Tag: Holiday

3 IngredientĀ Miso-Maple Glazed PecansĀ (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

3 IngredientĀ Miso-Maple Glazed PecansĀ (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

My uncle and mother were over for dinner and about halfway through the dish of these pecans, my uncle turned to me and said they were the best nuts heā€™d ever had. So, I asked him to guess the secret ingredient.. when he finally declared he was stumped, I finally told him it was Miso!

Holiday Charcuterie Wreath

Holiday Charcuterie Wreath

This is always one of my favorite times of year, and as a staunch ‘delicious but not filling’ appetizer supporter, I considered this the perfect opportunity to combine two of the holiday season’s best features: charcuterie and Christmas.

DIY Dried Oranges

DIY Dried Oranges

You’ve surely seen dried oranges in potpourri, holiday garlands and all kinds of decorations, but did you know they are SO easy to make at home for just pennies on the dollar? Sweet little bags of these dried oranges sell for $10 a bag close to home, so I get a little kick out of knowing that I can create them for myself!

The best part is that this project is super simple and only takes a few minutes of prep. You’ll need some oranges, and a few other supplies that you almost certainly already have around the house. I often make these the day after Thanksgiving and then use them in everything from gift wrap and holiday garlands to cake or cocktail decorations – the sky is the limit! I’m also a fan of getting my kids involved in hanging some around the house.

Watch Me Make My DIY Dried Oranges

If you’re in need of some more holiday-ready recipes, be sure to follow me on Facebook, or see all of my favorites (and so many other delicious recipes!) over on Pinterest.

How To Make My DIY Dried Oranges

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 225° F.

Step 2. Rinse and dry the oranges, then slice crosswise into thin rings about ¼ to ⅛ inch thick.

Step 3. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange the orange slices in a single layer.  Pat them dry on both sides with a paper towel.  

Step 4. Cook for 4 to 4 ½ hours, until totally dry to the touch, flipping them over every 30 minutes.  They will crisp up even more as they cool.

Step 5. Cool completely before using to decorate wrapped gifts, string onto garlands, or to decorate cocktails or cakes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.

Step 6. Enjoy!

What Else Can I Use?

  • Use whatever citrus you have on hand – this works well with lemons, grapefruit etc
  • If you’re building a garland, reach for your favorite herbs to add a little something extra! My go-to’s are rosemary and sage

My DIY Dried Oranges are special because:

They’re low cost but bring so much holiday spirit to the home!

They can be used in so many different ways – garlands, cake and cocktail decorations… the list goes on!

They store in an airtight container for up to a month

More Holiday Ready Recipes:

DIY Christmas Holiday Simmer Pot Home Fragrance

Holiday Chex Mix with Brown Butter and Herbs

Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten Free, Vegan)

If you make my DIY Dried Oranges, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and rate the recipe. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!

If you like full recipe videos, you’ll want to follow me on Facebook and Youtube as I publish new videos daily!

DIY Dried Oranges

You've surely seen dried oranges in potpourri, holiday garlands and all kinds of decorations but now its your turn to make them at home for just pennies on the dollar
No ratings yet

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium oranges cara cara and blood oranges are my go-to

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 225° F.
  • Rinse and dry the oranges, then slice crosswise into thin rings about ¼ to ⅛ inch thick.
  • Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange the orange slices in a single layer.  Pat them dry on both sides with a paper towel.
  • Cook for 4 to 4 ½ hours, until totally dry to the touch, flipping them over every 30 minutes.  They will crisp up even more as they cool.
  • Cool completely before using to decorate wrapped gifts, string onto garlands, or to decorate cocktails or cakes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.
Keyword Citrus, Dried Oranges, Oranges
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Chili Caramel Brussels Sprouts (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar Free)

Chili Caramel Brussels Sprouts (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar Free)

My Chili Caramel Brussels Sprouts are an adventure in flavor, featuring a stunning umami glaze and picture perfect caramelization that makes me want to stand over the stovetop and finish them all by myself.

Company Cranberry Almond Bundt Cake  (Gluten-Free, Dairy Free)

Company Cranberry Almond Bundt Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy Free)

The combination of almond, cranberries, and orange in this moist company cranberry almond bundt cake just sings “the holidays are here!”

Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese

Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese

When it comes to entertaining, I like to use a variety of recipes for appetizers:  some that will be brand new to my guests and some that are “safe” dishes. This one checks both boxes,.

It’s “safe” because crostini of all types tend to be popular, and are one of the first things guests reach for.   It’s unique because many people haven’t had pear and proscuitto together, but like them separately, and the tangy, lemony goat cheese spread is a unique base for the toppings.  

