recipes

Loving Lately 🎅🏻

There aren’t enough hours in the day to make all of the Christmas cookies on my list. Also, I don’t think I could possibly fit in the exercise to balance the caloric intake. But I really want to try (the first part). Thank you Aisha Yusaf for perfectly capturing the essence of my cookie desire in the featured image with your Jam Tarts.

How much more holiday does it get than Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies from Mom on Timeout? I think everyone in Michigan has a relative who lives in Florida who sends or brings them a bag of oranges this time of year. (Maybe I’m naive.) And why does a mom timeout sound like a vacation? I could use a vacation, with a box of shortbread cookies.

I’m kind of crazy about biscotti. I could do a whole post on biscotti alone (and probably will). This Gingerbread Biscotti from If You Give A Blonde a Kitchen, sounds like the perfect dose of Christmas medicine… along with a coffee creamed with egg nog. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, I just like to play one on my blog.)

Of course, there are the traditional sugar cookies (I’ll be posting a recipe soon). I have neither the patience nor the talent to make them as intricate as these. But wouldn’t they be awesome to serve? I’d be like “Oh, these little things… I just whipped them together…” I would really like to give someone the credit that is due… unfortunately, they got lost in the world of Pinterest.

Have you guys and gals checked out the blog, Once Upon A Chef? It’s really worth mentioning. My friends and I haven’t been disappointed by anything we’ve made from it. And I’m really looking forward to trying these Gingerbread Men, because I bet they are as delicious as they are adorable. Although, I know of one little boy who’s going to be very upset this year if one doesn’t run out of the oven when we sneak a peek.

My blogging friend, Marisa of Marisa’s Italian Kitchen, is wildly talented. Everything she does looks like it came out of a magazine… including these Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cheese Cookies. Aren’t they gorgeous? She makes biscotti too, just sayin’.

It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without Pecan Balls, such as these beauties from A Healthy Life For Me. You know, they have to be passed in a tissue lined tin… or displayed like a pyramid. And if by chance you happen to take a breath before you bite into one, you will probably choke on powdered sugar. Good times… The best of times!

Merry Christmas Cookies!

Loving Lately ☃️

It’s no secret that I’m off my game lately. It was cold season, then the holidays… I wrote a children’s book. I can’t believe I missed my Thursday edition of Loving Lately! I’d like to say it was because I was doing laundry.

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No, but really… I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been sampling all of the hot chocolate recipes I can find. For example, the Nutella Hot Chocolate pictured above from Café Delights. I whole-heartedly wish I was chewing on one of those marshmallows this very moment. Or the Champurrado (Chocolate Atole)  from Muy Bueno Cookbook in the epitome-of-cocoa-greatness featured image. I don’t believe I’ve ever had hot chocolate thickened with masa harina (corn flour) before… but oooh, the cinnamon, star anise and brown sugar make it sound like it’s just the right thing to do.

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And I really wouldn’t mind having a cup full of this French Hot Chocolate by wellplated.com. I don’t think an explanation is necessary. But, I’ll tell you why… because someone (I assume one of my children) turned the heat off in my house. They just flipped the switch on the thermostat to off! It is literally freezing outside, and I am inside with numb toes and numb fingertips… so numb that it is difficult to type. (Because as I already admitted I am off my game, and it literally took frozen toes for me to check the thermostat.)

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What would I give to be the person in this picture right now holding that warm London Fog Hot Chocolate with Maple Whipped Cream wearing an oversized sweater? (Courtesy of The Kitchen McCabe) …Let’s just say I would give A LOT!

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I can pretty much guarantee that I WILL be making this Crockpot Coconut Hot Chocolate from Rachel Schultz this afternoon. Look at the crushed graham crackers on that rim! I want in.

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Of course, if you’re feeling experimental, you could try the Jalapeño Hot Chocolate by The Pioneer Woman. I like a little heat in my hot cocoa now and then, but I’ve only tried chile peppers. Who am I to limit your heat options? Go for it!

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And if you want to make it cute for the kiddos, you could always add the marshmallow snowman taking a soak in a chocolatey hot tub (which sounds amazing). I’d love to give this genius credit… but to no avail, I will just credit Pinterest (also genius).

Cheers friends!

Loving Lately 🍂

Loving Lately: Fall

Fall loving is in full effect. I love the chill in the air. I’m crazy about the fact that we can control the temperature in our house simply by opening or closing another window. I am over the moon about the scents of fall baking that are overtaking our home. And thank you with-grace-and-guts for capturing a bit of my autumn mood for my featured image.

It’s the sweaters and blankets… (Thank you Country Living.)

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And the bakeware. (Thank you Williams-Sonoma)

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It’s the donuts… (Thank you Half Baked Harvest)

And the landscapes. (Thank you picturecorrect.com.)

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It’s from the earth… (Thank you Whole Foods.)

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And it’s in the air. (Thank you cinderdream.)

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Cheers to Fall! (Thank you Evermine!)

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Loving Lately 🍕

Loving Lately: Pizza (and all of it’s flavorful convenience)

Pizza has to be one of the greatest creations ever made. It’s inexpensive, can easily feed a lot of people, and is generally a crowd pleaser- because it is scrumptious! It’s bread, it’s cheese and it’s whatever else you want baked to perfection. I mean seriously. I think if my husband had to pick one thing to eat for the rest of his life, it would be pizza. And I sincerely believe that he feels pizza from a different place every night of the week is an entirely different daily meal. Oh, and in many places you can have it delivered hot and cheesy right to your front door! In less than 30 minutes! Let’s not forget that little golden nugget. 😉

Pizza is a great way to express your culinary creativity. Colors, flavors, textures… let ’em fly! Take this Nectarine Pizza with Basil, Blue Cheese and Reduced Balsamic from Alexandra’s Kitchen for example. Yeah, that’s right.

