Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why Drink Kefir? If You're Not Including this in Your Diet, You May Want to Rethink That...

Are You Familiar With Kefir?

If you haven't read up on Kefir, you're going to be surprised by all it's benefits.

In case you aren't familiar with Kefir, Kefir is fermented milk. Hey, I heard that gag.

I remember when I first told my mom about Kefir, and used the words 'fermented milk' to describe it, she about up-chucked on the spot.

However, stop right there, it's not sour milk .... it's more like drinkable yogurt.

Kefir comes from the Turkish word 'Keif' which means, "good". So that settles it, it's good.

So Why Drink Kefir?

I tripped upon Kefir's benefits about two years ago while researching inflammation remedies for a very unexpected health matter. Since then, it's been a daily (or almost daily) inclusion in my diet.

According to Healthline there are a number of Benefits to Kefir - Here's a summary of a few of Kefir's good stuff:
  1. Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics
  2. There are approximately 30 strains of good bacteria that help protect against bad bacteria overgrowth, tumors, leaky-gut syndrome and more.
  3. It helps to boost immunity. One of the ingredients that's unique to Kefir is Lactobacillus Kefiri which aids in the protection of other harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli.
  4. Another ingredient in Kefir is Insoluble Polysaccharide, also known as "Kefiran" and Kefiran is said to be an antimicrobial that guards against Candida. (Candida is a type of Yeast Infection that's mostly found in the mouth, vagina, intestinal tract, mucus membranes and skin). By the way Candida can give you a lot of symptoms - A white coating on your tongue, fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, gas, bloating, chronic sinus issues and more.
  5. Kefir is made from Whole Fat Dairy and has high levels of Calcium. Due to it's make-up it also helps you better absorb the calcium. All of this is good for your bones, especially if you're battling Osteoarthritis.
  6. It's anti-carcinogenic benefits make it a good cancer prevention addition to your diet.
  7. All of the above components give it the traits that aid the fight of Allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as improving your skin.
  8. This one benefit may be hard to believe considering it's made with milk, however, it is said to help those who are lactose intolerant. Like yogurt does, Kefir does this more effectively: It's live microorganisms help your immune system suppress allergic responses.
So How Does It Taste?
Lifeway Probiotic Low Fat Plain Kefir, 32 Ounce -- 6 per case.Lifeway Probiotic Low Fat Plain Kefir, 32 Ounce -- 6 per case.
There's plain Kefir and flavored Kefir. I've had both, and tried many flavors. As mentioned above, it tastes like drinkable yogurt, but has a slight tang to it. However, it's not tangy, it just has that hint of difference from other typical drinkable yogurts.

Drink it or Make Smoothies With It

If you can't stomach drinking Kefir (and once you start drinking it, you'll oddly begin to crave it) - then make smoothies with it.

I like to keep a flavored Kefir in my fridge when I'm not in the mood to make a smoothie, and I keep a bottle of plain Kefir for smoothies. I find plain Kefir too hard to drink, but added to smoothies it's ideal.

My Favorite Kefir Smoothie Recipe:

In my Vitamix:
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Pitted Cherries (buy them in the frozen fruit section of your local grocer). The frozen cherries replace 'Ice' - If you use fresh cherries, you'll have to add ice - (too much work)
  • 1/2 Cup of Kefir (honestly I don't measure, I just kinda pour it in)
  • I'll add one single cherry flavored yogurt cup (any flavor is fine - buy regular fat yogurt, don't use any of that '0 percent stuff'- it's all fake sugar!)
  • About 1/4 cup of lemon water (we always keep lemon water in the fridge - just water with two whole lemons cut up in it) - use plain water if you must
  • Optional: a handful of spinach
  • Adjust the thickness you want by adding more or less of any of the above ingredients - just play with it. If you want a richer cherry flavor, add more cherries.
By the way, I'm not a doctor or health professional! Because of my own health issues I had to become informed on the right foods to include in my diet, and Kefir hit my radar.

