Posts in the ‘Recipes’ Category
I had so much fun making these yesterday! They were actually quite simple. Here's how I did it...
MARSHMALLOW SNOWMAN CUPCAKE TOPPERS
- White cupcakes with white frosting
- Regular marshmallows
- Jumbo marshmallows
- Dark Chocolate Truffles (we used Mint Creams from Trader Joe's)
- Wilton Decorating Gel in black
- Betty Crocker Cookie Icing in white (black optional)
- Shredded coconut
- Pretzel sticks
- Confetti dots
- Fruit roll
- Starburst candy (orange)
To make the snowman face, take one regular sized marshmallow and draw a face on it using the black Wilton Decorating Gel. Try to pick marshmallows that are flat on the top and bottom so your snowman will stand straight.
To make the hat, pull an Oreo apart (use the side without the frosting). Squirt a dollop of Betty Crocker Cookie Icing on the top of one cookie and affix your chocolate candy. If you only have white icing, just use a touch less so it doesn't squish out the side. For the candy I used Dark Chocolate Mint Creams from Trader Joe's, but you can use chocolate truffles, or even Rolos. I like dark chocolate candies to match the color of the Oreos.
To make the carrot nose, take one orange Starburst and cut tiny angled slivers. You can easily get 20 noses from a single orange Starburst.
To attach the nose, cut a small slit in the front of the marshmallow and push the nose into the marshmallow.
To make the body, first trim about 1/4 of the jumbo marshmallow off the bottom. This can help even out the marshmallow if it got a little squished in the bag.
Put a dab of the white Betty Crocker Cookie Icing on the back of three confetti dots then attach them to the front of the body. And finally, to add the arms, stick pretzel sticks into the sides of the jumbo marshmallow.
To make the scarf, cut slices of fruit roll that are at least 6 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
To create the fringe, use a sharp knife and make 3-4 cuts at each ends, each about 1/2 inch long.
Now it's time for assembly.
Start with your white frosted cupcake.
Add the body.
Now add your snow. First I attached shredded coconut. You can optionally sprinkled on some white sanding sugar to give it a little sparkle.
Put a little swirl of the white Betty Crocker Cookie Icing on the bottom of the head, and set it on the body.
Now add the scarf - just wrap it around the base of the head.
And finally, to attach the hat put a swirl of the the Betty Crocker Cookie Icing on the bottom of the cookie, and set it on the head.
One thing you can run into putting this together, is that if your marshmallows aren't flat, the head and hat can slide off before the cookie icing firms up. It's best to pick marshmallows that aren't too lopsided. And when you cut off the bottom of the jumbo marshmallow, use it as an opportunity level it out.
And voila! Aren't they cute?
Almost too cute to eat... but not quite. :)
I thought it would make a great nacho cheese sauce, and what better food to serve at a football party than nachos! They're casual, fun, snack-able, tasty, and just a little messy. Plus, they're simple to make (it's all about the layering).
Here's how I made my yummy nachos...
CHICKEN HABAÑERO NACHOS
For the nachos
- 1 bag tortilla chips
- 1 can black beans (drained)
- 2 small or 1 large chicken breasts (shredded)
- 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/2 cup Cotija cheese (crumbled)
- 1 can Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
- 16oz package of Velveeta cheese
- 1/2 habañero pepper (seeded and finely minced)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic (pressed or finely minced)
Spread tortilla chips out on a cookie sheet.
Make sure the black beans are well drained. You want to minimize the liquid to keep the chips crunchy. Spoon the beans over the chips.
I sprinkled the crumbled Cotija cheese on top.
Next, shred the chicken breasts; I just pull them apart with two forks. I like to season the chicken with a little lime juice, salt, and chili powder. Spread the chicken over the chips.
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350F.
For the cheese sauce, cut the Velveeta in 1 inch cubes, and add to a sauce pan with the Ro*Tel, garlic, and habañero. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheese melts and everything is well mixed.
Be careful working with the habañero, wash your hands and wash off your cutting board with soap after you mince it. I only used half of one habañero, and I would say the sauce came out medium-hot. You can add the whole pepper if you like spicy food.
I took this picture before I added the cheese sauce. I used a spatula to move the chips from the cookie pan to my serving tray. (Don't you like my football dish?)
I poured about half of the cheese sauce over the top. I put the rest in a bowl for dipping.
I garnished with guacamole, salsa, and a little cilantro on top. This is my favorite simple salsa recipe:
- 1 large or two small tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro
- 1/4 large onion - diced
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon diced green chili pepper (I like to use a Poblano)
- pinch of kosher salt
Chop the tomatoes, and dice 1 quarter of a large onion and mix them in a bowl Add the diced chile pepper, cilantro and lime. Stir , salt to taste - about 1/2 teaspoon.
