Ricotta Toast with Fresh Berries for Mother’s Day Brunch

Hello, Ciera Design readers! My name is Katie Kosaya, I’m a food photographer from New York City, and I’m really excited to be featured here today!

Fresh Berries and Ricotta on Toast

Here’s a fun, springy recipe for Mother’s Day brunch. I’m a big fan of the fancy toast trend, because it’s such a simple idea that can have infinite interpretations. And there’s  something about crunchy toasted bread that never gets old, especially when combined with fresh, colorful toppings.

Fresh Berries and Ricotta on Toast

While savory toast is always good, after a winter of comfort food, I’m very ready to start eating juicy berries and fruit again. You can use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, pineapple, or anything else in season. Top it all with sprinkled seeds, such as chia, sunflower, flax, or nuts like toasted walnuts or sliced almonds. I also sometimes finish off the dish with a drizzle of honey.

Fresh Berries and Ricotta on Toast

I love this raspberry-blueberry combination with a pinch of citrus and a hint of mint. It’s vibrant, flavorful and bursts with vitamins! Try my recipe below, but really, it’s more one particular arrangement of tasty ingredients — feel free to experiment!

Ricotta Toast with Fresh Berries

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of a bread of your choice (I use ciabatta)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup of mixed berries of your choice, washed (I used raspberries and blueberries)
  • 2 kumquats, washed, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint, washed, thinly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp liquid honey

Fresh Berries and Ricotta on Toast

Assembly:

  1. Lightly toast bread in the oven. Let it cool.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta on each slice of bread.
  3. Add berries, kumquat slices and mint leaves on top of ricotta.
  4. Drizzle with honey.
  5. Serve with a cup of hot coffee or tea for a perfect start to your day!

P.S. If you are hosting a brunch, you should probably set up a Bloody Mary bar or a Mimosa bar!

DIY Marshmallow S’more Pops

DIY Smore Pops Recipe

I’m always looking for easy, yummy, and festive party treats when the holidays roll around and s’more pops are just that! While regular s’mores are delicious, they are quite messy, so these are a perfect individual serving alternative!

Recipe

Marshmallows
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Graham cracker crumbs (or make your own)
Lollipop sticks (you can find them at some kitchen or craft stores)
Wax Paper
Styrofoam

insert the lollipop sticks into the marshmallows

Steps

1) First insert the lollipop sticks into the marshmallows. Make sure not to go all the way through or the marshmallow will fall off into the chocolate when dipping.

melting chocolate on the stove

2) Melt your chocolate  – either in a microwave or a double boiler (a makeshift one in my case). Have your graham cracker crumbs in a bowl nearby.

Festive S'more Pops

3) Gently dip each marshmallow into the chocolate and rotate until all sides are covered then dip directly into the graham cracker crumbs while the chocolate is still wet. 

Ciera-Design-Smore-Pop-Recipe-4

4) Place on wax paper, or stick into your styrofoam, to let cool and dry. I placed my piece of styrofoam directly into the decorative box I was using to display them in, and covered it with crinkled paper to be more presentable.

Ciera-Design-Smore-Pop-Recipe-5

These s’more pops were a huge hit at the party I brought them to and I’ll definite be making them for future holiday events! If you’re hosting a holiday party, know that you don’t need to spend your entire paycheck on entertaining everyone. Try to incorporate lots of finger foods. Fun appetizers and easy desserts like this one usually do the trick. If you want to give everyone small parting gifts or stocking stuffers, check out Pinterest for neat DIY ideas for the season. Shutterfly has general photo gifts and an actual holiday section for things like personalized gift tags and Christmas cards. Or visit Etsy to check out holiday cards designed by yours truly!

Halloween Caprese Salad

Halloween Eyeball Caprese Salad


I’m back with more Halloween fun for y’all today! I have a TON of basil growing in my yard right now and I absolutely love caprese salads so I wanted to make a yummy recipe with a spooky twist. I know that olives are not typically included in a caprese salad but I also LOVE black olives and needed the pop of black for my food art creation. They are the perfect option for creating tasty and creative food art for Halloween. This recipe is super easy and a great healthy alternative to all of the candy at Halloween parties.

Ingredients mozzarella tomatoes olives basil

Ingredients

Basil Leaves
Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
California Black Ripe Olives
Grape Tomatoes
Balsamic Reduction

Halloween Table Setup with Caprese Salad

Directions

First, slice your tomatoes and olives. Next, using a spoon, mash your mozzarella pearls (this gives them a little more texture and makes them a little larger). Then place your basil leaves out on a tray and layer the tomatoes, mozzarella and olives on top. The final step is to drizzle the balsamic reduction on top before serving. You can serve them plain with toothpicks or have some chips or crackers on the side. Enjoy!

