix!

 Note: You can always add more tabasco or picked juice. And, aunt Marti recommends preparing it in a shake glass so you can shake and mix well. Garnish with salt around the rim and of course, add a pickle, pepperocini or celery.
bloody mary ingredients_jsorelle
bloody mary recipe_jsorelle
{images via j. sorelle}