A Trio of Cream Cheese Appetizers – Maple Brown Sugar Pecan, Cranberry and Orange Marmalade

Trio of Cream Cheese Appetizers - Maple Brown Sugar Pecans, Cranberry and Orange Marmalade

If you need a simple appetizer for a holiday party, look no further.  In fact, I’ve got a lot of recipes to share with you today!  I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you Holiday Sweets and Treats.  Be sure to scroll down and visit all the links at the bottom of this post for more recipes.

If you find yourself in need of a holiday appetizer, but lack time to put one together, this is your recipe.  This trio of cream cheese spreads couldn’t get easier.

Cranberries, Maple Brown Sugar Pecans and Orange Marmalade are a perfect holiday combo.

It really is as easy as stir and pour.  And you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

Cream Cheese appetizer

This is more of a method than recipe.  Vary it any way you like.

In fact, I ended up using apricot jam instead of marmalade because that’s what I had on hand.  I still think orange marmalade would be more Christmasy, but the apricot was very good.

For the pecans:

Use about 1/4-1/3 cup chopped pecans.

Add about 1 Tbs. brown sugar.

Add several Tbs. real maple syrup.

Stir together to make sticky, runny pecan topping.

The cranberry is just canned whole berry cranberry sauce.  Stir until it isn’t clumpy jelled anymore.

Use apricot or orange marmalade jam, stirring until smooth.

Cut one block of cream cheese in thirds.

Spoon the toppings over each of the pieces.

Serve with crackers and apple slices.

Cream Cheese appetizer trio

 

Holiday Sweets

Holiday Sweets

Best Party Recipes for Sharing from Mom’s Tool Box

Cherry Snowball Christmas Cookies from I’m an Organizing Junkie

Chocolate Chunk Toasted Pecan Oatmeal Cookies from Life Your Way

Chocolate Peanut Brittle from The Happy Housewife

Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Trifle from Mom Endeavors

Double Chocolate Candy Bar Pretzel Bark from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Easy Black Currant Scones from Good Cheap Eats

Frozen Inspired Vanilla Raspberry Bites from Bargain Briana

Gumdrops from Hoosier Homemade

Microwave Caramel Corn from Ashley Pichea

Old Fashioned Christmas Cookies from Mommy Hates Cooking

Snickerdoodle Puppy Chow from Smockity Frocks

Sugar Cookies for Dummies from Happy Little Homemaker

The World’s Easiest Christmas Candy Ever from Money Saving Mom

Savory Treats

savory treats

Bacon and Spinach Frittata Bites from Life as MOM

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus from Jo-Lynne Shane

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts from The Finer Things in Life

Black Bean and Avocado Salad from Kitchen Stewardship

Cheesy Pesto Crescent Bites from Andrea Dekker

Easy Cheesy Vidalia Onion Dip from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Homemade Sausage Balls from The Humbled Homemaker

Kale Spinach Bites from For the Love Of

Spiced Nuts from Modern Mrs. Darcy

Toasted Pecans from My Blessed Life

Trio of Cream Cheese Appetizers from Eat at Home Cooks

White Cheddar Cranberry Bites from Parenting Miracles

Salted Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies with Hershey's Spreads
This is a sponsored post from Hershey’s Spreads. I have received product and compensation for my time, but all opinions are my own.

We’re going back and forth between cookies and soup this week.  On Tuesday, I told you about the new Hershey’s Spreads and I hinted at this recipe.  Then yesterday, I shared Pineapple Chili with you.  Today, I bring you the cookie recipe I teased you with on Tuesday.  And tomorrow, I’ve got a brand new slow cooker soup for you.

As far as I’m concerned, we could go on switching between cookies and soup for a long time!  They are two of my favorites.

My mom used to make thumbprint cookies every Christmas.  She filled hers with green and pink icing.  Pink, because the red food coloring never coaxed the color all the way to red.  I love her thumbprint cookies.  But for some reason, I’ve never made them myself.

When the Hershey’s Spreads came in the mail, I knew they would be perfect to fill thumbprint cookies.  And because sweet is made even better by a little salty taste, I added a sprinkle of kosher salt to the tops.  It makes them look extra special too.

Since I didn’t have the recipe, I called mom on the phone.  She flipped through her pile of hand-written recipes to find it for me.  I scribbled the recipe in pencil.  It felt like old-fashioned times (you know, like 10 years ago, when we weren’t in the habit of searching up recipes online).

Here’s what you’ll need to make Salted Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies:    [Read more…]

Easy Gift Idea: Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels and PBJ Grahams

Easy Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels

 

We’ve got a new Costco in town.  I’m not much of a shopper, but I kind of love this store.

On my most recent trip, I found this big container of peanut butter filled pretzels.  And I knew they would be meeting up with chocolate at the first possible moment.

chocolate covered peanut butter pretzel ingr

 

These would make a great, simple gift idea.  Package them in a cute jar and you’ll make someone very happy.

I also made Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Grahams and Chocolate Covered PBJ Grahams.  No surprise, I liked the PBJ Grahams best.  They are so good!

Easy Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter and PBJ Graham Crackers

 

There are a few extra steps needed for the grahams, but it’s still such an easy process.  These would make great gifts too.

I decided to use almond bark to coat these treats.  It’s very easy to use.  Just melt it in the microwave.  But I have to say, I really like the flavor of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips better.  The darker chocolate isn’t quite as sweet.  Next time, I’ll melt the chips and use those.

