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Category : Living

Easy dinner ideas

By the end of the week, the last thing I want to do is make dinner — especially during the summer. If you try one of these amazing recipes each Friday this summer, you’ll be set until it’s time to go back to school in the fall! We know you’re going to love these easy dinner ideas!

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Caprese-Avocado-Toast
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Light summer meals

On hot summer nights you might not be in the mood for a heavy dinner, or you might feel like putting together several lighter dishes for your own little tapas night.

Caprese Avocado Toast from With Salt and Wit is easy enough to be a snack and filling enough to be a meal. If you have a garden, you can use some of your own ingredients in this one, which makes the dinner just a little more special.

Call Me PMC took the classic flavors of a Cuban sandwich and reimagined the sandwich as an appetizer. Cuban Sandwich on a Stick is adorable — and filled with protein. Kids will love the little pickles, and eating finger foods for dinner is always a hit at our house.

The Berry Basil Salad from Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen takes full advantage of summer’s berry abundance. The homemade dressing really brings out the flavors of the berries while keeping the fruit salad light and fresh tasting.

The Easy Steak and Vegetable Flatbread Pizza from Cotter Crunch is gluten-free, making it a fabulous option if you keep a gluten-free kitchen. Summer’s fresh veggies truly make this pizza a nutritious, flavorful meal.

Food Fanatic offers a Quinoa Chicken Salad that will quickly become one of your favorite dishes — and maybe the most versatile. You can make it with leftover chicken from a meal earlier in the week, or you can make a double batch and use the leftovers for lunches. The recipe lets you tweak the ingredients to meet your food preferences, which is wonderful for exploring the variety of summer produce available.

Easy dinners from the grill

Not only is grilling a simple way to pack a punch of flavor into your meal, spending time outside while you’re cooking makes the most of summer weather.

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Pizza is quick and delicious. It uses chicken instead of ham, and grilled pineapple is one of the tastiest ways to serve the fruit. You’ll love the added sweetness offered in this simple pizza, courtesy of Real Food by Dad‘s secret ingredient.

Natalie’s Food & Health suggests a Turkey burger with greek yogurt topping that’s both beautiful and packed with healthy flavors like dill. Even her husband approves of this one, making it perfect for grilling for friends who are hesitant to try a healthier burger.

Put a twist on taco night

Taco night stays on our dinner menu all year; it’s one of the meals each of us can customize to our liking and leave the dinner table happy. Changing the ingredients and flavors slightly this summer will keep things fresh without abandoning a favorite meal.

Living Sweet Moments makes Baked Chicken Taquitos that might take the place of traditional tacos at our house. Salsa verde is a fresh taste for summer, and the avocado crema is an amazing addition you’ll want to use on everything in your refrigerator.

The Buffalo Chicken Tacos from Spiced incorporate the ever-popular buffalo chicken flavor with the ease of tacos. Cook the chicken in your slow cooker and make dinner time even easier. We think the blue cheese crumbles are a perfect topping, but offering shredded cheddar to kids never hurts.

Taco night isn’t complete with guacamole, and i heart eating offers a flavorful treat in her Roasted Garlic Guacamole. Let’s be honest, on some summer evenings, a hearty guacamole, chips — and our favorite Champagne Margaritas — can be an entire dinner.

Add international flavor to start your weekend

Whether you’re mimicking your family’s favorite takeout location or trying something new, sampling new cuisine is a fun way to change up your meal plan.

Once you try the Sesame Chicken from It’s a Sparkly Life, you might never go back to take out again. You can create this in under 30 minutes, which will actually save you time unless you have a lightning fast delivery service in your area.

A Duck’s Oven tempts your tastebuds with her Slow Cooker Haitian Pork. This amazing dish does take a little prep time earlier in your week, but once it’s ready to go, the slow cooker does the rest of the work for you.

Stir fry is definitely one of our go-to meals for simple dinners. The Quick Chicken Stir Fry with Roasted Broccoli from Foolproof Living will quickly become part of your weekly meal rotation. The peanuts are optional, so you can easily adapt the recipe if you’re working with a food allergy.

