Archive for December, 2009

Lentils for New Year’s

Check out Thought 4 Food to see why lentils are considered a lucky food for New Year’s!  Also, get the recipe for Rice, Lentil, & Caramelized Onion Pilaf…


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Brandy and I want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated.  Your recipes were all spectacular!  Everything was fabulous, festive, and looked delicious. 

A quick announcement for our All Through the Year Cheer New Year’s Event:  Due to the huge overlap between Christmas and New Year’s (wow, will it really be 2010 in less than 2 weeks?!), Brandy and I decided that instead of doing a recipe round-up, we’ll just be posting one (or two, if time permits!) New Year’s related recipes.  The next event that we’ll be doing a regular round-up for is Valentine’s Day.

Brandy and I wish you and your families a safe, happy, and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Gingerbread Cookies Galore by Fuzzykoala’s Caketastic Adventures

Super Spicy Gingersnaps by 990 Square

Whole Wheat Almond & Raspberry Thumbprints by 990 Square

Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookies by Recipe Rhapsody

Green Bean Casserole by Beantown Baker

Candy Cane Cookies by Mimi’s Kitchen

Best Gingerbread Muffins Ever by Muffin Fixation

Chocolate Mint Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Mint Chips by Nutmeg Nanny

Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream by Thought 4 Food

Eggnog Cookies by The Garden Apartment

Last but not least, our winner, Sugared Cranberry Clafoutis by The Garden Apartment!

A big congrats goes out to Tiffany for her beautiful Sugared Cranberry Clafoutis!  Brandy and I chose this recipe as our winner because we felt like every aspect of it says Christmas…the cranberries themselves, plus the fact that they’re sugared (sugar plums, anyone?), as well as the lovely red and green from the cranberries and sage.  Tiffany will be receiving a one-year subscription to Cooking Light magazine…please email us your address and we’ll have that sent out!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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Hi everyone, it’s Faith from Thought 4 Food!  It’s time for your Christmas recipe submissions!  (Can you believe that Christmas is less than a week away?!  Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess!  😉 )  Your recipes can be for anything that says Christmas to you, and you can submit as many recipes as you want.  To submit a recipe, just enter it in the MckLinky below (or email us if you prefer).  The deadline to submit is tomorrow (12/20) at 9PM EST, which is when the MckLinky list will close.  Don’t forget, the winner will get a one year subscription to Cooking Light magazine!  Brandy and I can’t wait to see what all of you came up with!

The Winner Gets a One-Year Subscription to Cooking Light Magazine!

Now onto the truffles!

I think one of the best things about homemade truffles is that they make such a lovely holiday gift all dressed up in a pretty tin.  Not to mention that they couldn’t be easier to make, and are really quite impressive.  (I think there’s just something about homemade candy that really shows someone how much you care!)  I like to roll these truffles in a mixture of powdered sugar and nutmeg since it looks like eggnog, but they’re equally delicious rolled in any topping you like.

Dark Chocolate Eggnog Truffles

(Yield:  40-50 truffles)

15 oz good quality dark chocolate chips

1/2 c plus 2 TB eggnog

1 TB salted butter, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch fresh grated nutmeg

Toppings of your choice, such as cocoa powder, chopped nuts, decorative sprinkles/jimmies, powdered sugar, etc. (I like to mix a little fresh grated nutmeg with powdered sugar for these truffles)

Place the chocolate in a non-reactive bowl (such as glass or stainless steel).  In a small pan, heat the eggnog over low heat until it just barely starts to boil (stirring constantly), then pour it over the chocolate.  Let it sit for about 3 minutes, then stir the eggnog/chocolate mixture.  Gently whisk in butter, vanilla, and nutmeg.  Refrigerate until the chocolate is chilled enough to hold its shape when you roll it.

Use a tablespoon to scoop out the truffles, then roll each truffle in the topping of your choice.  Keep refrigerated.   

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I know this time of year eggnog is available in the grocery store, but store-bought really doesn’t compare with homemade.  (Plus next time I get a craving for eggnog in the middle of summer, I won’t have to wait 6 months to have it!  😉 )  Check out Thought 4 Food for the full recipe!

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Salted Pretzel Toffee

Salty/sweet, buttery, and nutty…this toffee is insanely addictive!  Check out the full recipe on Thought 4 Food!

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Caramel Macchiato Thumbprints

Hi everyone! It’s Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny. I’m here again to give you a great Christmas recipe.  If you have missed the announcement the prize for this months winner will be a year subscription to Cooking Light. How awesome is that! The MckLinky will open on December 19th and Faith and I are looking forward to seeing what everyone makes 🙂 Remember your submission can be any recipe that reminds you of Christmas. Now onto the cookies!

