Valentine’s Day is almost upon us again. And while I am not one to go over-the-top budget-wise for the day, I really do enjoy doing little things for my guys and all the sons’ for the occasion. By far one of their favorite treats to come home to on that day are my red velvet cheesecake brownies.
Got a favorite NFL team? Hopefully, they’re headed for a championship game, but if you’re already out of the running like us, then you can at least sit back, and relax while you watch the rest of the championship games play out. And with all the good grub that that day promises, everybody’s got at least a little something to get excited about. Shoot, even before I knew what was going on on the field, and married into my team, I got excited about a game because game days meant great food. Always, but especially for the big game. And every year, win or lose, we’re having a party with lots of eats.
And because it should be about the game, or the ability to sit down and enjoy it, we’ve teamed up with several other blogs to bring you this list that features 50 recipes perfect for game day that are also all pretty easy to get together. Pick one. Pick a few. Pick em all. You can’t go wrong with anything on this list!
The chocolate chip cookie is truly an ‘All-American’ classic. It’s also pretty traditional anytime of year. I don’t know what it is, or why, but around the holidays my brain demands I change things up. And to said brain there are a few things that just *say* Christmas, one of them being a switch to white chocolate chips in my cookies.
I can’t believe Christmas is only a week away. It never ceases to amaze me how fast a year goes by the older I get. And while I may have perfected my Masters in Procrastination over the years, gift buying is always an exception. I’m usually done with everything, except stocking stuffers, before the school year starts. And while I may *have* all the gifts hidden in sneaky little spots, that I can only hope I remember all of, it’s still the week before Christmas and I haven’t wrapped a single thing. Ya know what? It’s all going to work itself out, and every darn thing will get wrapped and placed perfectly under the tree, even if it’s not until 3am Christmas morning.
The holidays can be such a chaotic time with all the activities, shoot sometimes I get sensory overload from all the bright lights alone. And planning, hosting, and delivering on family parties and potluck a is often no exception, so when I came across a recipe that simply doused a block of plain old cream cheese in caramel sauce, I knew it was perfect. (And not just because I can never get enough cream cheese; you know my feelings about cheesecake and dips.). When in doubt keep it simple. This is going to be my new go-to party spread.
Everywhere we go everything is decorated. And while there may be a whole spectrum of ‘holiday’ colors, red and green are by far the stars of this show. One thing I don’t see a lot of? Festive dishes.
Hold on, let me stop you right there. I’m not talking about the traditional holiday favorites. Or even all the cute ones made to look like Holiday favorites, like our Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread or our Christmas Tree Pancakes. Those are a given. I’m talking about ‘decorated’ festive dishes made specifically with Christmas colors in mind. My Mom used to say that at least half of her enjoyment in a dish wasn’t just taste or even presentation, but about the colors and whether or not they spoke to her. She loves a vibrant presentation, and I can honestly say that I’ve come to appreciate one as well.
Monkey Bread is one of the sons’ favorite things to eat, and it’s little wonder why. It’s sticky, it’s sweet, and it’s basically dessert that they have permission to eat for breakfast and they get to wash it all down with a tall glass of cold milk.
Think you don’t have time to make such a yummy dish from scratch? We’ve made this super simple to make, so simple you’d have to try hard to actually mess it up.
Cranberry and orange is such a dynamic flavor duo, and it seems to pop up a lot during Fall. We also think it’s perfect for The Winter Holidays. And Rice Krispie treats have and will always one of the kids’ favorite things to make and to eat. So combining the two was a win for everyone. They still got to make , play in, and eat sugary, sticky crunchy melted marshmallow goodness, and we got to experiment with adding in some
gourmet (that’s a stretch, isn’t it?) grownup mix-ins.
Did you hear somebody yell, ‘Fire’ ?
No worries. With the help of a little duct tape, an old t shirt, and a couple of iron on’s … an adorable little helper is on the way.
Do your kids’ have Career Day at school? The sons’ elementary school hosts one every year, and you can literally be anything you want when you grow up. Well, besides a Ghost ‘Butter’, much to our honey nugget’s initial disappointment. The school does require they be legitimate ‘carrier’ choices, and since I haven’t heard that the cast of Ghost Adventures is looking to hand over the reigns anytime soon (or in the future), we went with the youngest son’s second choice.
If he can’t be a hunter of wayward souls, he’s perfectly content spending his adult hood ‘saving people’. He couldn’t have pickled a nobler profession.
Whether it’s for Career Day, Halloween, or just creative play where we encourage them to ditch the batteries for a few and stretch their imaginations, this DIY costume is too easy not to make. The whole get up cost me less than $10 (it could be significantly less depending on what supplies you have on hand, too).
yellow duct tape
smaller silver duct tape
American Flag iron on patch
iron-on letters that spell FIRE DEPT
over-sized, black long-sleeved t-shirt
black or yellow galoshes, optional
1. We used a hand me down black t that had a graphic design on it and just turned it inside out. Take the standard size yellow duct tape and wrap it in a complete circle about 1/2 inch above the bottom of the t shirt. Do another under the armpits at ‘chest’ level. Then do two more yellow circles on the sleeves, one towards the bottom and one up towards the shoulder. Go over each yellow circle with a strip of the smaller silver tape creating another band right down the middle.
2. Have a heated iron ready. Follow the directions on the patches. Iron the flag patch above the upper band on the right sleeve of the outfit. Iron the letters for ‘Fire Dept’ above the top/chest band on the back of the outfit.
3. Complete your child’s fireman costume by wearing the shirt with black pants, a fireman hat, and rain galoshes for ‘boots’.
My lunch is grinning at me. (help?)
I’m gonna go ahead and file that under the ‘Things I Never Thought I’d Say’ tab. And in this case it’s a good thing, because it means I’ve succeeded in making adorable, edible little monsters for my little monsters.
These are ready in mere minutes, making them a perfect addition to any little lunch box and easy enough to whip a batch large enough for the food table at just about any Halloween Monster
2 slices of your favorite sandwich bread, we used honey wheat
1 slice sharp cheddar cheese
2-3 slices of lunch meat, ham, turkey, or chicken
2 pimento-stuffed green olives
mayonaiise or mustard (optional)
large round cookie cutter, or biscuit cutter
- Use a large cookie or biscuit cutter, press into the slices of bread, pulling away crust and excess to cut into circles. Use a paring knife to cut jagged little ‘teeth’ into one side of the slice of cheese. Stack the slices of lunchmeat on the bottom piece of bread & put the slice of cheese on top with the jagged edge facing ‘out’ and slightly hanging over the edge. Spread a bit of mayo and/or mustard onto the inside of the other cut piece of bread and then top the sandwich. Break a toothpick in half & insert one half into a pimento stuffed olive & the other into the top of the sandwich. Repeat with the other one forming your monster eyes. Repeat as many times as needed for your desired number of sandwiches.