The holiday season is upon us. Can you feel it? No. I don’t mean with the cooler weather, for those of us in this part of the hemi. There’s a buzz, excitement; just a fervor! Yup. I’m rolling out the big words! I said it. FERVOR! Eagerness for the spending of time with family and friends eating some good food.
For our family, it was always about the family and the food together. Isn’t that true in any family? Family was a loose term for us kids growing up. You didn’t have to be a blood relative to be called family. If you knew one of us, you were family around the holidays. And there was plenty of family around the table for the holidays!
We invited the “widows and orphans” every year. By “widows and orphans” I mean those that didn’t have family in this area for the holidays. If they couldn’t travel home or if their family was away for the holidays we invited them over for dinner. We made sure that none of our “family” was ever alone for the holidays. So, there was always lots of family sitting at the table, in bar stools by the table, at the card table in the living room; it was always a crowd of family around the table.
And that table was packed with delicious food enough to feed the 82nd Airborne, as Mom used to say. I just have to say that since my family is now pretty small, it’s not easy NOT cooking for the 82nd Airborne around the holidays. I always want to cook bowls and bowls of delicious comfort foods that we had growing up, but there’s usually just the two of us around the table these days. Our family is scattered far and wide for the most part and those that are local usually plan a trip out of town. Since the hubs has to work no matter what (security is 24/7/365) it’s just us and the dog for the holidays these days. While I often miss the conversation and fun of the dinners growing up, I wouldn’t change our little family holidays for anything in the world.
I’m thankful to have a wonderful husband and a supportive family around our table. I’m thankful that I have an amazing job that keeps a roof over our heads and food on that table. I’ve struggled and lived paycheck to paycheck. I’ve played the roulette of which bill to pay this month. But I am truly thankful that I have not had to choose between keeping the lights on and buying groceries for the month.
I’m thankful that I now have the ability to make monetary or food donations to organizations that support those down on their luck and living meal to meal. My heart wishes I could cook enough food to feed all those in need this holiday season, buy my head brings me back to reality; our house isn’t big enough for all those people. Instead of cooking, I just purchase enough food to cook for the whole neighborhood. No. I don’t stash it in the pantry unless you call the local area food bank a pantry. Then yes, yes I do.
Around the holidays, there’s plenty of food banks in need of holiday tastiness and trimmings. For us, it’s no big deal to add a second can of cranberries, two or three more cans of yams, or even an extra box of stuffing or four. Food banks are in need of these items to serve up their holiday dinners to children, seniors, and families at risk of hunger. So, I “cook” by donating to the local area food bank and encourage others to donate, as well.
I encourage you to make these delicious little nibbles for your family and your holiday table, too. Just look at how gorgeous and easy these Blue Cheese, Fig, and Caramelized Onion Palmiers are. Simply take some caramelized onions, blue cheese, fig preserves, and puff pastry and make these quick yet elegant appetizers for your guests this holiday season. Not only are they delicious, but they easily pair well with a white like the Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio or a red like their Pinot Noir. In fact, this recipe could easily lend itself to many of their delicious wines, but I just love the flavor of the pinots for holiday meals.
Gallo Family Vineyards reminds us all to give thanks this holiday season and to give back to the community. They have wonderful programs to help seniors facing the threat of isolation and hunger. Gallo realizes the importance of making sure that everyone has a meal on the table and family around it. They’ve paired with Meals on Wheels with to donate money for every cork and screw top that’s photographed, mailed, or texted.
#EveryCorkCounts – Our family is committed to helping Meals on Wheels America to improve the health and quality of life for the seniors they serve. For the sixth year in a row, Gallo Family Vineyards invites Americans to help end senior hunger and isolation with our annual Every Cork Counts™ program. We’re donating $1 for every cork submitted through our website or snail mail. All Gallo Family fans have to do is snap a picture, or send their corks!
Want to know where to purchase this delicious wine? Then visit their store locator. Once you’ve enjoyed one of their amazing wines you, too, can help give back by giving back the cork or screw top. Make sure to read all about how they give back on their blog. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to keep up with all of their fantastic wines, pairings, and promotions.
Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.
With just four simple ingredients, you can have a fancy appetizer for your guests. Blue Cheese, Fig, and Caramelized Onion Palmiers will impress evenly the in-laws this holiday season!
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 cup fig preserves
- 4 ounces blue cheese
- 1 cup caramelized onions
- Preheat oven to 400.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry to 1/4 inch thick.
- Spread the preserves over the puff pastry leaving 1/4 inch border around the dough. Place the onions over the preserves and sprinkle with the cheese.
- Carefully roll up one side to the center of the dough then do the same with the other long side of dough making sure they meet in the center. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Slice the palmiers into 1/2 inch slices and place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or covered with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray at least one inch apart.
- Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from heat and cool slightly before serving.
Appetizers and Bread:
- Antipasto by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Blue Cheese, Fig, and Caramelized Onion Palmiers by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Crusty Artisan Style Bread by Life Tastes Good
- Grandma’s Oyster Stew by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Turkey Croquets with Mushroom Sauce by Basic N Delicious
Salads and Sides:
- Autumn Crunch Salad by Magnolia Days
- Harvest Chopped Salad by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad by Family Foodie
- Kicked Up Oven Roasted Red Potatoes by Recipe for Perfection
- Roasted Squash and Wild Rice Salad by Ruffles and Truffles
- Rustic Herbed Stuffing with Greens by Shockingly Delicious
- Fig Basted Roast Butternut Squash Stuffed with Quinoa, Apple and Fig Stuffing by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Paella by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Balsamic Beef by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Desserts and Sweets:
- Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies by Food Done Light
- Cinnamon Spice Coffee Cake by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Cranberry Orange Coffeecake With Brown Sugar Crumb by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Dark Chocolate Caramel Bark by Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Pumpkin Angel Pie by Desserts Required
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake by Alida’s Kitchen
Plus 10 Ways to Give Thanks by Sunday Supper Movement
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.