Thursday, December 31, 2015

Countdown to 2016: Readers' Faves

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Today, we are sharing what READERS found to be the best recipes on our blog for 2015. Let's see what made your all's favorite list!
The Countdown to 2016 begins December 26 - if you have a food blog, feel free to join in! #Countdownto2016 #best

Happy New Year's Eve! Happy Last Day of 2015! Happy Where Did the Time Go?!

Today, we are on the second to last day of the Countdown to 2016 - obviously because tomorrow 2016 starts. Today's category is Most Popular/Readers' Faves. We are looking at the most viewed recipes on our blogs in 2015. I didn't specify and left it up to the bloggers to decide if that was all-inclusive to every recipe on their blog or if it was contained to just 2015. I personally chose to shared just 2015 recipes. Otherwise I'd be sharing the same 10 recipes year after year. I think only my #1 recipe creeped up into the top 10 of all-time on my blog. Anyways, let's see what made everyone's lists for the most popular dishes on their blogs in 2015!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Countdown to 2016: Best Crockpot Recipes

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Today's Countdown category utilizes the best tool in the kitchen: the crockpot. See what fantastic slow cooker recipes are being shared today!
The Countdown to 2016 begins December 26 - if you have a food blog, feel free to join in! #Countdownto2016 #best

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Countdown to 2016: Best Dessert

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Join us as we say goodbye to 2015 and countdown to 2016 with our best recipes from this year! There's never a bad time for dessert...
The Countdown to 2016 begins December 26 - if you have a food blog, feel free to join in! #Countdownto2016 #best

Monday, December 28, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - December 28, 2015

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 Menu Plan Monday on Dec 28, 2015 | My week of meals and grocery list! #menuplan #groceries

Once again, I got a little bug, so I'm trying to recover from it. This meant I was lazy and didn't make dinner yesterday - we just ate Christmas leftovers. So we had last night's dinner tonight! Then I will do the grocery shopping tomorrow. I am so excited about NYE...probably my favorite eating holiday since we eat all appetizers and snacks :) I'm going to be hunting for a cupcake/cake recipe for my mom-in-law. Her birthday is on Wednesday, but she has to work, so we are celebrating on NYE again this year. We try to make sure her birthday is on the forefront because it's not very much fun to have a birthday this time of the year - a lot of people forget :(

Countdown to 2016: Best Main Dish

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Join us today as we share our favorite meals that made it to our dinner table. 
It's the best main dishes of 2015!
The Countdown to 2016 begins December 26 - if you have a food blog, feel free to join in! #Countdownto2016 #best

Day three of the Countdown and we're ready to share our best main dish recipes. I am excited to see what the other bloggers have to share. I love the variety of foods that can be made to serve up each night for dinner and honestly don't think I could ever hoard enough main dish recipes. So bring it on!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Countdown to 2016: Best Breakfast

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Join us today as we share our favorite breakfast recipes of 2015!

Find some new recipes to try in the new year, as we say goodbye to 2015! The Countdown to 2016 has a slew of #recipes from many food blogs! #Countdownto2016 #newyear

In case you missed it, stop by and see yesterday's Best Appetizers & Snacks of 2015. Today is all about how we start off the day...or sometimes make for dinner :) I can't wait to see what all my favorite food bloggers have to share!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Countdown to 2016: Best Appetizers & Snacks

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The Countdown to 2016 kicks off with the best appetizer and snack recipes of 2015. Stop by to see collections from my favorite food bloggers.

Find some new recipes to try in the new year, as we say goodbye to 2015! The Countdown to 2016 has a slew of #recipes from many food blogs! #Countdownto2016 #newyear

I'm so excited to keep the "Countdown to..." tradition going. I am hosting again this year because the original host, SnoWhite of Finding Joy in my Kitchen, is not hosting this year, that I know of. I've been participating since 2011 and it's something I look forward to each year. It's so nice to reflect on all the yummy treats you've shared/eaten over the past year. For me, I like seeing how unbalanced my blog is so I can attempt to do better the next year!

