It's funny- when I was in high school and throughout my twenties, most of my friends were guys. I'd say a good 90%. I found males to be less drama, more logical than emotional and much more fun to hang out with than female friends. I despised the cattiness and sense of competition that seemed to go with female friendships. Guys just seemed more up front. But since hitting my thirties, I've found myself gravitating towards being friends with more and more females. I still have many guy buddies but now some of my closest friends are women and I look forward to our "Girls' Nights." The vibe is different now- it's more relaxed, less drama and there's a strong sense of community. I know I can call any one of my girlfriends if I'm in crisis mode and need someone to talk to, need a lift to the hospital or I just would like a hand with my project-of-the-month. I'm not sure if as women we evolve as we get older to be less judgemental and snippy of each other or I just happened to stumble into some friendships with some amazing ladies. Either way, I feel lucky. My life is definitely more enriched with the female friendships I've cultivated in the last few years.
Last week, my friend Sheri was visiting from Portland (she recently moved there from Sacramento) and another friend of ours Emily decided to host a girls' night get together for her. Of course, good eats are always necessary- so there was pasta salad, various cheeses, pickles and veggies, hummus and homemade lime sorbet. I didn't have time to prepare anything fancy since I was gone all day so I decided to throw together a quickie dessert. I had purchased some Vol au Vents awhile back, so I decided to take those, press some goat cheese into them and top it off with some preserves. I did half with homemade apricot preserves and the other half with homemade ginger-Asian pear preserves. If you're not familiar with Vol au Vents, they're miniature, hollow puff pastry shells that are very light and crispy. The ones I used are made by a company called Erica's Kitchen and are shaped like super cute little flowers. I think they must have came out pretty good since the dish was empty at the end of the night. Next time, I might go the more savory route and make some Wild Mushroom Vol au Vents or maybe stuff them with some brie and brown sugar. What do you think would make a good filling?
Girls' Night Vol au Vents
1 package Vol au Vents (12 mini puff pastry cases)
3 oz. goat cheese
your favorite homemade jam or preserves (I used apricot and ginger Asian pear)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat, and place Vol au Vents on mat, spaced evenly.
3. Press the middle circle of dough down, then place about teaspoon of goat cheese into each Vol au Vent. Gently push the goat cheese down into the opening.
4. Top with a teaspoon of your favorite homemade preserve.
5. Bake the Vol au Vents for approximately 10-15 minutes or until layers are golden.
6. Serve warm or at room temp.