Every December I try to find new ways to make spiced nuts. They are the perfect snack during the holidays (that my kids like too), and they make wonderful homemade holiday gifts. My friend, Caroline, gave passed me a version of this recipe earlier this summer when I was working on a recipe development project for a client. What I love about this newly created recipe for Spiced and Sugary Nuts is that there is no butter or oil needed. The pecans are tossed in the egg and water mixture and then drained. Next, you sprinkle with the sugar mixture. I have tried this recipe using cayenne and smoked paprika, and both are wonderful.
It has been so cold outside lately, so my kids have been requesting hot chocolate. Since I had some peppermint sticks on hand, I crushed them up and made this really simple Peppermint Hot Chocolate mixture. They were ecstatic, and this has been a weekly beverage. I used skim milk in my recipe because that is what we drink at my house to reduce the calories and fat a bit. Enjoy this cozy beverage just in time for the holidays.
As the holidays are approaching, I have been trying to make recipes that my kids will love and hopefully ones that will be potential great homemade food gifts. I saw a variation of this recipe in a recent Paula Dean Magazine, and tweaked it using some of my favorite ingredients such as walnuts and flaxseed. It came out great, and it lasted at least up to 3 weeks in a tightly covered container. My kids ate it for breakfast and a snack, and I piled it on top of Greek Yogurt for a filling breakfast. For the dried fruit, I used Sun-Maid Fruit Bits. Start your holiday food gifts early, and try this Granola recipe.
I am very fortunate to have met Cookbook Author Holly Clegg about 9 years ago at one of my first conferences at IACP. I truly appreciated how down-to-earth, inspiring and helpful she was and still continues to be. Known as “Queen of the Quick”, Holly is a Baton Rouge resident who brings her Southern charm to every aspect of her life. Her busy lifestyle and desire to feed her own family health-conscious, homemade meals, even when in a time crunch, has served as her inspiration throughout the years with her total of 7 cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, “Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age”, is filled with 200 easy-to-prepare recipes, nutritional information, diabetic information as well as photos, adorable illustrations, coffee parings and more. It is so fun, whimsical and is designed for today’s busy woman.
I seriously had a difficult time trying to decide what recipe to feature from this book. Since I’m a Southerner as well, I thought the Barbecue Shrimp recipe would be great for this time of year. It’s so easy, light and quick with only 179 calories, 8 grams of fat and 4 carbohydrates. For a chance to win Holly’s latest book, leave me a comment telling me why you would like to own a copy of this amazingly fun book. Here’s a sneak peak at another recipe in the book, Chocolate Peanut Clusters.
I love working on homemade holiday food gift recipes this time of year, and my 3 kids love helping me create them too. This creative idea for Homemade Cracker Jacks is a simple recipe that adults and the kids can enjoy. Just pick up a small one dollar item to put in the box as a toy. I will be making this recipe this Tuesday on NBC “Daytime Alabama” as well as two others, and this recipe will also be featured in the December issue of Birmingham Magazine.
My kids are so excited about Thanksgiving this year, and our guest list is growing everyday. I thought I would share a fun cooking activity that the kids love: this Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies recipe. This recipe comes from Pillsbury, and you start with their refrigerated sugar cookie dough. It’s so easy, and your children will have a blast making these. These are also great to take to school to the teachers or share with the class, and they are always a big hit!
The first food blog I followed was Angie Dudley’s blog “Bakerella”. To me, it was (and still is) one the most incredible food blogs, and I patiently awaited each fabulous post clicking on her site day after day hoping for her to post again. I was contemplating starting my own blog at the time, and I emailed her and asked a number of questions. She was beyond sweet, helpful and resourceful, and I don’t know if I can ever thank her enough for all of her advice and encouragement. Recently, her incredible first book, “Cake Pops”, was released by Chronicle Books, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. This book is filled with incredible ideas, photos and recipes on how to turn a cake ball and cake pops into incredible shapes and designs. This book offers step-by-step instruction on how to create these. A few weeks ago, I was so fortunate to meet Angie in person at a conference, and she was so humble, gracious, and nice. I am so excited about her success, and I couldn’t wait to feature her new book on my site. This book is perfect for anyone that loves creativity and food, and I highly recommend it (my kids took it to school the other day, and all of the parents were calling me how to get a copy).
I’m giving away one free copy so please make a comment and tell me your favorite baking recipe or blog. The winner will be award this Friday, October 1. Good luck!
My niece, Meredith, is a very talented college student at the University of Alabama. She writes an incredible fashion blog called http://inspectorsnew.wordpress.com. I always get great fashion ideas from her blog. Last week I was honored to have my Gluten Free Cookies featured among her great Valentine gifts. Check out her blog and the incredible work of a college student and my cookies below.