Can y'all believe 2015 is coming to end already?! I just can't. I swear it just started a week ago. 2015 has been such an interesting and crazy year for us. We have had some ups and downs as new homeowners (and still trying to fix some things and be proactive about others), Nick had to switch jobs because unfortunately his employer was government-based and the funding hadn't been released for their IT projects and that meant laying off people - he was lucky to find a new job before he had to be laid off (still very stressful), our 3rd kiddo, Mason, joined us at the end of February, and so much more. It's been our first full year with Nick out of active duty and quite honestly, it still feels like we are going to go back to Fort Drum at any moment. I'm hoping 2016 will make civilian life feel more normal!

We are starting the Countdown with appetizers and snacks - and I know I'm always looking for new ones to make around this time of year! Holiday dinners mean we snack a ton during the day while meal prepping and, of course, New Years is quickly approaching. Before I share mine, be sure to stop by the blogs below to see their *best* appetizers and snacks of 2015.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cookies & Cream Waffles

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5 ingredients to make these cake-y, fluffy, decadent waffles - perfect for those with a sweet tooth!
Cookies & Cream Waffles | 5 ingredients to make these cake-y, fluffy, decadent waffles - perfect for those with a sweet tooth! #breakfast #waffles #recipe #chocolate

Last year, I became kind of obsessed with how easily waffles could be made with a box of cake mix. I'm not one to turn down sweets for breakfast. And there are so many possibilities for making waffles out of cake mix that I just had to make some.  I've made French Vanilla/Cinnamon Roll, Funfetti/Cotton Candy, and Carrot Cake/Caramel. This go-around I decided to make chocolate fudge with cookies & cream frosting and s'mores waffles. They both turned out incredibly well and I will be sharing the s'mores soon (hopefully).


All you have to do is prepare your cake mix as per the directions and then cook it in your waffle iron. Serve them up with the creamy, rich frosting and Oreo crumbles and you have a sweet breakfast to indulge in. I don't make these often because...let's be honest...it's basically cake, but it's nice every once in a blue moon to make dessert for breakfast and pretend that it's breakfast. LOL.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - December 21, 2015

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Menu Plan Monday on Dec 21, 2015 | My week of meals and grocery list! #menuplan #groceries

This week I am making a few more recipes from my Food Network magazine collection - anything without a link is from there. I am so ready for Christmas festivities. Christmas makes me happy :)

Monday
Cheesy Quinoa with Turkey Kielbasa
quinoa, grape tomatoes, extra sharp cheddar cheese, parsley, broccoli, kielbasa

Tuesday
Layered Enchilada Bake
ground beef (1), onion, salsa, black beans, taco seasoning, tortillas, sour cream?, Mexican cheese

Wednesday
Minestrone with Gnocchi // Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies [for Santa]
celery, carrots, onion, diced tomatoes (15 oz), fresh rosemary, Parmesan cheese, escarole, gnocchi // powdered sugar, Candy  Cane Hershey Kisses

Thursday (Christmas Eve)
Perfect Every Time Cut Out Cookies [not sure dinner plans]

Friday (Christmas Day)
Hot Chocolate Truffles // Super Easy Cinnamon Twists // Gingerbread Cookie Bars // Smoky Creamed Kale // Twice Baked Potato Casserole // Butterscotch Pecan Pie
semisweet chocolate chips, heavy cream, candy canes, mallow bits // refrigerated breadstick dough, cream cheese // butter, molasses?, cream cheese // kale, onion, milk, Parmesan // russet potatoes (5), bacon, cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese // pecan halves*, butterscotch chips, eggs, salted butter,

Saturday
Leftovers

Sunday
Light Chicken Pot Pie
russet potatoes (2), carrots, fresh thyme, onion, celery, milk, chicken breasts, Greek yogurt, frozen peas, fresh parsley


...and if you are looking for a no-hassle recipe for Christmas, stop by Knoxville Moms Blog to see my post for this Easy Christmas Breakfast Casserole.


