This is the time of year when I start obsessing over red and green foods. After all, you can’t serve yellow and brown for Christmas! (Okay, fine, you actually can – and I usually do – but if the food coordinates with the holiday, well, it pleases me).
I sound like a total freak, don’t I?
Well, with these Tomato Pesto Tarts, I can let my freak flag fly proudly, because they’re unabashedly red and green – oh so perfect for the holiday.
It’s crunch time! I entered this holiday season determined to be prepared, stay organized, and have everything I wanted to do done as early as possible.
Good intentions. Here I am scrambling along with most everyone else. I have to admit I find myself putting this post together at an incredibly frenzied pace all while adding item after item to my mental “must do today” checklist. Aaaah!
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with an extra 10 minutes, though, here are some ideas for you.
There’s something so comforting about traditions. For instance: breakfast on Christmas morning. I grew up eating overnight breakfast strata; my guy’s family does blueberry muffins. So this year, we’re going to do both, along with lattes brewed up in the Crock Pot. Can’t wait.
It feels wrong to write about something as frivolous as food, but I’m forcing myself to do so. I hope that it doesn’t come across as callous or uncaring … I’m far from either of those things when it comes to last week’s horrific events.
I’m also pretty sure you’re not here to read about that. So: today I’m talking about popcorn. Christmas party popcorn, to be exact.
I can’t help myself. They’re so wonderfully hands-off, especially when it comes to this recipe. Pour all the ingredients in, give ‘em a stir, wait a couple of hours. Then turn your Crock Pot to low and enjoy wonderful hot drink after hot drink all day long if you want. All day! For a heckuva lot less than it costs for the same thing at Starbucks! Yay Crock Pot!
This is Easy Christmas Treat #1 in the series “Easy Christmas Treats.” Easy Christmas Treat #2 will be featured tomorrow and then … well, that’s it for the series. It’s not a long one, sorry.
That I found the energy to make either easy treat sometimes feels like a Christmas miracle in and of itself. Women who have done this pregnancy thing more than once, I salute you. I am humbled by you, admire you and practically worship you. I’d curtsy in your general direction too, but then I wouldn’t be able to get back up without help.
So! As far as easy treats go, these are insanely so. Put down a pretzel, add a Hershey’s kiss, melt the kiss a little and then plop an M&M on top. They’re so simple you can do most of the prep sitting down. And that I did.
Sweet and salty = yum! As far as easy treats go, these are insanely so. Put down a pretzel, add a Hershey’s kiss, melt the kiss a little and then plop an M&M on top.
Author: Kitchen Treaty
Recipe type: Dessert
Yield: 3 dozen
36 waffle-shaped pretzels
36 Hershey’s hugs, unwrapped
36 Red and/or green M&Ms
36 circular peanut butter sandwich pretzels
36 Hershey’s milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped
36 Red and/or green M&Ms
Sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Lay the pretzels on the cookie sheet and top with a kiss.
Bake for 4 – 7 minutes, until the kiss or hug is soft but still retains its shape. One way to test is to poke it with a spoon; another is to pull them out at 4 minutes and try to top with an M&M; if it’s still hard in the middle, give it another minute or two.
Pull from the oven and top immediately and quickly with M&Ms. If you’re using the peanut butter sandwich pretzels and notice they don’t have much salt, sprinkle the kiss with a little sea salt if you want.
Allow to harden – this will take a couple of hours, or you can transfer them to the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Good friends, avert your eyes. Possible Christmas spoilers lie ahead.
Warm, cozy, chocolatey, minty spoilers.
This scrumptious homemade candy cane hot cocoa mix makes the perfect gift for everyone on your “nice” list. Dark chocolate adds depth, crushed candy canes give it a minty twist and the white chocolate rounds it all out. It comes together incredibly quickly with the help of a food processor. Then just fill a few plain pint-size mason jars, dress ‘em up with a label, screw a circle of festive fabric onto the lid, and make friends and family happy and cozy.
Gift a jar with a big bundle of candy canes and maybe even a bottle of peppermint schnapps or Bailey’s Irish cream. ‘Tis the season!