I make a version of this appetizer  year round.  In summer, I use peaches in place of the pear.  It is always a hit.

This Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese is a perfect appetizer for a party of all sizes because:

  1. You can double the recipe easily, use two baguettes and twice the amount of all other ingredients if you’re feeding a large crowd.
  2. It can be mostly made ahead.  The crostini and whipped goat cheese can be made up to a day before serving and assembled when you need it.
  3. I always opt for finger food appetizers, and this is that… no utensils required and easy for guests to eat.
crostini
crostini

what else can i use?

  • I like to use a quality sourdough baguette for this, but any baguette you like will do.
  • You can use any unsweetened plain yogurt for the goat cheese spread, even coconut.  You won’t taste any coconut flavor.
  • Blue cheese is a nice alternative to the goat cheese and pairs well with the pear.
  • Bosc or Bartlett pears work well, just be sure they are ripe and sweet.

Two important things to remember:

If you are whipping the goat cheese spread by hand, your goat cheese must be room temperature or it’ll be too hard to mix.  If you forget and have cold cheese, use a small food processor or blender to whip.

We are seasoning every layer here, so don’t skimp on the salt and pepper!  It really builds flavor in this simple dish.

crostini

If you make this Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese, and I hope you do, please leave it a rating and comment here or post to Instagram and tag me.  I love to hear your feedback and share your creations!

crostini

Pear + Proscuitto Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese

Cruncy, sweet, salty, and creamy, this is the perfect, easy appetizer for a crowd.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snacks
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 16 servings
Calories 121 kcal

Equipment

  • large baking sheet

Ingredients
  

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/4 inch slices sourdough, if available
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ripe pear, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 4 ounces proscuitto
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Zest from 1/2 a lemon

Whipped Goat Cheese

  • 4 ounces goat cheese log, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Lay sliced baguette in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper and brush with the olive oil. If there is any left, reserve it for drizzling on top before serving.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until toasted.
  • While the crostini bakes, make the goat cheese spread.
  • Add room temperature goat cheese to a bowl along with the yogurt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Whisk until well combined, adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed to get it going. Note: If the goat cheese is too hard to do this by hand (either because of the brand, or temperature), use a mini food processor.
  • When the crostini is toasted, spread each slice with the whipped goat cheese.
  • Wrap one slice of pear at a time with 1/2 a piece of proscuitto and lay on top of the goat cheese.
  • Top with any reserved olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and lemon zest.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 170mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 79IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
Keyword appetizers, crostini, Holiday, party food, snacks
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake  (Gluten-Free, Dairy Free)

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy Free)

This Chocolate Olive Oil Cake is perfect, truly.Ā  Whether you want to eat a piece with your hands in your pajamas (the most common way for me, admittedly) or serve to a room full of guests for Christmas or a dinner party, you simply won’t be dissapointed.

Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole                     (Gluten-Free)

Baked Stuffed Shrimp Casserole (Gluten-Free)

My mom has been making baked stuffed shrimp for Christmas Eve for decades. Growing up, it was the one time of year we ate that dish, and I always looked forward to it.  It felt like the open door to the Christmas holiday, I have…

Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Oh, this jelly. 

I’ve been making this Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly for about a decade, every Christmas, and it’s my absolute favorite thing to give as a homemade gift.   

Cookies are fabulous, obviously, as a holiday treat, but it’s the most common food to receive so I figure why not bring something new to the table?  Everyone is always thrilled to have a delicious spread like this on their cheeseboards during the holidays.  It’s particularly good with goat cheese, and I’ve heard cream cheese makes a worthy partner as well.  

When I’ve been cooking all day, be it Thanksgiving or a dinner party, I want people to come to the table HUNGRY.  

How To Make My Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly

Step 1. In a heavy bottomed, medium saucepan, combine red peppers, chiles, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt.

Step 2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir, dissolving the sugar as it cooks.

Step 3. Add pectin and lemon juice and stir once to combine.

Step 4. Reduce heat and cook at a simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Step 5. Add cranberries and continue to simmer about 10 minutes more, or until cranberries start to burst and mixture begins to thicken. The jelly will thicken further as it cools.

Step 6. Let jelly cool off the heat, then transfer to a jar and cover.

Step 7. Refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.

Step 8. Enjoy!

cranberry jelly

This jelly will continue to firm up as it cools, so don’t worry if it’s a bit thin when you refrigerate it.  It will also keep for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator, which makes it ideal for holiday gifting and entertaining if you’re like me and start the festivities prep in early December.

What Else Can I Use?