What’s your favorite Friday night dinner?
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Homemade Strawberry Preserves Recipe Canning Tutorial and LabelsIt’s officially strawberry season across the country and everyone is going strawberry crazy these days. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a pick-your-own strawberry farm, we highly recommend you take your kids on a fruit picking adventure. Dress them in clothes you don’t mind getting stained and let them run wild and eat their hearts out right there in the fields. Hopefully you’ll end up with a basket full of fresh strawberries that you can easily turn into homemade strawberry preserves, which we’ll help you perfectly make, package and label, ready to present to any friend, neighbor, co-worker, or party hostess.

How to Make Homemade Strawberry PreservesNot your mama’s canning tips

If you’ve never made jam or canned before, it can seem intimidating. However, I’m here to walk you step-by-step through the process and reassure you that it’s much easier than it sounds. Making preserves is super simple — you don’t need fancy equipment or expensive ingredients. Everything can be found at your local grocery store. And, canning doesn’t require hours of sweating over your stove or take all day long, either. This is the modern mama’s method of canning jam. Trust me… try it once and you’ll be surprised just how easy it is.

The only products you really need for canning are the jars, lids and rings. For jam or preserves, I personally love using the small 4 ounce Bell quilted crystal jars. These are such a cute size for gifting and come in a box of 12 for about $9 (includes the jar, lid, rings and labels). There are also a few tools that are helpful, but not necessary for canning, including a canning funnel, a magnetic lid wand and liquid fruit pectin. A wide-mouth canning funnel is the perfect size for the mouth of canning jars and a magnetic lid wand is nice to have so you don’t burn your fingers, but neither or necessary. Liquid fruit pectin is a kind of preserved apple syrup, which helps set up jams and jellies. This is sold in your local grocery store and comes in a box with two 3-ounce pouches for about $5. It’s helpful for jams made from fruits (like strawberries) that are naturally low in pectin, but not necessary and if not used, you’ll just have runnier preserves (they’ll still taste great).

Easy Ideas for Using Freshly Picked StrawberriesSterilizing your jars

Before you put anything into your jars, you need to sterilize them. Years ago, when my parents canned fruits and vegetables from our garden, they would boil the jars in a giant pressure cooker on the stove, then carefully remove them with tongs, trying not to spill boiling water all over the place. These days, most of us have a giant sterilizing machine in our kitchen — the dishwasher. All you really need to do to sterilize your jars is run them through the dishwasher on high heat.

If you don’t have a dishwasher or just want to do it the old-fashioned way — break out your biggest stock pot and submerse the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Either way you do it, place the clean jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel until you’re ready to use them. This should be done the day you will be canning and no earlier. Lids should be boiled in a small sauce pan on the stove top for 4 minutes, right before canning begins.

Making Jam is Easier Than You Think!We’re jammin’

You’re going to be shocked how easy it is to make preserves. Once you have your fresh strawberries cleaned and hulled, throw them in a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice and zest. It might sound like a lot of sugar, but the sugar is the preservative and helps thicken the juices. Let the mixture sit covered with a kitchen towel for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer the mixture sits, the more the strawberries will break down, so if you like super chunky preserves, stay on the shorter end. Transfer the mixture to a large stockpot, bring to a boil over high heat, and boil rapidly for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the liquid pectin, then boil for an additional minute. Skim off the foam, if desired.

How To Can Jar Homemade Strawberry Preserves stepsHot seal

Getting a proper seal on your jars is the most important and trickiest part of canning. While our parents may have used a hot water bath or pressure cooker method for sealing jam, us modern mamas have a new and improved (and super easy) technique called the hot seal method. This method works best on jams, jellies and other high acidic items that have been cooked. While your preserves are still hot, fill the sterilized jars with the preserves, leaving about ½ inch from the top with the mixture. Take a damp paper towel and wipe all the way around the rim of the jar, making sure there is nothing on there to prevent a proper seal or allow bacteria to grow. Place a sterilized lid on top of the jar and tighten with a ring. Flip the jar upside down and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. The heat of the mixture will suction the lid right to the jar and you’ll start hearing the lids pop seal themselves. Turn the jars over and check the seals. If the small circle in the middle of the lid isn’t depressed, push it down to seal. If it doesn’t seal within a few hours, put in the fridge and eat right away. Otherwise, sealed preserves can last 18 months to 2 years unrefrigerated (the more sugar you use, the longer the shelf life). Once opened, the preserves should be refrigerated and should last about a month.