Earlier this year the fine people at My Blog Spark asked me to answer a survey about a the cover of this season’s Betty Crocker Christmas Cookie book. For my participation in this even they sent me a copy of this great little cookie book. The first recipe that jumped out at me was delicious (and beautiful) caramel macchiato thumbprints. I finally got around to making these great cookies one day while I was at work. Not only where they simple they tasted amazing. I swear. Amazing! When my boss came home he said to me “Oh my gosh the house smells amazing!” Not only did my boss love these cookies, so did everyone who works for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. You see my boss plays the bass professionally and does a number of shows. Radio City Christmas Spectacular just being one. I have to say. It made me pretty happy that all those awesome people at Radio City tasted these delicious cookies….and enjoyed them! 🙂

Ok back to the cookies. This recipe used store bought bag mix sugar cookie dough and dresses it up with the flavors of coffee and vanilla. It’s then topped with melted caramel and drizzled with chocolate (my drizzling skills need work….) If I had to pick something to complain about with these cookies it’s this. I did the whole thumbprint thing before it went into the oven but then puffed up so much it didn’t seem to matter. I found that in the middle of cooking pushing down the center again seemed to help. I’m not sure if this is normal or not. I have never made thumbprint cookies before.

Alright everyone. Get in the kitchen and make these cookies because I know you and everyone in your household (or job) will totally love these 🙂 Enjoy!!!

Caramel Macchiato Thumbprint Cookies:

2 t. instant espresso coffee powder
1 T. hot water
1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. butter – melted
2 t. vanilla
1 egg
18 caramels – unwrapped
2 T. milk
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 t. shortening (I left this out and just mixed milk with the chocolates before melting)

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, dissolve coffee powder in hot water. Stir in cookie mix, flour, butter, vanilla and egg until very soft dough forms.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Using thumb or handle of wooden spoon, make indentation in center of each cookie.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and milk uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring once, until caramels are melted. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon caramel into indentation in each cookie. Cool 15 minutes.

In another small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds or until chips can be stirred smooth. Drizzle chocolate over cookies. Let stand about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Source: Betty Crocker

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Florentine Lace Cookies

For the full recipe for Florentine Lace Cookies, check out Thought 4 Food

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Prize Announcement

The prize for this month’s All Through the Year Cheer Christmas event is a one year subscription to Cooking Light Magazine!  We can’t wait to see all your recipes!

One Year Subscription to Cooking Light Magazine

 (Photo from Cooking Light)

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Chewy Caramel Oatmeal Bars

Hi everyone it’s Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny. I’m here today to bring you all a delicious Christmas cookie bar recipe. Yum!

To be completely honest I’m not really sure what screams Christmas about these bars except for the fact that I only make them around Christmas time. As I think about it I should probably make them more often because they are always a crowd-pleaser and always make a delicious midnight snack 🙂  Like many of my favorite recipes the thing I love most about this is the fact that it’s super simple to make. I swear! The hardest part about making this bar cookie is unwrapping all the caramels. If you are like me you give this job to someone else in the house 🙂 Then it makes the cookies even easier to make! The cookie has a nice sturdy oatmeal bottom and is then topped with melted caramel, chocolate chips and some scattered oatmeal mixture. I like to line my pan with my foil that way I can easily pull it out of the pan and cut into bars. No fighting with the pan to get that first one out. I also recommend cutting the bars into small pieces. I recommend this for two reasons. One because they are a bit sweet to eat in large slices and two because they will be sure to be such a big hit that the smaller you cut the pieces the more you will have to put on the plate 🙂 Enjoy!!!

Chewy Caramel Oatmeal Bars:

3/4 C. butter – melted
1 C. flour
1 C. oatmeal
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 bag caramels – unwrapped
1 T. butter
3 T. milk
1 package (6 oz) chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped nuts (I usually leave these out)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and baking soda; mix well. Put 3/4 of butter-oatmeal mixture in an ungreased 9×13 pan, pressing evenly over the bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the caramels, butter, and milk and heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted. Pour caramel mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with chocolate
chips and nuts. Top with remaining butter-oatmeal mixture. Bake for 15 minutes more. Cool and cut into bars.

Also please check out Chaya’s blog Sweet and Savory Says It All for information about the Chanukah All Through the Year Cheer giveway. Chaya was nice enough to handle this holiday since Faith and I are not Jewish. Thanks again 🙂

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