Archive of ‘Featured’ category

Salty & Sweet Christmas Treat

It’s that time of year when we bake up a storm, cookie swap like crazy and make gift baskets for all of our friends and families. This year I tried out a new dessert recipe and it happens to make the perfect holiday party treat OR that something special for friends or colleagues.

What’s salty, chocolatey and festive? These Reindeer Antlers – yummy and cute!

 Sweet & Salty Christmas Treat


Pretzels and chocolate — is there a better combination? There really aren’t many things better than great chocolate and Dove totally has you covered. Click to sweeten the holidays with Silky Smooth Dove Chocolate.

Reindeer Antlers Treat

 Pair this treat with a small glass of milk and you have the perfect surprise for that after school snack (that is if you don’t eat them before the kids get home!).

Reindeer Antlers

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups DOVE® Chocolate

3/4 cup M&M’S® Brand MINIS®

1 bag pretzel sticks, broken into various sized pieces

Reynolds® Parchment Paper

To Make:

1. Remove 3/4 cup red and green M&M’S® Brand MINIS® and set aside for decoration.

2. Line a baking sheet with Reynolds® Parchment Paper.

3. Melt the DOVE® Chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the mixture as it melts. When mixture is shiny and smooth, turn off the heat.

4. Once all the chocolate is melted, dip the pretzel pieces one at a time and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet into an antler shape. Place the M&M’S® Brand MINIS® on each antler as it is finished.

5. Repeat this same process until all the antlers are finished.

6. Let the chocolate cool completely and get firm. You can refrigerate to firm the chocolate more quickly.

7. Once firm, remove them from the Reynolds® Parchment Paper.

8. If desired, wrap each one in a sheet of cellophane, tied with a ribbon or simply put them on a cookie plate.

Tip: Add red M&M’S® Brand MINIS® to form the red nose.

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mars via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mars.

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Good Morning! Blueberry Cheescake Danishes

There is something that I love about a great weekend breakfast. Lazy mornings, hot coffee, and something great to eat — what could be better? And as the holidays quickly approach I’m working on my holiday menu (Christmas morning breakfast a biggie on the list as it’s becoming my favorite occasion to entertain!) and I’m often trying new recipes. So, when  the folks at Pepperidge Farm recently asked me to take the   PuffectionTM  Holiday Entertaining Challenge, I was super excited to get baking!

With breakfast on the mind, I decided to try this recipe for Blueberry Cheescake Danishes.

 

Danish Recipe

I was pleasantly surprised how simple this recipe was. With only a few ingredients, I had these little bits of heaven in the oven super fast. Then, I waited not-so-patiently for them to bake.

Danish Recipe - Blackberry

When they were done, they were warm and crispy and tasted wonderful! The divine smell of cinnamon and blueberry drew in a crowd who wanted a taste too. I shared, because I’m thoughtful like that ;).

 

Danish Recipe

This recipe is definitely a keeper and will likely make a appearance on Christmas morning — they are THAT good.

Blueberry Cheescake Danishes

Ingredients

Vegetable cooking spray

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

5 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/4 of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

All-purpose flour

1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed

2 tbsp. butter, melted

1/4 cup blueberry preserves or strawberry jam

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 tsp. milk

1/4 cup sliced almond, toasted

To Make

1.Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with the cooking spray.

2.Stir the cinnamon and 4 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small bowl. Stir the cream cheese and remaining sugar in a small bowl.

3.Sprinkle the flour on the work surface. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on the work surface. Brush the pastry sheet with half the butter. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar mixture. With the short side facing you, cut the pastry sheet lengthwise into 6 strips. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet, making 12 in all.

4.Twist 1 pastry strip then coil into a spiral. Place the pastry onto the baking sheet. Brush the end of the spiral with the remaining butter and tuck tightly under the bottom of the pastry. Repeat with the remaining pastry strips. Place 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture and 1 teaspoon preserves in the center of each pastry.

5.Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

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Be sure to visit the Puffection TM tab on the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Facebook page and share your own holiday Puff Pastry recipes, and http://www.puffpastry.com for more recipes, tips and how-to videos

Disclosure: Pepperidge Farm has provided you with a stipend for my time and materials invested in the Pepperidge Farm® Puffection TM Holiday Entertaining challenge, as always thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Create a Cozy Christmas Breakfast with Pier 1 Imports


 

There is something so magical about Christmas morning that over the years, it has become my favorite time to entertain. Christmas breakfast at my home has two requirements: expect it to be cozy and come in your pajamas. I love waking up early and setting a cozy breakfast table and this year I’ve turned to Pier 1 Imports to help me master that Christmas-cozy look!

I picked up a few finds and quickly set a table that adults and kids will eagerly gather around. I used these faux pine cone branches as a table runner (which can double as mantle decor!) and set 4 tan linen placemats as a base.