Here's to your health *clinking kefir glasses*



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Reviewing Easy No-Bake Bliss Balls

No-Bake Bliss Balls
Bliss balls are extremely easy-to-make and no-bake delicious snacks. They require few ingredients, can be made to suit your cravings, and are typically considered to be healthy snacks. In fact, some sources attribute Bliss Ball recipes to Keto or Paleo diets. I do not know the origination of these snacks, nor do I care. I do know that I made some and had to spread the word.


My Coconut Peanut Butter Bliss Balls


I had a craving for no-bake cookies today. After perusing the internet for a good bit of time, I had found Paleo and Keto recipes for Bliss Balls. Many of the recipes called for ingredients like protein powder or chia seeds - none of which I have on hand. However, many Bliss Ball recipes call for items that I have in my kitchen.

For an actual recipe, you'll need to follow one of the links below. But clearly, Bliss Balls do not require a recipe.  I made mine using shredded coconut, peanut butter, oats, vanilla, and cinnamon.

I used approximately:

1/2 cup coconut
1/3 cup honey peanut butter
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp. vanilla
a couple of shakes of cinnamon

I did not use a food processor (or my Nutri-Bullet) which might have made the consistency of this snack a little different. But combining it with a fork worked well.

I formed the "dough" into balls - approximately tablespoon sized. Then refrigerated.  

A few random items:

  • As one recipe writer noted, do not try to roll this into balls. Rather, just squeeze them into ball shapes (They are slightly too crumbly to roll into balls)
  • The longer they are refrigerated, the better they taste! The consistency changes a bit - a little more "cakey"
  • Despite having a good bit of peanut butter, these were not sticky or mushy
With these Bliss Balls, I have taken care of my craving for sweets. I like the taste so much that I haven't touched (or been tempted) by the bag of candy bars I have nearby.  And, unlike the candy bars, just one small Bliss Ball satisfies me for quite awhile. With candy bars, once I start I have trouble stopping until I've finished the entire bag. There is something about the Bliss Balls that feel more filling.

Related Links: 

Quite frankly, at the beginning of my recipe search, I was looking for Susan's No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies. It turned out that I didn't have a stick of butter... so I continued my search and found the Bliss Balls. Susan Deppner, you may be gone from this earth but you are not forgotten.

After talking to some of the gals at work about their Keto diets and remembering how much better I feel with little to no carbs and sugars, I have been trying new recipes with a focus on lower carbs/sugars. This recent discussion is why the Paleo Bliss Ball recipes caught my eye. Paleo Grubs gathered a list of  21 Paleo Bliss Ball recipes. The recipes all sounded delicious and the photos made my mouth water. Unfortunately, I haven't been to the store and was missing the key ingredients for each recipe.

I continued to search and found 8 No-Bake Energy Balls on Bless This Mess. Chunky, delicious, every-day ingredients is what Melissa uses in her Bliss Balls (you have to go take a peek at the photo of her varieties). And it is from her that I decided on my coconut, peanut butter, oats, vanilla, and cinnamon mixture. And I'm so glad I did!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Reviewing Barbacoa Sauce by Frontera

Barbacoa Sauce by Frontera
I have just returned from a camping trip. During that camping trip I used the Red Chili Barbacoa Slow Cook sauce with roasted tomato and chipotle by Frontera. These little packets of sauce are my favorite. I use it in roasts, soups, tacos, quesadillas, and tamales. If you like Mexican foods and Mexican inspired recipes, I think you would like this barbacoa sauce.


Beef Barbacoa Red Chili Slow Cook Sauce


I learned about these sauce packets from my son, who typically likes food that is spicier than what I can tolerate. However, he thought I'd like the flavor of the soups he makes with this sauce, and he was right. It is spicy but not too spicy - the label lists it as "mild". In my opinion (and I am not a chef) it has a smokey, spicy, rich flavor.

