Holiday Breakfast Cake

Holiday Breakfast Cake

I am a huge coffee cake fan, so I decide to try this Holiday Breakfast Cake recipe for my husband and the kids. This is a great recipe for Christmas morning, holiday gift, a brunch, a shower, dessert, or even a special snack to last all weekend. For dessert, you may want to add a simple icing, but it’s wonderful without it too! Serve at room temperature or warm beforehand. My favorite way to enjoy it is with a cup of coffee or for an afternoon snack.

Holiday Breakfast Cake via @alisonlewis

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

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My mother-in-law always prepares a pecan pie for Christmas dinner dessert. My husband and I decided to step out of the classic pecan pie box, and we tried this recipe for Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving which was a huge hit. Start by using a frozen pie crust. I used a regular size, but a deep-dish would work well too. Brush the edges with cream to give the crust a golden color. If you only have eggs on hand, that works too. Beat the eggs slightly and brush around the edges of the crust to give a glossy crust color. If you want to omit the bourbon, you may, but it gives it an extra southern bold flavor. You may want to make two pies while you’re at it because one goes fast! Enjoy this holiday season and year round or give as a holiday gift!

Hanukkah Sugar Cookies

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My daughter and I are always looking for a super easy sugar cookie recipe this time of year to make holiday cookies for Christmas and Hanukkah. My friend, Ashley, used this recipe from Allrecipes.com, and these Hanukkah Sugar Cookies are amazing!  These are really light, soft and not too sweet. Just be careful, you can’t stop eating them once you start. This recipe is also really simple and perfect for Hanukkah, Christmas or anytime of the year. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, starts at sundown tonight and until the evening of December 24th. The story of Hanukkah is one of revolution and miracles. Jewish people light menorah candles, one a night, for eight nights, gift gifts and eat fried potato pancakes (latkes). People always get confused on lighting the candles and which way to start so here you go:

On the first night of Chanukah, set one candle to the far right of the menorah. On the following night add a second light to the left of the first one, and then add one light each night of Chanukah—moving from right to left. Each night, light the newest (leftmost) candle first, and continue lighting from left to right. In other words, we add lights to the menorah from right to left, and we light from left to right. Happy Hanukkah from my family to yours!

Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Latkes

2013 has been a whirlwind for me. All the sudden it’s November, Thanksgiving…and Chanukah! This year we have the rare opportunity to celebrate Chanukah and Thanksgiving simultaneously for the first time since the early 1900s, definitely an occasion worth taking advantage of from a culinary standpoint. Chanukah, meet Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, meet Chanukah! Instead of sweet potato pie, try these sweet potato butternut squash latkes. They are amazing! You’ll get the flavors of Thanksgiving but the crispy fried texture of Chanukah. Thank you to Chabad  for sharing this recipe with my readers. I only adapted it slightly. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah!

Pomegranate Cider Recipe and Fun News

Who loves cider? My 3 kids and I are addicted to my newest creation for Pomegranate Cider. It is a big hit with family and friends. I made it for Thanksgiving, and I wish I actually had made more. This is the type of recipe that you definitely want to have left-over. I have some really great news!  I am so honored to be a part of the SC JohnsonBlogger panel” this year! I will be writing for their website on a monthly basis and sharing recipes, tips and more. They are a family-owned company, and they offer some of my most favorite, useful products in my kitchen and home. See SC Johnson’s website for this recipe and more of my posts! Stay tuned for more…

No Bake Chocolate-Peanut Flaxseed Butter Bars

No Bake recipes bar cookie recipes are some of my favorite cookie/bar types of desserts, especially this time of year when I’m so busy. I quickly mixed up these up  one afternoon, and my kids told me these were a “home run” (well that was what the boys said). My daughter loved them even though she isn’t a coconut fan. These No Bake Chocolate Peanut Bars call for ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. These make a great afternoon snack, dessert (with milk) and an easy homemade gift for Christmas or Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Latkes: Cilantro-Jalapeño Latkes with Chipotle Sour Cream

It’s the 3rd night of Hanukkah, and I have been searching for a new, creative Latke recipe to prepare. Luckily, I found these Cilantro-Jalapeno Latkes with Chipotle Sour Cream from Cooking Light Magazine. With only 260 calories and 11 grams of fat, you can’t go wrong with this healthy and fabulous latke recipe (whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not). I appreciate Cooking Light for allowing me to share their photo and recipe for this post as it was used with their permission. Check out some other Latke recipes that I would love to try.

Latkes-Healthy Green Kitchen

Pumpkin Potato Latkes-Serious Eats

Sweet Potato Latkes-All Recipes

Potato-Apple Latkes-Cooking Light

Winter Sunshine Latkes-LA Times

Classic Hanukkah Favorite-Easy Potato Latkes

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My dad has been making Potato Latkes on Hanukkah since I can remember. Now, we always celebrate with my family at my sister, Natalie’s house. My brother-in-law, Eric and my dad make the latkes together. It’s always a fun night, especially for the kids. We are celebrating it this weekend for the last night of Hanukkah. We tried this recipe at home last night, and it came out great! I was testing Cashew Chicken for Clean Eating magazine, and we served it with these Potato Latkes, kinda funny how things work at my house–the life of a Recipe Developer.

Hanukkah Sweet and Sour Brisket

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My sister, Julie, is a fabulous cook and has been making this recipe for Hanukkah for years. The recipe sounds so bizarre with apricot preserves, chili sauce and, oh my, sauerkraut? When I worked at Southern Living Magazine as a Food Editor, and I sent this recipe to the test kitchen, they were a little questionable about it. But when we discussed it around the taste-testing table (a long table that seats about 20), everyone gave it the highest rating possible. It is really delicious, although, I will admit, difficult to photograph so I added some photos from this year’s Hanukkah party at my house (that’s my son reading the prayer-yes I was proud). This recipe is ideal for Hanukkah or in the fall or winter months when you want something comforting, warm, with a touch of sweet and sour. And if you live in Birmingham, Alabama and don’t have time to cook brisket, head to Jim N Nick’s Barbecue on Highway 280-yum!

 

Sweet-And-Sour Brisket

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 31/2 to 4 hours

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

1  (5-pound) beef brisket, trimmed

1  (1-ounce) envelope onion soup mix

1/2  teaspoon  garlic powder

1/2  teaspoon  Italian seasoning

1/2  teaspoon  ground red pepper

1  (10-ounce) jar apricot preserves

1  cup  water

1  cup  chili sauce

2  (10-ounce) cans sauerkraut, drained

Preparation

1 Place brisket in a lightly greased roasting pan. Sprinkle with soup mix and next three ingredients. Spread preserves on top of brisket. Add 1 cup water to pan. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

2. Bake, covered, at 350° for 3 hours. Uncover and pour chili sauce over brisket; top with sauerkraut. Cover and bake 1 more hour.

3. Remove from oven; let stand, covered, 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with sauerkraut and pan juices.

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