Tag Archives: winter

12 Days of Christmas Candy

I love making cookies for the holidays, but it’s a ton of work to have your oven on all day every day and batches of cookies all over your house. My fridge is packed with so much butter and eggs that I don’t even have room for ACTUAL food to live on 😉

I’ve been trying to cut back on the cookies in recent years, so I like to off-set and fill in my cookie baskets with some homemade candies. Candies often take less than an hour to make and often require 0 baking time. They’re great for bringing into the office, as one batch usually makes a ton of servings…and they’re great for gifting, as they can stay out at room temperature and be packaged without the fear of ruining any decorations.

If you’re looking for some quick and easy treats to make this holiday season, look no further than these 12 holiday candy recipes. From peanut buttery buckeyes to candy-coated popcorn, these sweets are sure to get your friends and family in the holiday spirit!

12 Days of Christmas Candy

12-days-of-christmas-candy

  1. Homemade Gum Drops
  2. Salted Nut Roll
  3. Marshmallow Bon-Bons
  4. Buckeye Balls
  5. White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge
  6. Homemade Peanut Brittle
  7. Chocolate Orange Party Mix
  8. Vegan Candy Pecans
  9. Gingerbread Caramel Popcorn Crunch
  10. Easy Homemade Almond Joy Bars
  11. Turtle Pretzel Clusters
  12. Chocolate Peanut Candy Bars

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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12 Alternative Christmas Trees

It’s (ALMOST) the most wonderful time of the year…

bored the grinch GIF by The Good Films

I love having a tree in the living room for Christmas; however, my living room is so small that it can barely even hold our furniture, let alone a decorated tree.

I’ve mainly used artificial trees in my years of apartment living but last year I decided to try a small, little tree…a la Charlie Brown. While it made the apartment smell amazing, it also shed needles all over the carpet that I’m STILL finding now almost a year later.

UGH.

This year I’m seriously considering trying an alternative Christmas tree…one that I can hang on the wall or make from something I have around the apartment already.

In case any of you are in the same boat, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ideas! Made with pieces of wood, ladders, boxes and more, these alternative Christmas trees are a great way to bring the holidays into your home without worrying about needles all over the floor!

12 Alternative Christmas Trees

trees

Shelf Tree

seasons_greetings

Wooden Tree

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Garland Tree

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Box Tree

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Fringe Tree

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Wood Branch Tree

3605584e6ad1426c829a8e237d97f63b

Ladder Tree

Funky Junk's treeless Christmas ladder tree

PVC Pipe Tree

846477c342ab9cea5bb1f71114a904e1

Fairy Light Tree

f64a54ae750a96b9ea8fe5b4f0d53381

Wooden Plaque Tree

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Trinket Tree

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Framed Ornament Tree

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Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Traditional Beef Pasties Recipe

Any true Yooper will tell you, there’s nothing more iconic about the Upper Peninsula than a pasty.

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A savory pastry dough stuffed with meat and potatoes, the pasty was developed as a way for miners to have a good, hardy lunch while working underground. The pasty can be eaten warm or cold and the thick, twisted crust was used as a handle of sorts that would be thrown away so miners could hold their food without having to worry about their dirty hands.

Today you can still find pasty shops all over the UP, and most of them come with a variety of fillings; however, you just can’t go wrong with beef, potatoes and rutabaga.

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I’ve had several pasties in my years spent up in the UP and they really are a tasty and filling meal. Not only that, they’re actually quite easy to make at home!

I made these pasties in a couple hours and they made great lunches and dinners throughout the week. Serve with a salad or just enjoy on it’s own…it’s certainly enough to fill you up!

Traditional Beef Pasties Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lard
  • 3 to 4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium red potatoes, peeled
  • 1 small rutabaga, peeled
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, for egg wash (optional)

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Directions:

For the crust: Combine lard with 1 cup water. Melt on low heat until everything is incorporated and liquid is hot.

In separate heat-safe bowl, combine 3 cups flour and salt. Gradually add the hot liquid to the flour and stir until a very soft dough is formed. Cover and refrigerate until dough is cool, about 2 hours.

For filling: Chop red potatoes, rutabaga, carrots and onion into small 1/8 in. cubes. You’ll want everything to be a uniform size so it cooks through properly.

Add ground beef, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Stir filling until combined.

To assemble: Divide dough into equal portions (I weighed and divided the dough and got 8 portions with this recipe). On a floured surface, roll out one portion at a time into a 7 or 8 in. circle. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of filling to center of dough. Moisten edges with water, then carefully fold dough over filling and seal edges. You can use a fork for easy sealing or do the traditional twisted crust by folding the dough over itself from one end to the other.

If your dough is still too soft, add more flour. I ended up having to add about a cup of flour after the dough cooled to get it to the right consistency. It should be soft, but workable.

Place pasties on an ungreased baking sheet. If desired, you can do an egg wash for a little color, which is what I did. Poke several holes in each pasty with a fork.

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Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour. Cool slightly before serving.

If you end up with extra filling, pour it in a skillet and cook up a hash for breakfast! I can say from experience, it’s DELICIOUS.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Braised Short Ribs with Cilantro Slaw

My first introduction to Matty Matheson was this MUNCHIES video for Braised Short Ribs.

