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Cranberry Jalapeño Bruschetta

This week, I’m sharing some of my favorite Christmas Party foods. Everyone needs a few good, go to items to bring when you’re invited out at the holidays! We’re starting off with a recipe I stole from a friend after she brought it to a party last Christmas. The beautiful red color of the cranberries is perfect for this time of year! With sweet and tangy flavor from the cranberries and heat from jalapeno, they’re bright and vibrant in your mouth! You’ll be snagging these little babies until the plate is empty!

Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta

Extra recipe for a genius use of the drained juice since I hate wasting things with so much flavor! After you’ve let the berries soak in sugar and drain the juice, you are essentially left with cranberry simple syrup with a little pop of jalapeno. I whipped up an amazing martini for my husband by combining 3 parts vodka to one part cranberry syrup (drained juice). Shake over ice and pour into a martini glass. I wish I had a little jalapeno for a garnish with the cranberry…alas, had to use a lime. Oh well. Delish!

Cranberry Jalapeno Martini

Print Recipe for Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta

Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta
from What’s Cooking With Ruthie

1 (12oz) bag fresh cranberries, finely chopped
1 C sugar
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely sliced
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 baguette, sliced ½ inch thick on a diagonal
olive oil
additional cilantro leaf and quartered cranberry for garnish

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Place baguette slices on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake 5-6 minutes until golden brown, let cool.
  4. In mixing bowl combine cranberries, sugar, green onions, and jalapenos; mix until combined.
  5. Let marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Drain juice, add cilantro, mix well.
  7. When ready to serve spread 1 Tbsp cream cheese on each baguette, a dollop of cranberry mixture, garnish with additional cilantro leaf and cranberry if desired. Enjoy!
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Crockpot Christmas Crack

Have you ever dreamed of being one of those people who hands out homemade candy at Christmas, but secretly loathe those with that much time on their hands during the holidays? Well my friend, this recipe is for you. I’ve been making cookies, candies, treats and tasty things at Christmas time for two decades (sheesh I’m old), and never have I found a goodie that takes less time and effort than this Crockpot Christmas Crack.

Crockpot Christmas Crack

This stuff is the easiest Christmas candy ever. EVER. You literally throw all the ingredients in a crockpot, wait a bit, stir, then drop blobs out onto wax paper to cool. Boom. Done. For the super fancy, you can drop the candy blobs into mini cupcake liners. Ooooooh, so very Martha, Betty, Paula, Ina of you!

Crockpot Christmas Crack

Bonus. It tastes incredible. Peanuty chocolatey goodness. You’d swear it came from an upscale sweet shop. Double bonus. It makes a TON. You’ll be able to gift a bag to your neighbors, your co-workers, church small group, kids sports team, cashiers at the corner store, postman, hairdresser, in-laws, out-laws, the butcher, baker and the candlestick maker. Plus still have enough to leave some for Santa, and make yourself sick off what’s left.

Crockpot Christmas Crack

Print Recipe for Crockpot Christmas Crack

Crockpot Christmas Crack
adapted from Just a Pinch

1 – 16 oz jar(s)unsalted peanuts

1 – 16 oz. jar(s)salted peanuts
1 – 12 oz bag(s)semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 – 12 oz bag(s)milk chocolate chips
2 – 10 oz bag(s)peanut butter chips
1 lb pkg white almond bark or vanilla candy coating (I used candy coating)
Layer all ingredients in a large crockpot (starting with peanuts). Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 30 minutes. Then, remove lid and stir to combine. Replace lid and leave sitting for another 15-30 minutes. Stir again and then spoon mixture on to wax paper, or if you are feeling SUPER fancy, drop into mini-cupcake liners. Allow to harden for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!

Stove Top Potpourri With FREE Printable Gift Tags

Do not eat this recipe. It is not food. Well, it is food…I mean obviously those are oranges and cranberries. But it’s not food you should consume. This is the most amazing, make your house smell incredible, holiday cheer inducing, dance around the living room smelling the air — stove top potpourri. Did you know you can fill your home with the smell of a your grandmother’s baking without creating a flour disaster in your kitchen? It’s true.

Stovetop Potpourri with FREE printable gift tag!

