cooking

Spooky OREO Spiders and Eye-Popping Fanta Punch

(This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpookySnacks #CollectiveBias)

Spook up your Halloween bash with these Spooky OREO Spiders and Eye-Popping Fanta Punch! #SpookySnacks #CollectiveBias

I’m at a weird time in my life when it comes to planning holiday parties. Some of my friends are still child-free, while others have five-to-ten-year-olds in tow. Planning a holiday get-together, then, means coming up with a balance that will keep adults and kids alike entertained, and that’s especially true with holiday recipes! I want to serve items that look and taste good, but they still need to appeal to kids who might have a picky palate.

Since Halloween is around the corner and I’ve been thinking about having a party, I decided to test-drive a couple of fun recipes that would be kid-friendly for little guests. The best part is that you have kids of your own and they want to get involved with making snacks for a Halloween bash, these recipes are simple enough that the kids can help out in the kitchen! Read on after the jump for step-by-step instructions and more photos.

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Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe (book review)

'Vegan Holiday Cooking from the Candle Cafe' (book review)(Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated for writing this review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Vegan holiday cooking doesn’t have to be hard; it can be fun and tasty and please everyone at the table, meat-eaters and gourmands included! This book makes it simple. Crafted by the chefs at the trio of Candle eateries in New York City, this cookbook is divided up into ten menus: Super Bowl (or gametime recipes), Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Easter, Cindo de Mayo, Fourth of July barbecue, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. At first glance covering so many different holidays throughout the year might seem a little odd: many cookbooks only focus on the traditional trifecta of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

However, there’s always been a big gap between the recipes available for non-vegan vs. vegan holiday cooking. I get a variety of magazines that feature seasonally-themed recipes and entertaining guides, and they’re seldom easy to adapt to a vegan table. Easter is all about eggs; Memorial Day and Fourth of July barbecues mean burgers; game time means cheesy nachos; and so on. This cookbook gives you recipes for those events and more.

Plus, lots of the recipes feature here would be great for everyday dinners and will impress even your non-vegan friends. Black bean tacos? Sweet fried dumplings? Roasted squash soup? All would be easy enough to whip up for a weeknight dinner yet look and feel fancy enough for a special occasion.

Lots of big, bright photos will make you hungry just flipping through this book. The recipes are laid out in an easy-to-follow format and the ingredient lists are largely made up of items that can be found at any well-stocked grocery store. (A few, like seitan or arrowroot powder, will require a trip to a natural health food store.)

This cookbook is a must for anyone who loves entertaining, whether you’re totally new to the world of vegan holiday cooking or are a seasoned pro. There are even seasonally appropriate cocktail recipes, and of course some cookie recipes for the Christmas cookie exchange! Yum!

Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe (hardcover, 176 pages), by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda. Published 2014 by Ten Speed Press. Genre: cooking, vegan food, entertaining. Five out of five stars.

Recipe Writers: May’s Fresh Flavors

How was your April? It was kind of mixed here–we had tons and tons of rain, though there was the occasional peek of sunshine. Hopefully May will be warmer, sunnier, and allover more pleasant! We did end up with some amazing recipes being linked up last month, though. Did you see (or try) Fiddlehead Hash, Pappardelle with Summer Vegetables or these Veggies with Cous Cous?

Anyway, May is here! May is full of lots of wonderful things. May 1st was Mayday, today is Cinco de Mayo, and later on we’ll have Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. This month’s theme is:

 

May’s Fresh Flavors
We are welcoming the fresh ingredients that are beginning to grow. What are you doing to celebrate the warm weather with food?  Be sure to link up after the jump!

Here is how Recipe Writers works: at the beginning of every month we will introduce a new theme and all share our recipes here. The link party will close on the last day of the month. This way you will have time to share a recipe before and after the holiday (if there is one) so others can try it, check out other recipes to try yourself  and impress your family and friends with the delicious flavors of the season. For example, January was Healthy Eating, February was Valentine’s Day sweets and March was St. Paddy’s Day Snacks and April was Spring Delights!
Co-hosts:
Amanda Rose from Sew Much 2 Say
 
Remember, this link up is open until the end of the month and we will have a new one next month starting on the 1st.  Don’t forget to check in next month to see if your recipe was featured. So, what are you waiting for? Make your favorite fresh May recipes, blog about it and share them with us!

