Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wewalka | Mediterranean Envelopes

This is a sponsored post.  I received compensation and product samples in exchange for writing this blog post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. 

After a long day at work, I usually don't have much time to come up with a complicated dinner. Sometimes Jake has a night class and it's just me eating dinner.  So, I prefer recipes that don't take more than 20 minutes and don't require more than ~10 ingredients.  I found this recipe for Mediterranean Filled Envelopes on the Wewalka site and knew it would be a perfect one for me to try on my own. Sometimes when we get Blue Apron deliveries, I really feel like those recipes take 2 people because they are more complicated and require a lot of prep work. Jake says it feels like a fire drill sometimes.  This recipe, on the other hand is super easy and really quite delicious and totally do-able for one person to make. You could add a small side salad and have a couple of these for dinner. 

Mediterranean Filled Envelopes 

What you'll need:

  • 1 package Wewalka refrigerated puff pastry
  • 1/2 green, 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • egg wash
  • 3 oz. pitted black olives
  • 5 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper 

Step 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2. Brown sesame seeds in a dry pan over low heat.

Step 3: Unroll the puff pasty onto a baking sheet (keep it on the parchment paper). Using a knife, cut into six squares. 

Step 4: For the filing, mix the feta, peppers, olives and honey in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute in the middle of each square. 

Step 5: Brush edges of dough with a small amount of water, then fold all four corners inward and then pinch in the middle to close each "envelope". 

Step 6: Brush the envelopes with egg wash and then sprinkle with the browned sesame seeds. 

Step 7: Bake the envelopes for 15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly puffy. 

Step 8: Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy! 

These are perfect as a quick appetizer or part of a meal. I really can't remember the last time I cooked with puff pastry... maybe one other time in my life? But don't be intimated by it.  This product is very easy to cook or bake with and can be used for a variety of recipes. I am really pushing myself out of my cooking comfort zone and I kinda like it.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Importance of Curating Social Media Feeds

A few years ago I don't think I would have even known what 'curating a feed' meant. But, now that I've been in the social media game for a few years, I wanted to share this simple piece of advice. Deciding who to follow on each platform is absolutely key to what you will see on your feed each day.  It does take a little bit of time and effort but it will pay off immensely.

But, where do you start?

Curating Social Media Feeds

Focus on your favorite 2-3 platforms. 

Don't feel like you have to be active on every single social media platform. Do you love following celebrities antics on Twitter via 140 characters? or would you rather scroll through tons of tiny (mostly) square photos? Do you like seeing what other's pin? or are you a Facebook addict? I'd recommend focusing on two or three of your favorite platforms. Don't feel like you "should" be spending more time on Pinterest. If you wanted to spend more time on Pinterest, you'd spend more time on Pinterest.    

What do you want to see? 

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up? Your kids? Coffee? Clothes? The environment? Work? Travel? Justin Timberlake? (All of the above?) Do you want to see pictures of outfits (#ootd)? Travel inspiration (#traveltuesday)? or do you want to know what Britney Spears is doing a 3 pm on a Wednesday? Pay attention to what people regularly post. Read their bios -- they actually tell you a lot about what what drives the person. Recognize this may change. When I first started posting on Instagram, I loved fashion + outfit posts. Now I am more into travel photos, but I still love fashion and beauty photos. I find that most of the people I follow are fashion bloggers with travel bloggers coming a close second.

Is that loop giveaway really worth it?

Do I really want to spend 15 minutes of my life following all these random people on Instagram that I don't even really like their feeds? Hell-to-the-no. I think I did a few loop giveaways when they first came out but I refuse to do one now. Ain't nobody got time for dat.  My advice would be to carefully look at each person's feed to determine if you actually want to follow them. Sure, it would be nice to have a $500 Nordstrom shopping spree but not so much that I have to spend the time and un-follow all those random people that I never wanted to follow in the first place. Not worth it.    

Don't follow people just because you want them to follow you.

If I follow someone, it's because I like what they post. I don't expect them to follow me unless they like what I post. Sounds simple enough, right? I've seen so many random people follow me on Instagram and expect a follow back and then unfollow me when I don't. Sorry, it doesn't work that way (at least in my book).