He calls them soups, but to me they are thicker and richer, more like a beef stew. We both make these soups with a variety of ingredients; beef, carrots, hominy, potatoes, yams, onions, peppers, and so more. Basically, you start with a base of beef and the barbacoa sauce, then add what you have on hand.

While camping, I only brought along the packet of barbacoa, and roast, and some potatoes. I slow cooked it in an enameled pan on top of the wood stove. What a wonderfully easy and delicious meal.

Delicious barbacoa roast with potatoes


Frontera Foods


Frontera Foods may or may not sound familiar to you. But the
click for more information
name Chef Rick Bayless may sound more familiar. He appears on a public television cooking show called Mexico - One Plate at a Time
Also, Chef Bayless has written several cookbooks. 

I enjoy watching his shows, I like his recipes, and am very thankful for this sauce that helps me easily create meals with an authentic Mexican flavor. In fact, thanks to a lesson from my son and this wonderful barbacoa sauce, I recently made tamales in my own kitchen. 

Where to Buy Frontera Beef Barbacoa Sauce


I have trouble finding the sauce in the stores local to me. I am fortunate that my son always stocks up on packets and saves them for me. He easily finds them at his local Target store. They are available on Amazon and the Frontera Foods website has a list of participating groceries. My local groceries, that are not on the list, carry the Frontera products in a hit and miss fashion.

Side Notes: 

For more information about The Shack (my current camping trips and my future retirement/homestead plans) take a peek at my blog Treasures, Travel, and Tales. Also, the pan in the photo may look familiar. I purchased it for The Shack and wrote a review about it in February 2016. I still believe that Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey but Worth It. Unfortunately, it looks like these little pans by Martha Stewart are a little more difficult to get. Good thing there are many other brands still easily available.

A few of the cookbooks by Rick Bayless on his Amazon author page



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Easily Increase Your Vegetable Intake with a Spiralizer

how to make zucchini noodles with a vegetable spiralizer
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs
If you're looking to increase your vegetable intake or reduce some of the heavy carbs like pasta from your diet then a spiralizer could be the answer.  Let me review why I think you'll adore having a vegetable spiralizer - I personally love mine, I don't know why I didn't get one sooner.

At the time of writing this I'm doing the Arbonne 30 Day Plan to Healthy Living and Beyond and basically that means that (for this month at least) I can't eat pasta, I can eat zucchini however ... enter zoodles! 

I have been meaning to try and made zoodles aka zucchini noodles for ages which is the whole reason I purchased my vegetable spiralizer.

Making the zucchini noodles was so easy and I'm now seeing lots of other recipes using other vegetables in place of pasta.  What a cool way of getting your child to eat more vegetables than to make their spaghetti bolognaise with zoodles?

So my vegetable spiralizer came with three different blades like the Paderno World Cuisine one below, but you can also get them with 7 blades, Amazon's best selling vegetable spiralizer comes with 7 blades and is the second one featured.




The actual one that I have doesn't seem to be available online which is why I've given you two alternatives.  Now I've only used the blade to made noodles so I'd just get the 3 blade one personally, but...

They were super easy to make you simply placed the zucchini (or vegetable of choice) on the spiky guard, making sure that the other end is in the middle of the round thing that is going to basically core your zucchini so that it looks like a very weird toadstool after the noodles are all made.

The next step is to simply turn the handle, however if that is all you do you won't get very long noodles, you'll just get little curls (they don't say that in the instructions).  What you need to do is as you're turning the handle you need to also be applying a gentle pressure inwards (towards the vegetable) then it will work beautifully.

It is super quick and I simply popped the zoodles into boiling water for a few minutes - basically treating them like fresh pasta noodles.  I've since been told of other ways of cooking them that involve almost sauteing them in coconut oil, but I haven't tried that (and probably won't).

how to make zucchini noodles so that your kids want to eat their vegetables
Image by Louanne Cox, Arbonne Independent Consultant

I would recommend starting with zucchini as it's quite a bland vegetable which makes it ideal to replace spaghetti.  I would also recommend a pinch of salt in the water when cooking it, I didn't do this the first time and it was much better when I did do it.