  • I use these Weck jars again for this jelly, just like I did for the Feta Stuffed Marinated Olives.  They are great for storage, but also look nice enough to gift to loved ones which is what I like to do with this jelly.  
  • I call for 1 cup of sugar in the recipe below, however often I make this with 1/3 or 1/2 cup of sugar and it’s plenty sweet for me.  1 cup will give you a more pronounced sweetness akin to a store bought jam so feel free to sweeten to taste.
  • I call for pectin in this recipe, which does wonders to thicken the jelly fast.  It is readily available at supermarkets and on amazon.  If you don’t want to be bothered, you can omit it, just know that the texture will be less consistent and looser, more of a compote than a jelly.
  • I use fresno or jalapeno peppers in this since they are widely available.  I deseed them since I don’t like a lot of spice in this, just a background hit of heat.  Feel free to leave the seeds in if you want it to be quite hot.  
  • No cranberry juice?  Use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice instead.
cranberry jelly

This Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly Is A Forever Holiday Favorite Because:

It’s much easier to make than cookies, and requires less than 30 minutes of cooking time.

It is always a unique gift to give, and impresses every time.

It is the perfect balance of tart, sweet, and spicy making it an ideal holiday appetizer.

It’s fun to make.  There is something so satisfying about throwing a handful of ingredients in a pot and watching it transform into this glossy, ruby red jelly before your eyes.

If you make my Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and don’t forget to rate the recipe! Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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cranberry red pepper jelly

Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

The perfect addition to any Holiday cheese plate, this cranberry red pepper jelly is easy to make and sure to impress.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people
Calories 90 kcal

Equipment

  • Heavy bottomed medium saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 3 red bell peppers, finely minced
  • 2 Fresno or jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely minced leave in seeds for extra heat
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup liquid pectin
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice or 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups cranberries, fresh or thawed if frozen

Instructions
 

  • In a heavy bottomed, medium saucepan, combine red peppers, chiles, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir, dissolving the sugar as it cooks.
  • Add pectin and lemon juice and stir once to combine.
  • Reduce heat and cook at a simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add cranberries and continue to simmer about 10 minutes more, or until cranberries start to burst and mixture begins to thicken. The jelly will thicken further as it cools.
  • Let jelly cool off the heat, then transfer to a jar and cover.
  • Refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.
  • This jelly will keep almost a month in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 90kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 102mgPotassium: 106mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 1023IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
Keyword appetizers, Christmas, Holiday
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Easy Vegan Eggnog

Easy Vegan Eggnog

This recipe was a last minute add, I didn’t plan to post it this week but when I made it again this morning and so many people messaged me on Instagram about it, I knew I had to give it to you before Christmas.   I…

Ginger Molasses Brunch Cake (Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

Ginger Molasses Brunch Cake (Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

I think we can all agree that the holidays are all about grazing… especially in 2020 when we are all home day, after day, after day, after day. Celebrating the holidays, on the whole, is more casual for most of this year and I have…

DIY Holidays:  Christmas Simmer Pot Home Fragrance

DIY Holidays: Christmas Simmer Pot Home Fragrance

christmassimmerpot

We are in full on Christmas mode over here, and that means all the sounds, tastes, and smells we can get.  This Christmas simmer pot is like a potpourri made on your stovetop, covered with water and slowly releasing all of those festive smells into the air.

“What else can I use?”

  • If you don’t have rosemary, you can clip a few branches off of your Christmas tree instead.  This will give a pine or fir note (a nod to this favorite holiday candle) to the mixture that is really lovely.
  • If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, you can use some ground cinnamon in its place.
  • No whole cloves?  You can use ground, or omit.
christmassimmerpot

For those of you who bake, you can certainly get those festive smells coming from your kitchen with my Frosted Gingerbread Blondies, too.  

What are you favorite holiday scents?

christmassimmerpot
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5 from 1 vote

Christmas Simmer Pot Home Fragrance

The easiest Christmas DIY, with a few simple ingredients you can make your home smell just like Christmas.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time5 hours
Keyword: Christmas, Holiday, Home fragrance
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Large dutch oven or pot

Materials

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a large pot and fill with water to cover.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 3-5 hours, topping up with water every 30 minutes as needed to cover ingredients.
Holiday Chex Mix with Brown Butter & Herbs

Holiday Chex Mix with Brown Butter & Herbs

Oh, Chex Mix… how I love thee.   Every holiday season, I make batches and batches of this stuff.  It’s so satisfying to snack on with drinks, if you’re having people over (in any other year than 2020), and makes an easy and delicious gift for…

Frosted Gingerbread Blondies (Grain-Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Frosted Gingerbread Blondies (Grain-Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

I held off long enough, we are now in full Christmas mode over here and I’m not mad about it!  We bought our tree from our local Stew Leonard’s Christmas Tree Shop, who always makes it so easy.  As much as I love the idea…