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Mykonos or any other Greek island for that matter 🙂

Last week, I had the most relaxing time in Mykonos with my aunt, mom and sister. It felt so refreshing to be on a trip where all we could do was laze by the sea and walk around a town full of happy people on holiday.

We basically perfected our tan, swam in the freezing, clear water of the Aegean sea and walked around the cutest and most preserved island town I’ve ever seen.

The literal meaning of ‘sobremesa’ is “over the table”. This untranslatable Spanish word designates the time spent in conversation right after a meal. It can be with friends, family or even business partners.

In Mediterranean cultures, sobremesa is something that is practiced with absolute spontaneity. That time spent around the table chatting about life is one of my favorite things in life. Picture everyone full and happy, discussing interesting topics and deep revelations.

For me, December is sobremesa. Friends are back in town, families reunite, and new friendships are made. It all happens around some table, sometime in December. The Holidays and twinkling lights open up our hearts and minds, bringing out the good in us.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes like to imagine a dinner between friends before it happens. I imagine the conversation and its direction. I imagine talking about my friends’ plans for the next year, or about life’s big changes. I imagine discussing my sister’s job or fitness resolutions, my husband’s entrepreneurship journey or even my own career and travel goals.

2015 has passed by at the speed of light. We’re at a political and technological turning point. Technology is growing faster than us and we’re all growing up so fast. So let’s live this month like it matters more than anything. Let’s make the most of it and be ready for the new year to come.

Until Christmas, every post I write will include a topic for your Sobremesas. Conversation is something we should hold on to and avoid technology taking it away.

So, what will you be talking about this Christmas?

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It’s of general opinion during this time of year that food we love and usually eat moderately shall be eaten in excess and irrationally. A few days ago, a group messaging conversation was created amongst our group of friends to discuss the New Year’s Eve menu. Nothing healthy is really included so this made us think about ideas for healthier party foods. Since kale is now available (all year round) in Lebanon and is considered one of the top Superfoods to make you live longer (click here for all 7), Kale Crisps seem like a tasty option.

The Kale Crisps recipe is really easy. All you need is:

kale crisps | breadonbutter

How to make it:

  1. Cut the kale into small chunks (the size of crisps)
  2. In a bowl, mix the almond butter and peanut oil
  3. Dip each kale crisp in the bowl, then place them on a baking sheet

kale crisps | breadonbutter

kale crisps | breadonbutter

  1. Place in the oven for 7 minutes or until dry

And serve!

kale crisps | breadonbutter

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables you can find as it holds a lot of benefits. To name a few, it’s full of fibers, antioxidants and calcium, protecting you from cancer, weight problems and osteoporosis.

Are you a fan of kale? If so, how do you eat it?

 

Party after party, open house after open house, Christmas time turns you into one stuffed ball of food. It’s almost impossible not to accept the treats and dishes being offered. You eat and eat. You taste one’s turkey and one’s chestnuts, you have hot chocolate by the Christmas tree, you go out for fondue, and you have yet another square of parmesan cheese. Next thing you know, those beautiful clothes you had planned on wearing don’t fit and you’re asked what happened to you. So here’s how you can at least avoid gaining weight and stay healthy during this Holiday season. These are 9 healthy holiday tips I learned over the years as I’m prone to weakness when it comes to good food.

BreadOnbutter 9 healthy holiday tips:

1) Friends and Family – Yes your friends and family are all here, they’re visiting and what you mostly do is eat. But why not catch up over a fun hiking or snowshoeing trip? Or even go somewhere where there’s snow, build a snowman and then snow fight?

2) Transport – Leave your car at home. Run your errands in the same specific region and walk from place to place.

3) Dessert – When I know I have say, 4 important annual Christmas parties to attend, I choose the one who makes the best dessert and eat only dessert there. My favorite Mont Blanc is my mom’s so I reserve myself for that specific one and no other!

4) Appetizers – Right before the party meal, swap the crackers on the table for raw vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes as dippers with the dips. Save the carbs for the main meal! And choose baked nuts over checkers mix.

5) Drinks – When it comes to drinks: choose lemon sparkle water instead of sodas. For alcohol, choose vodka, gin, wine etc. instead of cocktails and punch .

6) Activity levels – Keep yourself really busy. If you know you’re going to a Christmas dinner, don’t spend your afternoon munching things around the kitchen. Go out for a walk, work out or meet a friend for coffee or tea (no cakes or desserts!) or volunteer to help the host wherever and whenever you can.

