Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons
Holidays , Recipes / December 14, 2018

Chocolate-Dipped MacaroonsMakes about 40 cookies 1/2 cup unsalted butter4 eggs3/4 cup sugar5 cups unsweetened shredded dried coconut3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise* 1/2 teaspoon salt5 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, then set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the melted butter, coconut, and condensed milk. Scrape inside of vanilla beans and add seeds to bowl. Add salt. Stir together all of the ingredients until well combined. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons to shape generous 1 1/2-tablespoon-size balls. Drop the coconut balls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies evenly and arranging about 20 cookies on each sheet. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave.  Dip the…

Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season
Cookbook Overviews , Holidays / December 13, 2018

It’s Christmas cookie time! I love making Christmas cookies, and I make the same family favorites every year. But I like to try at least one new cookie, and if I could just bake all day long in December I would make tons of different types of cookies. Since I enjoy Christmas baking so much, I am super excited to try out a new recipe or two from Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season by Elisabet der Nederlanden. This cookbook is separated into the following chapters: Very Merry Classics, Cookie Exchange Party, Warm Holiday Spice, Around the World, Holiday Confections, and Decorated Delights. I think creating chapter ideas would be one of the hardest parts of writing a cookbook! The Around the World cookies look especially interesting. The author grew up in Sweden, so some of these cookies are her childhood favorites. In addition, there are recipes from other European countries and even a South American treat. I will be back tomorrow to share a Holiday Cookie recipe!

My Thanksgiving Favorites
Holidays , Recipes / November 16, 2018

For most of us, our Thanksgiving menu is based on tradition. Next Thursday is not a day to try out a bunch of new recipes on the family. Although it can’t hurt to try out one (or two) new recipes. You never know when a new recipe is going to become part of your family’s favorite food memories. Anyway, since I will be mostly making dishes I’ve made several times before, I thought I would share some of my tried and true Thanksgiving recipes. Dried Cherry and Cranberry Sauce This is probably the first dish I ever made for a Thanksgiving dinner. It actually started with a similar dish I saw Martha Stewart make, but this version has more flavor. The dried cherries really help to cut the tartness of the cranberries, and this is one of those dishes where I am often asked to share the recipe. It’s super easy, not a lot harder than opening a can! Emeril’s Cornbread and Andouille Dressing I grew up in the Midwest, and we always made dressing with white bread. My husband is from the South, so my mother-in-law makes cornbread stuffing. I gotta say, cornbread stuffing is better. We also lived…

Thanksgiving Cookbooks
Cookbook Overviews , Holidays / November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving is only a week and a few days a way. Do you know what you’re cooking? If you want some ideas, you might check out one of these Thanksgiving cookbooks. I just picked these up from the library and haven’t had a chance to cook from them, but I still thought it might be fun to look through them and get some ideas. First up, is Williams-Sonoma The Best of Thanksgiving: Recipes and Inspiration for a Festive Holiday Meal. As you might imagine if you’ve ever looked at a Williams-Sonoma catalog, this cookbook contains beautiful photos of traditional recipes. The whole meal is covered, including recipes for leftovers. Chapters on  planning, wine pairing, and menus are included to provide inspiration. There is even a chapter called “Turkey Know-How.” I would say that my main complaint is that everything in here is pretty standard, and most of the tips included I’ve already read. That being said, I’ve always had good luck with Williams-Sonoma recipes, and there were several in here I would like to try, including Spicy Corn Break Stuffing with Chorizo & Pepitas, Bite-Sized Pecan Tartlets, and Turkey Panini with Blue Cheese & Chutney. The second book I picked up…

Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day
Holidays / April 26, 2018

Mother’s Day is on May 13, which is fast approaching! Having trouble coming up with an idea for what to get your mom (mother-in-law, grandmother, friend who is a new mom)? I think we are always so ready for spring this time of year that anything to do with flowers or gardening is a great gift.   For the Martha Stewart Wannabe Mom: Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying For the Mom Who Says She Doesn’t Want Anything: Gorgeous flowers from Bouqs.com.(My sister says these flowers are great!) For the Mom Who Would Rather Be Gardening: SONGMICS 9 Piece Garden Tool Set For the Mow Who Wished She Owned Her Own Flower Shop: The Flower Chef: A Modern Guide to Do-It-Yourself Floral Arrangements (I really did get this for my mom a few years a go. It’s like a cookbook for flowers!) Hope that gets you started in thinking about what to give your mom for Mother’s Day. The most important thing is to make her feel appreciated!

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