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Showing posts from December, 2018

Crystallized Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Every year I made Christmas cookie trays for friends and family.  There are the classics like sugar, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin, then I pick a few different cookies that add color or flavors that we'd all enjoy.


I saw these Crystallized Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies on Taste of Home's Ultimate Cookie Countdown, and immediately added it to my Pinterest board for this year's trays.  When I went to print it out, I realized that the recipe is from my fellow blogger friend Colleen from Faith, Hope, Love & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice!


I made the recipe exactly as stated except that I rolled the dough balls in turbinado sugar instead of granulated.  I just love the sparkle and crunch it gives them.  My cookies were very puffy as they came out of the oven, but flattened a bit as they cooled.  Next time I'd keep the dough balls chilled between batches, my fridge was just too stuffed with holiday dinner items to do it this time.


These were a hug…

Top 10 Desserts of 2018

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For my final top 10, I've rounded up my favorite desserts that I've made throughout 2018.  This was really the hardest list of all to compile, because there were just so many good ones this year!

I am a huge chocolate cake fan, and I wasn't going to let my birthday slip by without indulging.  I found this fantastic recipe that included ricotta cheese that allowed me to have my cake and up the protein count in it too! Best Chocolate Cake Ever


You've probably heard of upside down cake, but how about Upside Down Apple Pie? I took a step towards conquering my fear of pie crust and I sure didn't regret it.


This Very Vanilla Slow Cooker Cheesecake took a real leap of faith on my part.  I have never, ever made dessert in the slow cooker before. I was pleasantly surprised at how this turned out! Beautiful texture, and great flavor.  Best of all, no cracks!


All of my #ChristmasCookiesWeek recipes were huge hits here, but I forced myself to choose just one for the round up…

Top 10 Main Dish Recipes of 2018!

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My look back at the best of 2018 continues, and today I'm focusing on main dish recipes.  It's so easy to fall into a pattern of making the same things over and over again, but this year I worked really hard to try and change things up. 

I love to make copycat recipes of meals that I order from my favorite restaurants, like this Granny Smith Pizza. Tart apple, crispy bacon, grilled chicken, candied pecans plus Grana Padano cheese.  It takes pizza to a whole new level.


They won't even miss the bun when you serve up these Cheeseburger Bowls! I've made them on the grill or inside on the panini press, and they're always amazing.  Sometimes I add some crispy chopped up bacon to the mix, and sometimes I melt the cheese on the burger.


Black beans were one of my new food discoveries in 2018.  They've made a lot of appearances in main dishes and appetizers.  Next year they may even find their way into a few desserts! Black Bean Chicken with Rice 

Sometimes the best r…

Top 10 Breakfasts of 2018!

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The end of the year is a great time to reflect on all the fantastic things you've made.  Today I'm sharing my top 10 breakfast recipes of 2018.  I really tried to branch out and explore new things this year, and breakfast has always been a particular challenge, but I think I did well overall!

It took me a while, but I finally jumped on the overnight oats wagon!  It was my go to breakfast for most of the summer.  There are just so many ways to switch it up, but these Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats were the ones I made most often.



These Zucchini Carrot Muffins made great on the go breakfasts!  They froze and reheated very well. And if you peel the zucchini, fussy eaters will never know it's there.


You can't have a breakfast round up without including pancakes! These Yogurt Pancakes. were so fluffy and light.  They're great with the addition of fruit, chocolate chips or just as is.


This year I moved some of my family's blueberry bushes to our house, and they were…

Peppermint Mocha White Russian

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What a crazy month December has been! I've been sitting here stressing over all the baking and holiday tasks I need to do this weekend, so I decided a cocktail was in order.

I'm a big White Russian fan and I thought a holiday spin on it would be a good way to renew my Christmas spirit. I searched our liquor stash and came up with some Kahlua coffee liqueur, Peppermint Schnapps and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur.

I used a jigger to measure to measure it into my cocktail shaker, but if you don't have one, 3 tablespoons roughly equals 1.5 oz. Add ice and shake until well combined.  Divide between two glasses, top with cream.

You can garnish these with a candy cane, or if you want to get fancy, you can rim the glasses with it.  I used corn syrup to get my crushed candy cane to stick, but melted chocolate would be great too.  Be sure to chill the glasses after you add the candy, or it will all slowly slide down the sides.

This really hit the spot!  The cool peppermint, dark chocola…

Caramel Truffles

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So excited to be participating in this month's Candy Fantastical Food Fight! I wanted to jump in on this one because candy isn't something that I make very often.  To help chose my recipe, I spent some time thinking about what my guys love to eat and scrolling through my Pinterest boards.

Caramels were a big hit back in October, and they are huge fans of truffles, so when I saw this recipe from Taste of Home, I knew it'd be a winner.  I liked that the whole thing is made in the microwave, and you don't have to mess with thermometers or anything like that.

I made the recipe as written this time around, using milk chocolate and semi sweet chips. Next time I'd definitely split the batch in two and do some with dark chocolate, which is my favorite.  The hardest part of the whole thing was doing the math to get 30 squares out of an 8x8 pan!

I dipped the caramels as directed, then I went back and drizzled more chocolate in a decorative pattern of the top using a fork. Som…

Gingerbread Belgian Waffles

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I am a huge fan of all things ginger, tea, coffee, baked good, breakfast items. I even snack on crystallized ginger.  I used to visit a restaurant that made the most amazing gingerbread waffles, but we've moved too far from it to make it a regular stop now.

I have been craving those waffles for a few weeks, so I went searching the Taste of Home site for a recipe to try.  The only change I made to the recipe was to use a vinegar/whole milk substitution for the buttermilk. I had dried sliced ginger root and whole nutmeg so I grated those fresh, and wow, did my house smell amazing!

I'm not a big fan of having to whip the egg whites separately, just another bowl to wash, but it really is crucial to the texture of the waffles in most cases.  These are amazing either with the icing as listed or with real NH maple syrup.  I got 6 waffles, so I froze the extras for Christmas morning breakfast.

Thank you so much to Jannine F. for sharing her recipe! Do you have an amazing recipe you&…