For the Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels, it’s really just a matter of melting the almond bark and dunking the pretzels.  Place them on waxed paper until the chocolate firms up.

chocolate covered pretzel dunking

 

For the grahams, I spread them with peanut butter, adding raspberry jam to some of them.  Then I popped them in the freezer for several minutes before dunking them in chocolate.

PBJ graham assembly

 

That’s all there is to it!  They disappeared pretty fast at my house!

Holiday Cookie Swap & Cookie Cookbook Giveaway

I’m so excited to host this cookie swap with Liz from Hoosier Homemade and Melissa from Stockpiling Moms.

We love cookies at our house, but I have to admit that at Christmas I focus more on making candy rather than cookies.  This year, I want to change that up.  I can’t wait to see what kind of recipes you have for me to try.

Here are a few of our favorites:

CocoNot Cookies – Not a speck of coconut, but you’d never know it. Fun secret ingredient.

Aunt Gerry’s Pineapple Drop Cookies – A family favorite

Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies – Very Christmasy!

Amish Oatmeal Cookies – Brown sugary yum and rolled in powdered sugar.  [Read more…]

Ingredient Spotlight: Cranberries

It’s cranberry season!  I love these little gems.  Not only do they taste wonderful, they also look so pretty in holiday desserts.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes with cranberries:  [Read more…]

Top Ten Food to Have on 4th of July

berry shortcake

Doesn’t 4th of July seem like it should be the smack-dab middle of summer?  How is it that we’re already at this point?  Summer is going too fast!

Let’s savor it while we can.  Here’s my Top 10 list of July 4th food.

1.  BBQ Something

Burgers are classic.  Try the World’s Best Burger.  Or go for chicken instead.  BBQ Pepper Jack Chicken is delish.  Checkout my Secret to BBQing Chicken Legs on the Grill if you want to be able to hand everyone a drumstick.

2.  Potato Salad

There are a million ways to make it.  Here’s my version (which is really my mom’s version).

3.  Baked Beans

I love this slow cooker recipe for Homemade Baked Beans.

4.  Slaw

Slaw with Tomato, Red Onion and Jalepeno, Hawaiian Cole Slaw, or Quick Cole Slaw

5.  Berry Dessert

Blueberry Cobbler, Cherry Cobbler, Peach and Blackberry Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry Pie

6.  Ice Cream

Oh, how I love ice cream.  Here are some Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream, with links to some scrumptious recipes.  You might also try Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches or Buster Bars.

7.  Something Red, White and Blue

I don’t have anything like that on my blog, but here’s a great round-up of patriotic looking food on Living Locurto.

8.  Something Munchy

Try Butterscotch Snack Mix or Citrus Puppy Chow.

9.  Something S’more-ish

S’mores Pie, perchance?

10.  Watermelon

4th of July without watermelon is just wrong!  Try kicking it up a notch (or 3) with chili powder.

Happy Independence Day!  What are your plans for the long weekend?

Chocolate Pretzel Fudge

Fudge + pretzels = Scrumptious!

This is an easy fudge to make.  It’s a variation of Mocha Fudge.  Just melt the ingredients together and throw in a handful of broken pretzel pieces.  Lick the pan.  Then wait.  And wait.  And wait a bit more.

About 3 hours in the fridge later and it’s ready to cut and eat.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

Easter Story Cookies

This is a fun way to pull kids into the kitchen and share the Easter Story with them in a way that they will remember.  The cookies get made in the evening and then sit in the oven overnight.  It’s perfect to do the night before Easter, but any evening will work.

Before I get to the instructions, let me share a few helpful hints. [Read more…]

Goat Cheese Biscuits

I have been so excited to share this recipe with you.  In early March, I visited a friend in Chicago and she took me to Table Fifty Two.  The food in that restaurant has a decidedly Southern flair.   Chef Art Smith has been a personal chef to Oprah.  Now he creates dishes such as Fried Green Tomatoes with Feta, Pancetta, Red Onion Marmalade and Kalamata Olive – Amazing!

We sat in the main room of the restaurant where Goat Cheese Biscuit dough was being poured into hot iron skillets and baked in a brick oven.  Our server brought us a serving of the biscuits to share.  Oh my!  They are light, with herbs and goat cheese inside and buttery Parmesan topping.

As my friend and I savored these biscuits and I watched the process of making them, I was pretty sure I could recreate the recipe at home.  And I was right.

These would be perfect for an Easter dinner or brunch.  And they are easy to make too.  The dough is similar to drop biscuits and it can be baked in an iron skillet, ramekins or muffins tins.   Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Western Omelette Casserole

For Christmas morning, I wanted to make a different type of breakfast casserole than the egg/sausage one I usually make.  We have to have some kind of protein to counteract the cinnamon rolls, frozen fruit cups, and hot cocoa.

I set out on a search to find a recipe that suited me, but since I’m picky, I couldn’t find the perfect casserole.  So, I created one based on several recipes.  I knew I wanted ham, peppers and onions.  And it needed to be something I could make the day before and pop in the oven on Christmas morning to bake.

The result was exactly what I hoped for.  The green and red pepper made it look Christmasy, but it would be good for any brunch.  It would also make a good breakfast-for-dinner meal.  I didn’t get a photo of the ingredients, but here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

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