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Cranberry Vodka Cocktail


Cranberry Vodka Cocktail - cranberry juice and vodka come together with a little fizz for a fun and easy holiday drink.

Cranberry Vodka Cocktail – cranberry juice and vodka come together with a little fizz for a fun and easy holiday drink.

Cranberry Vodka Cocktail - cranberry juice and vodka come together with a little fizz for a fun and easy holiday drink.

Let’s keep this short and sweet today.  I have a fun cocktail for you.  It is perfect for your holiday get together, New Years Eve, or just because you have some cranberries lying around.  Vodka and Cranberry is a very classic drink, I just added some fizz.  I have a thing about fizz.  For some reason, I think that cocktails need to have fizz in them!  Call me crazy, or call me genius – just make this drink.

Oh, and I have an awesome giveaway for you today too!

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Classic Holiday Cookies


Frosted Sugar Cookies

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The International Housewares Association for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Christmas is right around the corner!  Have you started your baking yet?  Don’t worry, it is not too late, there is still plenty of time to get ready for the holidays.  Today I am sharing my recipe for our classic Frosted Sugar Cookies over at Inspired Home. Frosted Sugar Cookies are a very traditional holiday treats, you can decorate them any way you want.  Perfect way to get the kids and the whole family in the kitchen helping.

Head over to Inspired Home to see about my family traditions and get the recipe for these cookies that have been in my family from before I was born! Frosted Sugar Cookies

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White Chocolate Coconut Truffles


White Chocolate Coconut Truffles - super easy and perfect for any holiday get together

White Chocolate Coconut Truffles – super easy truffles that melt in your mouth!  Perfect for holiday desserts, cookie exchanges, or just because!

White Chocolate Coconut Truffles - super easy and perfect for any holiday get together

 

After being gone for a week, this week is crazy!  Trying to get work done on top of getting the house ready for Christmas, and doing some baking.  I have a cookie exchange this weekend that I need to figure out what I am making!  I love doing cookie exchanges.  My family is kind of picky about what cookies they will eat, but just getting to hang out with friends and share food together is so much fun.  Stay tuned, because I am sure whatever I make will show up here later this month.  I can’t make something I have shared with them before!

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Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting


Sweet Potato Cupcakes - Turn one of your favorite side dishes into dessert! Moist spiced sweet potato cupcakes topped with a marshmallow frosting are a great dessert for fall!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting – Turn one of your favorite side dishes into dessert!  Moist spiced sweet potato cupcakes topped with a marshmallow frosting are a great dessert for fall!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes - Turn one of your favorite side dishes into dessert!  Moist spiced sweet potato cupcakes topped with a marshmallow frosting are a great dessert for fall!

Is it cold where you live?  It has been in the single digits for highs here this week.  Very unlike normal Colorado weather, and I can honestly say…I do not like it one bit!  I am not made the for the cold, despite the fact that I grew up in the Mid-West.  I am always cold, huddled under a blanket, lots of layers, and most likely with a hot drink in hand.  I just do not like winter.  Next week we are back into the 40’s, so at least this is relatively short lived.  But less than a week ago we were 70 degrees, so it is quite the shock to the system.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oreos


Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oreos {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oreos – homemade oreos are so easy to make, and these are sandwiched around (egg-free) peanut butter cookie dough!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oreos - homemade oreos are so easy to make, and these are sandwiched around (egg-free) peanut butter cookie dough!

Welcome to the day 2 of Cookie Week, hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen! We’ve teamed together with 10 other talented bloggers to bring you 5 fantastic days of cookie recipes to get you in to the holiday spirits. If you love to pin make sure to check out our #CookieWeek Pinterest board full of all the cookie recipes you’ll see here this week!

Our sponsors for this event have provided us with some great prizes and we’d like to extend a huge thank you for their generosity. Thanks to Imperial Sugar, Circulon, Peanut Butter & Co. and Page Street Publishing for being a part of Cookie Week!

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Fudge #SundaySupper


Fudge 4 thumb

Holidays are all about family, friends, and tradition.  Today, Beate from Galactopdx is hosting this #SundaySupper “Home for the Holidays” event. We are all sharing recipes and traditions from our families.

In my family we have a tradition of making fudge every Christmas Eve.  We don’t make it any other day of the year, just the 24th.  It has to be one of my all time favorite holiday treats.  You can often find me sneaking pieces Christmas morning while we are opening presents.  This is the recipe we have been making in my family forever.  I believe it was originally from the back of the marshmallow fluff jar, but I am not completely sure.  You can easily add nuts if that is your thing, but I am a purist and like it without.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and enjoy your time with family and friends.  I am taking a couple days off from the blog, but will be back with lots of appetizer ideas for your New Years parties.

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Holly Wreaths for the 12 Days of Christmas


Jen at The Three Little Piglets is having a virtual cookie exchange!  Jen emailed me to see if I would be interested in taking part of her 12 Days of Christmas Cookies.  Of course I would, what a great idea!  Today Jen is making for you Holly Wreaths.  Next week I will be making a yummy treat to share as well (hint: chocolate and caramel are involved).  Make sure you check back each day at The Three Little Piglets for other great recipes from lots of other bloggers.  She also has a great Giveaway going on you don’t want to miss.

