Gingerbread pancakes. They’re a good thing. I’ll share a little secret with you, IF you could only make ONE pancake during this holiday season I would make it these. That’s a bold statement I know but after making these at least two dozen times over a month long tweaking and testing period I can tell you that they’re like eating gingerbread cookies for breakfast. You’re mind will be confused but your stomach will be ridiculously happy. And honestly who doesn’t want to eat cookies for breakfast some days. If not I’m not sure we can be friends.
DIY HOLIDAY FLOATING CANDLES , DIY CINNAMON CANDLESand now Rustic Log Candles. Are you sensing a theme? Am I that obvious? Yes, okay it’s true I happen to love candles. Both of the previous candle posts have been extremely popular posts so I’m guessing y’all like candles as much as I do. Since we’ve established our love of candles, it is probably a good idea to go ahead and stock up on tea lights because I see we’re all going to go through a wagon full.
Did you know that you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? You absolutely can and it only takes TWO ingredients. Which means: 1.It’s ridiculously easy and 2. You should really use the highest quality ingredients you can find. Quality counts. These make amazing gifts this time of year and who wouldn’t appreciate a bottle of homemade vanilla extract? You can send me a case of it if you like and I would be a very happy camper. Now that I know you want to make your own, let’s talk about the three B’s that you’ll need to get started: Bottles, Beans and Booze.
It’s December and I’m kinda in shock to be honest. I blinked and it’s almost a new year. I’m going to TRY very hard to slow down and enjoy this month that naturally happens to be full of social gatherings and soirees. It’s no secret that I do love a good party and details. I love details. Parties are made in the details. It’s those little extra touches that make a big difference. They don’t however have to break the bank.
If you’re looking for a holiday breakfast (or brunch) that is sure to impress your guests you should add Eggs Benedict to the menu. It’s rich, decadent and shouldn’t be reserved for eating out. Hollandaise sauce (that deliciousness dripping off of the plate that you’ll want to be sure to grab an extra English muffin to sop it up with yes that’s Hollandaise sauce) isn’t as hard as you would imagine to make. It does take some old school arm power, whisking vigorously is required, so you can go ahead and check exercise off your list for the day. At least I do. And you’ll want to be sure to go slow and steady when whisking in the melted butter. Why you ask? Otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled eggs and although fantastic they’re not what we’re going for here.
It’s party time! The holidays are here. Thanksgiving is in oh 3 days and then it’s just ON from there. If you’re looking for a delicious appetizer (or snack if you’re a cheese head like me) that will take you minutes to make try our herb marinated cheese. After all, who doesn’t love cheese? I mean really. This is great on it’s own or makes a great supporting actor to a charcuterie platter. One of my must do’s when I have company be it a small dinner party or a larger scale soiree is to have an appetizer tray set out when my guests arrive. It serves two purposes. First, it keeps the guests happy (hungry guests are grumpy guests right) and gives me time to finish what I need to do in the kitchen while they’re noshing.
Last week I shared a recipe for our BUTTER ROASTED CORNISH HENS. You might have noticed they were overflowing with a gorgeous looking stuffing and that I didn’t share the recipe for said stuffing. I know this because I received emails. Lots and lots (yes that’s a technical term) of emails asking me to share the recipe. The wait is over and just in the nick of Thanksgiving. This sausage and sweet bread stuffing literally made me change the way I think about stuffing. I first have to tell you how much I REALLY love stuffing. It’s one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving. Yes, the stuffing. Half of my plate is typically stuffing. I’m not ashamed. I’m a proud stuffing lover. One that wears yoga pants but we’re not going to be Judgy McJudgy pants it’s Thanksgiving people.
Chutney is such an odd word to me. Google shares that it’s a thick sauce that is made from fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Or if you’re a Legally Blonde buff then it’s a character from the movie (Chutney Windham). I’m going to go the sauce route. Despite it’s odd name it’s quite the delicious condiment that is perfect for the holidays. It’s sweet and tart and pairs beautifully with your poultry of choice. Or a spoon or slathered a toasty baguette.
Whether I like it or not the holiday season is full steam ahead. Next week is Thanksgiving. THANKSGIVING (is anyone else in denial about this?). The day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of hustle and bustle for us. We like to host dinner parties and already have a few others on our schedule during the month of December. I’m trying really hard not to jump to Christmas but that’s easier said than done. I’d like to enjoy Thanksgiving first. We do have so much to be thankful for after all.
I’m turning into quite the crafter. Pinterest has given me all sorts of new found ideas and I’m running with them. It’s not really because I’m a crafty person, but mostly because I’m stubborn and I think “how hard could that be?” And okay you got me, the whole saving money thing is appealing. Why have I been so crafty lately you ask? We recently threw a sweet 16 soiree for our daughter. I know, I know you’re thinking how can she possibly have a 16 year old right? Because that’s what I think when I think about it. Gah. I figured she was only turning 16 once and that we should do it up. Do it up on my budget meant do it yourself. So Pinterest to the rescue. I thought a chalkboard frame would look fantastic at the entrance of her party tent (and it did).