How to Make Homemade Strawberry PreservesStrawberry Preserves Printable Lid LabelsFree printable homemade strawberry preserves lid labels

While homemade strawberry jam is incredibly delicious and your kids will beg you for more, one of the best parts about making homemade preserves is being able to gift it to others. The feat of canning alone is impressive, but throw in a beautiful label (link below) and some baker’s twine and you’ve got the sweetest gift around. This is perfect for teachers gifts, hostess gifts, holiday gifts, party favors, or for welcoming a new neighbor. Strawberry preserves can be used on biscuits or toast, served over ice cream or waffles, mixed into yogurt or on a cracker with cream cheese. Enjoy!

Homemade Strawberry Preserves Recipe Card

Click here for the free full-page printable lid labels

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We aren’t sure if it is the few glimpses of noticeably warmer weather, the constant scent of our coconut oil moisturizer wafting through the air, or the countdown to spring break vacations filled with sandy beaches, but our taste buds have been majorly craving the ultimate warm weather dessert lately… key lime pie.

To kick off spring baking sessions, we’ve created the ultimate key lime pie recipe and and you don’t even have to use your oven! These no-bake key lime pie cupcakes create the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and when one taste hits your lips, you will believe you have been transported to the sunny beaches of the Florida Keys yourself. Plus their individual size makes them easy to serve, and with minimal effort, this yummy taste of spring is just waiting to be enjoyed by you and your guests.

No-Bake Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

No Bake Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 3 hours
Yields: 10-12 servings

Key Lime Pie Cupcake Ingredients

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 cup frozen whipped topping
  • 10-12 paper liners

The Best No-Bake Cupcake Recipes

Directions:

1. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Once mixed, place one tablespoon of crumbs into the bottom of each liner.
3. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, milk, and lime juice. Mix until smooth.
4. Add in the lime zest and whipped topping. Mix on low until smooth.
5. Layer the key lime pie mixture on top of the graham cracker crumbs in liner.
6. Place in freezer for two to three hours, until firm.
7. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and garnish.

Key Lime Cupcakes... No Bake Recipe!

In addition to key lime pie, what tastes of spring are you looking forward to this season?
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One of the most gratifying things about hosting a holiday at your home is all the leftovers! There is nothing better than opening your refrigerator after a full day of cleaning, entertaining, cooking, baking, serving — and cleaning again — to see that you have a meal already prepped and ready to go.

But, the magic of that feeling usually dissipates by day three. This is about the time when your taste buds revolt and scream, “Please not another day of ham and party potatoes!” We’ve found ten delicious recipes to help renew those Easter leftovers into something spectacular with minimal effort.

10 Easy Leftover Ham Recipes

10 Easy recipes to make with leftover Easter ham

1. Breakfast Pizza with Hash Brown Crust by Gunny Sack
Why wait until dinner? Dice up those ham leftovers and make this yummy breakfast pizza that the whole family will be sure to love. Pizza for breakfast has always been a win in our book!

2. Pasta Carbonara from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
“Creamy pasta and meat – you can never go wrong with that!” We couldn’t agree more with Anna, as she wowed us with this yummy leftover ham dish that takes less than 15 minutes to prep.

3. Cheese Ham and Potato Soup by Six Sisters Stuff
Soup is always in season in our house. Those ham leftovers will be thanking you for pairing them with this cheesy potato soup. Even better bonus — freeze some to reheat later!

