Today's post and giveaway are sponsored by California Figs! I used their dried figs to make these lovely little Fig and Cranberry Brie Tartlets - these are a perfect, portion-controlled appetizer that will look stunning as part of a holiday party spread!
There's a lot to be excited about today friends; because today marks the first of a few HOLIDAY GIVEAWAYS I'll be hosting over the next few weeks! AND we get to talk about FIGS. Such classy little fruits. To me, figs are a "high fashion fruit." They are so good-looking when they are fresh that I'd just want to look at them instead of eat them. And take pictures of them. If the phrase "you are what you eat" is true, then I want to eat more figs.
Figs are such a great all-purpose, "workhorse" ingredient to have around the holidays because they lend themselves to so many uses. Fresh figs can add so much wow-factor to winter salads, cheese platters, and homemade pizzas. They have a deeply sweet and almost caramel-like flavor, which pairs amazingly well with savory ingredients like prosciutto, nutty cheeses, chicken or a pork loin roast. If you're looking for an all-natural sweetener for baked goods, compotes, or sauces, look no further! Dried or fresh figs are a healthful option for adding sweetness because they'll lend a boost of fiber, potassium, calcium, and stress-fighting antioxidants to whatever you put them in - talk about nutritional bang for your buck!
I don't know about you, but my goal every holiday season is try and stay as healthy and active as possible but still enjoy the festive foods I look forward to all year long. I've found that I'm more likely to be successful with this if I have some exercise activities that are short but effective since the season can tend to be so hectic. It also helps if the exercise I'm doing is fun, because then I can look forward to it and know that I'll enjoy the process and love how I feel afterwards.
That's why I was so excited to receive a Fig and Fitness gift basket from California Figs as part of their contest partnership with celebrity fitness trainer, Valorie Waters! I've loved doing some recipe experimentation with the dried figs that came in the package and think the Valslides workout DVD is awesome! Ryan and I have both had fun incorporating the Valslides equipment into our exercise routines - it's a great way to add some resistance to strength training movements that utilize your own body weight while helping you work on balance at the same time.
The really great part about my partnership with California Figs is that they graciously provided a second gift basket plus a $50 gift card for me to give away to a lucky Sweet Cayenne reader! How great is that?!? All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment below telling me how you plan to stay healthy and active during the holidays. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday!
This awesome gift package includes:
- $50 Visa Gift Card
- Valslide® Essentials Kit (includes Val exercises, band, slides and DVD)
- Figs and Fitness brochure featuring fig recipes and fitness tips from Valerie Waters
- Go FIGure brochure featuring nutritious and tasty recipes
- California Figs canvas bag
- California Figs insulated shopping bag
- California Figs t-shirt
- Assortment of Dried California Figs
- Set of California Fig note cards
What are you waiting for??? Enter to win by leaving a comment below on how you plan to stay healthy and active during the holidays. You can also enter the California Fig and Fitness Contest here.
Fig and Cranberry Brie Tartlets
- 1 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, washed and drained
- ½ cup dried black Mission figs roughly chopped
- ½ cup dried golden figs roughly chopped
- The juice and zest from one medium navel orange
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup Grade B
- One 7 ounce wedge of brie
- 3 packages mini fillo shells each package contains 15 shells
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, figs, orange juice and zest, water, and maple syrup. Heat over medium-high until the mixture starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the cranberries have burst and the mixture is thick and syrupy. This should take 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Slice the brie wedge into 45 small cubes (about ½'' squares). You may trim the rind off beforehand if desired; although it is edible!
- Place the 45 fillo shells on a baking sheet (you do not need to thaw them). Add a square of brie to each shell. Place one teaspoon of the cranberry fig mixture on top of each shell. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the shell is crispy. Serve hot!
- Leftover tartlets can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated at 350 for 5 minutes.
- Leftover cranberry fig compote can be frozen or stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve over pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or on a cheese plate.