To give the nachos a "football party" feel, I added some of our free football printables to the setup. I like to use tented cards to let my guests know what I'm serving.
I also added cupcake toppers to mini vanilla cupcakes to make them more fun!
Here's my "touchdown" banner.
And right now I can't get enough of the in-season satsumas at the farmer's market. I love putting out bowls of delicious fresh fruit at my parties and added fun and unexpected decorations.
Who are you rooting for this season? I'm looking forward to watching Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Go Cardinal!
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by RO*TEL and Velveeta via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of RO*TEL and Velveeta.
This is the go-to cookie recipe in our house because it is so quick and easy to put together, and it tastes great! It's also a versatile cookie.
You can top it with green and red sprinkles (like we did for our Cookies and Cocoa party), or sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar and you'll have a great snickerdoodle. You could also roll it in some pink sanding sugar and have something pretty that would work great at a tea party. And if you ever just want some cookie dough, this hits the spot.
CHEWY SUGAR COOKIES
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Add the flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl, mix, and set aside.
In another bowl, add the softened (room temperature) butter, eggs. sugar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth -- ab0ut a minute.
In three or four batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until incorporated.
Lainey's favorite part.
Roll them into one inch balls or roll the dough out using a rolling pin and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Top them with sprinkles, sanding sugar, cinnamon and sugar, or anything else you can think of. Place on a Silpat.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I take them out when there just starts to be the slightest hint of browning along the bottom.
And here's what you get... Soft, chewy, and sweet cookies with a touch of salt. I'm warning you, you will not be able to eat just one.
I was asked by M&M Mars to try out Ms. Green's Ultimate M&M's Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe. Brownies, really? Hard to say no. :)
The brownies were very easy to make and tasted delicious! The peanut butter flavor comes from the Peanut Butter M&M's you add to the recipe. I'd never tried Peanut Butter M&M's before (I'm usually a purist with my M&M's) but I must say, they were yummy. I had to stop myself from popping them in my mouth the whole time I was baking.
My brownies turned out moist, more cakey than gooey - I think I'll reduce the cooking time 5 minutes next time. One thing that happened to mine during baking was the Peanut Butter M&Ms settled on the bottom of the pan. I've heard that if you dust them with a little flour they won't sink - has anyone tried that? They still turned out pretty, however. Don't you think?
MS. GREEN’S ULTIMATE M&M’S PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES
- Prep time: 10-15 minutes
- Bake Time: 25-30 minutes
- Yield: 32 brownies
- 4oz (about 1/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 cup canola oil (or vegetable)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups M&M’s Peanut Butter Candies
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Lightly grease a rectangular 13x9x2 inch pan
3. In a 3-quart saucepan, gently combine the semi-sweet chocolate and oil over very low heat until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla and eggs until blended. Add in the chocolate mixture. Slowly sift in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Fold in 1 ½ cups of M&M’S® Peanut Butter candies.
6. Spread the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of candies and press lightly.
7. Bake until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!
And here they are with a dollop of whipped cream. Yum!
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mars via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mars.
We needed a quick dessert to take to my husband's family tomorrow for Thanksgiving, and since lemon cake is his favorite dessert, and my mother-in-law's too, and we have a gorgeous lemon tree in our backyard with way too many lemons, we decided to make a lemon cake.
It turned out wonderfully! It's zesty and sweet and easy, what a perfect combination! I can't wait to share it tomorrow with his family.
QUICK AND ZESTY LEMON CAKE
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 yolks
- Zest of two medium lemons, or one large lemon - about 2-3 loose tablespoons
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup of powdered sugar for decoration
Preheat the oven to 350. Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover the bottom of a 9" round or 8" square cake pan. Grease the parchment and sides with a little butter.
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl. Stir and set aside.
Add the butter (room temperature), sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a large mixing bowl. If you like sweeter cakes, you can add an extra 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat on high with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the buttermilk.
Mix in the dry ingredients in 2-3 batches. Stir until just it just comes together; you don't want to over mix.
Pour the batter into the pan, and cook for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick, and take it out of the oven when it comes out clean.
Let it cool for 10 minutes, then flip it over onto a wire rack. If you are going to frost it, let it cool completely.
If you want something with that extra lemony punch, this cake goes great with a lemon glaze. All you need is 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of hot water. Whisk together and drizzle over the cake. You can add additional water or sugar to adjust the consistency.
I wanted to try something more decorative, so I pulled out my Cricut Mini and cut out a flower shape to use with powdered sugar.
I placed it on the cake.
Sprinkled powered sugar on top.
Removed the paper flower and added just a touch more powered sugar. I loved how it turned out.
