Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Sangria (Cranberry & Rosemary White Sangria)

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria

Here's a tasty Christmas style sangria that incorporates cranberry and rosemary. I will definitely be making this during the holidays!


    1 Granny Smith Apple
    1 Braeburn Apple
    1 heaping Cup Fresh Cranberries
    1 large Sprig Rosemary
    1 Bottle Pinot Grigio
    ½ Cup White Grape Juice
    ¼ Cup Sugar (more, for garnish)
    1 Can Club Soda


  1. Cube the apples.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher except for the rosemary sprig.
  3. Chill drink and garnish with rosemary sprigs.

21 Winter Cocktails to Keep You Warm

It's cold outside! BuzzFeed put together a list of 21 Winter Cocktails to Keep You Warm. Check out the article here:

Christmas Cranberry Margaritas

Easy Cranberry Margaritas

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail (*see note below for optional homemade cranberry juice)
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
ice cubes

Stir all ingredients together until blended.  Serve over ice in sugar- or salt-rimmed glasses, garnished with fresh cranberries and lime wedges if desired.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Winter Paper Craft Ideas for Kids (and Adults!)

Are you looking for winter paper craft ideas for kids... and even adults? Here are five winter paper printables that are so adorable for the winter months. You can make a snowman, ornaments and a few other winter/Christmas themed paper printables.

  1. Paper snowman: click here
  2. Snowflake lion: click here
  3. Homemade paper ornaments: click here
  4. Homemade reindeer gift wrap: click here
  5. Winter wonderland advent calendar: click here

New Years Eve Decorating Ideas

Christmas is still 20 days away, but New Years Eve is sneaking up on us! I loved this post I found about 50 New Years Eve Decorating Ideas. It does a great job showing how you can make your New Year's Eve party spectacular. Also, I LOVE the gold. Remember when gold was the "out" color and silver was in? I think we are going back to gold being the "it" metal! It gives so much of a warmer feeling than silver. What do you think?

Check out 50 New Years Eve Decorating Ideas here:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Homemade Starbucks Eggnog Latte

I LOVE eggnog. When I tried this homemade Starbucks eggnog latte I almost jumped up and down. You can use homemade eggnog with this recipe. What better way to celebrate Christmas than by making homemade Starbucks eggnog latte?

  • 4 ounces boiling water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • ¼ cup milk (use skim or 2%)
  • ½ cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon light brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg, or to taste, plus more for dusting
  • whipped cream, optional
  1. Stir the espresso powder into the hot water and set aside.
  2. In a glass measuring cup combine milk, eggnog, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; whisk/stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Place in Microwave and cook for 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until the milk starts to froth up.
  4. Remove from Microwave and stir/whisk again.
  5. Place in Microwave for an additional 30 seconds, or until the milk begins to froth up again.
  6. Remove and, while stirring the eggnog-mixture, slowly pour the coffee into the eggnog-.mixture.
  7. Top with whipped cream and dust with nutmeg.
  8. Serve.


DIY Painted Snowflake Popsicle Stick Ornaments

Christmas time is here and what better way to decorate than by painting snowflake popsicle stick ornaments? These ornaments are easy to make and super cute. You can paint them any color you want and even add glitter!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Strawberry Basil Lemonade


    •    1½ cups water
    •    ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
    •    1 lemon, peeled & halved
    •    4 strawberries, hulled
    •    4 Tbsp. honey or agave
    •    ½ - 1 cup ice cubes

    1.    Use blender to blend all ingredients until smooth.
    2.    Pour into cups. You can garnish the drink with basil and lemon slices if you prefer.

