Decorating for the Holidays Requires a Plan and a Strategy…

Decorating your house for the holidays is something that many of us do. Those who it falls to can often feel like this is a massive undertaking and, well, it is. Year after year it goes up. Most likely we add to it and then it comes down. The following year it’s even more work to put up and that cycle just continues. Heck, there have even been years when I question wether it’s worth all the work. This was almost one of those years it didn’t go up at all but then I made myself do it and you should too.  Continue reading

Post Holiday Recap and Planning…

With the holiday season nearly over, I find this a good time to sit, reflect, take notes, and plan. Here in northern Iowa our temperatures have plummeted and it makes wanting to do much of anything difficult. The best ideas to me are to snuggle up with my dogs and stay warm. My little guy apparently agrees because for two days he’s been following me around and climbing on me every chance he gets, so why not embrace it!  Continue reading

A Feast of Leftovers…

Just a few more days until the holiday season is officially over but the food is winding down. Looking back over this holiday season there is one thing I wanted to talk about that that is the issue of leftovers. Somewhere along the way we all decided that “leftovers” is a bad word. Why is that? Some of my best meals have been leftovers. During Thanksgiving I posted about doing away with this notion of leftovers and think of is more as do-overs. Whatever you call it though this was the time of year where we are all faced with lots of leftovers and the equally big question, what do I do with them all?  Continue reading

Gingerbread Eggnog Whoopee Pies

When compiling my holiday recipes to plan what I would be cooking this year I came across a recipe in the December 2010 edition of Cuisine at Home magazine for whoopee pies. The recipes were to teach you the basics of both the whoopee pie and the filling and then it encourages you to experiment. To demonstrate the different flavors they had recipes for plain, sweet potato, and gingerbread. They also offered up various fillings. So I picked the Sweet Potato Whoopee Pie with Marshmallow Creme Filling for Thanksgiving and then the Gingerbread Whoopee Pie with Eggnog filling for Christmas.  Continue reading

Failure or Opportunity?

I am sure it’s true in all aspects of life but I find I think about this the most in the kitchen. When trying something and it goes horribly wrong is it failure? Or is it an opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed not because someone gave you the answer but because you worked through it on your own and in the end doesn’t that mean there was never a failure to begin with but instead just the next opportunity to grow? Continue reading

Gingerbread-Brandy Trifle

When setting out to pull together my Christmas menu I started thinking about dessert and when thinking of classic victorian Christmas meals the only dessert that seems fitting is trifle! First confession. I have never made one before. First realization: Now that I have this is how all cake should be made! Forget the meticulous icing and elaborate decorations. Instead why don’t we do this for all cakes? alternating layers in a big bowl! Love it!  Continue reading