Eyeball Caprese Salad in Bat Glasses

Don’t forget to download the water bottle labels that I designed as well, they add a special touch to your Halloween table setting.

Halloween Caprese Salad on Platter

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you.

Fall Recipe Roundup

I was browsing through my archives and realized I have a ton of great Fall inspired recipes so I decided to gather up my favorites for you today! I’d love to hear if you make any of them.

Maple & Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
maple brown sugar shortbread cookies

Gratin Dauphinois
Gratin Dauphinois Recipe

Peanut Butter Scotcheroos
peanut butter scotcheroos recipe

Candy Bar Surprise Cookies
halloween candy bar surprise cookies

Caramel Apple Cider
Caramel Apple Cider with Whipped Cream in Mason Jar


Cinnamon Apple Chips
Cinnamon Apple Chips Recipe

BONUS: 16 unique and delicious grilled cheese recipes

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Nestle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BreakfastEssentials http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Last month I talked about being proactive in creating a healthier diet. In addition to what I mentioned then, I’m also drinking lots of smoothies, especially since it’s getting super hot in New Orleans!  I pretty much drink them all throughout the day, sometimes for breakfast, sometimes as a snack and even for dessert!

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Ingredients

I have always been a huge fan of the Carnation Breakfast Essentials powders. They are so yummy and easy for breakfast, just dump a pack in a glass of milk and you are good to go! But have you ever thought about adding a pack to your smoothie, SO good! They come in lots of flavors so they work well for a variety of recipes. I find that it’s pretty hard to make a bad smoothie, most of the time I just wing the proportions! But since I love y’all, I put an actual recipe together for you!

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Mango Smoothie Ingredients

Ingredients

2 heaping cups of frozen strawberries
1/2 heaping cup of frozen mango
1 tablespoon almond butter
3 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 banana broken into pieces
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 packet of Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder (rich milk chocolate)

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Mango Smoothie Blender

Add all of these items into a blender and pulse until there is a smooth consistency. If you find it too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until it blends more easily.

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Paper Straw
Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?  I’d love to know about it!

For other smoothie recipe ideas visit the Carnation Breakfast Essentials website and the Carnation Breakfast Essentials Facebook page.

I got all of these ingredients at Walmart and they even have a coupon right now for $1.00 off any Carnation Breakfast Essentials. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you and all opinions are my own.

Choosing Healthier Options

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Last week I shared how I get motivated to work out including fun fitness programs and sprucing up my gym wardrobe. Today, I’m going to share a few things I’ve been switching up in my daily meals for a healthier diet!

Kitchen Prep

I used to eat cereal for breakfast and a sandwich consisting of bread, turkey, cheese and mustard for lunch. Hello Ciera, where the heck are the fruits and veggies?! That was just no good and I’m determined to live a healthier lifestyle so I’m being proactive and changing what I eat! The cool thing about the meals I suggest below is that you start with the basics but customize them with different fruits and vegetables so that it doesn’t get boring!

 

Breakfast

Now I eat greek yogurt with fruit and granola. I stick to plain greek yogurt and use vanilla almond granola to sweeten it up some. My favorite fruits to add are pears, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

Yogurt Blueberries Granola Coffee Breakfast

Lunch

Now I eat quinoa with veggies. I like to cook a bunch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and then switch up the ingredients each day. My favorite things to add are spinach, carrots, broccoli, red onions, garlic and garbonzo beans. I really just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. I just drizzle a little olive oil on top then I usually top it with avocado, salt and pepper.

Quinoa Carrot Spinach Veggie Bowl

Beverages

Now I swap regular high calorie soda with the TEN sodas product line. I know that water is always your best bet but I just can’t completely give up my occasional soda. The TEN sodas come in four flavors, 7-up, Sunkist, Canada Dry & A&W, and I found them at Walmart. They only have ten calories a serving but with the same full flavor of their regular counterparts! I also tried the 7-up with a splash of cranberry juice and it was really good!

Ten Calorie Soda Option

What do you like to eat for a healthier diet?

You can save $0.50 at Walmart when you buy TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. If you share that digital coupon via email, Facebook or Twitter (there is a click to share button) the coupon will save you $1.50 off that purchase instead of just $0.50! Offer available while supplies last, from 3/27-4/17. Click here for coupon and visit DPSG on Facebook and Twitter.