Menu Planning for Thanksgiving: Two-Three Weeks Ahead

It is time to start planning your Thanksgiving dinner! Thanksgiving is about more than just the turkey of course, it is about friends and family and football and feeling blessed by all of the wonderful things in your life. Okay, now lets get real, it is a little bit about the turkey, and the stuffing, and the mashed potatoes and all of the other food favorites that you get to cook and indulge in once a year. Every family has at least one story revolving around food at Thanksgiving, whether it is a turkey that is so moist it practically … Continue reading

Problem Food for Pets

We’ve always been able to feed our dogs table scraps thinking we were being kind to them. Now we have discovered feeding pets too many table scraps can be no good. This Christmas we encountered a problem. It seems that the off cuts of ham and pork that were fed to one little pooch ended up giving her a case of constipation. Since we had been encountered this once before with our other dog and it turned into a major drama, we were very quick to react. Of course it happened on a public holiday over the Christmas period when … Continue reading

The Store that Ruined Christmas Dinner

I am mad. Boy am I mad. Late Christmas morning, after the gifts had been frantically opened, the Toyland town was all around the Christmas Tree and the kids were happily settled in to playing with their new gifts, it was time to get Christmas dinner started. The potatoes were already peeled and in the pot, ready to become our famous mashed potatoes that were so good that a friend is still convinced that we put some sort of addictive substance in the recipe to make him crave them in his sleep. The pumpkin pie was already in the fridge, … Continue reading

Christmas in Summer

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve here in Australia. That means the last day for shopping and getting all those last minute food items. Not the ham though, I got that today. It also means I will be busy cooking pork and chicken and making babaganoush. Given a summer climate we don’t go into for roasts dinners on Christmas Day. Years ago we decided to go for what its better suited to the climate and have cold cooked meats and an array of salads. Tabouli is always one of our family’s favorites. But some of the other salads vary. As well as … Continue reading

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Handmade gifts can make the perfect Christmas gift especially for that hard to buy for person – you know the one I mean who seems to have everything. Nearly all of us know someone like that and it can be stressful trying to think what to give them. So why not give then something you have made yourself. Food products are nearly always welcome. In our food blog, you will find suggestions of slices, cookies and chocolates you can make. For those with a wheat and gluten allergy, many of them are gluten free. Don’t just put the gluten intolerant … Continue reading

An Inexpensive Christmas Gift

For me, trying to make exactly the same recipe again is like trying to re-crack an egg. It’s just impossible, because I can’t resist looking for ways to improve and alter it. That’s not a bad thing. Coming up to Christmas, handmade gifts are always appreciated. They’re good for the elderly and people in nursing homes. They’re good for the hard to buy person or those you simply don’t know well enough to know their taste but want to give a small gift too, people like a child’s teacher or a person who has helped you or done work for … Continue reading

Nontraditional Easter Dishes

Traditionally, Easter is celebrated with ham or lamb and hot cross buns. Of course, these days, people tend to put their own spin on Easter buffets and now you can find everything from Chinese noodle dishes to Cuban pork on the holiday menu. My neighbor never prepares ham or lamb on Easter; rather the family sits down to a hearty beef stew after hunting for eggs. (She puts the stew on before the hunt, it cooks while they are hunting, and lunch is served shortly thereafter.) It helps that we live in the Upper Midwest where spring temps don’t usually … Continue reading

To Die For Christmas Treats

Have you ever had a dessert that you absolutely fell in love with? One that you dream of at night and placed on your list of foods to be included in your last meal on earth? That’s how I feel about the Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake I was served at a friend’s house last Christmas. The decadent dessert is to die for. Honestly, I would contemplate swimming in shark-invested waters if it meant that I would be rewarded with a slice of this incredibly rich cheesecake. I included the recipe below in case you want to impress your friends at your … Continue reading

Christmas Cookie Alternatives

Somewhere around now, I start getting a little “cookied” out. The mixing, the rolling, the baking, the decorating start to become more of a chore than an enjoyment. Still, there are cookie exchanges, cookie gifts, holiday parties, etc., when cookies are required. or, are they? If you are getting fed up with cookies, try one of these alternatives. Mini muffins Get a few mini muffin pans and bake up some goodness. These tiny muffin bites are just the thing to take the place of cookies. They can still be popped in the mouth and enjoyed, and a multitude of varieties … Continue reading

Quick and Easy Christmas Treats

My daughter’s school Christmas party is two days away and I haven’t bought a single ingredient for the dish I’m required to donate. Time has flown by this month and I’m behind of nearly all of my holiday baking. Fortunately, I have a stock of quick and easy Christmas treat recipes that can be whipped up at the last minute. If you need to donate holiday goodies to a class party or office get-together this week, consider the following super simple recipes: FRUIT CAKE BARS Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 cup butter or margarine 1 … Continue reading