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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Throwback Thursday #8

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Throwback Thursday No.8 | Rediscovering Old Favorites in the Recipe Archive

I, again, have waited far too long to post a new Throwback Thursday - last time being in mid-October. I'm trying to get my footing back and actually post on my old schedule. I really enjoy digging up old recipes from the archive and going "Ohhh, I need to make that again!!", so here are two goodies!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Mocha Cookies #fbcookieswap

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http://www.fbcookieswap.com

Good morning, everyone! I'm back for the third year in a row (for me) of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen. I especially love that signing up means a donation to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. It's great cause and I have so much fun making cookies and sending them off to my three matches. I won't lie - it's fun to get 3 dozen cookies in the mail, too! Last year I made Dark Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies and my first year participating, I made Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This year, I sifted through my cookie board on Pinterest and narrowed down a few recipes. Ultimately, I wanted something caramel-y and chose to do these Brown Butter Salted Caramel Mocha Cookies from kevin & amanda. Brown butter is heaven. Plus you cannot go wrong with salted caramel mocha anything.

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Mocha Cookies | Brown butter, chewy caramel, creamy chocolate chunks, and a sprinkle of salt #cookies #fbcookieswap #recipe

As I always do, I made two batches. Most cookie recipes that I make yield around 3 dozen cookies, but since I was sending a dozen to three people - I had to have some for here at my own place to eat. Also you gotta taste test! :) I ended up sending some home with my mom-in-law (who had my brother-in-law and his new wife in from Germany for leave staying with her) and my sister-in-law. This year, my three matches were: Valerie of A Scrumptious Life, Nicole of Confectionalism, and Christine of Chew Nibble Nosh (who sent ME cookies last year!). So they each got a dozen of these too-good-for-words cookies!! Also shout-out to the swap sponsors, Dixie Crystals and Oxo who sent some kitchen goodies - a silicone mat and beaker measuring glasses. Thank you, guys!!


And another shout-out to my cookie fairies (wouldn't that be cool if there was such a thing!!) - Lisa of The Bearfoot Baker and Renia of  Be A Real Beauty . I got Homemade Thin Mint cookies from Lisa that were divine. I got Holiday Peanut M&M Cookies from Renia and they tasted JUST LIKE my grandma's M&M cookies and it made me so happy. Thank you, ladies!! I have one set of cookies from Susan of 30AEats that will be a little late, but I am looking forward to them too :)

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Mocha Cookies | Brown butter, chewy caramel, creamy chocolate chunks, and a sprinkle of salt #cookies #fbcookieswap #recipe

These cookies are simply wonderful. The brown butter truly makes the cookie, but the caramel and chocolate chunks are incredible too. The salt is the "icing on the cake" - if you catch my drift.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cranberry Spritzer

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Liven up your holiday season with this non-alcoholic beverage that is fruity and fizzy!
Cranberry Spritzer | Liven up your holiday season with this non-alcoholic beverage that is fruity and fizzy! #Christmas #cranberry #drink #beverage #recipe

I'm trying to be better about making recipes other than dinner and the occasional dessert. I'm so bad for never making beverages or snacks or appetizers or side dish recipes. I do make these courses during the holidays though, so, of course, I have a lovely beverage to share with y'all that is perfect for Christmas and New Year's/winter months. We had this on New Year's Eve. I was pregnant and obviously the kids can't have any alcohol, so we got to enjoy these nonalcoholic fizzy drinks :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - December 14, 2015

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 Menu Plan Monday on Dec 14, 2015 | My week of meals and grocery list! #menuplan #groceries

This week is sure to be interesting. Friday's supper is peanut butter burgers. No joke. I was super intrigued by the recipe and I think we're gonna like it. I hope we're gonna like it. We better like it. haha. Thursday is going to be the bomb dot com. I love homemade hibachi. Nothing better!

