Tag Archive | Christmas

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

Christmas Almond Cookies

Christmas Almond Cookies

Christmas Almond Cookies

Whether it’s for a cookie exchange, to share with family and friends, or to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, nothing is better at this time of year than a batch of home-baked cookies.

Sure to be well received, these flavor-packed cookies are easy-to-prepare and are perfect for folks of all ages. One thing is certain; when it comes to celebrating the holidays, these festive cookies will help make the season bright.

Enjoy!

CHRISTMAS ALMOND COOKIES

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Almond Frosting
Holiday candy sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Add egg, milk, and extract; beat until combined. Gradually beat in salt and as much flour as possible; stir in the rest. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls; place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake until set and bottoms are light golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Dip tops of cookies into Almond Frosting. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

ALMOND FROSTING

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 to 1/3 cup milk

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, extract, and 1/4 cup milk. Mix until smooth, adding more milk as necessary to reach desired consistency.

For more easy holiday recipes, order a copy of Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons

Warm Spiced Cranberry Cocktails

Warm Spiced Cranberry Cocktails

Warm Spiced Cranberry Cocktails

Warm up a chilly afternoon by indulging in a decadent drink overflowing with flavor. A seasonal potion perfect for sharing with family and friends, this recipe mingles cranberry juice cocktail with seasonal spices for the ultimate in aromatic cozy goodness.

Add a splash of rum to each serving, if desired.

5 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2 (3- to 3 1/2-inches each) cinnamon stick, plus more for serving (optional)
8 whole allspice berries
8 whole cloves
1 star anise, plus more for garnish (optional)

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberry juice, orange juice, water, brown sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cloves, and star anise. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Pour cranberry juice mixture through a strainer; discard cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cloves, and star anise. Serve with cinnamon sticks and float star anise, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Apple Pear Sauce

Apple Pear Sauce

Apple Pear Sauce

Homemade applesauce is always welcome at the table, but why not put a tasty twist on tradition with the addition of pears.

This combination is good enough on its own, but by cooking them in cranberry juice cocktail along with a couple sticks of cinnamon, it’s easy to make a seasonal treat. It’s just as easy to double or triple the recipe and share with family and friends.

And if you like the idea of making simple hand-crafted items to complement your home, then pick up a copy of Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons and learn how to make easy No-Sew Placemats like these that will be the perfect addition to your fall table.

No-Sew Placemats

No-Sew Placemats

Apple Pear Sauce

3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 (3- to 3 1/2-inches each) cinnamon sticks

In a medium saucepan, combine apples, pears, sugar, cranberry juice cocktail, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, until apples and pears are tender, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks. Mash with a potato masher to desired texture. Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 2 cups.

Easy Rocky Road Candy

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Easy Rocky Road Candy

Easy Rocky Road Candy

Easy Rocky Road Candy

Short on time but still want to make homemade treats for those near and dear? Then grab a bag of chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, and chopped walnuts and you’ll be on your way to crowd-pleasing confections in no time.

Simply melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stir in the marshmallows and walnuts, and refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and store, covered, at room temperature for up to one week.

You can substitute milk chocolate chips in place of semisweet chips, and chopped peanuts for walnuts, if desired. However you make it, this quick and easy recipe will help make the season bright.

EASY ROCKY ROAD CANDY

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil, letting ends extend beyond edges on 2 sides. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave according to package directions. Stir in marshmallows and walnuts. Spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Remove candy by lifting foil ends; place on a cutting board. Remove foil; cut into squares. Makes 24 candies.

Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

Just in the nick of time for cocktail parties or holiday get-togethers, this recipe makes it easy to celebrate the Yuletide.

You can save time in the kitchen by using store-bought frozen meatballs that have been thawed instead of making your own, if desired.

Whichever way you choose, these tasty tidbits will be a joyful addition to any holiday gathering.

CRANBERRY COCKTAIL MEATBALLS

MEATBALLS
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 small onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
 

SAUCE
3/4 cup jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For meatballs, in a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and egg. Shape into 1-inch balls; place in a 10×15-inch baking pan. Bake until browned and cooked through, 28 to 32 minutes. For sauce, in a large saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, barbecue sauce, water, and onion powder. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring continuously. Add meatballs. Reduce heat; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with wooden picks. Makes about 60 meatballs.

 

Cranberry Martini

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Cranberry Martini

Cranberry Martini

Cranberry Martini

Add an elegant touch to New Year’s Eve celebrations by whipping up a colorful cocktail that will toast the evening in style.

By combining a few ingredients, a refreshing drink can be ready to serve in no time. You also can add a dash of vermouth, if desired. And it’s just as easy to double or triple the recipe. Make it even more festive by adding a skewer of fresh cranberries to the drink.

Sophisticated, romantic, and always in good taste, a martini is a delightful choice when it comes to ringing in the New Year. Here’s wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year. Cheers!

CRANBERRY MARTINI

Crushed ice
5 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
3 tablespoons vodka
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
Fill a martini shaker 3/4 full with ice. Add cranberry juice cocktail, vodka, and orange juice. Cover and shake. Strain into a martini glass. Makes 1 serving.