Next I picked up simple dishes from Pier 1 Imports — red plates and white bowls. Also, coordinating red mugs will perfectly hold coffee and hot cocoa on Christmas morning! Inside each bowl, a simple gift tag that serves as a place card.

And to tie it all together?  Christmas plaid napkins which bring home that cozy feel (don’t you think?).

In midst of all the chaos (aka children squealing with joy) Christmas morning can bring, I challenge you to make a special moment of Christmas cheer. Here are a couple Hostess Tips to keeping things simple:

-Set your breakfast table the night before. That way you won’t miss out on any magical moments in the morning!

-Serve simple food. Present store bought donuts or muffins in a thoughtful way (like the cake stand above) and set out bowls of fruit in the center of the table.

-For heartier breakfasts, prepare rolls and  casseroles the night before. Then in the morning you can simply pop them in the oven!

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 Do you have any Christmas morning traditions? I’d love to hear them!

 

If it’s interesting, if it’s impressive, if it’s colorful and cute and one-of-a-kind—then odds are it’s probably from Pier 1 Imports®. After all, Pier 1 has been the place for unique finds for over 40 years. Our buyers travel the world’s major capitals and small villages hunting for the kinds of treasures you can’t find just anywhere—fresh and fragrant candles, exotic wicker, hand-painted dinnerware, gorgeous textiles and thoughtful hand crafted gifts. Find what speaks to you at Pier 1 Imports®.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pier 1 Imports® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pier 1 Imports®.

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Finding the perfect gift: help is here!

Have you started your holiday shopping? I have (sooo trying to get “ahead of the game” this year!). Because no ones likes to receive gifts they just don’t like (or be the giver of an awful gift), I wanted to share this fun (and helpful!) holiday infographic we created over at Daily Grommet. Check it out!

Holiday Infographic - Daily Grommet

I hope you find this helpful in making your shopping list! Daily Grommet has tons of thoughtful gifts, hope you’ll check them out! See the full holiday infographic and sources to all of the gifts shown, here.

Please share this — friends don’t let friends get regifted!

 

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Prepare for “pop in” guests

During holiday season, I find myself playing the role of hostesses quite frequently. Although many occasions are planned out far in advance (Thanksgiving, cookie exchanges, Christmas gatherings), there are still those unexpected “pop in” guests and smaller gatherings that can throw any well-prepared hostess off of her game.

Instead of breaking into a sweat every time you hear the doorbell ring (you know… when the neighbors, your in-laws, or friends pop in unexpectedly), follow these entertaining tips & tricks and you’ll be ready to party anytime.

 

 

When unexpected guests arrive, you’ll always feel prepared if you keep wine and ingredients for simple appetizers on hand. Here are my tips:

1) Always keep 2 bottles of red wine and two bottles of white wine on hand. That way, when guests pop in you’ll be able to quickly chill your wine and serve them up a drink — no stressing!

2) Keep ingredients on hand for simple appetizers. One of my favorite are these “Martini” kabobs since almost all of the ingredients are jarred and can be stored in your pantry. These include: green olives, prosciutto, cocktail onions, and black olives. Then, just grab a party pick, assemble and you’ll have a great appetizer to serve!

3) Keep supplies like cocktail napkins on hand and invest in a simple set of cocktail plates. At a moments notice you can pull them out and you’re ready to entertain!

Next time you find yourself entertaining at a moment’s notice, simply pop that wine in your LD Blast Chiller, throw together a simple appetizer, serve and sit back and chillout with your guests!

The LG Blast Chiller, available in the 3-Door Super Capacity French-Door refrigerator (LFX31935), can chill a room temperature, 12oz beverage in five minutes or a bottle of wine in just eight minutes. By comparison, a typical refrigerator takes about 40 minutes to accomplish this task – even in the freezer. This refrigerator is also among the largest capacity 36-inch refrigerators currently on the market, offering almost 20 percent more space and the ability to store over 50 gallons of milk.

LG has made it super easy to host those last minute guests, Cold drinks for all? Cheers to that!

You can also check out  the LG USA Facebook page or website to view entertaining blast or chill content and share your own blast or chill moments!



Disclosure: Compensation was provided by LG via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of LG.

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Holiday Cards with Minted … $200 Giveaway!

With the holiday season now officially here, it’s that time when we all start thinking about our holiday cards.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Minted (we get our holiday cards from them every year), they have the best designs and great quality. So, when Minted reached out to team up for fabulous giveaway, it was a no-brainer!

Check it out:

 Thoughtfully Simple + Minted $200 Giveaway!
 

 

 They have a gorgeous new 2012 holiday card collection. Here are a couple of my favorites…

 

{Joy}

{hold on to the magic}

We’re making it really simple for you to enter! Visit the Holiday Card Giveaway page, enter your email and you’re entered!

Good luck everyone!

see the giveaway page for complete rules, here.

 

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