And here's the cake ready to eat!
And the first piece!
I wish you and your family a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!! I can't wait to see what you do. Please add your celebrations to our site so I can show them off.
And here's our lemon tree. Told ya we had a lot of lemons. Any recommendations for recipes we should try?
What's so tasty about it is the smoky flavor from the Gouda and the heat from the chili pepper. I love to serve it with a crunchy baguette or pita chips.
Here's how I do it...
SPINACH DIP RECIPE
- 2 pounds fresh spinach
- 1 small onion or half a large onion
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1-2 small hot peppers - (jalapeno or fresno peppers work well)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup of cream cheese
- 3/4 cup grated smoked gouda (you can substitute mozzarella, jack, or your favorite cheese)
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- pinch of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a sauce pan and heat on medium high heat until shimmering. Add 4-5 minced or pressed garlic cloves, diced pepper (remove the seeds), and diced onion. Cook until onion is soft and translucent.
Roughly chop the spinach, and add to the saucepan along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Cook down the spinach; it's always surprising how much it shrinks! Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the spinach into a strainer and set in the sink. You can press down on it lightly with a spoon or whisk to get some of the liquid out.
You can now add the milk to the sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk in the cream cheese. Add 1/4 cup of the gouda (save the rest for topping), and continue whisking until it is melted. Now you can mix the spinach back to the saucepan.
Add the mix to your baking dish. It will fill 2-3 large ramekins, or you could use an 8 inch baking dish.
Sprinkle the remaining gouda on top.
Cook for 25 minutes. If you aren't getting a nice golden brown crust on top, put it under the broiler for minute before you take it out. Watch it closely because it can quickly go from brown to black!
If you have extra, add to a ramekin, tightly seal with plastic wrap, and put in the freezer. You can keep it for at least a month, and then bake when you are ready to serve.
And for last-minute entertaining, here are a few of my other tips...
Tip 1 -- Have some quick table setting items that you can quickly pull out in a pinch
My table settings tend to be simple, I'm a minimalist at heart. I have my go-to table runner, napkins, and plates that I use all the time. Plus, we have a lemon tree outside so I love picking a bunch of lemons, putting them in a basket, and using that as my centerpiece. See... simple. Also, I like to put out low candles because they look so pretty lit on a table (as long as there are no young children around). I keep everything ready to go in one cabinet in my dining room.
Tip 2 - Have food on hand that could work for fast preparation
Here's what I always have on hand that is easy to pull out of my fridge and cupboard for quick entertaining: cheese and crackers, puff pastry for making these cheese pinwheels, and silver dollar pancakes to top with whipped cream and strawberries (which are always in my fridge because they are my favorite fruit).
Tip 3 - Have mixes on hand to whip up some last minute desserts
I'm a big fan of dessert mixes. They are great to pull out for unexpected guests, school potlucks, and even a rainy day activity with my daughter. Since I think yummy smells add so much to a party, it's fun having something sweet cooking in the oven when your guests arrive, and they never have to know that it's really just a mix. Plus, they are easy to spruce up with powdered sugar, fruit, frosting, or sprinkles.
Tip 4 - Have candy, cellophane bags, and ribbon on hand for last-minute party favors
I usually like to send my guests home with something sweet. I keep candy stored away in my cupboard just for these situations. I like to put the candy in cellophane bags and tie them with pretty ribbon. It makes me look like such a seasoned host, but little do my guests know it took two minutes to do. This also works great with home baked items like cookies or brownies, even ones you've made with a mix. :)
What are your quick entertaining tips? Please leave them in a comment here or on our Facebook page. I'd love to put a post together incorporating them.
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by LG via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of LG
CRANBERRY WALNUT COFFEE CAKE
For the cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cup melted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (zest from about 1/2 a normal sized orange)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter - room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and get an 8"x8" pan ready by greasing it up with butter.
I start with the topping, so it is ready to sprinkle as soon as the batter is mixed. Mix the flour, granulated and brown sugar, and the salt together. Cut the butter into small chunks, and add it into the mix. You can cut it in with a knife, but I like to just work it with my fingers until it is it crumbly. Then you can add the walnuts (I crush most of them but add a handful of halves) and set aside and start the batter.
Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) to a mixing bowl and whisk together. In another bowl, add the eggs, melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and buttermilk. Beat with an electric mixer on high for about a minute, or until it is thoroughly mixed.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix with a fork. Over mixing can lead to a tougher cake, so just mix until the batter barely comes together.
Pour half the batter into the cake pan. Add the cranberries to the remaining batter, and pour the rest on top. This helps keep the cranberries from settling on the bottom.
Now use the topping to cover the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees, checking periodically with a toothpick (should come out clean).
