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.
Quick & crusty baguettes in 30 minutes flat. Say that five times fast. How many of you thought you’d ever be able to say that at all, let alone believe it? This recipe is like the best (not anymore!) kept secret on the planet. It’s so easy, it’s been called fool proof. It’s perfect for beginner bakers and as an easy introduction to from-scratch bread making. Plus, it only uses five (yes, 5) everyday ingredients you probably already have in stock.
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.
As if a classic case of the Mondays wasn’t hard enough to to beat already, it’s also rainy. And it’s supposed to be rainy for most of the week. Talk about a lack-luster start to the week. But I’m not letting that stop me from bringing you this snack recipe.
I know, I know, such dedication. I mean it, I’m putting off my nap for it 😉 I kid, kinda.
The fun doesn’t stop when we’ve finished painting, carving, decorating, whatever-ing our pumpkins, and have packed everything away. Hell, who am I kidding, yes it does. But everybody loves Mom’s homemade pumpkin seeds so they have to just suck it up and help me through the painfully slow process of rinsing and completely separating the seeds from every last bit of pumpkin goop.
Despite the dragging feet, and whining the whole way, in the end they’re always happy to be able to enjoy the finished product.
These little fried ‘dumplings’ are an American ‘Chinese’ take out favorite. They’re stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and flaky crab meat. Real or imitation meat both work just fine, depending on your inclination and your budget.
While we try to keep things ‘PG’ rated at best around these parts, occasionally (just occasionally, promise!) things may change. Like now.
Once upon a time, a quesadilla and pizza got together. They had a very lovely, love child. The Pizza-dilla.
And tummies and tastebuds rejoiced throughout the land and we all lived happily ever after!