It was basically love at first sight.

First of all, I wish I loved anything as much as Matty Matheson loves food. I mean just look at the joy on his face! Second of all, he’s literally the most colorful man I’ve ever seen. He’s like a big, loveable, cuddly coloring book.

As a lover of Cholula hot sauce and basically any meat that’s cooked low and slow, I bookmarked this recipe and continued my deep dive into the rest of Matheson’s videos.

It wasn’t until the first frost hit Chicago a few weekends ago that I decided it was time to finally bust out this recipe. Full of amazing flavor and stick-to-your-ribs deliciousness, this Braised Short Ribs recipe is just as good as it looks. Serve it with the homemade slaw and some salt and vinegar chips for a hearty, rich meal that is certain to warm you, body and soul.

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Braised Short Ribs with Cilantro Slaw

*Based on Braised Short Rib Sandwich Recipe, courtesy of MUNCHIES

Ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 poblano, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 rib celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 bay leaves, dried
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 (6-inch) long short ribs (about 3 pounds)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (5-ounce) bottle Cholula® Original Hot Sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I used an IPA)
  • 4 cups beef stock

For Slaw

  • 1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325°F. Place garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño, poblano, carrot, onion, and celery in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

Tie the cilantro and parsley sprigs together with string. Set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper and cook, turning as needed, until brown all over, about 10 minutes. Set aside on a plate.

Add chopped vegetables to the saucepan and cook until soft and the liquid has evaporated, about 20 to 25 minutes (it’s gonna start smelling amazing in your kitchen). Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes more.

Add the Cholula® Original Hot Sauce (yup, the WHOLE thing) and cook 2 minutes longer.

Add the beer and beef stock and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Again, I used IPA, but a stout or porter would also be really good here.

Return the short ribs to the saucepan. Top with herb bundle and dried bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover, then place in the oven. Cook until the ribs are soft, about 3 hours.

For slaw, toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl about an hour before you’re ready to serve. Cover and refrigerate until ready to plate.

Remove the ribs from the oven and set aside (remove and discard the bones). Strain the liquid, discarding the solids. Place the liquid back into the pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until thick and reduced by half, about 15 minutes.

Roughly chop the rib meat and toss in the reduced sauce. Stuff into toasted buns and top each with the slaw. Serve immediately.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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13 Clever Things to Make in Your Cast Iron Skillet

Let’s take a minute and talk about the beauty that is the cast iron skillet.

skillet-recipes

It can be used to make dinner, desserts, dips and so much more. Cleaning is a breeze, and really, the more you use it, the nicer it is to you. It really is a staple in any kitchen and is the best way for cooking bacon, chicken and even biscuits!

But that’s not all you can do…here are 13 clever things to make in your cast iron skillet!

13 Clever Things to Make in Your Cast Iron Skillet

Pecan Apple Dutch Baby

1

Country Egg Skillet

2

Veggie Pot Pie

3

Chocolate Cinnamon Skillet Brownie

4

Monster Skillet Cookie

5

Apple Pie Skillet Cobbler

6

Skillet Drop Biscuits

7

Curry Bread with Cheesy Dip

8

Strawberry Nectarine Skillet Crisp

9

Skillet Cookie

10

Garlic Lover’s Pizza

11

Refried Bean Dip

12

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pasta

13

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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9 Heartwarming Fall Soups

Once the first day of fall hits, all I want to do is bust out my slow cooker and fill my home with the smells of homemade soups. Creamy squash soups or hearty meat soups, there’s nothing that won’t hit the spot on a cool, blistery fall day.

fall soups

These tasty fall soups have a little something for everyone…best of all, you can add or subtract ingredients as needed. A healthy and no-stress meal that will appease the whole family, these tasty fall soups are all you need to get in the spirit of the season.

9 Heartwarming Fall Soups

Beef Barley Soup

beef and barley

Creamy Autumn Squash Soup

squash

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

chicken noodle

Vegetable Soup

veggie

Curry Corn Chowder

curry lime

Butternut Squash Soup

soup

Lasagna Soup

lasagna

Tortellini Soup

tortallini

Chicken and Dumplings Soup

biscuits

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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12 Lattes Worth Making this Morning

As if we needed another reason to love fall, the cool crisp weather is perfect for indulging in all kinds of delicious lattes. Whether you’re holding out for the peppermint mocha latte or you’re all about that basic PSL life, there’s no need to spend your bills on the ‘bucks anymore…craft your own lattes right from the comfort of your own kitchen with these 12 latte recipes worth making this morning!

latte-recipes

12 Lattes Worth Making this Morning

Salted Caramel Latte
salted caramel

Peanut Butter Cup Latte
peanut butter

Chai Tea Latte
chai

Pumpkin Spice Latte
pumpkin spice

French Press Latte
coffee

Vanilla Turmeric Latte
vanilla

Rose Lavender Honey Latte
rose lavender

Chamomile Tea Latte
chamemoile

Chestnut Latte
chestnut

Eggnog Latte
eggnot

Peppermint Mocha Latte
peppermint

Gingerbread Latte
gingerbread

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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