4. Peas, Ham, and Creamy Noodles by Kevin and Amanda
We love a good “one-pot” meal and this one does not disappoint. In addition to your leftover ham, just add a few easy ingredients, only ten minutes of your time and voila! You have a fabulous new meal to try and only one pot to clean up!

5. Breakfast Burritos by Natasha’s Kitchen
Who doesn’t love a good burrito? This easy ham inspired breakfast burrito will be the perfect kick-start to your day. Even better, make a large batch to freeze extra and pull out at a later date.

6. Ham, Mac & Cheese Muffins by I Should Be Mopping The Floor
Take that leftover ham to school! These delicious — and dare I say adorable — muffins are the perfect way to jazz up those leftovers and your kiddos lunchbox.

Love this idea? Check out 10 Easy Muffin Tin Recipes for more inspiration. 

 

7. Cowboy Quiche by The Pioneer Woman
When it comes to cooking, The Pioneer Woman knows her stuff. Grab that leftover ham and make this tasty quiche recipe that will have your family begging for a brinner night asap.

8. Ham Pot Pie by Krista’s Kitchen
You’ve heard of chicken pot pie, but why not try using chicken’s second cousin, the ham? This new twist on a traditional recipe will have you coming back for more.

9. Cheesy Ham, Broccoli, and Rice by Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Nothing like jazzing up a little leftover ham and some broccoli with a little cheese. Our taste buds are already salivating over this delectable entree.

10. Slow Cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup by Destination Delish
What’s better than being able to transform that boring leftover ham into a new tasty meal with just a few ingredients and a touch of a button while you are out for the day? Nothing. Nothing is better, so pull out that trusty slow cooker and enjoy this mouthwatering recipe.

Slow cooker ham recipe

What creative recipe do you enjoy making with your leftover ham?

 

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Easter is upon us, and every time I browse my favorite Target grocery store with my little ones in tow, we are instantly greeted by all of the delicious holiday candy. I am still recovering from that entire bag of candy hearts I devoured at Valentine’s Day, but that apparently doesn’t stop me from resisting the call of pastel colored chocolate treats.

As a mom to three little ones, rarely does everyone agree on what treat we should bring home and I think that is why I love today’s recipe so much. Bark recipes are simple, no-bake, and you can throw everything — including the kitchen sink in them — everyone is happy! This Bunny Bark is not only a household hit, but it also includes one of our favorites snacks, Annie’s Bunny Grahams. We just love when a good snack provides for a good theme.

Bunny Bark Recipe

Bunny Bark

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30-45 mins
Yields: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package meltable chocolate
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • Annie’s Bunny Grahams (We used a mixture of chocolate and honey flavors.)
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms
  • 1 package graham crackers
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • Large cookie sheet

How to Make No-Bake Bunny Bark

Directions:

1. Line your cookie sheet with wax paper.
2. Break graham crackers into squares and place in rows on wax paper as base for the Bunny Bark.
3. Microwave your chocolate, stopping to stir every 30 seconds.
4. Once chocolate is melted and smooth, pour over graham crackers.
5. Start placing M&Ms, pretzels, and Annie’s Bunny Grahams on top of chocolate

Kid-Friendly Bunny Bark Recipe

Note: This is a great time to let your kiddos help you in the kitchen. That’s the art of the Bunny Bark, you can’t mess it up, and the more randomly topped it is the more beautiful and delicious it becomes!

6. Once topped, place aside and let cool for approximately 30-45 mins until the chocolate has hardened and firmed.
7. Break Bunny Bark into random sized pieces and enjoy!

Easy, No-Bake Bunny Bark as an Easter Dessert

Easy, No-Bake Bunny Bark

What simple Easter treats do you enjoy making with your children?
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choosing a DODeciding to see a doctor of osteopathic medicine for an adult version of a well visit

I started seeing a DO — a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine — almost on accident.

I didn’t see the point of making an appointment. For years, I only went to the OB/GYN, once a year most years, and what felt like eleven million times during each of my pregnancies. With two young children at home, making a doctor’s appointment — when I wasn’t even sick — seemed ridiculous.

