Here’s a fun and festive breakfast you can serve to your loved ones on July Fourth or any other patriotic holiday – Berry Patriotic Yogurt Parfait. These parfaits are super healthy and so easy to make. They’re similar to fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt but without all the added sugar and with a hefty helping of fresh berries on top. You might be tempted to use store-bought jam to make these parfaits but I urge you not to, as it takes less than two minutes to prep the raspberry chia jam and you will be rewarded with the most delicious, sweet, tart, jam you’ve ever tasted! (The method for making this jam works with frozen blueberries too.) (more…)
If you have no time for decorating Easter eggs this year then try making Easter Peeps in a Nest instead. The whole process (excluding the time needed for them to set) takes no more than 15 or 20 minutes. I had plans to decorate eggs and cookies this year but got so busy with work that I couldn’t fit it in. It left me feeling nostalgic for the times when my girls were little and we devoted an entire afternoon to decorating eggs and cookies. When I saw the idea for these Easter Peeps in a Nest on The Today Show the other morning, I thought they looked simple and quick and that making them would fill the little hole I had in my heart for days gone by. I searched and searched on-line for the recipe but couldn’t find it so I decided to just wing it. I think they came out pretty cute! (more…)
Valentine’s Day is coming up so I thought it would be fun to make gluten free heart-shaped crackers. Before making Valentine Red Lentil, Beet, and Flax Crackers I had never used red lentils but I’d heard about them and thought they might produce a cracker in honor of Valentine’s Day that was some shade of red. Well, it turns out red lentils are not red at all, but more orange in color. I thought I could fix this by adding some beets and was encouraged when the dough mixed up to a beautiful deep, ruby-red color – perfect for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately the crackers lose that beautiful deep red color when baked. I was going to rework the recipe to omit the beets but they give the crackers an earthy quality that would be lacking without them and, more importantly, everyone that tried the crackers said they were delicious as is and that I shouldn’t change a thing.
I love Christmas cookies decorated with royal icing but they’re an absolute pain to make. You have to mix up several batches of icing for all the different colors you want, fit multiple pastry bags with tips, and then carefully fill each bag with icing. All that before you even start decorating! It’s very time consuming and the clean up is no fun either. Raspberry Filled Christmas Tree Cookies are much less work but no less beautiful. The idea for these cookies comes from the The New York Times. Their recipe calls for a linzer cookie dough but I opted for a classic sugar cookie dough because I thought the paler color of the dough would highlight the red raspberry jam better. Plus, I already had a batch of sugar cookie dough in my freezer just waiting to be transformed into Yuletide goodness! (more…)
The operative word here, or in this case number, is 1. The recipe for 1 Easy Cranberry Sauce calls for 1 bag (12 oz.) of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of orange juice. That’s all it takes to make a delicious homemade cranberry sauce with the perfect balance of sweet and tart to complement your Thanksgiving turkey. If there was a contest for the simplest recipe ever this one would surely be in the running. Just put 3 ingredients into a slow cooker, turn it on high, and cook for 4 hours. (more…)
With Thanksgiving only a couple of weeks away, many of you who are hosting dinners have undoubtedly begun planning the meal. Getting as much done ahead of time will allow you to spend more time with family and friends. Things like pie crusts, cranberry sauce, and even gravy can be made weeks ahead of time and frozen. You can also start thinking about your table decorations. Some people get so overwhelmed with the thought of preparing an entire Thanksgiving dinner that they put very little effort into decorating the table. I think this is such a shame! If you’re going to spend all that time cooking an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t it make sense to put some extra thought into the table decorations? After all, this is the stage for the beautiful meal you’ll spend hours preparing. Floral arrangements are lovely, but oh so boring. Why not create something truly unique and memorable – like Thanksgiving Cookie Votives! These charming cookie votives are a little labor intensive but so worth the effort. They’ll dress up your table and are sure to be a conversation starter. Plus, you can serve them for dessert. Below are some tips for making Thanksgiving Cookie Votives. For complete step by step instructions see the printable recipe at the end of this post. (more…)
These witch’s finger Halloween cookies are SO creepy. A shortbread type dough is molded into the shape of a finger and adorned with a blanched almond, painted red to look like a finger nail. The end result is a cookie that looks amazingly realistic. It’s fun to greet trick-or-treaters at the door with a tray of these cookies. The reactions are priceless! (more…)