Simple Appetizer Recipe: Cranberry Cheddar Bagel Bites

Simple Appetizer Recipe: Cranberry Cheddar Bagel Bites

This appetizer recipe has been sponsored by Cabot but all opinions expressed here are my own. I am inundated with holiday commitments this year but I'm trying hard to stay on top of them.  There are gifts to buy, cards to send, errands to run and parties to attend.  I don't have a lot of free time during the holidays to be making complicated recipes.  On days I am making cookies and candy, I may very well order a pizza to save myself the hassle of cooking.  However, when we have guests over I really feel the need to cook from scratch for them. I hate buying frozen and store bought appetizers and snacks to serve to my guests!  I try to find a happy medium by making homemade snacks and appetizer recipes that don't require a lot of time.  If you keep a few key ingredients in your fridge … [Read more...]

White Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cocktail Recipe

White Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cocktail Recipe

There are certain things I really love about this time of year.  The crispness of the air, the smell of a fresh pine tree, baking Christmas cookies and socializing with friends are all wonderful things to enjoy in December.  But, sitting down in the evening in front of a roaring fire with a delicious Christmas cocktail is probably the best ending to a chaotic day I could possibly ask for this month!  December is busy and the to do list is long...some nights the best way to unwind from the stress is a drink in front of the fire! I really enjoy seasonal cocktail recipes...a light and fruity daiquiri in the summer is perfect for a hot summer day but come winter I want a cocktail that is going to warm me up, not cool me off!  This Christmas cocktail combines two of my favorite things into … [Read more...]

Give Thanks with Kenwood Vineyards and Homemade Pinot Noir Truffles #ShareYourTable

Give Thanks with Kenwood Vineyards and Homemade Pinot Noir Truffles #ShareYourTable

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Kenwood Vineyards. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation It seems like every time I sit down to watch TV or read something online this week I am inundated with ads for Black Friday shopping.  Or, even worse in my mind...Black THURSDAY!  The retail world is taking a day that is supposed to be made for being thankful and turning it into a day to earn money off things we probably don't really need anyhow.  I want to encourage you to slow down for just a few minutes and give thanks next week.  Be thankful for the family that drives you insane but that you love anyhow.  Be thankful for the food on your table, even if the kids complain about having to eat that weird Jello … [Read more...]

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Syrup

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Have you ever brought your kids grocery shopping with you and they randomly pick up stuff and try to sneak it in the cart?  Think only little kids do that?  No..my teens and my HUSBAND are the worst offenders!  There are certain things that they love that I just don't like buying.  Whether it is due to the price or the questionable ingredients, sometimes mom just says NO!  That jug of chocolate syrup almost always tries to leave the store with us but have you actually LOOKED at the ingredients?  I'm not calling out any brands by name here but this one is probably the most popular one on the shelf and look at the crap they put in that container: What is all that?  You know what goes in homemade chocolate syrup?  Chocolate, sugar and water.  If you want to get really fancy you can add … [Read more...]

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole Recipe makes a perfect Thanksgiving Sidedish!

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole Recipe makes a perfect Thanksgiving Sidedish!

There is nothing I love more than potatoes....unless you happen to put bacon and CHEESE on top and then they are even more delicious!  Whether you are talking French fries, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes, I definitely think that any type of spud tastes better if it is cheesy and bacon flavored!  This casserole recipe takes all of my favorite things and puts them into one dish which would make a perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This casserole recipe is definitely not particularly healthy.  Sure, you could add low fat cheese, skim milk, and some version of a butter substitute but honestly, I would rather have a small portion of the GOOD stuff than put fake food in there.  Go for a long walk after dinner and just sit back and enjoy this casserole recipe … [Read more...]

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

One of the things I love most about fall is the reappearance of cranberries in the grocery store.  When I find those precious bags of fresh cranberries I buy them every week and throw them in the freezer for year round cooking.  Of course, I usually run out of them by spring and have to wait impatiently for them to show back up again!  If you are a cranberry fan yourself, I highly recommend you start stocking up!  Just throw a spare bag or two in the freezer for delicious quick breads and baked goods even in the middle of summer! I wanted to do something creative with my latest cranberry haul so rather than making yet another quick bread or muffin I started looking for something a little more unique.  I came across a cranberry bundt cake recipe that sounded intriguing but I knew … [Read more...]

This Radish Tea Sandwich Recipe Makes a Simple Appetizer!

This Radish Tea Sandwich Recipe Makes a Simple Appetizer!

Every year, I try to grow radishes in my garden with little success.  I honestly have no idea what I am doing wrong.  I get a few smallish sized radishes but not enough to really make my gardening efforts worth while.  In order to feed my love of radishes I have to rely on farmers markets and grocery stores.  Thankfully, there are farmers much more talented than I who know how to grow radishes! I love radishes...they come in so many pretty colors and are much more versatile than you would think.  Sure, we use most of them in our salads but a simple radish tea sandwich makes a quick and tasty appetizer as well. In order to make a radish tea sandwich all you need is some sort of bite size bread, a bold and flavorful cream cheese spread and some fresh herbs.  I chose to use a loaf … [Read more...]

Healthy Halloween Dessert: Candy Corn Fruit Parfait

Healthy Halloween Dessert: Candy Corn Fruit Parfait

Can I just let you all in on a little secret?  I actually LIKE candy corn.  I know...it is gross and artificially flavored and colored and leaves that weird taste in your mouth but for some reason I actually like the stuff.  Now, don't get me wrong....I don't want to sit down and eat a bowl of it or anything.  But a few pieces here or there right around Halloween is a huge treat.  I decided to combine my love of candy corn with my need to eat healthier and this candy corn fruit parfait is the result!  A healthy Halloween dessert that makes me feel good about my diet choices while still allowing me just a tad bit of a treat at the same time.  If you don't like candy corn at all you can omit it completely and your dessert will still be just as delicious! I chose to use fresh pineapple for … [Read more...]

Loaded Baked Potato Skewers #TopTater

Loaded Baked Potato Skewers #TopTater

This baked potato recipe has been sponsored by Clever Girls but all opinions expressed are my own. When I was in college and moved off campus my junior year, I decided to skip the dining hall pass and start cooking for myself in our apartment kitchen.  How hard could it be to cook food that tasted better than the institutionalized stuff they served us in the cafeteria, right?  Well, turns out that while I was ABLE to cook delicious food in my own kitchen, I didn't really have the time or the money to get very fancy with my cooking.  I soon discovered, however, that a baked potato was cheap to buy,  took only a few minutes to make in the microwave, and when I loaded fresh broccoli and cheese on top I had the makings of a fairly balanced meal.  I ate a LOT of bake potatoes in college!  … [Read more...]

Molasses Pumpkin Bread with Candied Ginger

Molasses Pumpkin Bread with Candied Ginger

Fall is my all time favorite season for baking.  I love the foods and aromas that come with the cooler weather.  One of my all time favorite flavors of fall is molasses.  I grew up in New England and my mom made homemade baked beans with real molasses in them several times a year.  I was always allowed to lick the spoon afterwards and even as an adult I cannot open that container of molasses without eating a spoon full straight out of the jar.  Paired with the wonderful flavors of pumpkin and candied ginger, this pumpkin bread is an absolutely delicious treat! I made my life a bit simpler and used a can of organic pumpkin.  Honestly, I have made pumpkin puree from scratch and found it to be a WHOLE lot of work!  I also chose to use candied ginger for part of this recipe in place of … [Read more...]