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Homemade Bottles of Creme de Menthe

Homemade Bottles of Creme de Menthe

Homemade Bottles of Creme de Menthe

Homemade Bottles of Crème de Menthe make ideal holiday gifts from your kitchen. Perfect for when friends come to call, you can share some of this seasonal sipper with them and then send them home with a bottle too.

You can pick up small glass bottles that are just right for storing this yummy drink at places like Target. Simply attach a tag noting that refrigeration is required.

And if you like making holiday goodies to share with those near and dear then pick up a copy of my latest book, Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons.

Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons

Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons

In it you’ll find easy to make recipes and project ideas to take you through all the seasons of the year. Here are some easy yet elegant holiday ideas featured in the book:

Creamy Eggnog Cupcakes (from Cooking, Baking, and Making)

Creamy Eggnog Cupcakes (from Cooking, Baking, and Making)

Christmas Ornament (from Cooking, Baking, and Making)

Christmas Ornament (from Cooking, Baking, and Making)

Winter Centerpiece (from Cooking, Baking, and Making)

Winter Centerpiece (from Cooking, Baking, and Making)

Here’s to a happy holiday season. Cheers!

Homemade Bottles of Crème de Menthe

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups fresh mint leaves, torn, divided
Cheesecloth
1 1/4 cups vodka
3 to 4 drops green food color (optional)
Glass bottles such as small milk bottles

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and 1 cup mint leaves. Heat over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in the remaining 1 cup mint leaves. Let stand four hours, stirring occasionally.

Place a strainer over a pitcher; cover strainer with cheesecloth. Pour mixture into cheesecloth; use a wooden spoon to press on mint. Squeeze cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible Remove strainer and cheesecloth. Add vodka and food color, if desired. Stir to combine. Pour into bottles. Cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Makes 16 servings

Cranberry Cabernet Sauce

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Cranberry Cabernet Sauce

 

Cranberry Cabernet Sauce

Cranberry Cabernet Sauce

Jazz up your dish of cranberry sauce by cooking cranberries in a flavorful mixture that’ll lend a sophisticated touch to this Thanksgiving Day staple.

By simmering cranberries in a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and a few other ingredients, it’s easy to add a twist on tradition while still enjoying a classic.

Of course, your favorite red wine may be substituted for Cabernet Sauvignon, if desired. However you make it, this simple yet elegant dish will enhance the Thanksgiving Day celebration.

CRANBERRY CABERNET SAUCE

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, wine, orange juice, sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, until most of the cranberries have popped, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Mash with a potato masher. Cool at least 1 hour before serving. (May be prepared up to five days in advance; store covered and refrigerated.) Makes 8 servings.

Apricot Glazed Carrots

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Apricot Glazed Carrots

Apricot Glazed Carrots

Apricot Glazed Carrots

Add a gourmet touch to carrots by coating them in a tangy glaze made with simple ingredients. The combination of apricot preserves, butter, and brown sugar along with a hint of cinnamon, salt, and pepper makes jazzing up plain carrots a snap.

A terrific complement to most any entrée, this elegant recipe is ideal for Easter Sunday dinner. Double the recipe for a crowd, and savor a sophisticated side dish starring one of the season’s most appealing ingredients.

From my family to yours, Happy Easter.

The Easter bunny will love these other Easter recipes too!

APRICOT-GLAZED CARROTS

1 pound slender carrots
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt to taste
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Lightly peel carrots. Trim tops leaving about 1 1/2-inches of green intact; trim bottoms. Cut them in half lengthwise. Add about 1-inch water to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; add carrots. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Return to saucepan; add apricot preserves, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over low heat until heated through and butter melts, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 6 servings.

Candy Apples

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, October 24, 2014

Candy Apples

Candy Apples

Treat the ghosts and goblins that will soon be roaming the neighborhood to ghoulishly delicious candy apples. Magically easy to prepare, no sweet-toothed witch or werewolf will be able to resist these seasonal goodies.

A delightful addition to any haunting celebration, this time-honored recipe will have hungry ghouls howling with delight. So when it comes to casting a spell on Halloween, these yummy treats will do the trick.

Here’s another scary good recipe for Halloween Crispy Treats. Enjoy!