You can use sweet potato, carrot, parsnips and who knows what other vegetable, just use your imagination.

I will be trying out sweet potato next as I think that will go really well with a number of dishes I enjoy.

Have you ever tired zoodles or thought about making them?  If so then why wait, just do it as Nike would say!

Let me know in the comments if you've tried any other vegetables as I'd love to hear how they went.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review of Favorite Christmas Cookies - Rosettes Recipe

Review of Favorite Christmas Cookies - Rosettes Recipe
Nothing says Christmas to me like my grandmother’s rosette cookies.  Coming together as a family during the holidays means making, and then inhaling, these Scandinavian treat delights (my highest dessert rating).

These lacy snowflake-like cookies are as much eye candy as they are absolutely the tastiest lighter-than-air, flaky pastry you will ever eat.  I don’t think there is a more beautiful holiday food than rosettes.  Just having a plate of these delicate cookies on your table will instantly make the season more merry and bright.

If you are looking for a unique gift for friends, family, neighbors, teachers, or co-workers, this is a delightful way to share the warm spirit of the season.  Simply create a gift basket filled with rosettes, or even better, offer a kit with the recipe, a set of rosette irons, and the mix.  You just might help someone start a treasured holiday tradition.

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions:
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk your eggs, sugar, and salt until blended.
  2. Use a sifter to mix in your flour.  Add milk and vanilla.
  3. Add three to four inches of cooking oil to a deep fryer or stove top pan.
  4. Use candy thermometer to heat oil to 365 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  5. Heat rosette iron in the oil for at least two minutes.
  6. Remove heated rosette iron from the oil.  Let excess oil drain off the iron.
  7. Carefully dip the hot iron into batter (leaving a 1/4 inch margin at top of iron).
  8. Immerse rosette iron into heated oil.  Fry batter until golden.
  9. Use skimmer to remove rosette from oil.  Drip off excess oil.
  10. Place rosette on drying rack.  Sprinkle with sugar (granulated or powdered) just before serving.
  11. Reheat rosette iron in hot oil for one minute and repeat the process.
Serves: 10     Prep Time: 15 Minutes     Total Time: 30 Minutes









Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Preparing the Food and Mood for Thanksgiving

The Review This! contributors are very talented holiday hostesses and Thanksgiving is no exception. If entertaining isn't your best talent, or if you feel you are forgetting something, have no fear  - we have tried and true recipes and entertaining ideas right here at your fingertips.


Thanksgiving - the Good Food



The Thanksgiving Turkey ~ Part I of Thanksgiving Recipes

Our Cynthia Sylvestermouse shares her love of Thanksgiving and a peek at how she manages the preparation during the week prior as well as the timing of cooking the turkey on the day of. It is clear that family and family traditions are very important in her home. Follow the link and you can get expert tips at baking a turkey from the designated turkey cook at the Sylvestermouse home.


Thanksgiving Side Dishes ~ Part II

This article is a compilation of favorite Thanksgiving meal side dishes from a variety of contributors. If you still aren't quite sure what else to prepare, or are looking for that special "something", you are likely to find that perfect addition to your holiday list here.


Holiday Desserts ~ Thanksgiving Menu Part III

Desserts. Definitely my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal menus. A pumpkin whoopee pie recipe is included in this list of dessert ideas. 


Thanksgiving Menu of Recipes Review

This is another compilation of recipes perfect for the Thanksgiving feast - including several bread recipes. Mary Beth's Cranberry Nut Muffin recipe makes my mouth water. 


Gatherings - Setting the Mood

Barbara has some of the best ideas for setting the mood - in both decor or entertaining. In How to Create a Positive Environment for Your Thanksgiving Dinner she lists 10 ways to keep a calm and kind gathering. 