 

 

 

Recipe Writers December 2013: Christmas Cookies

Well, I dropped the ball this month…I put my monthly Recipe Writers HTML into Blogger and thought I had scheduled the post, but instead it went into a draft, where it’s been sitting for the past three weeks collecting dust. Oops! Obviously it’s far past the first of the month, but there’s still time to link up for this month’s theme: Christmas cookies!

I did a big round of baking this week but since I’m under the weather and also working overtime right now, I haven’t taken any decent pictures worth sharing…I’ll try to remedy that tomorrow and write up a separate post with an easy recipe for homemade peppermint bark, one of my favorites! In the meantime, you can browse the links at the bottom of this post for other great Christmas dessert recipes, or add your own!

Here is how Recipe Writers works: On the first of every month we will introduce a new theme and all share our recipes here. The link party will open on the first of every month and close on the last day. This way you will have time to share a recipe before and after the holiday (if there is one) so others can try it, check out other recipes to try yourself  and impress your family and friends with the delicious flavors of the season. For example, last month we had Thanksgiving favorites and next month will be healthy recipes for the new year!

Co-hosts:
Amanda Rose from Sew Much 2 Say


SewMuch2Say.com

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Recipe Writers link up: November 2013

On the first of every month we will introduce a new theme depending on the month and all share our recipes here. The link party will open on the first of every month and close on the last day. This way you will have time to share a recipe before the holiday (if there is one)  so others can try it, check out other recipes to try yourself or even have time to post one after the actual holiday. For example, this month we are having Thanksgiving favorites and next month will be Christmas related.

I’m excited to get started and try out everyone else’s recipes!

Well, first of all let’s introduce the co-hosts!

Amanda Rose from Sew Much 2 Say


Casey from Bookcasey

Use this icon in your post or on your blog:


SewMuch2Say.com

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Remember, this link up is open until the end of the month and we will have a new one next month (I’ll give you a hint, next month’s theme is cookie-related!) starting on the 1st of the month.

So what are you waiting for? Make your favorite Thanksgiving recipe, blog about it and share your favorite holiday recipes with us!

Vegan pumpkin cranberry chocolate chip cookies! (recipe)

It’s not autumn without a healthy dose of pumpkin recipes! The other day Alyssa (who blogs over here) posted on Facebook that she was whipping up a batch of pumpkin cookies, and of course we all clamored for the recipe! It got me browsing around looking at different pumpkin cookie recipes, pumpkin drink recipes, and all other manner of pumpkin-flavored things in between.

Well, going back to the cookies: after looking at a few different recipes and tinkering with some vegan substitutions, here’s what I baked up today! These cookies are not only vegan, they’re easy to make and super-delicious.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or break up a vegan chocolate bar into small chunks)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the pumpkin and oil together in a mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and other dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips and cranberries. Add to the larger bowl and blend well. Add in the chocolate chips and cranberries, using more or less to taste. (I like tons and tons in my cookies, but you might use less or even omit one or the other.)

Drop in even spoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Makes two dozen cookies.

Inspiration Saturdays: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! I did some quickie nail painting while I was on the computer today. It’s definitely not the most creative but I thought in lieu of something fancy, an Irish flag always works!

And here is the weekend nosh. You see correctly. Those are Rice Krispie treats made with lime marshmallows (weird, but kind of tasty) and liberally dosed with green food coloring.

A pretty low-key celebration on the whole, but for me, it works. How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Or do you skip it? I have a hubby and friends with Irish roots, so ignoring it altogether is kind of impossible! Besides, you kind of have to love a holiday that requires you to wear green, aka my favorite color!