I’m Jen Matlock, proud Navy wife, mother of three voracious eaters, and culinary student. I write EASY, healthy and delicious budget friendly recipes, with step by step instructions and tips on saving you money on groceries at The Three Little Piglets.

Every year as the holidays approach, it feels like we become more and more pressed for time. Between the shopping, the parties, and the pageants, it’s sometimes easy to lose focus on the most important part of the season – our friends and our families.

Just as important is the food we share with the people we love. Every day I am blessed by the inspiration, support and encouragement of some of the kindest and most talented bloggers, like Erin. I would love to sit down at the table (a very big table) this year and share what we all love so deeply, food.

For me, this is the time of year when I crave the foods that remind me of my childhood, the familiar smells and tastes that make me feel like I’m wrapped up in a cozy blanket, back in my grandmother’s kitchen or rolling out cookies with my mother.

One of the cookies that appears every year in my house, are my grandmother’s spritz cookies. Did you ever notice that as soon as you put the word grandma in front of a recipe it immediately gains stature?  It’s like if you know it’s been around that long, then it must be good. It’s quite a marketing gimmick really…

These cookies are soft and delicate, with just a hint of tang from the cream cheese. And super simple which is equally important in my book!

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Guest Post – Chocolate Caramel Dipped Pretzels


 Happy 4th of July everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing day.  Today I bring you my first Guest Post.  I would like to introduce you to Janet.  She writes over at From Cupcakes to Caviar.  She has a great sense of humor.  You will leave her site hungry and laughing!  Today she made you a 4th of July themed treat!  So sit back and meet Janet!

Hey there everybody!
I’m Janet from Cupcakes to Caviar  and I was honored when Erin asked me to do a guest host post (heh… I made a rhyme. I’m so special huh?) while she is on vacation. We so won’t get into how jealous I am that she GETS a vacation. I think the last time I went on vacation was…ummm…never. ERIN!!! WAIT UP!!! I’ll sleep in the trunk of the car! I’m toilet trained!  I’ll live on Cheetos!! Wait for meeeee! 

Erhmmm, moving on now. When she asked me to guest host, beyond feeling honored, I was nervous. What should I make? Maybe I needed to make something fancy like Truffled Pork Bellys served With a Lobster Testicle Risotto (umm…ew? Plus there goes my food budget for the year) or Filet Mignon made with rare Peruvian Emu Toes as a side dish. But then it occurred to me that that isn’t what I do on MY blog so why pretend here? So I decided to make something simple because I’m all about easy 80% or so of the time (the other 20% it’s Cheetos or Twinkies. Ok, I really DO cook fancy and complex sometimes…I admit it). So here we go! Hope you like it. Please like it or I’ll cry and drop to the floor and kick my legs like my two year old does.

I’ve never been a huge fan of salty snacks. Well, other than Cheetos and you can’t do to them what I’ve done to pretzels. Yes, what you’re thinking…chocolate dipped; but with a twist. This IS me after all. Back to salty snacks…. these pretzels may make me change my mind. Yes, I know; they aren’t strictly a salty snack anymore. But there is salt on them darn it! Salt! So it counts. I can now say that I like salty snacks :-D
But as much as I adore my beloved Cheetos (my orange stained keyboard and the fact that everyone thinks I wear orange nail polish all the time might be a clue) you can’t coat them with chocolate and caramel (yes, that is todays secret weapon…caramel!) and decorate them. Well, I suppose you COULD but you couldn’t make even ME try those. Seriously though, I know we’ve all heard of and/or tried chocolate dipped pretzels. I’ve never been a huge fan but I wanted to make something festive and holiday-ish (yes that is now a word. Shush. Don’t argue.) for The Fourth Of July and I loved the idea of putting caramel on these. It took them out of the ordinary chocolate covered pretzel realm into something bit different. I knew my kids and husband would love this and the surprise was that so do I.  So try these. Right now. Go melt some chocolate and some caramel. Decorate. Eat. Say “ooo” and “ahhh” cause they are colorful. :-D

Side note because I’m honest- these are a pain in the BUTT to make lol. I think I had more chocolate, caramel and sprinkles on the walls, the counter and myself than I did on the pretzels. Mine certainly don’t look professional but no one cared in the least. They are already gone lol. Next time I’m making the Emu Toes.

Chocolate Caramel Dipped Pretzels
20 stick pretzels
1 11 ounce bag Kraft caramel bits, melted
1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
sprinkles, colored sugars, colored icings and/or whatever you want to decorate these with

Line your counter with about 4 rolls of waxed paper (ok, maybe it’s just me that should have done that.) But seriously, line the counter with waxed paper. Spray it with cooking spray. Trust me; don’t skip this step (I missed some spots) or like me, you will be peeling bits of waxed paper off of these and cussing loudly.

Dip the pretzels into the caramel. I had to kind of scoop it on and spread it around with the back of a spoon. Lay each one on the waxed paper and let sit until the caramel firms up somewhat.

Dip (scoop, use fingers… what ever works; not that *I* was using my fingers. NEVER! Ahem.) the melted chocolate over the caramel layer. Let sit for about ten minutes until it is slightly set. Sprinkle with whatever you are decorating them with. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm I will pray for you that yours look better than mine :-P. Oh heck, ANYONES would look better than mine do. :-D