BarbRad shares a large selection of Thanksgiving Praise Music. She writes "songs of praise can often bring gratitude back to our hearts".

Heather shares with us her favorite Thanksgiving hymn and her childhod memories attached to particular piece of music: The Thanksgiving Canon.

After The Feast


And of course, there is always the dilemma of what to do with all of that food after Thanksgiving. If in doubt, refer to Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers.

When the dust and the food has settled, relax with a good movie. These three movies have become Thanksgiving classics at my house. Especially The Other Sister. Carla Tate teaches us about love and things to be thankful for. 

Photo credit: public domain/creative commons 2.0



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Hot Tea Recipes for Fall and Winter Reviewed

Time Time Card is Available on Zazzle

Hot Tea Anyone? 


I really love discovering new hot tea blends and hot tea recipes!  Not only is hot tea good for our health, hot tea recipes are often simply delicious. 

January is National Hot Tea Month, but long before January, I need my hot tea.  After all, November and December are very cold months and we are constantly looking for something to warm us up inside and out. 

Truthfully, most tea-lovers drink hot tea year round.  We don't wait for the cold weather, but hot tea is essential when freezing temperatures settle in for the fall and winter months. 

There are many great hot tea blends and hot tea recipes.  It is often hard to choose a favorite hot tea, so we simply must sample them all!  Hot tea is especially delicious when shared with loved ones.  


Choosing the Right Hot Tea Recipe

What is the Difference in Teas?


Green, Black, and Oolong tea are all made from the same tea leaves.  It is the actual processing of the tea leaves that makes the difference.

Green teas ~ The leaves are steamed before they start to ferment. Tea leaves are not allowed to ferment for Green teas.

Black teas ~ The leaves are fermented for a limited time and then heated to stop further fermentation.

Oolong teas ~ The leaves are partially fermented.

Herbal teas ~ Not actually made from tea leaves.


Herbal Tea

Even though they are called tea, herbal teas are not made from tea leaves.  They are drinks created with flower leaves, peels, spices and/or herbs.

Make Your Own Herbal Tea ~ From the National Gardening Association:  Herbal Tea Recipes

 

 Lipton Premium Black Tea Bags, Natural Energy 40 ctCheck Price

Black Tea

According to the Tea Association of the United States, "recent research findings have reported that drinking black tea may improve the body's defenses and quicken the response to bacteria and viruses."  

This is just awesome news and an excellent reason to raise our tea cups and toast tea!

Black tea is considered the tea choice for energy.  If you need a boost in your energy level, this is the tea choice for you.

Black Tea Recipes

Thai Tea Recipe - Made with Milk


 

Green Tea

Green tea is considered to be healthiest tea.  It is lower in caffeine and contains antioxidants that promote better health.  Some studies show that it may even help prevent cancer, heart disease and tooth decay.

Green tea also helps to increase your metabolism, which can result in slight weight loss and it helps lower cholesterol. 

For more health information, see:  Green Tea Health Benefits

 

Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea is often referred to as the "weight loss tea" and it has been said that it is the most effective tea in aiding weight loss.  Some report that it aids in the relief of eczema, diabetes and allergies.

Oolong tea is my personal favorite.  I've never tried any Oolong blend recipes.  I simply stick to the standard Bigelow teabag and add a teaspoon of sugar for taste.  I don't drink Oolong tea for weight loss.  Honestly, if it affects my weight, I wouldn't know it.  I have been drinking it for decades. 


Holiday Hot Tea Recipes

From Halloween to New Years, we are celebrating, chatting, sipping tea and visiting with friends and family.  It is wonderful to have a variety of hot tea recipes to serve and to share.
 




 

 

Check Out More Recipe Reviews at
ReviewThisRecipes.com



More Hot Tea Articles

I am not the only hot tea loving Contributor! Here are a few more articles that you can read right here on Review This!