SOURCE: Yummy Healthy Easy

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie with Caramel Sea Salt

  • 17 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks (I chopped up a large piece of Scharffen Berger chocolate – yum)
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup caramel pieces (like this)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • coarse sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Soften the 9 tablespoons butter in the microwave for 30 seconds or until partially melted. Soften the remaining 8 tablespoons for 10 seconds or until you can make an indent with your finger.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until creamed. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and mix again until smooth. Add the eggs; beat slowly until incorporated. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt (sometimes it helps to add the flour in batches). Mix until a smooth dough forms. The dough should feel dry to the touch – if it sticks to your hands, add a few more tablespoons of flour. I generally try to err on the side of more flour. Stir in the chocolate chips. Melt the caramel pieces and heavy cream in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir well until melted and smooth.
  3. Press half of the dough mixture into a 9-inch or larger cast iron skillet lined with parchment paper. Pour the caramel over the dough and smooth with a spoon. Cover with another layer of cookie dough. Bake for 15-25 minutes (see notes). Remove from oven, sprinkle with sea salt, and allow to rest for at least one hour in order for the pieces to hold their shape when cut.
I baked mine uncovered for 15 minutes, but you could also cover with foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the cookie center baked even further. If you only bake for 15 minutes total, like I did, the cookie WILL be underbaked. Cause that’s how we like it.

Source: A Pinch of Yum

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thai Chopped Chicken Salad


    •    2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    •    1 small head green or white cabbage (2 cups shredded)
    •    1 large carrot (1½ cups shredded)
    •    1 green papaya (1½ cups shredded)
    •    ½ cup fresh cilantro
    •    ½ cup green onions
    •    ½ cup chopped peanuts
    •    2 cloves garlic
    •    3 bird’s eye chili peppers (sub ½ teaspoon minced hot pepper)
    •    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    •    2 tablespoons vinegar
    •    2 tablespoons sugar
    •    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    •    1 tablespoon oil
    •    ½ teaspoon fish sauce
    •    ¼ cup peanut butter
    •    ¼ cup water

    1.    Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chicken breasts, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove from heat, drain water, let cool, and shred with two forks.

    2.    Chop the cabbage into very thin pieces, like it would be for coleslaw. I did this by rolling up several leaves together and making thin vertical slices across the roll and then chopping them once horizontally. Peel and grate the carrots. Cut off the skin, remove the seeds, and grate the papaya. Roughly chop the cilantro and green onions. Toss the chicken and vegetables in a large bowl and keep chilled.

    3.    Mince the garlic and chili peppers. Place garlic and peppers in a small mixing bowl with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil, and fish sauce. Whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and water and whisk again until smooth and creamy.

    4.    Toss the salad with the dressing. Add the crushed peanuts. Serve chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to one day. For best results, keep the leftover salad and dressing separate until ready to serve.

SOURCE: Pinch of Yum

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Coconut Peach Lemonade (Non-Alcoholic Summer Drink)

2 heaping TBS honey(or use a mixture of 1 TBS honey and 6 drops of stevia)
2 cups of coconut water
2 ripe peaches, pits removed(plus more for optional garnish)
fresh squeezed juice of 4 large lemons
lemon slices, peach and mint for garnish(if desired)

1. Put honey, coconut water, 2 peaches and juice of four lemons into your high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Strain (if desired) and serve over ice with a few lemon and peach slices with a sprig of fresh mint.

SOURCE: My Living Nutrition

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Easy Fruit Salad

Easy Fruit Salad

2 tablespoons dry instant vanilla pudding mix

1 pound of strawberries, quartered

1/2 pint blueberries

1/2 pint raspberries

1/2 pineapple, cubed

1 bunch grapes

Sprinkle pudding powder over fruit and stir. Serve immediately or allow to sit overnight.

Easy Greek Salad Recipe

This Greek salad is yummmmmy. I start drooling just looking at the picture. Crispy and fresh vegetables along with a slightly sweet dressing make this Greek salad a perfect and easy lunch or dinner.

5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar

To make vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest and juice and sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

To assemble salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, goat cheese and pepper, to taste. Pour dressing on top of salad and gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately.