Monday
Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage
orecchiette pasta, chorizo, green onions, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese*

Tuesday
Chicken Flauntas
avocado, sour cream, 2 limes, radishes, chicken breats, salsa, corn tortillas, cilantro

Wednesday
Chili con Carne
bacon, ground beef (2), onion, green bell pepper, tomato paste, amber beer (1 bottle), crushed tomatoes (28 oz), beef broth, black beans (2 cans), hot sauce, cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream

Thursday
Japanese Hibachi Copycat
mayonnaise?, chicken tenderloins, steak, zucchini (4), onion (3), lemon, soy sauce?, brown rice, shredded carrots, frozen peas

Friday
Wagon Inn Drive-In's Guberburgers
ground beef (2), hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato, onion rings
 

Saturday
Root Beer Bundt Cake
root beer

Sunday
Cheesy Bacon Breakfast Casserole
French bread, eggs (6), milk, cheddar cheese, bacon bits

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns #HolidayWithGlade #ad

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayWithGlade #CollectiveBias

Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection | BE AT PEACE™ Balsam Fir & Juniper, CHERISH THE PRESENT™ Apple Cinnamon, SEND A LITTLE LOVE™ Vanilla Biscotti™, and SHARE THE SPIRIT™ Pomegranate Sparkler™ #HolidayWithGlade #ad

I couldn't help it, guys. When Glade® had their Limited Edition Fall Collection, I bought jar candles, wax melts, and PlugIns® Scented Oils and because they smelled so good, I made a recipe to go with my newly acquired scents. And this is how I ended up with more jar candles, wax melts, PlugIns® Scented Oils, and premium room sprays. All it took was a trip to Kroger, which I do weekly if not more, and a game of "I Spy New Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection fragrances" and now I have a bunch of holiday scents at the house! The Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection has nine scents in total and these are my favorites: BE AT PEACE™ Balsam Fir & Juniper, CHERISH THE PRESENT™ Apple Cinnamon, SEND A LITTLE LOVE™ Vanilla Biscotti™, and SHARE THE SPIRIT™ Pomegranate Sparkler™.

Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection | CHERISH THE PRESENT™ Apple Cinnamon  #HolidayWithGlade #ad

I think the holiday scents are some of my very favorite scents because they remind me of previous holidays and all the great memories that come with the season. CHERISH THE PRESENT™ brings me back to my childhood. My mom loves apple cinnamon anything and she used to have apple cinnamon-scented candles and premium room spray at the holidays - especially Christmas. BE AT PEACE™ is a lovely scent to have because we never get a real tree for our Christmas tree - this scent is subtle and we love it. We get our "real tree" smell, even though we have our artificial tree. The SHARE THE SPIRIT™ scent is wonderful too, but I immediately think of New Year's for it, so we're saving that one until past Christmas.

Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection | BE AT PEACE™ Balsam Fir & Juniper and SHARE THE SPIRIT™ Pomegranate Sparkler™ #HolidayWithGlade #ad

Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection | CHERISH THE PRESENT™ Apple Cinnamon and SEND A LITTLE LOVE™ Vanilla Biscotti™ #HolidayWithGlade #ad

My favorite of all the scents is the Glade® SEND A LITTLE LOVE™ Vanilla Biscotti™ scent. Even though we don't eat biscotti, the jar candle reminds me so much of my favorite cinnamon bun frosting. The vanilla scent makes my mouth water for some of these cinnamon buns. Each year our family tradition is to have homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. I don't know why we started doing it, but it is our thing now.

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns | Huge cinnamon buns topped with a creamy, smooth, finger-licking good vanilla frosting #breakfast #recipe #HolidayWithGlade #ad

These cinnamon rolls are HUGE, so they fill us up for all the unwrapping of presents we have to do - and tides us over until our 3pm Christmas dinner at Nick's momma's house. I like to prep yeasted cinnamon rolls on Christmas eve so I don't have to wake up too early on Christmas day. Like most yeasted cinnamon rolls, you prepare the dough and let it rise, roll it out into a rectangle or square shape, add filling, roll up and slice, and let rise for a little longer before baking. The best part of these is by far the vanilla frosting. The Glade® SEND A LITTLE LOVE™ Vanilla Biscotti™ Jar Candle smells almost identical to the frosting on these Ultimate Cinnamon Buns, and it makes me the happiest person alive!!