Everyone that knows me well knows that I have a very wicked sweet tooth. Always have and I’m pretty sure I always will. I blame my Mom but don’t tell her. Funny thing is as much as I love desserts it’s not my favorite thing in the world to make. If you’re coming to my house for dinner and ask what you can bring I will tell you dessert (or wine) every single time. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely can make desserts and I do all the time (you do read my blog don’t you LOL). I just prefer cooking to baking if I have my rathers. I like the flexibility of cooking. Baking requires me to pay close attention and be specific with my measurements.
Cornish hens was one of the very first what I considered to be back then “fancy” dinners I made by myself. There was something so extravagant about an individual hen for each guest. They made a beautiful presentation on the plate (especially when accompanied by stuffing) and let’s face it they were (and still are) cheaper than prime rib.
I happen to be one of those people that loves to jazz up their tables for the holidays. Nothing super extravagant or elaborate, because that’s just too fussy pants for me and if we’re being honest those types of ornamentation are probably going to be expensive. I would rather spend my money on quality ingredients that go onto the plate and into my belly if you know what I mean. Or a new pair of Lucchese boots that I’ve had my eye on for a few months. I just can’t help myself when it comes to boots.
Making infused vodkas couldn’t be easier. And I mean that literally. All you need is vodka and your choice of flavorings. Yep, hard stuff. Go ahead and pick up a few bottles of your favorite vodka the next time you’re out and about and get to experimenting with flavors. Not only are they great to have on hand these also make great hostess gifts, housewarming gifts, un-birthday gifts, birthday gifts. You get the picture. If you’re super crafty (I am not, Pinterest just likes to make me feel like I am sigh) you could make your own printable labels to go with. How fancy is that?
No one could accuse this pasta of being anything less than exciting. She’s’ definitely a plate turner. That’s no dye job boys and girls. That color is what you get when throw a roasted beet into the mix. Now I know beets are a love them or leave them kind of thing and honestly up until a few years ago I was a leave them kind of girl. Then I figured out that roasting them was the ticket to my love affair with beets and lemon juice because you’re going to need that when you work with roasted beets unless you like hot pink hands.
Last year my friend Susan and I organized a food conference called Mixed. It’s a small boutique conference for approximately 100 food lovers bloggers that is held at Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia. You might recognize it from the movie Dirty Dancing. If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading right now and look it up on Netflix, or Amazon Prime (what would I do without that) and then come back when you’re done because you don’t want to miss out on this GIVEAWAY! Not to be pushy or anything (because I would never ever do that would I) but it is one of the best movies of all time right underneath Pitch Perfect of course. We will actually be showing both of those gems at the conference because we like to have just as much fun as we do learning.
Don’t adjust your screens that is indeed a hot pink hue to the hummus. Don’t be alarmed it isn’t chemically altered it’s hue comes from robust roasted red beets. However, Roasted Pink Beet Hummus didn’t happen to have the same ring to it. If you know me you know that pink is my most favorite color on the planet. It also happens to be the color that is associated with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m partnering with my friends at KitchenAid to help bring awareness for breast cancer research. KitchenAid’s has a long-standing partnership with Susan G. Komen® for the Cure (they’ve helped them raise over 9 million dollars for breast cancer research to date) and we’re thrilled to be doing our small part by participating in the “Pass the Plate” program
One of my “go to” desserts has always been panna cotta, which simply means cooked cream in Italian. Shocking because it is cooked cream right? It’s my go to for several reasons: One, I love it (what’s not to love about creamy and dreamy). Two, it’s incredibly versatile, you can add any flavor to it. Three, it’s ridiculously easy to make and can even be made in advance (big bonus points for party planning). What more can you ask for out of a dessert, unless someone else brings dessert and I’m always okay with that. Always.
I have been craving chocolate cake for a while now. A simple no fuss decadent from scratch chocolate cake that comes together in about an hour. Don’t worry most of that time is spent in the oven baking away. Plenty of time for you to enjoy dinner and then have it for dessert warm straight out of the oven. Did you hear me exhale? There is nothing better than a warm slice of chocolate cake dripping in chocolate ganache if you ask me. Unless someone else makes it, but that’s neither here nor there.
A little bit of Rita in my life. Sorry that song is stuck in my head and I thought I’d share the love. Now that I can’t stop bobbing my head at my computer lets chat about margaritas. We shared a cool, colorful and refreshing Pomegranate Lime Margarita last week. If you like your cocktails with a little bit of a kick in the pants you might want to try these cilantro jalapeno margaritas. For a little extra something something (because jalapeno isn’t enough) we’ve given these ritas a chili sugar rim. Ba da boom! If you’re not quite that adventurous, a simple salt rim, or plain sugar to cut some of the heat are always options. We love options.