Constantly Maintain. 

I think it's important to constantly reevaluate who you follow. This is not something you do one time and then never look at again. You'll want to clean up and constantly maintain who you follow.  One easy way to do this is by looking at your feed each day and if you start seeing things you don't like, immediately unfollow. Recently, I was randomly following someone on Instagram and they just started posting super weird stuff that would literally shock me whenever I saw it. Everyday, I said to myself, 'I should really stop following this person' but for some reason I never did.  Then, one day I did and it was so freeing.      

Do you have any tips for curating social media feeds? If so, post in the comments below.



Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Five | Vol. 7

What's that you say? Only 2 more working days until Thanksgiving? That's right... it's almost the end of November.  Do you remember when I was just saying, I cannot believe it's November? Well, get ready because it's almost... December. Holy crap is all I have to say (in a good way). Christmas... or bust. 

(1) Watching HGTV's Hawaii Life makes me want to move back to Kauai. 

(2) Even though I already have too many blanket scarves, who wants to get me this one for my birthday Christmas?  

(3) You probably know by now that I am obsessed with Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, NC. Jake took me there as a surprise for our 4th anniversary in August and (you guessed it) we went again for my birthday this week. So good! (and P.S. it was voted one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in the Nation by Bon Appetit Magazine. NBD).  

(4) According to science, it's OK to spend all your money on traveling. Well that's good news. 

(5) Speaking of... In 4 days, we'll be sitting on a beach in Turks + Caicos. Caribbean... here we come!  

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

P.S. Sometimes I say y'all. 

The Fine Print: This post contains advertising and affiliate marketing links. This means that I may get commission on sales of the products that I link on the blog. As a dear reader of mine, I want you to know that if you follow a link and make a purchase from an affiliate site, then I will make a commission from that purchase. Sponsors, brand collaborations and affiliates make this blog possible.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sunday Breakfast with Wewalka Croissants

This is a sponsored post.  I received compensation and product samples in exchange for writing this blog post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. 

Jake and I recently started a new tradition of making breakfast together on Sunday mornings. During the week, we usually have very little time to sit down and eat a proper breakfast together.   I'm usually grabbing yogurt or a Larabar on my way out the door. So, on Sundays we might have bacon and eggs, homemade waffles or cinnamon rolls. If you know me, then you know I am a pastry person. I cannot resist baked goods! One of my newest discoveries is this Wewalka (Ve-Vahl-ka) croissant dough.  I made these croissants last weekend as part of our Sunday Breakfast and they were a real hit. I have also made them without the Nutella filling and I like them both ways! 

Have you heard of Wewalka yet? They are a European dough company that recently expanded to the Charlotte market.  They currently offer four different products in the U.S.: Croissant Rolls Dough, Puff Pastry Dough, Bistro Style Pizza Dough and Family Style Pizza Dough.  We used the croissant rolls in this recipe but my other favorite product is the Family Style Pizza Dough.  Below is the recipe I used for the very simple, quick and easy Nutella croissants.      

Nutella Filled Wewalka Croissants

What you'll need:
  • 1 package Wewalka croissant rolls
  • A few tablespoons of Nutella (or cookie butter)
  • 1 egg for egg wash 

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Step 2: The package notes "large croissants" so I cut each piece in half. Instead of 6 large croissants, I made 12 smaller bite sized croissants.

Step 3: Fill each croissant with a generous sized spoonful of Nutella at the widest end.

Step 4: Roll up each croissant. Evenly space them out on the parchment paper. Then, brush with egg wash (this step is optional).

Step 5: Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 6: Enjoy (for breakfast or dessert, or snack!)

A few of my favorite things about this dough:
  • It comes on parchment paper which you are instructed to use while baking. There is almost zero cleanup.
  • With just a little egg wash, the dough browns perfectly and looks great.
  • They do not use bleached flour, animal by-products or high fructose corn syrup which makes Jake (and me) very happy. 
  • The finished product tastes amazing. Buttery, flaky, delicious. 

You can find Wewalka dough at Harris Teeter's in the Charlotte area. Have you tried it yet?

Happy Baking!


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