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns | Huge cinnamon buns topped with a creamy, smooth, finger-licking good vanilla frosting #breakfast #recipe #HolidayWithGlade #ad

What is your all's family tradition for Christmas morning? Are there any scents/smells that make you think of the holidays?


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Perfect Every Time Cut Out Cookies

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 Not just for Christmas, but any time you need Perfect Cut Out Cookies to decorate - this recipe will be your go-to. No more crispy, amorphous, bland cookies!
 Not just for Christmas, but any time you need Perfect Cut Out Cookies to decorate - this recipe will be your go-to. No more crispy, amorphous, bland cookies! #sugarcookies #holiday #tradition #recipe #cookies

Last year, I realized that I used to make sugar cookies and decorate them for every single holiday with my mom. Halloween, Easter, Christmas - every.single.holiday. And I loved it. Nick's momma has done cookies with the kids on Christmas a few times and they loved it, so I really wanted to start making it a tradition for my kids. Last Christmas Eve, we got together at Nick's mom's house to do cookies and our gingerbread house. I prepped this recipe (first time making it) at my house and brought it to her house along with all my cookie cutters and decorating stuff. All of us decorating cookies and had a good ole time.


I had yet to find a no-fail sugar cookie recipe until I made this one. We often had crispy, amorphous, bland cookies. Like a lot. These are soft with a little crunch and taste incredible. Bridget of Bake at 350 is definitely a trusted source for beautiful cookies and her tip for freezing the cookies before baking them worked out WONDERFULLY. I am thrilled that I found a recipe to keep and it makes a ton of cookies. We even decorated gingerbread men shapes as reindeer and our snowmen as penguins. Some of the gingerbread men/women got a little cyclops/triclops thing going on. The kids enjoyed themselves to say the very least.


Does your family have a tradition for every holiday like decorating cookies? Is there something that is a staple for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pudding Cookies #HandCraftedEdibles

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In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. It's hard to believe we're at week 11. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule: here.

This week, we are bringing you inspiration for your holiday cookie trays. Have you started with you holiday baking yet?

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Cookies are my go-to treat for the holidays. I have already made an insane amount of cookies this year and I'm still trying to post ones I made last year. So here are a few recent cookie recipes I've posted: Turtle Thumbprint Cookies, Butterscotch Butter Rum Pudding Cookies, and Dark Chocolate Mint Cake Mix Cookies. In addition to those, you can find my 50+ other cookie recipes in one easy spot in my recipe index {here}.

This recipe is one I came up with last year when I did a Nestle Tollhouse campaign. They had their new filled morsels on the shelves and I excitedly came up with two cookie recipes for them. I am a huge fan of pudding cookies, so I knew that I wanted to make one recipe for pudding cookies out of the filled morsels. When I made these ones, I had my mom-in-law in mind. Each year, we get her some Queen Anne cherry cordials because they are one of her favorite candies. I knew she would love a chocolate & cherry cookie

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pudding Cookies | Delicious cherry-filled dark chocolate morsels in this soft, chewy cookie #cookies #HandCraftedEdibles #chocolate #cherry

I used one bag of the Dark Chocolate & Cherry Filled DelightFulls and then some dark chocolate chips. These cookies were so good. They were perfectly balanced. The cherry wasn't too overwhelming. I myself don't really like chocolate and cherry together, and even I loved them.


If you have yet to try the filled morsels - I highly recommend them. They are bigger than the average chocolate chip and they have cherry, peanut butter, mint, and caramel versions.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pudding Cookies | Delicious cherry-filled dark chocolate morsels in this soft, chewy cookie #cookies #HandCraftedEdibles #chocolate #cherry

There is one more week of #HandCraftedEdibles to go, but I just wanted to give a special shout-out to Camilla for organizing the whole thing and inviting me to join in. It was a lot of fun sharing goodies that are perfect for holiday giving!