CANDY APPLES

8 medium apples
8 wooden sticks
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
Grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Wash and dry apples; insert a wooden stick into the stem end of each apple. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, syrup, water, and food coloring. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Insert a candy thermometer into the liquid. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high; boil until candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees F, about 20 minutes, without stirring. Remove from heat. Tip saucepan and swirl each apple in mixture to coat evenly. (Work quickly before syrup hardens.) Place on prepared baking sheet. Cool 1 hour before serving. Makes 8 candy apples.

Harried Housewife: Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes

Tom Turkey may be the star of the Thanksgiving table, but a variety of other mouthwatering recipes completes the meal. With this in mind, following is a cornucopia of time-honored holiday recipes to add to your Thanksgiving menu.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pumpkin Spice Bread

Mini Pumpkin Spice Bread

Easy Whole Kernel Cornbread Muffins

Easy Whole Kernel Cornbread Muffins

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Sugared Walnuts

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Sugared Walnuts

Herb and Apple Dressing

Herb and Apple Dressing

Whole Kernel Corn Bread Loaf

Whole Kernel Corn Bread Loaf

Easy Miniature Pies

Easy Miniature Pies

Butterscotch Pumpkin Pudding

Butterscotch Pumpkin Pudding

Microwave Applesauce

Microwave Applesauce

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktails

Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktails

Butternut Squash Bisque

Butternut Squash Bisque

Red, White, and Blue Sprinkle Cupcakes

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Red, White, Blue Sprinkle Cupcakes

Red, White, and Blue Sprinkle Cupcakes

Red, White, and Blue Sprinkle Cupcakes

Perfect for Memorial Day celebrations, July Fourth get-togethers, or any gathering, this recipe for Red, White, and Blue Sprinkle Cupcakes is a star-spangled salute to America.

A package of store-bought cake mix and a box of pudding mix save time in the kitchen, and the addition of red, white, and blue sprinkles to the batter add flecks of color throughout.

When it comes to baking and taking your goodies to your destination, this professional Oneida 12 cup muffin nonstick pan is the ultimate in practicality and makes baking muffins and cupcakes a breeze.

Wherever you transport them, these yummy cupcakes will be a crowd-pleasing addition to any commemoration. Happy Memorial Day!

RED, WHITE, AND BLUE SPRINKLE CUPCAKES 

1 (4-serving size) package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
1 (16.5-ounce) package plain yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup red, white, and blue candy sprinkles, plus more for garnish
Easy Creamy Frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper liners. Reserve 2 tablespoons pudding mix for frosting (see below). In a large bowl, combine the remaining pudding mix, cake mix, eggs, water, oil, and vanilla. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup candy sprinkles. Divide into muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with Easy Creamy Frosting; garnish with candy sprinkles. Makes 24 cupcakes.

EASY CREAMY FROSTING

2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
1/2 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
1 (8-ounce) carton regular or light frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix and heavy cream. Whisk for 1 minute. Stir in whipped topping and vanilla.

Thanks to Oneida for providing bakeware

Strawberry Sauce

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Sauce

Celebrate the season by getting together with family and friends for a springtime brunch filled with a variety of mouthwatering dishes.

An array of foods from sweet to savory is the ideal combination for a successful brunch, and homemade strawberry sauce complements both impeccably. Whether it’s to top off pancakes, waffles, angel food cake, or pound cake, this luscious sauce is bursting with juicy goodness.

One of the best things about setting up a brunch is using serveware in fun and creative ways. For example, a pretty glass creamer such as this Anchor Hocking Presence Creamer doubles as the perfect pitcher to hold the strawberry sauce.

Whether it’s for Mother’s Day or any occasion, this recipe may easily be doubled and is great for making ahead. Simply prepare sauce, cool completely, then cover and store in the fridge up to three days in advance. Reheat in the microwave before serving.

One thing is certain: Ruby-red strawberry sauce is a delightful addition to any warm-weather gathering. Enjoy!

STRAWBERRY SAUCE

3 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups strawberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until strawberries are tender, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mash the remaining strawberries. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and lemon juice. Add mashed strawberries and cornstarch mixture to cooked strawberry mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Thanks to Anchor Hocking for providing serveware