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Gaining Perspective on Gifts – Operation Christmas Child

Before all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season ramps up to full absurdity roar, we’ve taken a few moments as a family to put some perspective on gifts for our kids. This week, you can do the same, and bless a child in need at the same time. With the simple gift of a shoebox. Operation Christmas Child has been sending shoeboxes full of joy to kids all over the world for over 20 years. Samaritan’s Purse delivers shoebox gifts to over 100 countries. Over 113 million shoeboxes have been collected and delivered to more than 150 countries and territories since 1993. [Read more…]

Cranberry Upside Down Coffeecake

Confession. I’m a giant bookworm. It’s a condition that dates back to my early childhood. My parents have time-lapse video from Christmases long past where I don’t move from the same armchair for over 10 hours. I’m a constant figure as the room buzzes with holiday activity around me. Motionless, except the occasional turning of a page. My favorite place to be is completely engrossed in a great novel, oblivious to the world passing me by. As such, it’s no great surprise that I’ve always wanted to host a book club. I was recently given the opportunity to start one with friends, and I jumped at the chance. Books and my best gals? Win-win. Bonus prizes for me include the excuse to use my grandmother’s dainty teacups, and making delicious treats for my guests. I began with this amazing cranberry upside down coffeecake.

Cranberry Upside Down Coffeecake - Bakerlady

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Meltaways

These delightful little cookies always seem to be on Christmas platters, but I’m here to tell you that they’re great all year round. They are so easy to customize – you’ll be amazed at all the delicious ways you can make them. With their buttery melty texture, they are always a hit.

Meltaways02

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Eggnog Pound Cake

Happy Christmas Eve!! If you have time to read this today, I congratulate you for being totally prepared and on top of your game. You can join with me in pondering a most important holiday question. Who named eggnog? I mean, could you come up with a more unappealing sounding drink? Apparently so – according to my sources. When the drink came to America and we started adding rum to it, we could have named it egggrog – since “grog” was the term for rum at the time. Say it with me…grrrroooogggg. Ewww. Suddenly nog doesn’t sound so bad. Also, I’m very thankful that the drink evolved past adding wine or beer to it. Wine? With a creamy egg drink? Gross. Eggnog is one of those things you either love or hate. I’m in the love category. Love it as I do,  I still can’t drink that much of it because it’s just so incredibly rich. When I do pour myself a glass, I add Sprite to cut the thickness and give it a little fizzy kick. In years past I’ve thrown away most of my half-gallon because I just can’t drink it all before it’s gone bad. This year, I vowed to find some way to use it up and my search for a noggy recipe led me to this delightful pound cake. [Read more…]

Almond Roca – English Toffee

Just a few days before Christmas and I finally got the break in the weather I’ve been daily checking for the entire month of December. Oh joy!! It’s a Festivus miracle!!

Weather is always my biggest obstacle when trying to make almond roca (English Toffee). I remember as a kid, my mom would check outside every day to see if it was going to be cold and dry. She never made almond roca unless the sky was clear, the temperature cold and the humidity low. Which, in Seattle is sometimes just one day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When the conditions were right, my mom would drop everything and make this recipe. I’ve learned to do the same – otherwise, it doesn’t get made. For more details on the science behind weather conditions and the effect they have on candy, see the * at the end of this post. [Read more…]

Crushed Cookies

Note to self. A three-year-old plus a platter of cookies = temptation beyond measure. Every single cookie — about 20 of them. Mangled. A little finger print right thru the top. Actually, it kind of looks like what my sister’s boxes of chocolates look like after they’ve tested them to see which ones are cremes/caramels and which are just yucky nut filled things. Maybe Donovan was just checking to see what was inside. Good thing they were wrapped in plastic I suppose. Otherwise, he probably would have eaten them instead of only playing with them.

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

Here’s another example of how Pinterest has changed my life. I never would have thought to chop up maraschino cherries to use in cookies. These decadent rose hued shortbread are so beautiful, they’re almost too pretty to eat. My daughter flipped out when she saw that I was making PINK cookies! They are sure to stand out on your platter of Christmas goodies because of their lovely color.

Beautiful and delicious

They would also be great for Valentine’s Day or at a birthday party for your little princess. Sometimes really beautiful cookies don’t taste all that amazing. Not these! They are buttery and rich with a hint of almond and the sweetness of chocolate. Absolutely delicious! [Read more…]

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