After he had a physical, my husband saw it differently. He encouraged me to schedule an annual physical, much in the same way I diligently scheduled the kids’ well visits. How to find a doctor when I wasn’t even sure I needed one kept falling to the bottom of my priority list. I dragged my feet, but after getting recommendations from several of my friends for the same doctor, I made an appointment.

I discovered the doctor was a DO when I did a quick Google search for the exact location of the office, which I found vaguely interesting. I’d read about the difference between MDs and DOs at some point when one of my friends was considering medical school, but I didn’t think I’d notice much of a difference during a routine physical.

Find a Doctor You Love

My appointment with my DO

After the typical medical visit routine — weight, height, blood pressure — I waited on the familiar doctor’s table. I’d never been in the office, but the table and the exam room seemed exactly like every other doctor’s office I’d visited. I wondered how different the appointment would really be.

My doctor knocked, walked into the room, sat down, and then gestured at me to do the same — and she didn’t mean perched on the edge of the table. I sat across from her, and she began going over my history, but she asked questions I hadn’t expected, like how much sleep I’d been getting, how tired I felt, and what I was doing to combat my fatigue.

Throughout my visit, and during subsequent visits, I felt very heard during my appointments. She listened to my concerns about not really feeling like I was making gains in my fitness, even with a steady amount of running, and she suggested dietary and lifestyle tweaks I could make — including more sleep. She chatted with me about balancing normal “I’m a mom with two small kids” tiredness with being overly stressed, letting me know I’d sleep again — one day — and never made me feel my concerns were invalid just because I was in good overall health.

About Doctors of Osteopathic medicine

I shouldn’t have been surprised that my doctor was interested in how my sleep, diet, and lifestyle were connected to how I was feeling and how frustrated I was with my running progress.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine believe there’s more to good health than just being free of pain or illness. DOs are fully licensed physicians trained to listen and partner with their patients, not only to heal sickness but to keep patients well.

I love seeing a woman doctor, and the number of women DOs under the age of 45 rose 62% between 2010 and 2015. DOs can be found in any medical specialty, but they always practice the same philosophy of considering the person within the patient.

Find a DO near you or learn more at DoctorsThatDo.org

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided for this blog via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of American Osteopathic Association or Momtrends.

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Make a Valentine’s Day breakfast that really says “I love you”

Valentine's Day breakfasts

Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a weekend this year, which gives you the perfect opportunity to go all-out for breakfast for your favorite people. Whether you’re putting together something sweet for the whole family or something savory for your significant other, we know one of these 13 delicious breakfasts will work for you.

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Donut strawberry shortcake
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Pink greek yoghurt pancakes
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mini raspberry white chocolate scones12
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Raspberry Red Velvet Protein Shakes
Choco Berry Smoothie
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mini-cinnamon-roll-pops5
Bisquick Donuts
Gluten free pancakes with strawberry cream cheese sauce
Macerated-Strawberries-and-Cream-Crepes-31

 

Old-Fashioned Donut Strawberry Shortcake from The Baker Mama is the perfect way to blend everyone’s favorite treat — an old-fashioned donut — with strawberries, the ideal Valentine’s Day fruit. It’s a surprising way to say good morning.

Brown Sugar Mama brings us Smoked Salmon and Avocado Eggs Benedict, a twist on the breakfast classic. The flavor of the smoked salmon and the splurge-worthy Hollandaise sauce make this an indulgent breakfast for your favorite Valentine.

Pink Greek Yoghurt Pancakes from A Million Miles don’t depend on artificial flavoring for their gorgeous pink color, and the fluffy pancakes are simply delicious, proving you don’t need an abundance of artificial ingredients for a sweet treat.

Sunday Public offers Brown Butter Doughnuts with Cinnamon Dolce Glaze, a delectable treat that will leave your entire house smelling amazing. The rich flavors are a perfectly sweet combination, and your Valentine will be requesting these for weekends on end.

Mini Raspberry White Chocolate Scones from Stew or a Story  are both scrumptious and adorable, and we can’t get enough of the tea party presentation. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day brunch or even a simple brunch with your girlfriends, these scones are sure to be a hit.

