I wish you all a very happy day filled with love and friendship. I thought I would revisit one of my family’s favorite recipes…the recipe I created for my honey last Valentines and the recipe that my children requested for tonight’s dessert!
Click HERE for my Chocolate Molten Lava Cake recipe (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
As I type this Christmas music is playing in the background, there is apple cake in the oven, and my family is putting together a holiday lego set while feasting on gluten-free pancakes.
I hope your next few days are filled with family and friends, rest, and gratitude.
Happy Holidays from my family to yours.
Now that we are into the holiday season I do make a few more treats than normal (though I do feel the need to admit that I generally do not eat many of them).
People tend to think that making candy is complicated…it doesn’t have to be. Last year the kids and I make homemade peanut butter cups. These peanut butter cups were made with only three ingredients:
- Freshly ground peanut butter
- Chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chips)
- Coconut oil
Melt the bag of chocolate chips over a double boiler along with 1-2 tsp. of oil.
Once melted, pour a small layer into mini cupcake liners and place it in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes. Place the melted chocolate over the double boiler to ensure that it remains melted.
Top the hardened chocolate with some peanut butter and try to keep it in the center allowing a rim of chocolate to remain around it (this will allow the next layer of chocolate to completely cover the peanut butter).
Cover the peanut butter with another layer of chocolate and place in the refrigerator to harden.
This year I used the same method to make chocolate covered pretzels (gluten-free) and peanuts. My daughter and I broke small pretzel sticks in half and mixed them with the melted chocolate. We then placed spoonfuls of the chocolate covered pretzels on waxed paper to cool and harden…little chocolate bird’s nests. We had some left over at the end with a little too much chocolate, so we mixed in some peanuts and made spoonfuls of that. They have been a total hit with my family!
I am in the thick of preparing gifts for the coaches and teachers in my children’s lives and I thought I would share with you what we are gifting food-wise this year.
My daughter wanted to gift her teachers with some body butters, and my son will be giving some of his middle school teachers gift certificates, but we will be giving the coaches in our lives the “healthier” caramel popcorn that I made one month as my Secret Recipe Club assignment.
The original version was loaded with butter and sugar, so I rolled-up my sleeves and did my best to remake the recipe. My family loves the recipe I came-up with and while it is definitely a treat, it is much healthier than the traditional version.
I just air popped the popcorn and will be making it into caramel popcorn tomorrow. This recipe is SO EASY. I have made caramel popcorn before where you have to stir and stir and stir and with this recipe you shake it all up in a big brown paper bag…it couldn’t be more simple.
Click HERE for the recipe or HERE for the original post with detailed pictures.
Last month I did a post about the Fall candle display I created for my kitchen’s center island. This past week I spent the evening changing it up to reflect the holidays which are now in full swing.
With a few simple changes and a glue gun at my disposal, this project quickly came together. I picked-up some candles at IKEA, a 40 pound bag of salt (intended for a water softener) at Home Depot, and 2 containers of cinnamon sticks from Costco (I already had the ribbon in my gift-wrapping stash).
I also filled 4 mason jars with salt, glued a halo of ribbon around each jar, and topped each with a red tea lights before placing them on my windowsill.
I am having so much fun decorating and getting into the holiday spirit.
Filed under DIY, Holidays, Home
Happy Thanksgiving! I have spent the last few days prepping for our feast and spending time with my parents. We have had lots of great family time and hope the same for you.
From my table to yours…
Please excuse the iPhone pics…today was ALL about cooking and family, so I am sure these will do.
Thanksgiving time is a favorite in our household…family begins to gather and it signals the beginning of the holiday season.
I always like to make sure that at Thanksgiving each family member has their favorite dish at our Thanksgiving celebration. For my husband that means Stove Top stuffing. For my son that means my mom’s ambrosia. For my daughter that means apple crumble and for me that means cranberry sauce. I have always enjoyed cranberry sauce, especially the sauce that my mom always made when I was a kid. She found the original recipe in the local paper. The recipe called for fresh cranberries, diced pear, orange juice, and white sugar,
For the past three years I have been working on making a healthier version of the cranberry sauce that did not include sugar. I tried making it with xylitol (I am not a fan), stevia (it just wasn’t the same), and this year I made my favorite version yet using apple juice concentrate. This will be my go-to cranberry sauce for years to come.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Trader Joe’s organic fresh cranberries (8 ounces)
1 container (12 oz.) frozen organic apple juice concentrate
2 pears, diced
zest of 1 orange
Place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer on low (make sure it does not boil over) until it is reduced to 1/3 of its original volume.
Cool and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Images by Tony Tseng
My family will be spending Thanksgiving at home this year and I want it to be very special. It is important for all of us to remember what this day is truly about (not the food…though it is always amazing), and with a little help from Pinterest, we are on our way.
The blog Bargain Bound inspired our family’s Tree of Gratitude this year. Admittedly I am clearly not a professional tree-maker (the leaves will cover the evidence of that up more and more each day), but with the help of my local scrap booking store, I did NOT have to become an expert at cutting out leaves. Within 30 minutes I had over 120 perfect leaves thanks to their collection of maple leaf die cuts. Somehow I had never ventured into the store before and I know I will be spending a lot of time there now for future holiday projects, etc. Talk about a MAJOR time saver!
The kids and I have been filling-out one leaf per day and it is heart-warming to see how they are getting more and more into the exercise each day.
I can’t wait to watch the tree’s branches become full of my family’s gratitude.
Do you have any special Thanksgiving traditions?
Filed under DIY, Holidays, Home
What better way to celebrate
World Vegan Day than to watch an adorable video from Lightlife of a farm made of vegetables? It is AMAZING how they created the farm animals using veggies.
I am truly inspired!
Here is a round-up of some of my favorite pumpkin recipes…my daughter began her day with the oatmeal. Have a happy and safe Halloween!!!
PUMPKIN PIE OATMEAL
PUMPKIN PIE DESSERT HUMMUS
PUMPKIN RICE PUDDING
CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE ICE CREAM
Filed under Appetizers, Beans/Legumes, Breakfast, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Ice Cream, Kid Friendly, Pudding / Mousse, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian