Cherry Almond Breakfast Bread

Cherry Almond Breakfast Bread

Every year at Christmas time I say to myself, "I going to start earlier next year."  Meaning, start the holiday shopping, baking, card-making and all the other stuff that goes along with Christmas.  I truly enjoy doing these things, and I would certainly cut back and eliminate if things got too crazy.  But putting these things off until the month of December, when I know I could at least start in say, October, would certainly make things less stressful come 13 days until Christmas. I always enjoy giving friends and neighbors some goodies during the holidays.  I always feel its a nice way of expressing your gratitude and truly giving thanks for having them in our lives.  This year, I'm planning on giving some loaves of these pretty Cherry Almond Breakfast Bread.  They are perfect for Continue Reading...

Snowday Sledding and Reindeer Pretzel Snacks

Snowday Sledding and Reindeer Pretzel Snacks

As many of you know,  I grew up in the great planes of South Dakota.  Winters there were fierce, with lots of snow, ice and frigid temperatures.  As a kid, we often had days off from school due to the treacherous winter weather.  If the temp was above zero (many times it was not), we would suit up and go play outside - making snow forts and lots of sledding. Now that me and my family live in Northern Virginia, winters are much more mild, but we still get a few snow days now and again.  Yesterday, was one of those days where winter memories are made.  My son Harrison and many of his neighborhood friends gathered at our neighborhood sledding hill and had an absolute blast.  We froze our keesters off as we were out in the snow and sleet for over four hours.  But when your a kid, frozen Continue Reading...

Pecan Praline Bars

Pecan Praline Bars

Cross between pecan pie and pecan sandies, these buttery, delicious Pecan Praline Bars are perfect any time you're in the mood for something sweet! An amazing pecan shortbread crust, a delicious caramel filling and topped with brown sugar toasted pecans, these bars are incredible! The perfect addition to your holiday cookie trays! As a kid, I wasn't always the biggest fan of pecans - any nuts, really.   I didn't like many foods - tomatoes, nuts, some types of meats - all of these things kinda grossed me out.  Its funny, as we get older, our really palates change and evolve.  I've come to really love all of these foods that I despised as a kid.  I especially have grown to love pecans. My adoration for pecans has really come full circle - I now love both cooking and baking with this Continue Reading...

Peppermint Bark Brownie Bites

Peppermint Bark Brownie Bites

Its the Monday after Thanksgiving, and I'm still in a bit of a food coma.  We had family here over the holiday weekend, and still have some turkey to get through.  A bit sick of looking at it, I decided that the holiday baking needs to commence.  I wanted to try something new this year.  After a few test batches, I think I've come up with the PERFECT chocolate/peppermint combo - Peppermint Bark Brownie Bites! These brownie bites are very easy to make, as the recipe utilizes a brownie mix.  Another key component is the Hershey's Peppermint Bark Belles, which are sold at Target.  The belles fit perfectly in the brownie cups, and make for a tasty little bite sized goodie. One of my favorite things about the holidays is doing the baking.  I tend to package up the goodies and take Continue Reading...

White Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies

White Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to snack on is dried cranberries.  I always seem to have a big bag in our pantry and they go especially well with almonds (or white chocolate chips, if I'm really craving something sweet!) Several years ago, I decided to make some oatmeal cookies.  I was going to throw in some raisins, but didn't have any.  I did have dried cranberries and some white chocolate chunks.  And voila!!  There you have it - White Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies! These have come to be one of my favorite cookies to make and have on hand for a snack.  The recipe makes about 3 dozen, so I tend to keep about half out for us to snack on and then freeze the rest. The texture and flavor of these cookies is pretty awesome.  They are soft and chewy like Continue Reading...

Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

This sweet, moist coffee cake is bejeweled with fresh cranberries, and topped with crunchy slivered almonds. The perfect breakfast cake! Are you going to have company anytime soon?  Struggling to come up with some easy ways to feed your peeps for breakfast while they are crashing at your place?  Why not have a coffee cake on hand?  Its a nice alternative to the big, heavy breakfasts that take what seem to be hours to make.  This is something you can even make ahead of time, and have ready to slice right away in the morning while the coffee is brewing. The  flavors of this coffee cake are wonderful!   The tart cranberries and sweetness of the glaze compliment each other and the almond paste and extract create a flavorful cake that brings it all together.  This could be great Continue Reading...

Dutch Apple Tart with Pecan Crumble

Dutch Apple Tart with Pecan Crumble

Easy as pie, this Dutch Apple Tart is an even easier version of the classic pie recipe!  Sweet, tender apples, and a brown sugar cinnamon pecan crumble are baked to perfection making this tart a perfect addition to your holiday dessert table!  Fantastic for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner! Are you thinking about Thanksgiving yet?  I definitely am, as this is quite possibly one of our favorite holidays - great food, college football, some good wine.  We have much to be thankful for, and this year is no exception.  I will be hosting a few family members, and making the meal again this year.  Since we live quite far from pretty much all of our family, we only get the chance to see them once or twice a year if we're lucky. As many of you know, making a holiday meal requires Continue Reading...