Caramelized Banana Crepes from At the Corner of Happy and Harried are a simple and flavorful breakfast. Both the caramelized bananas and the crepes can be made the night before and assembled in the morning, which makes your holiday breakfast a cinch.

Spache the Spatula brings us Raspberry Red Velvet Protein Shakes, a breakfast shake that delivers a combination of chocolate and raspberry flavors with the filling punch of added protein. You’ll have energy for days with this shake!

My Ginger Garlic Kitchen offers a Romantic Choco-Berry Valentine’s Smoothie, and this sweet smoothie will go straight to your heart. Filled with rich and scrumptious flavor, this treat will work for breakfast, brunch or dessert.

Strawberry Waffles from Tara’s Multicultural Table use strawberry puree for their color, and you can top with anything your heart desires. The variety of toppings makes waffles a fabulous option for picky kids.

The Decorated Cookie gives us Mini Cinnamon Roll Pops, the cutest Valentine’s Day treat on the table. Be sure to make a big batch of these — you won’t be able to stop at just one. Kids will love helping with these, so you can enlist their help to surprise Daddy in the morning.

Bisquick Donuts from Something Swanky might more delicious than anything at your local bakery — plus you can make them in your pajamas! Her tips for frying these beauties will help even a donut novice make perfect donuts each time.

The Bewitchin’ Kitchen proves gluten-free doesn’t have to mean flavor-free with her Gluten Free Pancakes Smothered in Strawberry Cream Cheese Sauce. Baked goods can be some of the toughest substitutes for gluten-sensitive eaters, but coconut flour makes these a truly special treat.

Strawberries and Cream Crepes with Orange Liqueur from Cafe Delights are absolutely a special treat for someone you love. Crepes aren’t tough to make, but they look so fancy on a plate — and the orange liqueur gives these an unexpected burst of flavor.

What do you plan on making for breakfast this Valentine’s Day?
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Now that cold weather is just around the corner, being warm and cozy is on our minds. Nothing is better during this time of year than snuggling up with cozy sweaters, soft blankets, warm fires and having free-license to drink hot chocolate every single day.

Whether battling the frigid temperatures of a winter snow storm or coming back inside from a day of hitting the slopes on your family vacation, nothing will warm your insides faster — or taste yummier — than a nice cup of hot chocolate. We’ve already shared a fun hot chocolate bar set up for kids, but now it’s time to spice things up a bit with a twist on this classically delicious beverage for the adults.

Hot Chocolate Recipes for Grown-Ups

Kahlua Cocoa: Hot chocolate cocktails for grown-ups

Servings: Makes one cocktail, double — or triple! — as necessary
Prep time: 20 minutes, which includes making the hot cocoa

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces hot cocoa, prepped your favorite way
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Toppings of your choice: We preferred whipped cream and chocolate chips with a peppermint candy cane for an additional hint of minty flavor.

Hot Chocolate Cocktails

Instructions:

1. Combine warm cocoa and Kahlua in mug.
2. Add sugar and whipping cream. Sweeten to preferred taste.
3. Top with whipped cream and toppings of your choice.
4. Serve and enjoy.
Kahlua Cocoa: Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

Sharing is caring

The gift giving season is upon us, and who wouldn’t love a warm chocolatey surprise to brighten their chilly day? This adult hot chocolate also makes for a fun gift to surprise your loved one, share with your favorite hostess or include as a favor for your upcoming holiday party.

Simply place pre-made hot chocolate mix in a cute Mason jar and layer with mini-marshmallows. Grab your favorite festive ribbon, include our fun plaid printable (free download available here) and a mini bottle of Kahlua and you have a perfect to-go gift!

Hot Chocolate Mason Jar Gift with Printable Tag

Do you have a yummy way to spice up your hot chocolate this winter?
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The Best Peppermint Brownies

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, and the holiday season has officially started, it’s time to leave all things pumpkin spice in the past and concentrate on life’s much more decadent flavors — chocolate and peppermint. Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but we are definitely ready to indulge in all the tastes of the holiday season! Trust us when we say these festive peppermint brownies will have your taste buds swooning.

