Jul 222016

Last week we celebrated Christmas in July with make-ahead Christmas projects, like my DIY Christmas coasters.  This week we’re continuing the party with holiday-inspired sweet treats and I have adorable Snowman Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes to share with you.

These Snowman Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes are perfect for winter, Christmas, or Christmas in July!

These Snowman Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes combine a couple of treats I’ve been wanting to make for a long while: ice cream cone cupcakes, and snowmen cupcakes.  I figured the nod to summer using the ice cream cones was especially perfect for Christmas in July. Continue reading »

Dec 112013

For holiday gift-giving as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias® I made these Rocky Road Squares to give to family and friends.  All thoughts and words are my own.

I’ve been spending a good portion of my days lately baking, cooking, mixing and stirring.  Every year for more than the last decade, I have put together homemade food gift baskets for friends and family alike.  I try and have them completed in early December if at all possible, so that they have most of the season to enjoy them.

One of my favorite holiday desserts to make for gift-giving are my Mom’s squares.  She has made them for as long as I can remember and they were one of the treats I always requested for my birthday or other special occasions.  She just calls them “her squares” but I think most people would consider them to be Rocky Road Squares.

Rocky Road Squares Recipe with #KraftEssentials #shop

Knowing that I had a lot of Christmas recipes to make over the next couple of weeks I made a trip to Walmart to stock up my pantry.  Baker’s Baking Chocolate, Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, Planters Peanut Butter, chocolate bits, sweetened condensed milk, flour, sugar – pretty much the baking aisle.  I usually make more than I plan to, and I don’t like needing to run out to pick up extra ingredients if I can help it. Continue reading »

Dec 112013

I have been in love with pomegranates for years.  In the last few years have become a little trendy due to the potential health benefits.  For me, though, they’re just the delicious tart jewels that my grandmother always served from a bowl during the holidays.

After gathering up the courage to try one as a very picky teen I was immediately hooked.  Since then I look forward to pomegranates coming into season each fall so that I can stock my refrigerator with the dark red fruits.  Getting all the arils out of the pomegranate was never my favorite part, but now you can even buy containers of fresh pomegranate arils from the refrigerated case at the grocery store.

Pomegranate Chocolate Bark Recipe

A few years ago I was experimenting with different recipes to find new ways to include either the arils or the juice.  I sprinkled them on salads, used a few to garnish cupcakes, and would use the juice to make a delicious glaze for chicken.  But my favorite discovery came when I was putting together my yearly food gift baskets for our friends and family. Continue reading »

Jul 012013

Most of you know how much I love Christmas.  And Pinterest.  I sit and pin things – crafts, recipes, DIY, gift ideas, etc. – all year long.  Tear ideas out from magazines and toss them in my Christmas file folder.  By the time I’m done I have dozens, if not hundreds, of awesome projects laid out for myself.

And then Christmas comes.

Christmas in July - 31 Days of Crafts, Recipes, DIY, Gift Ideas & More

The season is my favorite time of year but it’s so busy.  There are parties and services, shopping and envelope-addressing, cooking and baking (and eating!).  And of course we want to carve out time for special activities and events to make memories for our children and family.  Who has time to make those cute snowmen or make a ribbon tree?

I found that I didn’t, and that I was a little disappointed that all these great ideas were just sitting there gathering dust.  So I decided that it would be fun to make some of these things ahead so they’re ready to go during the holidays.  For the recipes, at least I’ll know what ones turned out well and which ones didn’t so I don’t waste any of my baking time later.

Whether you choose to work on any of these projects now or just pin them for the holidays, I hope you enjoy my 31 Days of Christmas Crafts, DIY, Recipes & More.

DIY Hanging Christmas Card Holder
Bottle Cap Snowman Ornament Craft
DIY Frosted Elf Donuts & Matching Elf Gift Box
DIY Christmas Gift: “We Whisk You A Merry KISSmas” plus a free printable
Free “Build Your Own Snowman” Printable
Mini Clay Pot Snowmen Craft
Christmas Candy Munch Mix Recipe
DIY Santa Belly Ornament
Gourmet Christmas Marshmallows Recipe
Printable December Bucket List
125+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas for All Ages
DIY Wedding Invitation “Our 1st Christmas” Ornament
Easy Salt Dough Ornaments


What is your favorite creative Christmas project?

Oct 262011

My husband and I love asparagus but aren’t that crazy about green beans.  That means that a holiday staple – Green Bean Casserole – is off the menu for us.   So I was excited to find Asparagus Casserole recipe in the Gooseberry Patch Quick & Easy Christmas cookbook.

We decided to give it a try tonight as a pairing with chicken cordon bleu.  Generally we make Parmesan roasted asparagus to go with it but the fresh asparagus in our area hasn’t looked too hot lately and this recipe called for frozen, so it was a good fit. Continue reading »