Monday, December 07, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - December 7, 2015

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 Menu Plan Monday on Dec 7, 2015 | My week of meals and grocery list! #menuplan #groceries

Did y'all know that I have a board on Pinterest devoted to my meal plan? Yes, sirree, I do. {here} I planned a lot of recipes that I saved from blogs BEFORE I found out about Pinterest, so I pinned them to my boards to keep track. Have you ever gone to make a recipe just to realize you already have before? It drives me a little mad LOL. Anyways, I am probably most excited for our Throwback Thursday night because I love Chick-fil-A and had the willpower to NOT get it last week when I ran out to Lowe's for super glue, light bulbs, and oil for my kitchen island. I know...that's some kind of willpower, right?!

Monday
Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Broccoli Bake
Chicken breasts, cheddar cheese soup, milk, frozen broccoli florets, French fried onions

Tuesday
Steak Enchiladas with Jalapeno Cream Sauce
jalapeno, heavy cream*, sour cream, sirloin steak (1.5 lb), monterey jack cheese, cilantro, tortillas

Wednesday
Houston's Baked Potato Soup
russet potatoes (5)*, milk, half and half*, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chives*, celery salt, green onion, bacon bits, fennel seeds?

Thursday
Copycat Chick-fil-A Sandwiches with waffle fries
chicken breasts, hamburger buns, pickles, waffle fries

Friday
Easy Sausage Pizza
mild italian sausage, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, green bell pepper

Saturday
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Bars
butter*, eggs?, chocolate chips*, cream cheese?

Sunday
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken & Veggies
chicken breasts, red potatoes, carrots, green beans, parsley 



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Friday, December 04, 2015

Countdown to 2016: The Information Post

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I have been participating in a fun shindig called "Countdown to..." each year since 2011 to round up my best/favorite recipes from the year from Fantastical. I joined other food bloggers in this really fun activity sharing round ups from Dec 26 until Jan 1 to ring in the new year. Last year, the original host did not host it and I decided to host my own countdown because I adore it so much. I'm hosting again this year for those interested!

All you have to do is round up the best recipes you posted in 2015 on your blog for each category. I typically make a collage for easy pinning. Each post you can stop by and link up to the corresponding day, here on Fantastical or on the Secret Recipe Club website. On the 1st, the "Wild Card" category is simply a you-choose category. You can share your favorite recipes from 2015, recipes from someone else's blog that you can't wait to try in 2016, beverages, etc. Any kind of miscellaneous round up that you would like to share...is game on the first day of 2016!

If you have any questions, please email me at fantasticalsharing1 at gmail dot com. I'll see you back on the 26th for the first Countdown to 2016 post all about the best appetizers and snacks recipes of 2015! Sign up link is below the image at the end of the post.You do not have to participate every day or all the days. If you want to do just dessert and reader faves, you are welcome to just those. Or just one day, that's perfectly fine! It is up to you how many or few you want to do.

Please feel free to post on your blog about the Countdown or share the button on your sidebar. To save, right-click and upload to your blog. Do not copy/paste.

The Countdown to 2016 begins December 26 - if you have a food blog, feel free to join in! #Countdownto2016 #best


SIGN UP HERE
 
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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies #HeftyHoliday #sp

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I know, I know, I said this post would be coming in the next few days, but I just couldn't wait any longer. I had to share these cookies that I made for the Hefty Holiday campaign! When I think about holiday treats and making holiday goodies for friends and family, I immediately think of cookies. I make at least half a dozen different cookie recipes in just December alone. Cookies were a staple holiday treat when I was growing up - I loved helping my mom and grandma bake cookies. You have to have a good way to store and keep cookie gifts until they reach their destination and that's where Hefty comes in. I love the Hefty Storage Slider Bags for placing baked (and cooled) cookies into for holiday gifts. It's so much easier to slide the little slider than to snap snap snap. Wouldn't you agree?