The Best Peppermint Brownies

Peppermint brownies

 

Servings: 9 or more, depending on how big or small you cut the squares
Preheat: 350 degrees F
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes, plus additional time in the freezer to set before serving

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 can fudge frosting
  • 1 cup peppermint candies or crushed candy canes

The Best Peppermint Dessert Recipes

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
2. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch glass or metal baking dish
3. Place chocolate and butter in microwavable bowl and heat for approximately 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted and smooth.
4. Stir in the sugar and brown sugar until smooth in texture.
5.  Add eggs, vanilla extract, peppermint extract. Lightly stir until combined.
6. Fold in the flour with a baking spatula. Note: Flour can still be slightly visible in the chocolate mixture. Do not over mix.
7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Brownies will be ready to come out of the oven when a toothpick check comes back with moist crumbs, rather than wet batter.
8. While the brownies are baking, place peppermint candy in a large Ziploc bag and crush into small pieces. Set bag aside.
9. Once brownies are ready, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
10. Spread frosting on the top of the brownies while still warm.
11. Sprinkle generously with crushed peppermint.
12. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Tip: For smooth and perfectly square cuts, place peppermint brownies in fridge or freezer to cool after topping. Let cool completely for at least an hour, and then cut with a warm knife. Wipe blade after each cut.

Must-Make Peppermint Brownies

 

What peppermint treat are you craving this holiday?
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November offers the chance to celebrate gratitude

Even if you’re still sneaking a few pieces of your kids’ Halloween candy to pair with your coffee each morning, November means looking forward to Thanksgiving. Without a religious connection or the expectation of gifts, many families relish the chance to connect over a well-crafted meal. Whether your Thanksgiving table is filled with the family into which you were born or the family you’ve cobbled together with friends and neighbors, there’s something special about breaking bread with those you love.

La Brea Bakery

La Brea Bakery want to brighten Thanksgiving day — with more than bread

La Brea Bakery is the leading artisan bread in the United States — sold in 7,000-7,500 retail outlets and chains nationwide. Learn more about La Brea Bakery and how they focus on giving back to others. While La Brea Bakery would love to see their artisan bread on your Thanksgiving table, this year they’re working to spread joy and gratitude to your community’s heroes.

Nominate — and celebrate — your Thanksgiving hero this November

Even if we’re not making an elaborate dinner, my immediate family makes it a point to spend Thanksgiving together. Little touches, like my Grandma Rose’s special Thanksgiving china, elevate the day from the ordinary. I make mashed potatoes with abandon, ignoring the calorie count on butter and promising to make up for the extra large piece of pumpkin pie another day.

For some people, though, Thanksgiving is spent at work. Nurses, firefighters, waiters and countless other people spend their Thanksgiving taking care of other people — and sometimes saving lives. This year, La Brea Bakery is running a Thanksgiving promotion where you will be encouraged to nominate your “Thanksgiving Hero”: people you know and love who regularly work on Thanksgiving serving others. La Brea Bakery will deliver fully catered meals to five finalists across the nation on Thanksgiving, so they can still enjoy a special meal, even at work.

How to nominate your Thanksgiving Hero

To submit an entry visit “Thanksgiving Heroes” and create your submission by including: your first and last name; zip code; email address; an essay of 100 words or less telling about your family member that you will be unable to share Thanksgiving dinner with and submit at least one photograph showing both you and your family member that you will be unable to share Thanksgiving dinner with. Submissions must be received by November 15th 2015. Finalists will be announced November 17th 2015, after which the public will have a chance to vote for their favorites through November 20th 2015.

La Brea Bakery

Keep in touch with La Brea Bakery

Stay up-to-date with La Brea Bakery this holiday season and all year long by following along with their social media stories. In addition to updates about the contest, you’ll also receive product discounts — and who doesn’t love a deal on delicious artisan bread?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of La Brea Bakery. All opinions are my own.

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