SOURCE: Imperial Sugar

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Classic Oreo Ice Cream Cake Dessert

Oreos are an American classic and everyone likes Oreos (okay, may not everyone, but you're crazy if you don't like them!). This recipe is one of my favorite dessert recipes out there. It's pretty easy to make too. Enjoy this classic Oreo icebox dessert recipe.

1 (15 oz.) package Oreos, crushed
6 T. butter, melted 1
(8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 large (5.1 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding* + milk to prepare, as specified on the pudding package 1 large (16 oz.) container Cool Whip whipped topping*

  1. Set aside about 1/4 cup crushed Oreos.  Mix remaining crushed Oreos with the melted butter.  Press into the bottom of a 9x13" pan.
  2. Combine cream cheese and confectioners' sugar; mix well.  Fold in 1/2 of the Cool Whip until well combined.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crushed Oreo layer.  Chill for 20 minutes.
  3. Prepare chocolate pudding according to package directions.  Spread over cream cheese layer.  Chill for 20 minutes.
  4. Spread remaining Cool Whip over the pudding layer.  Sprinkle reserved crushed Oreos on top.  Chill for 8 hours or overnight before serving.

Healthy Chicken Salad with Almonds, Fruit and Honey Mustard

For the Salad
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (mine were cut into smaller, thinner pieces which made the sauteing a bit easier)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups grapes, halved
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 cups curly lettuce, chopped
½ cup feta cheese
½ cup almonds, chopped or crushed
For the Dressing
3 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
½ tablespoon raw honey
¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon garlic

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, pepper, and chili powder. Saute in the oil for a few minutes, flipping the chicken now and then to cook through and get a nice golden color on both sides. When the chicken is cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
Cut and prep all the vegetables and fruits. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite sized pieces. Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl – you can either arrange the bowl by ingredient, like pictured, or toss everything together. Refrigerate to chill.

For the dressing, puree all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Pour dressing over salad and serve.

SOURCE: Pinch of Yum

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Grow Tulips in a Vase Indoors

How to Grow Tulips in a Vase Indoors

  1. Choose a glass vase and add enough clear marbles or pebbles to fill about a third of the vase.
  2. Add the tulip bulb (pointed end up) on top of the marbles. Cover the bulb with a few more marbles or pebbles to help give the growing root support.
  3. Add fresh water into the vase. The water shouldn’t touch the bulb, but it should be very close, so that the roots will grow in
  4. Watch your beautiful tulips grow.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Healthy Creamy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Check out this creamy but healthy homemade chicken noodle soup recipe! Yum! It's perfect for winter.

        1 Tbsp. olive oil
        1 small white onion, diced
        2 carrots, peeled and diced
        2 celery stalks, diced
        2 cloves garlic, minced
        1/3 cup flour
        8 cups chicken broth
        3 cups cooked shredded chicken
        2 cups uncooked egg noodles or pasta (I used "wide" egg noodles)
        1 (12 oz.) can evaporated skim milk
        1 tsp. salt
        1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
        1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
        1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
        (optional garnish) chopped fresh parsley

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Saute onion, carrots, and celery for 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, and cook and stir for an additional minute. Gradually stir in broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes or until noodles are al dente. Season with additional salt and pepper or seasonings if needed.
  3. Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.
SOURCE: Gimme Some Oven

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Pot Mexican Skillet with Noodles

I don't know about you guys, but I've been CRAVING Mexican food AND pasta. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it considering it had both of the things I've been craving lately. It seems relatively healthy too! I also love it because you can make it in one pot. I'm going to add some sauteed onions too because that's something else I can't get enough of.

        1 tablespoon olive oil
        1 pound ground turkey
        1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
        2 cups salsa, homemade or store-bought
        2 cups cooked elbows pasta
        1 Roma tomato, diced
        1 cup corn kernels
        1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
        1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
        1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
        2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  2.  Stir in tomato sauce and salsa until well combined. Add pasta, tomato, corn and black beans, and gently toss to combine.
  3.  Stir in cheese until melted through, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, topped with avocado and cilantro.
SOURCE: Damn Delcious

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mango and Avocado Arugula Salad

Here's another great salad with avocado. This salad adds in mango - a trendy and healthy fruit. You only need a few ingredients to make this salad. Yummy!