7) Socializing – When you’re socializing at a party, don’t do it next to any appetizer table. It will only make you unconsciously eat more.

8 ) Meals – Never go to the party hungry! We all know you’ll splurge on crisps and pistachios as soon as you get there, skipping all the good stuff and packing more calories than you should.

9) Schedule – Modify your eating times according to the estimated dinnertime. If you know you’ll be having dinner at around 9:30 pm, have a late lunch full of proteins and vegetables and two late and healthy snacks before the party.

Any tip to add? I’d love to know your tricks! 🙂

P.S. You can also check out these 7 healthy habits

 I wish you awesome Holidays!

During the Holidays, those of us who love to cook are always in need of menu inspiration for the parties we throw for friends and family. With time, I have found that simple and quick party food is the most successful to make when all you want to do is join the crowd and enjoy your time. I learned this the hard way when I saw that when we host gatherings at home, there’s always one of us stuck in the kitchen while the other one’s busy entertaining our guests. So today, to spare you fighting over who will be staying in the kitchen to supervise the oven, I bring you 6 recipe ideas for quick, easy and delicious party food.

Before we get to the good stuff, you should know that the most important thing to do is to properly manage your time and organize yourself in the kitchen for you to be ready before the party. I suggest you:

  1. Preheat the oven a good 15 minutes before you start
  2. Prep all of the ingredients
  3. Choose the dishes you will be serving in (don’t forget to be creative!)
  4. Then throw everything together, plate the food nicely and enjoy the evening with your guests

Following these simple steps will help you get everything ready and not have to go back and forth between the kitchen and living room.

Here are the 6 party food recipes to inspire your next gathering.

Party food recipe I : Manchego and Chorizo dipped in Sherry

Preparation: 4 minutes – Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Party Foods | Breadonbutter

For 4 persons

Ingredients

How to make it

  1. Cut the manchego and chorizo into cubes
  2. Pair manchego and chorizo on toothpicks (with the chorizo on the bottom)
  3. In a pan, heat the sherry and cook all of the bites in it for 5 minutes

Party food recipe II: Mushrooms Provencal

Preparation: 2 minutes – Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Party Foods | Breadonbutter

For 4 persons

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1.5 cups fresh coriander leaves
  • 750 g mushrooms

How to make it:

  1. In a pan, heat the olive oil and margarine
  2. Add the garlic and heat until all combined
  3. Add the coriander and the mushrooms and heat on low fire until the mushrooms are tender
  4. Cook on high fire for 1 minute then serve

Party food recipe III: Parma Ham and Mozzarrella Crostinis

Preparation: 6 minutes – Plating: 3 minute

Party Foods | Breadonbutter

For 4 persons

Ingredients

  • 100 g fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tsp pesto sauce (you can either buy it ready-made or go to this link to make your own)
  • 200 g parma ham
  • Crostini bread

How to make it:

  1. Spread 1 tsp of pesto on each crostini
  2. Top them with sliced mozzarella then parma ham and serve

Party food recipe IV: Bruschettas

Preparation: Preparation: 5 minutes – Plating: 2 minutes

Part Foods | Breadonbutter

For 4 persons

Ingredients

  • Half a box of Cherry tomatoes cut in cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • Fresh basil leaves, cut in small pieces
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Country bread cut in slices

How to make it

  1. Mix the tomatoes with the olive oil, basil leaves, garlic, salt and vinegar
  2. Spoon the mix on each piece of bread and serve

Party food recipe V: Baked Camembert Cheese

Preparation: 2 minutes – Cooking Time: 6 minutes

Party Foods | Breadonbutter

For 4 persons

Ingredients

  • 1 camembert cheese (whole)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary leaves
  • Thyme
  • Mixed herbs (fresh rosemary leaves, dried oregano, dried basil)
  • Pepper

How to make it:

  1. Open up the top of the camembert
  2. Sprinkle with oil, herbs and pepper
  3. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes
  4. Serve with red grapes and bread

Party food recipe VI:Parmesan Biscuits

Preparation: 2 minutes – Cooking Time: 2 minutes

Party Foods | Breadonbutter

Ingredients

  • Grated parmesan
  • Dried basil

How to make it:

  1. On an oven platter covered with a baking sheet, form round-shaped biscuits made of grated parmesan
  2. Sprinkle with some dried basil
  3. Allow to cool for 1 minute and remove the biscuits off the baking sheets

And voila! 🙂

I’d love to know your party foods ideas! What do you cook for your guests?

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