And look how pretty it is when you cut into it (it's even prettier in person). :)
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Diamond of California via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Diamond of California
The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and yesterday felt time to start making some of our favorite cold weather treats. Here's my favorite gingersnap recipe.
We like our cookies chewy at our house, and these cookies will give you that great soft mouth feel with a little crunch, plus that little warmth of ginger. I promise you will be addicted.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup granulated or sanding sugar
Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger) and set aside.
Add the butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg to a separate bowl, and beat with a mixer until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients while mixing on low until fully combined.
Chill the dough for about 20-30 minutes while you preheat the over to 325 degrees.
Form the dough into about 3/4" balls, flatten them slightly in the palm of your hands. Roll them in the granulated sugar and place them on a baking sheet. Leave enough space for them to spread out a bit.
Cook for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
If you try them, please email me and let me know what you think. :)
My goal with the table was to bring fall into our home and to have a little celebration. We all had a lot of fun!
Here's how I did the table...
I love modern lines and interesting backdrops, so I make this backdrop by wiring together $2 placemats I found at Ikea, then using Glue Dots to hang it on the wall... simple but definitely impactful.
Next, I put out a lot of pumpkins, squashes, and gourds in different shapes and sizes to give it a real earthy feel, and added just a few of these free Halloween printables designed by Love the Day. Plus, I clipped branched from my bushes and olive tree outside to add some green. I love olive branches. You will be seeing lots of them in future posts, I promise. :)
I bought simple Halloween treats at Trader Joe's: scones, cookies, a spice cake, and jelly candies and displayed them on pretty (but not expensive) plates and jars I have.
I added candles in warm hues to add drama as the sun went down.
But what I really wanted to play with was smell. I wanted my house to instantly smell like fall, which meant apples and cinnamon. I achieved this in two ways. I made homemade spiced apple cider to serve to my guests.
But I also added a Glade Expressions oil diffuser in Fuji Apple Cardamon Spice to keep the smell going throughout the party. It fit in perfectly with the decor and added extra yumminess to the party.
Once the cider was gone, the house still smelled delicious. And that was my plan. :)
HOMEMADE SPICED APPLE CIDER RECIPE
- 2 quarts apple cider or apple juice
- 3 star anise
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 6 cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 20 black peppercorns
- 1 orange
Crack the nutmeg and break the cinnamon sticks in half. Add the spices to a saucepan and cook on medium heat for a minute or two, until the smell of the spice starts to develop.
Add the apple juice. Quarter the oranges, squeeze the juice into the pan, and throw the rind in as well. Turn up the heat until the juice starts to simmer, then turn to low and cover for 30 minutes.
Serve hot! You can add some rum or bourbon for an adult beverage.
For more Halloween inspiration, check out all these amazing Halloween parties on our site!
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Compensation was provided by Glade via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Glade.
I was asked by Ore-Ida to make a dinnertime meal using one of their products. I'm a huge French fry fan so this wasn't hard for me. I thought it would be fun to make my own homemade ketchup to go along with their Golden Krinkle French fries and the delicious chicken sliders I decided to cook for a simple family dinner.
The ketchup was simple to make and turned out so tasty! The best part is you can adjust it how you like it... with more tang, sweet, or spice.
HOMEMADE CHILI AND PAPRIKA KETCHUP
(Makes 1 cup of ketchup)
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1/4 cup diced red pepper
- 2 cloves garlic crushed (or minced)
- 1 shallot
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- Salt to taste (I used about 2 teaspoons)
Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 20 seconds to loosen the skins, then put them in an ice bath to keep them from cooking. The skins will peel right off. You can cook the whole tomato, but you'll have to strain out the seeds and skin. I think it is easier to skin and seed them before cooking.
Quarter tomatoes and remove the insides with the seeds.
Add the chopped onion, shallot, garlic, and thyme to a saucepan with a little olive oil over medium heat. Cook until they soften. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The tomatoes should come apart into a chunky sauce just by stirring.
Add salt, vinegar, sugar, paprika, and chili powder. Use an immersion blender to blend. You could also use a food processor, but since you still need to reduce, it is convenient to keep it in the saucepan.
Simmer for another 15-20 minutes to reduce and thicken. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so remove it from heat just before it gets to the thickness you want. Cool and serve. Yum!
GRILLED CHICKEN SLIDERS
- Chicken thighs
- Provolone cheese
- Hawaiian dinner rolls
- Chili Powder
Coat the chicken with olive oil and salt, put on hot grill. Add the paprika and chili powder when they are almost done (so the spices don't burn). I used the same spices on the chicken that I used in the ketchup to tie the dish together.
Add some thin slices of provolone cheese and serve on toasted Hawaiian roll. Top with some of the ketchup and some arugula.