Archive for December, 2012

December 31st, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

Ready or not, here it comes . . . another New Year.  We hope this one is filled with love, laughter, happiness, success, and of course delicious days!

Before we move on, here is the list of our 12 most viewed recipes of 2012.  We must admit, there were a couple that surprised us . . .   Are your favorites included?


#1  Crispy Smashed Potatoes


#2  Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas


#3 Thin Mint Cookie Bark


#4 Red Velvet Crepes


#5 Butterscotch Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting


#6  Owl Always Love You Cupcakes


#7 Our Signature Caramel Potatoes


#8  Tortellini Skewers


#9 Glazed Coconut Bread


#10  Easiest Ever Appetizer


#11  Zesty BBQ Chicken (Crockpot)


#12 Chocolate Snickerdoodles with Pumpkin Kisses


So, were your favs on the list?  Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear which recipes you are loving!   Check back tomorrow to get a delicious start on 2013!!


Posted under Favorites | 10 Comments
December 25th, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year! We have so much fun sharing our recipes and musings . . . thanks for all your comments and support, it is a blessing to connect with each of you!

We’re going to take a few days to enjoy this time with family- see you next week to start off a delicious 2013!

Posted under Holidays | No Comments
December 24th, 2012

Christmas Wishes

 Wishing you all the joy, love, and peace of Christmas.


Posted under Christmas | 1 Comment
December 21st, 2012

Brown Sugar-Pecan Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love a nice soft, moist cupcake from the little bakery shops? These cupcakes are so light and moist, and yet so full of flavor. So why buy just one cupcake when you can make a whole batch. Now is the perfect time, these of course are amazing cupcakes year round, but something about them just seems to fit the holiday season.

Brown Sugar-Pecan Cupcakes


3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Browned Butter Frosting; recipe below


Bake pecans in a shallow pan at 350°, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until toasted. Cool completely. Process 1/4 cup pecans in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla bean paste.

Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.

Beat egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form; add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling two-thirds full.

Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans, and cool completely.

Combine reserved 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spread a generous 2 tablespoons Browned Butter Frosting onto each cupcake. Sprinkle tops of cupcakes with pecan-sugar mixture.

Browned Butter Frosting


1/4 cup butter
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste


Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and cool 20 minutes.

Add cream cheese to browned butter; beat at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla bean paste.

Note: Vanilla bean paste is recommended for this recipe. It has a speckled, syrupy consistency.  I buy mine at Williams-Sonoma, but I am sure other cooking stores carry it.  If you want to substitute vanilla extract for the paste you may.

*Recipe slightly adapted from Christmas with Southern Living 2006

December 20th, 2012

Pomegranate Apple Cider

Sometimes if I’m not careful, I let myself get so caught up in all the Christmas “doing” that I can forget to just relax, take a few deep breaths, enjoy of cup of cider, and appreciate the meaning of the season and the blessings around me.  I finally have all the presents bought, the packages mailed and the cards sent.  For me, now it’s time to stop worrying about what else I could do and just enjoy my family and friends {and of course a good book}.

This cider is a great way to slow down and relax.  When you brew up a batch your whole house will be filled with the aroma of Christmas!

I wish you all the best this holiday – enjoy the love, the smiles, the laughter, the meaning, and the magic of the season!


Pomegranate Apple Cider


6 whole cloves
2 small cinnamon sticks
1 strip lemon rind (about 3 inches)
1 strip orange rind (about 3 inches)
8 cups apple cider
1 cup pomegranate juice (cranberry works too)
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice


Place first 4 ingredients on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely. Combine cheesecloth bag, cider, and remaining ingredients in a large pot; bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes. Discard cheesecloth bag.

Makes about 10 cups.

recipe adapted slightly from Cooking Light, November 2007



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Caramel Potatoes

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