Archive | holidays RSS for this section

Cranberry Sugar Cookie Bars – Perfect for Thanksgiving

I love the combination of sweet and tart. This is the PERFECT holiday dessert, especially after a big mealCranberry Sugar Cookie Bars that is heavy. A little sweet but a punch of tart doesn’t weigh you down after a meal, so what a great thing to make for Thanksgiving, or just a night in.

Sugar Cookie Crust:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup salted butter, softened

2 egg yolks

2 cups flour

Dash of salt

Cranberry Apple Filling:

2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries

1 large tart apple, diced

2 tbsp. orange juice

Read More…

Advertisements

A Warm November

I had joked that towards the beginning of October that it was so warm that in typical fashion, the

Halloween 2017

Halloween 2017

weather would turn just in time for all the kids to have to wear their parkas on Halloween. Sure enough, the day before you could have walked around in shorts but the night of trick-or-treating, a cold wind swept through that meant bundling up in layers underneath costumes. We still had a blast with my two nieces that night and the youngest one “got” Halloween for the first time and was excited to knock on doors and say “trick-or-treat!” She had originally planned to be a unicorn but was too shy as we had all exclaimed how adorable she was in that costume. Instead she rocked the “old movie star” look, complete with pearls and a fake fur coat. Not sure where she got that style but she sure looked adorable (but we didn’t mention it for fear she would ditch that costume too!).

We threw an impromptu Halloween party for some friends and family that same weekend and had a good time catching up with people we hadn’t seen since before we moved to Maine. The highlight of the party was my homemade pumpkin puke platter…..all I did was carve a cute little pumpkin and place on a tray with dip and pretzels. Super cute, super easy!

Pumpkin Puke Platter

A few days after Halloween, we were back to the mid-60’s and I used it to my advantage on the first weekend to clean up the garden. The only thing left is the kale and brussel sprouts but I don’t think I’ll Read More…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I have to admit, I didn’t even wear green today and didn’t even notice until I had gotten to work. Ah well, we can’t all be on top of everything!

Irish Proverb Sea Glass

I have, however, been working on some cute Irish proverb sea glass art that I sent to some very Irish friends of mine! While some celebrate this day with food and beer, others hold more traditional Read More…

Baked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry

Who doesn’t love gooey, hot cheese? Especially with flaky breadBaked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry filled with sweet cranberry sauce to dip in it! These baked brie’s always look so fancy but are actually really easy to make. They are perfect to bring to potlucks, parties, for holidays, and of course to have on a night in with family.

With only three ingredients (well okay, four if you count the melted butter), you can put together one of these in a snap but make it look good enough that people will think you’ve been in the kitchen for hours! Love those recipes as it is so much nicer to bring this amazing dish to share even though it takes just about the same time Read More…

Cranberry Pound Cake for Valentine’s Day

This is the sweetest gift to make your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, Cranberry Pound Cakeor for any special occasion! The buttery pound cake with the velvet cream cheese frosting and burst of tart red cranberries make this cake something special. I’ve actually made this cake around Christmas time as it has that festive white and red look that makes you want to pour a second cup of tea and eat it near the Christmas tree with your family. Even though it is a pound cake, it is quite light and a nice way to round out a family meal, dinner party, or even a romantic meal for you and your sweetheart. This cake and the easy frosting both stay well for a day Read More…

Christmas Crack Update

We have always made Christmas toffee or what today seems to be

Ritz the new ingredient!

Ritz the new ingredient!

called “Christmas Crack” to enjoy and give away to friends and family. I’ve been seeing a ton of videos and posts on social media about Christmas crack and the different ways to make it.

One new twist caught my eye and I just had to give it a try. It was awesome! So, I have updated my mom’s version and will most likely Read More…

Homemade Peppermint Patties

First of all, these are SO EASY to make! For some people, dealing

Homemade Peppermint Patties

Homemade Peppermint Patties

with chocolates or making candies seems overwhelming with all the extra steps or having to use a candy thermometer and fancy equipment. This recipe uses simply ingredients, no cooking or heating (other than a microwave) and can be done in under an hour!

I have always loved the combination of chocolate and mint so of course, I have always been a big fan of peppermint patties! I enjoy coming up with creative cookies and goodies to give to friends and family for the holidays and this creation is the perfect addition to our cookie box.

We try not to have the same old shortbread and peanut butter smash cookies in our special Christmas cookie box as the whole point of our cookies boxes is to surprise people with fun and Read More…

A Czech Tradition, St. Nicholas Day

Well, I forgot to put my shoes out last night, but my dad just St. Nicholas Dayreminded me, Happy St. Nicholas Day!
For those that don’t know about it, this day has a very long tradition in the Czech culture (mom’s side of the family). On the night of December 5th families put their shoes out and put some hay or carrots in them for the reindeer (or donkey) that travels with St. Nicholas. During the night, St. Nicholas visits all the homes and if you have been good, leaves a treat in your shoe like candy, some coins, an orange or sometimes a book.  Mom always did this for us as kids and then we took up the tradition.

Read More…

Snow is Here in New England

Well it finally feels like winter here in New England! The snow was

First sticky snow of 2016

Magical Sticky Snow, VT

falling all over the upper East coast yesterday and we all woke up with a blanket of white everywhere. Vermont as well as Maine look like winter wonderlands!

While it doesn’t always make good driving weather, my favorite kind of snow is the wet stuff that sticks to every single branch on trees so you get these magical winter scenes like this one.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugared Pecan Balls Recipe

These are the worst and best cookies to make. The worst becausemelt in your mouth pecan balls
you not only want to eat them while you are making them, but then the smell attracts the whole family and before you know it, they are all gone! The best because they are not too sweet and go so well with a cup of tea, or coffee, or even hot chocolate. They pack well and everyone enjoys getting powdered sugar all over themselves because they are just so darn good you don’t mind!

I also love these cookies as they are so easy to make and because of the simple ingredients and fast baking time, I can make these on a weeknight and save the weekend for the more intricate baking.

These make amazing Christmas cookies as they look perfect in a clear cellophane bag tied with a big red bow as a gift! But why bake Read More…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

ellenparkerwrites

Romantic suspense in the Heartland

Rose Bay Letters

Observations & Reflections from Home & Abroad from the Side-Kick Traveller

food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

A Half Baked Idea

Eat your heart out