A few people have asked about the labels I used. I sort of cobbled them together. I started with the top left image from this great blank cards template from the wonderful joyeverafter.com. I then created my own custom label using that border in Photoshop, along with the Outlaw font, then printed them on plain Avery 2” H x 4” W labels and cut them out with scissors.Voila!
Honestly, if I’d been thinking farther ahead, I probably would have bought a batch of these from Paper Source and printed on them – much easier.
If you’re looking for a super-easy, crowd-pleasing holiday treat, look no further.
With only five ingredients (six if you add the sprinkles), Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls are a simple, easy goodie that come together in no time at all and will undoubtedly disappear equally quickly. But don’t worry; smiles (and quite possibly recipe requests) will be left behind.
I’d describe how they taste, but it’s probably pretty obvious. Sweet, rich and that delicious, magical combination of peanut butter and chocolate. In other words: Win!
Rumor has it that the mighty cupcake is losing favor and pie popularity is surging. I’m not sure I’m down with the idea of certain sweets going in and out of fashion, but I’m a big fan of making room for everyone. Especially when it comes to desserts.
Today, though, for one day, I’m okay with favoring pie. It is, after all, National Pie Day. That’s right; a holiday all about pie! According to holidayinsights.com, it’s a day for baking pies, sharing pies and trying new pie recipes. And hey! I’ve got a new recipe for you right here!
I first made this Sweet Potato Pie for Christmas just this year. It’s one of those rare recipes that hit the perfect note the very first time I attempted it, and I doubt I’ll ever stray from this version. I’m just going to put all modesty aside and declare it pretty much perfection.
This gingerbread cookie recipe from Martha Stewart is a definite winner. Perfectly spiced gingerbread cut into tree shapes, then glazed with a little lemon and powdered sugar mixture and then sprinkled with coarse sugar for a little extra sparkle … this is one case where it’s okay to see the forest for the trees. (I never really understood what that meant, anyway.)
This bark is a ridiculously easy candy recipe that’s perfect for supplementing your holiday cookie platters, or even all by itself, tucked in a cute candy bag. It’s also a quick treat to whip up when you’re craving something sweet and salty – and then you can keep it all for yourself. Not that I would ever do that.
The holidays are here! Bring on the unabashed candy making and cookie baking, baby. Guess I’d better uncover the elliptical machine, eh?
This recipe is super easy, but somehow feels a little special, too. The combo of dark and milk chocolates plus the saltiness of the peanuts (plus the added salty boost with a little Fleur de Sel, if you’re up for it) is a winner. Stick ‘em in some cute cupcake liners and they look all special and stuff – before they’re wolfed down with utter abandon, that is.
I’ve been baking this apple cranberry pie for family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for years. I love that it’s an apple pie, so traditional for the holidays, but the cranberries and crumb topping give it a special – and festive – vibe.
Oh, yes, the crumb topping. The liberal buttery-crisp top blankets the perfectly tender apples and tart cranberries. Served warm with a little vanilla ice cream? Pie nirvana.
Looking for a twist on your typical apple pie recipe? Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie is just different enough to be special – and it may just be the perfect holiday dessert. It’s certainly one of our faves.
Author: Kitchen Treaty
Recipe type: Dessert
1 cup flour
½ cup (packed) brown sugar (I prefer dark but light works too)
½ cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-5 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 5 cups) (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Gala are all great)
2 cups of your favorite homemade cranberry sauce or 1 16-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pie crust for the bottom. I (hiding my face) use refrigerated crust sometimes, because I’m often short on time and have yet to master pie crust.
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Make the crumb topping. Mix the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and cut in with your fingers until the mixture resembles large coarse crumbs.
Make the filling. In a large bowl, mix the apples, cranberry sauce, sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch until well mixed.
Place the pie crust in a pie dish, and pour the apple filling into the shell. Mound it a little in the middle.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples. There will be a lot. Pack it down a bit, if necessary.
Place the pie on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust and top are golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 15 minutes.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Adapted Bon Appétit
Originally published on The Hazel Bloom November 10, 2010. Updated and posted on Kitchen Treaty November 6, 2012.More about this
Posted on Thursday, December 24, 2009 in Beverages
I have a new and vivid fascination with champagne cocktails. An elegant champagne flute, some bubbly, a little flavoring, maybe a touch of fruit, and you’ve got perfect party fare. And endless possibilities.