There are lots of great options available from a selection of teas to strainers, mugs, tea pots and much, much more.

Manatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift SetManatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift Set
The Manatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift Set is really cute - I love the casual look of the mug and the 'go with the flow' inscription



Why drink peppermint tea? As well as being delicious this tea has a myriad of health benefits.


Looking for good medicinal teas? You can't do much better than Lifestyle Awareness teas. Here's my review after trying them.


Hot Tea Recipes for Fall and Winter Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

National Gingerbread Cookie Day Review

Gingerbread Cookies (source: Pixabay)
November 21st is National Gingerbread Cookie Day.  There is no real reason for the establishment of this fun food holiday, except perhaps the approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays around which these rolled cookies have become favorites.

Gingerbread cookies are traditionally made in shapes such as flowers, hearts, and trees.  They can be made in different sizes and can be iced and decorated. 

The Gingerbread Man shape probably goes back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I.  History tells us that her palace baker during her reign (1558 to 1603) baked and decorated gingerbread men in the likenesses of important court visitors for Her Majesty to present to them.

The tale of Hansel and Gretel of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812) increased the popularity of gingerbread cookies and other treats. Later, Gingerbread men and animals became popular Christmas tree ornaments.



Gingerbread Cookie Recipes


There are lots of gingerbread cookie recipes online.




For a different and a bit unusual Gingerbread Cookie recipe, I found this one in a gingerbread crafts leaflet:



Gingerbread Cutout Cookies 

by Shelly Vaughan

Source: Pixabay


Touch of Pineapple Gingerbread People Cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup pineapple juice or more as needed
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Miniature candy-coated chocolate candies (M&Ms) and/or raisins

Icing:

  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice:

Instructions:

  1. For cookies, combine shortening, sugar and molasses in large bowl.  Stir in pineapple juice.  In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salf, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  Gradually stir into molasses mixture until thoroughly incorporated (Dough will be stiff.)  Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray once.
  3. On floured surface, roll dough out 1/3 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes with floured cookie cutter, using gingerbread people cutter or other cutter.  Place cookies 1"-2" apart on prepared cookie sheet.  Decorate with candies and/or raisons as desired.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until light finger indentation springs back.  Cool completely.
  4. Store cookies in single layer in airtight container, or layer cookies with waxed paper separating layers.

*Makes 3 dozen.



Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

Source: Pixabay

Decorating Tips



  • Gently press decorating candies or other items into cookies before baking.
  • Pipe icing onto warm cookies with a small decorating tip.
  • Icing is quick and easy to make. If you prefer convenience items, however, you may use tubes of decorating icing with decorating tips.
  • If you would like to add some color to your cookies, lightly spinkle colored sugars, sprinkles, nonpareils or flaked coconut over wet icing.  Gently shake off excess, if necessary.


Gingerbread People Parts


It's fun to personalize your gingerbread people.  When baking with children, this is the part they like the best.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Eyes -- raisins, dried blueberries, miniature M&Ms.
  • Noses -- cinnamon red-hot candies, M&Ms, dried cranberries.
  • Buttons -- raisins, cinnamon-coated raisins or golden raisins, small jelly beans, decorating stars, miniature M&Ms, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, walnut pieces, pecan pieces, macadamia nut pieces.
  • Mouths -- licorice strings, almond slivers, red or pink decorating icing.

*The gingerbread cutout cookie recipe and decorating tips are by Shelly Vaugham and was printed in the craft leaflet "Easy Gingerbread Crafts" published by House of White Birches in 1999.

And, in addition to the above recipe, Coletta Teske of Review This! included a yummy looking gingerbread cookie recipe in her blog post food review of Simple Snacks for Santa.



Other Forms of Gingerbread Cookies


Besides edible gingerbread cookies, other forms of this  cookie have become popular.


Gingerbread toys are fun too.

