holidays

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Vanilla-Mocha Cafe Cake
My husband and I tend to stay at home on Valentine’s Day. We find that most restaurants are too crowded and expensive, plus the emphasis on romance seems a bit forced. For other couples, finding the funds to go out to eat and hire a babysitter is tough. That’s why the trend this year is to have a romantic dinner at home. If that seems impossible with a bunch of kids running around, at least you can make a Valentine’s Day dessert the whole family will love, like this cake recipe from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. It’s sophisticated enough for the adults, and the kids will love the cherries jubilee sauce. After the kids are in bed, cut a slice for you and another for your significant other. Then pour a few glasses of champagne and – well, I’ll leave the rest up to you! Vanilla-Mocha Café Cake From Nielsen-Massey Vanillas A Century of Flavor Serves 12 to 16 Ingredients:
Valentine's Day shopping
There are a lot of Valentine’s Day deals this week and I am totally feeling the love for this one. When you make a donation of  $1 to Camp Friendly, you'll get 5 Valentine's coupons for FREE kid's cones plus $5 off any $25 purchase coupon! Camp Friendly is a camp for kids with disabilities run by Friendly's Restaurant. These coupons can be used by your family or given as gifts for Valentine's Day. (Thanks Coupon Cents Sisters)
Times Square New Years Eve
New Year’s Eve When the holidays arrive each year, I find myself so entirely consumed with Christmas shopping and family time, that instead of relaxing after the holiday rush, I become anxious to figure out what to do with the next big holiday: New Year’s Eve. New Year’s remains as one of the most over hyped holidays of the year, yet I find myself excited to plan for and celebrate the night each year. Aiming to never repeat the same celebration twice and to better prepare for next year, I have compiled my top picks for the best places and ways to mark the end of one year, and to bring in the next.
pretzels
Anonymous
Every year when the December weather kicks in, I get the urge to spend time in the kitchen, backing Christmas cookies or festive treats for friends and co-workers. This year, two of my closest friends are facing crazy finals for their first semesters in law school so I thought it only fitting that I put together a yummy care package to help them eat through the stress. Rather that make a mess of my kitchen whipping up a few batches of cookies, I decided to try something new: chocolate covered pretzels. The recipe was quick and easy, and the finished product did not disappoint! Though I forgot to take pictures, take my advice – if you’re looking for a delicious, homemade treat that looks gourmet, try this recipe. I used this one as a guide and made my own substitutions. Chocolate Covered Pretzels Ingredients:
Family picture
A blur. If I had to pick one word to describe my first holiday season with a baby, that describes it best: a blur. (I know, I used two words, but you understand.) Now having three boys and eleven years of holidays behind me, the description still fits. The holidays haven’t slowed down through the years, some have been more hectic than others, but as I remember them, certain traditions and events stand out in our memories: the year a friend visited from Australia (in the plan), the year I was pregnant with my second son (in the plan), and the year the power went out on Christmas (NOT in the plan). The planned and unplanned events create our special memories for the holidays.
Did you know that leftover cranberry sauce is the part of the Thanksgiving meal that usually ends up in the trash? What a shame, especially when you can use it in all kinds of ways. Here are a few ideas for using leftover cranberry sauce:
holiday rapini saute
We recently featured two diabetes-friendly, heart-smart holiday recipes by Cheryl Forberg, R.D., consulting dietitian to NBC-TV’s “The Biggest Loser” and CanolaInfo. Here are two more for your Thanksgiving table! Holiday Rapini Sauté Recipe by Cheryl Forberg, R.D. Combining red and green vegetables is both festive and healthful. Garlic adds punch and almonds add crunch. While a wonderful complement to a holiday meal, this side dish is perfect anytime to dress up an entrée. Yield: 6 servings. Serving size: 1 cup. Ingredients 1 tablespoon canola oil 2 bunches rapini/broccoli rabe (about 2 1/2 pounds), rinsed and trimmed 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 cup diced roasted red bell pepper 2 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted Directions
porcini mushroom gravy
Did you know that November is National Diabetes Month? Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90 percent of all cases of diabetes, affects at least 24 million American adults and children. People with diabetes are at significantly greater risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. The good news is that both type 2 diabetes and heart disease are largely preventable with a healthy diet and lifestyle. In light of this, CanolaInfo - the information source about canola oil for consumers, health professionals, chefs, media, and educators - partnered with Cheryl Forberg, R.D., consulting dietitian to NBC-TV’s “The Biggest Loser” to create a diabetes-friendly, heart-smart holiday recipe collection. Today I’m featuring two of Cheryl’s diabetes friendly, Thanksgiving side dishes. For more diabetes friendly recipes ideas, see my post on Cheryl's Holiday Rapini Sauté and Warm Apple and Cranberry Sauce. Porcini Mushroom Gravy
I’ve been pouring over 20+ cooking magazines for weeks trying to figure out my Thanksgiving menu. I’ll be brining and smoking my bird. And I’ll definitely make mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes and some sort of dessert. But deciding on the final menu is driving me nuts, especially when I keep coming across more and more fabulous recipes! Fresh Home’s Magazine fall issue has a Thanksgiving menu featuring favorite traditional recipes put with a fresh twist - turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberries and green beans with onion ring topping. Not only are these recipes delicious, they’re designed to be less time-consuming. Fresh Home has also created a “Turkey Timeline” to help you with your shopping and make-ahead strategy for the week. Yes, all this from a decorating and lifestyle magazine!