  • 1 medium mango, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pecan halves, as desired
  • A big handful or two of baby arugula leaves, as desired
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes, optional
  • Your favorite dressing to pass around (see suggestions following recipe)
Combine the mango with the avocado (toss the avocado gently with the lemon or lime juice first) on a serving platter or shallow bowl.
Add the pecans and arugula, and toss gently. Sprinkle with the coconut flakes and serve at once. Pass around the dressing of your choice.

Friday, January 10, 2014

How to Make Homemade Yogurt using a Crock Pot

Homemade Yogurt in the Crock Pot Recipe

  • 1/2 gallon milk (Whole milk will make the yogurt thicker, but any milk will work.)
  • 1/2 cup plain unflavored yogurt (Any kind with live active cultures will work. Be sure to save a half cup of this batch of homemade yogurt to use as a starter next time!)
Pour the half gallon of milk into your crock pot and turn it on low. Cook it for 2 hours and 45 minutes (set the timer to remember to turn it off!)
After 2 hours and 45 minutes, turn the crock pot off and let it sit down 3 hours.
Spoon a small amount of the milk into a small bowl and add the half cup of yogurt to it. Mix together thoroughly.
Dump this mixture back into the milk in the crock pot and mix it around well.
Put the lid back on your crock pot and wrap the crock pot with a large beach towel or blanket (make sure the crock pot is unplugged and turned off!). Yes, I know, it sounds a little ridiculous to wrap a crock pot with a beach towel, but I did some research online and it seems that the experts recommend this step as it helps keep the heat in the crock pot and allows it to cool more slowly.
Let the beach-towel-wrapped crock pot sit for 8-12 hours (or overnight). After 8-12 hours, it should be thickened.
Spoon yogurt into jars or plastic containers and refrigerate a few hours before eating.
This will keep for one to two weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to save a half cup to use as a starter for your next batch of homemade yogurt.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mexican Style Quinoa

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 15 ounces whole peeled tomatoes in juice
  • ½ teaspoon organic canola oil
  • 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  1. Place vegetable broth and tomatoes in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil to medium high. Add chiles and onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add quinoa, then garlic and paprika and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring often. Add tomato mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. Add peas and recover. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 more minutes. Fluff and serve.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Free Valentine's Day Printables

Valentine's Day is coming up. I normally don't do much to celebrate, but I think I might change that this year. I found all of these really cute printables.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Breasts

Chicken is the meat I cook most in my kitchen. I fell in love with this easy recipe and it pretty much literally melts in your mouth. Can you say yum?

4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Mix mayonnaise, cheese and seasonings.
2. Spread mixture over chicken breast and place in baking dish.
3. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.


Monday, January 6, 2014

No-Bake Energy Bites

No-bake energy bites - these things are ADDICTING, but are a great afternoon snack. They last a week or so in the fridge so I like to make a batch on the weekend and take a few of these no-bake energy bites to work for my 3:00 o'clock sweet tooth.

I've even added a little nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves to add a new twist to the taste. I don't like to add in the flaxseed since it gives the no-bake energy bites a very nutty flavor. Once you have the oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and coconut base, you can really get creative with spices and other substitutions like sunflower seeds or chopped nuts.

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and form into tablespoon sized balls. Refrigerate a few minutes before indulging. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

I absolutely LOVE this avocado strawberry spinach salad! It combines some of my favorite things - strawberries, avocados and blue cheese. The salad is also so pretty with the different colors and textures.

Salad Ingredients:
6 cups fresh baby spinach
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 avocado, diced (or you can double this to 2 avocados!)
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
half a small red onion, thinly sliced
poppyseed dressing (recipe below)

Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup avocado oil (or any oil, such as olive oil)
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
pinch of ground dry mustard (optional)
salt and pepper

[view full recipe]