 

Gingerbread Cookie Doll in Crochet
A plush handmade gingerbread cookie doll can be found on Etsy in the shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts.   Handmade in crochet using tan acrylic yarn with white yarn 'frosting' around hands and feet. 

Gingerbread boy features include plastic safety eyes and embroidered mouth. He has two red crocheted buttons down the front. Gingerbread boy cookie doll is filled with soft new polyester fiberfill. There is a white yarn bow around his neck. 

Gingerbread cookie doll measures 8 inches tall. He's a sweet gift for Christmas or for any occasion.

Cute holiday stuffed doll makes a fun stocking stuffer or holiday decoration.




Gingerbread Cookie Coasters

Add to the decoration of your home for the holidays with this set of Gingerbread Cookie Coasters.

This is a set of 4 drink coasters with a gingerbread cookie design. Two coasters have a gingerbread boy with a candy cane. Two coasters have a gingerbread boy with a heart.

Gingerbread Cookie Coasters are handmade in needlepoint using acrylic yarn and plastic canvas.  They measure
3.5 x 3.75 inches.


Holiday Treats Playset found on Amazon
Treat the children with homemade gingerbread cookies and a cute Holiday Treats Playset by Gund available on Amazon.

Playset includes a carrying case with zipper closure, candy cane, tree-shaped cookie, peppermint stick with rattle and gingerbread man with squeaker.   The case measures ten inches and the 'treats' all fit inside. A cute plush playset for children age 12 months and up.  This Holiday Treats Playset is manufactured by Gund, known worldwide for it's top quality, soft and huggable plush designs.










Gingerbread Holidays Throughout the Year


November 21st isn't the only gingerbread holiday.  Besides this 'cookie' day, we have:

  • National Gingerbread Day on June 5.
  • Gingerbread Decorating Day on December 9.
  • Gingerbread House Day on December 12.






Happy Gingerbread Cookie Day!





(c) Wednesday Elf 11/11/2017








Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, October 30, 2017

No Fuss Caramel Apple Treats

Easy and delicious caramel apples
During this time of year, the one treat I find myself craving constantly is a caramel apple. That is the one thing I always buy at fall festivals and fairs. Because I have never felt like bothering with the mess of melting the caramels, I never have them at home. Fortunately, there are a few delicious ways to take care of my caramel apple cravings without the fuss and muss. In this review I will show you a few of those caramel apple treats.


Ms. Prindable's Caramel Apples


There is no fuss or muss if you buy your caramel apples already made. Food stands at local apple harvest festivals or state fairs have the most amazing caramel apples. But what if you want a caramel apple and don't feel like leaving the house? 

I believe it was two years ago when someone gave me a wonderful gift of a Ms. Prindable's caramel apple. That gourmet apple was divine. I don't recall which flavor I had, since Ms. Prindable's carries a variety of caramel-covered apples, but I do recall it was covered in roasted nuts. It was rich, delicious, and it was one of the large apples. That gourmet apple was a very welcomed and thoughtful gift.

A few of the delicious selections that Ms. Prindable's offers on Amazon

Werther's Sugar-Free Caramel Apple Hard Candies


The least fussy-mussy caramel apple flavored treats are the Werther's sugar free hard candies. Even though they are hard candies and  even though they are sugar-free, these are some of my favorite autumn candies. 

These Werther's candies truly taste like caramel and green-apples. They are small treats that are individually wrapped - small enough to carry several of them in your pocket or your purse. Because they are hard candies there is no mess other than having to throw away the wrapper.

In addition to the sugar-free hard candies, Werther's offers caramel apple flavored hard candies and caramel apple flavored soft candies.

The Werther's caramel apple candy selections on Amazon 

Caramel Apple Pops


Caramel Apple Pops are green apple-flavored hard candies on a stick with a coating of caramel. They are wonderful but not quite as easy to carry in your pocket or purse.  You can definitely keep them handy at home or in your desk drawer. And they are a popular Halloween treat. 

