Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

posted by on Cooking for 1, Holidays, portions, quick, vegetable

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Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Happy 2015!

I just happened to start off my year with this amazing dish that’s easy + quick to put together. Vegetarian? Sub the chicken + use nice thick slices of zucchini instead and proceed with the same instructions below! Eggplant would be amazing with the crispy panko crust too. If you give the vegetarian version a go, share some photos/tips with me!

This goes quickly together if you prep some things beforehand like trimming and cleaning the cauliflower into florets and store covered in your fridge until you’re ready to use them.

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posted by on guilty pleasure, Holidays, homemade

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Peanut Butter Balls via Flickr

…unless you have no oven. This year, I thought I would share a friend’s recipe for no bake peanut butter balls that she made for a Christmas dinner she hosted over the weekend.

Me and my college friend Abby at Ohana Christmas Dinner

Me and my college friend Abby at Ohana Christmas Dinner

Definitely looking forward to making these just as soon as I get a real kitchen back in my life.  **I do not have the fridge/freezer/counter space to make these but I wanted to share anyway!** || Read more

Valentine’s Day


posted by on baking, Holidays, homemade

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A year ago today I posted this recipe I had found on Pinterest so I thought I’d repost and share it with you. I didn’t have time to this year to pull out my collection of cookie cutters and make another batch. It’s been a rough week losing someone who was very close to us so I guess I’d rather take this time to spend with the people who I’m fortunate to still have in this short life. Don’t worry. There may not be any cookies, but there will be lots of red wine in our friend’s honor!

original post from Feb. 14, 2012 ————————–
I love Valentine’s Day! I found this cutout sugar cookie recipe on Pinterest and was anxious to try it. The ingredients list is short and you only need one bowl.

My almond cranberry glaze recipe below happened by accident but I’m happy with the results. You can switch out the almond for whatever flavoring you want or just add vanilla extract and food coloring. *The corn syrup adds that shiny look and sets up the glaze nicely so the cookies can be stacked when storing.*

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ sticks salted butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in bowl.
  3. Roll out to about ½ inch thickness.
  4. Cut with flour coated cookie cutters.
  5. Brush off excess flour & place on parchment covered baking sheets.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes & cool  on wire rack.

Almond Cranberry Glaze

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-4 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 4-5 frozen cranberries
  1. In a coffee mug, microwave the cranberries just until soft (about 30 seconds).
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl until you have a spreadable consistency.
  3. Add the softened cranberries – mash with a fork to make them bleed into the icing and mix really well.
  4. Remove any big pieces of cranberry from the glaze and throw away.
  5. Dip the sugar cookies face down into the glaze and slowly lift up letting the extra glaze drip off.
  6. Let the glaze fully dry on wax paper.

posted by on baking, Holidays, quick

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Holidays! Cranberries are easy to come by so I always stock up when they’re on sale. Store ’em in your freezer for up to a year. Mine never last that long.

This cran-orange muffin recipe is something I changed up a bit to fit my tastes. In all honesty, it’s pretty sweet and more cupcake, almost angel food-like. I still had a couple for breakfast though. 🙂

If you’re not a fan of the tartness of cranberry, try using blueberries instead, they’d work equally well with the orange flavor. You could also try and toss your thawed out cranberries in a bowl of sugar and let them sit a little bit before you add them to the dough. Up to you!

Overall, this one’s a keeper! Moist, sweet and just the right amount of tart for me!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • ¾ cup orange juice (prefer fresh squeezed oranges!)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 cups cranberries (or blueberries), if you’re using frozen, thaw and drain first
  • Cooking spray
  1. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
  2. Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, salt & baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Combine orange rind, juice, oil, egg & almond extract in a small bowl. Mix well with a whisk.
  4. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  5. Fold in cranberries or blueberries.
  6. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
  7. Sprinkle with leftover sugar.
  8. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

Original recipe found here.

posted by on baking, Holidays


An ode to my favorite cookie right now at Urban Cookies Bake Shop here in Phoenix. Their ginger molasses cookies… I crave them. I dream about those cookies!

Anyway… something about the combination of ginger and molasses has always reminded me of Christmas. My version isn’t overwhelmingly ginger-y, are super soft and take no time at all to put together (assuming you have ginger and molasses in your kitchen… I had to make a grocery run).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1½ sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar + extra for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2¾ cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix together the softened butter & sugar.
  2. Add the molasses and 1 egg and mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger & cinnamon.
  4. Add half of the flour mix to the wet mix. Mix until well combined.
  5. Add the rest of the flour mix and mix well.
  6. Roll the dough into about 1″ balls, roll in sugar until well coated.
  7. Bake on a parchment covered cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven & let cool for a couple of minutes.
  9. Transfer to wire racks to fully cool. Store in an airtight container.

posted by on baking, grandma, Holidays


This was my second Thanksgiving in Phoenix, Arizona. Luckily, as I mention a lot, my Grandmother lives close and for that I am thankful!

She decided she’d be prepping a whole turkey this year and insisted on having a cherry pie from Village Inn (she loves their pies) but I told her I refused to go without some kind of dessert with pumpkin in it. We decided we’d just have to have both!

I wanted to find a different recipe this year from the normal pumpkin pie (the first time I had made a pumpkin pie from scratch was last Thanksgiving if you can believe that!). I stumbled upon this recipe from Martha Stewart and normally her recipes are a little too bougie for my tastes but I couldn’t help myself this time.

Soft, cake-like pumpkin spice cookies frosted with a brown butter icing. They were a hit! (For the record, the cherry pie a la mode was equally awesome…)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 oz.)
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For The Icing

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) butter
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl & set aside.
  2. Put butter & brown sugar in a bowl & mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  3. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low & add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. (easier filling if you place the bag in a tall glass as shown in my picture above – if you don’t have a pastry bag, just use a baggie and cut off one of the corners, it will work just as well).
  5. Pipe rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart (I did a spiral about 3 times around as shown in above photo).
  6. Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 6 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet and bake for another 5-6 minutes until the top of the cookie is spring-like.
  7. Leave the cookies on the baking sheets & cool on wire racks 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer cookies to wire racks & let cool completely.

Make icing:

  1. Put sifted powdered sugar in a bowl & set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add butter to powdered sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk & vanilla and stir until smooth.
  4. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie using the back of a spoon & let the icing dry a bit.

**These cookies are very soft and will not store well stacked so I recommend freezing/refrigerating or placing wax paper in between to prevent the icing from sticking.**

1. So glad our dear friend Kailey got to spend Thanksgiving with us this year!  2. My cousin Heath, Grandma & me 3.  the whole gang! (so fun to see my cousins Frankie & Weston that I hadn’t seen in 20 some years and Grandma’s sister and brother-in-law)



posted by on beer, Holidays

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I’ll admit it. I haven’t been cooking or baking in a couple of weeks now. Blame it on the heat. Or my laziness. I don’t know what it is. I do know that I’m behind on posting about a couple of beers I’ve tried recently. Just in time for Labor Day tomorrow (I’m awesome like that)! Hope ya’ll are having fun this holiday weekend (be safe out there too if you’re trying a few new, good craft beers, ok?).

Tandem Double IPA: Limited Release from Tenaya Creek Brewery in Las Vegas, NV

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