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Or maybe a White Pizza with Garlic Sauce and Garden Herbs from How Sweet Eats… How much pizza is acceptable to eat at one sitting? Also by Jessica from How Sweet Eats are these mouth-watering 30-Minute Portobello Pizzas featured by The Pioneer Woman. I’m not going to lie, mushroom for crust just seems like a really good idea. I wonder how soy cheese would work for my vegan friends out there?

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Apparently, the thing is basil. Everything will look beautiful as long as you have fresh basil. But I imagine Chicken Florentine Flatbread by Rachel Schultz tastes pretty good too. Little bursts of roasted cherry tomatoes… Yummmm!

And because this is the way I think, wouldn’t this be pretty for Christmas?

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How about the fall? Are you ready to see everything that embodies autumn wrapped in a pizza package? Drum roll please…. Caramelized Butternut, Crispy Kale + Fontina Pizza with Pomegranate Salsa by Half Baked Harvest. Bravo! …Of course you could always go with the Cranberry Sauce, Bacon, and Gorgonzola Pastry Puff Pizza from Baker by Nature. Decisions, decisions.

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Whether it’s buffalo chicken, taco, Hawaiian, regular pepperoni or pizza in a cone (that’s a real thing, thank you Pillsbury), “Za” is awesome. (That’s a real word too, thank you Scrabble).

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Loving Lately 🍀

Loving Lately: St. Patrick’s Day

One day a year it is perfectly acceptable to eat and drink green food and beverages; and my mother makes enough corned beef and cabbage to feed a small army. I just cherish holidays that have sentimental food attachments.

In honor of the special day, I’ve collected a few fun recipes that represent the notion.

How Sweet Eats’ Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup with Beer Battered Leeks

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The Metal Pan’s Guinness Empinadas

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My very own, Sadie’s Nest’s Shepherd’s Pie

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And a little something to wash it all down… The Pioneer Woman’s Guinness Float

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day! And thanks a mil for joining me, you’re grand!

*Featured Image and Irish blessing courtesy of the internet.

WordPress Cooking Challenge and My Third Liebster Award!

A blogger friend of mine, Healthy in all Hues, recently started a brilliant challenge: to pick 5-7 recipes from various bloggers and make their dish! It’s a great way to showcase our fellow foodies and those who take the time to share their love from the kitchen. (And ensure I get to taste some of the great food I’ve been reading about!) I think it’s such a good idea that I may start making it a monthly feature on my blog! (At least one dish!)

The concept of this challenge is simple: Pick seven dishes (actually limiting it to seven was difficult); Notify them that you are making their dish and challenge them to participate; Share an original link back to their site; Then do a brief write up on their dish including taste, difficulty following instructions, and your experience at large. (Keeping in mind that this is a positive thing, encouraging and appreciating fellow bloggers!)

The dishes I am selecting are (in no particular order, because I am not that organized):

  1. Cottage Cheese Oatmeal Pancake from The Richmond Avenue
  2. Chicken Divan by Lynz Real Cooking
  3. Natascha’s Palace‘s Easy Honey Cake
  4. Quick and Easy Curry from What’s Bec Cooking
  5. Life Bellissima‘s Triple Chocolate Cookies
  6. Chocolate Mousse by Sweetima
  7. Simple Jammy Muffins from Paintbox Mum
  8. Quirky and Wonderful‘s Broccoli Potato Casserole

I had to pick eight because these are all things I’ve wanted to make lately. And I’ve already learned something about myself! (Besides I can’t follow instructions.) For as much as I want to challenge myself (and fully intend to), I gravitate toward meals and food that I think will be not overly difficult,  family friendly, and those which I will most likely have ingredients on hand. (Of course big time producers such as Food Network and Pioneer Woman have been capitalizing on this for a long time. It should come at no surprise that I fit the mold, but I still found it interesting- to myself.) I am giving myself 2 weeks to complete the challenge… I’m so excited to try your food!

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Secondly, I would like to thank Swatti of Light at the End of the Tunnel for my third Liebster nomination! I am so appreciative and grateful for your recognition. Your blog allows me to explore a different culture and customs with still a similar perspective, as a woman who appreciates my mother and my best friend (aka my husband). Thank you!

The “Swatiilicious Questionnaire:”

How reading can enhance?
Growing up I loved that reading could allow you to imagine the way a character or setting should look. I like the way stories allow you to transcend places and time. I have very little time for leisure reading now; most of my reading (aside from the Bible) is instructional… And I prefer pictures! For example, I want to know what my food is supposed to look like.

The importance of writing?
On a basic level I believe writing is important for educational purposes. At this point in my life I use writing as an personal outlet, self expression and all that jazz.

Love has varied definitions. Why?
Without trying to get too deep: I think love has as many meanings as there are people in the world. It is different things to different people based on their own experiences- and still universally relatable; such as a commitment to your spouse, caring for children, helping your neighbor, etc.

How do see yourself as a blogger?
I wish I was really creative and I saw myself more as an artist sharing my unique perspective… But in reality I just very literally share my day to day.

Any blogs you would like to recommend?
I find out about new blogs on a daily basis that I think the world should know about! I just heard about foodbabe.com, a blogger making a difference in the food industry that I think is amazing.