Hefty makes secure, strong products that keep food fresher longer and prevent spills [that spilling thing goes for their trash bags and tableware, too]. Right now, Hefty has these adorable bag toppers on their website to use for your holiday goodie bags. I packed up a new recipe of Turtle Thumbprint Cookies for some family and friends using these adorable toppers. All you need is scissors, a hole punch, string/ribbon, and tape to decorate the storage bags up.

Pack up your holiday cookies in Hefty Storage Slider Bags with these adorable bag toppers from their website: https://ooh.li/2ce3d65 #HeftyHoliday #sp

Not only are these sweet cookies just plain aesthetically pleasing, they are decadent and rich. You have all the classic turtle flavors in one itsy bitsy cookie. It's the best. I got some very shocked and excited sentiments when I surprised some folks with the cookies. "Is that caramel?! Oh my gosh!" - that one was probably my favorite. I love exciting people with food!

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies | Chocolate shortbreadesque cookies rolled in pecans with a caramel filling and chocolate drizzle #cookies #dessert #recipe #turtle

Menu Plan Monday (on a Tuesday) - December 1, 2015

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This post contains affiliate links.
 Menu Plan Monday on Dec 1, 2015 | My week of meals and grocery list! #menuplan #groceries

This week is going to be a super busy week for blogging. I've already posted Saturday, twice on Sunday, yesterday, and today. I'm hoping to add at least one more recipe this week, but possibly two. I finally got around to planning for the non-holiday days of December today, so here is my plan for the week! I'm making a few recipes from my Food Network magazines that I finally organized. Amazon has a deal of 10 issues for $15 which is a bombtastic deal!

Monday
Turkey Tetrazzini
turkey, thin spaghetti, cream cheese, bacon bits, parmesan cheese, cheddar jack cheese (all on hand) 

Tuesday
Tacos
ground beef (2), roma tomato (2), taco shell pack, refried beans, lettuce, onion, corn*

Wednesday
Cheesesteak Soup (Food Network Magazine)
roast beef (1 pound), cheddar cheese (8 oz.), provolone (8 oz. block), hoagie rolls, pepperocini, parsley, celery seed, onion

Thursday
Crispy Cheddar Chicken
chicken breasts, Ritz crackers*, cheddar cheese, cream of chicken soup, salad (side)

Friday
Cheesy Cheeseburgers with fries (Food Network Magazine)
ground beef (2), pepperjack cheese block, cheddar cheese slices, hamburger buns, tomato, red onion, fries*

Saturday
Unit Christmas Party

Sunday
Pork Schnitzel with Cheesy Potatoes (Food Network Magazine)
Russet potatoes*, saltine crackers, thinly sliced pork chops, frozen peas, whipped cream cheese, lemon (2)

What is on your menu plan for the week?
 
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Salted Chocolate Cookie Butter Bark #HandCraftedEdibles

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In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule: here.

This week, we are letting out our inner chocolatiers shine, sharing all sorts of recipes with chocolate.

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I know it has been a few weeks since I've joined in with Camilla and the rest of the #HandCraftedEdibles crew but I am back and excited to share a chocolate treat with y'all today. I really wanted to share a treat that works well for gifting and my mind went to bark. Even though peppermint bark is my favorite, I could not pass up making one with cookie butter. Cookie butter is something that I tried (and failed) to find for over a year. I was lucky to stumble upon some one day at the store, on the end of the pet aisle of all places. I thankfully still have an unopened jar or two in my pantry, so I was able to make this bark without hesitation!

Salted Chocolate Cookie Butter Bark | Forget peppermint bark this season, cookie butter bark is where it's at! #cookiebutter #Biscoff #HandCraftedEdibles

I was surprised at how easy this recipe was to make and it turned out so lovely. I adore recipes that come out aesthetically pleasing AND taste divine! Good all around, right?! The sea salt on the bark is honestly one of the best selling points for this recipe, if chocolate and cookie butter didn't already have you convinced to try it. That little bit of salt makes these an incredibly addictive treat.

Salted Chocolate Cookie Butter Bark | Forget peppermint bark this season, cookie butter bark is where it's at! #cookiebutter #Biscoff #HandCraftedEdibles