Caramel Apple Pops

Making Caramel Apples at Home with AllRecipes


Well folks, I've now spent so much time thinking about caramel apples that I looked for a tutorial on making them at home. AllRecipes has this "recipe" and video showing the steps of melting the caramel in the microwave and coating the apples. 

You can be sure that I'll be snacking on the caramel apple treats above, but I also may end up making some caramel apples at home this year with the help of allrecipes.


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Friday, October 20, 2017

Ghoulish Goodies Halloween Cookbook Review

Ghoulish Goodies Halloween Cookbook Review
Halloween is the perfect time to great really creative in the kitchen. 

One of my favorite Halloween cookbooks is Ghoulish Goodies because it is chock full of fabulously frightful Halloween recipes and decorating ideas. From spooky yet cute, to ghoulishly grotesque, there is something for every Halloween party or gathering featured in the cookbook. 

The front cover of the cookbook gives a very accurate description of what you can expect to find within the book.  However, there is so much more than just what you see there.  The back cover gives you a bit more insight, but honestly, until you look inside the book, you will not appreciate how truly fantastic this cookbook really is for Halloween. 

Let me show you some of my favorite recipes in the book.  Keep in mind, there are a lot more in the book though.  The features in the collage below just happen to be my personal choices.


Ghoulish Goodies Halloween Cookbook Review
This Collage was Created with Scanned Images from the Actual Cookbook


Ghoulish Goodies Cookbook


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This really is a fantastic Halloween cookbook and one that every Halloween hostess should own.  Each recipe gives the exact ingredients required, along with easy to follow instructions for creating these Halloween fun food masterpieces.

It also includes lots of decorating tips alongside the individual recipes.  For instance, it tells you exactly how to make the "super grass" used on the Ghost Graveyard cake (upper right corner of the collage above).  

There are extra recipes included for dipping sauces, plus tips for decorative tray presentation.  The presentation suggestions could easily be incorporated with other Halloween food.  

Believe it or not, the author didn't stop there.  She has also included a section for Halloween supper.  Some of dinner recipes feature Candy Corn Pizza, Orange Rice, or Ghost Mashed Potatoes.  This would be a really fun supper to serve.  Although I must admit, the meatloaf with an unblinking eyeball might me just a little too grotesque for even this Halloween Hostess.

Do I sound excited to review this book?  You bet I am!  But, I am more excited about getting into the kitchen and making my own Ghoulish Goodies from this cookbook. 

Ghoulish Goodies Halloween Cookbook Review
 


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Ghoulish Goodies Halloween Cookbook Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review of Favorite Banana Bread Recipe

Bread for Fall Menus

When the weather turns cool my thoughts turn to baking and baking breads is one of my favorite fall activities.  I have tried many recipes over the years and have combined different recipes to come up with tastes my husband and I enjoy.  

Banana Bread

It seems like we always have bananas that have gotten a little too ripe and when we do I use them for banana bread.
  • Tip: If I can't bake that day, I peel the bananas and put them in a freezer bag to freeze for later use. When I'm ready to use them I just sit them out for a few minutes and add them to the recipe.
I have tried many different recipes over the years and have combined several to come up with the recipe below, which is my favorite.  The secret ingredient in this recipe is the sour cream, which helps to keep the bread moist and delicious.


Recipe for Favorite Banana Bread

 
Start with: 2 mashed bananas, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 2 eggs well beaten.  Mix together.

Mix together 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 t baking pwd, 1 t baking soda, 
and 1/2  t salt.

Mix together wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in one half cup of one of the following:
    your favorite nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries.

Pour into 1 sprayed bread pan.
Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour.
Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Adding Extra Ingredients

I particularly like adding nuts to my banana bread, but I have found it is also delicious with chocolate chips and cranberries.  Experiment with your favorite additions to create new taste sensations.  I have also combined nuts and chocolate chips and that  produces a delicious bread.

Recipe Card

Below is the recipe on a card you can purchase from Zazzle by clicking on the link.




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