Friday, December 15, 2017

Jewel's Cherry Pie Recipe


Courtesy of Jewel

Happy Holidays Friends,

For a simple dessert to serve this season, try this cherry pie and share a tradition with a singing star.

Ingredients
  • pre-made pie crust
  • 2 cans tart black cherries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup cherry liquid
  • red food coloring
  • 12 drops almond extract
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • coarse sugar
Instructions
  1. Butter a 9-by-12 pan, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay enough pie crust to cover pan up the sides 1/4 of the way.
  3. Mix sugar and flour together in a separate bowl (so flour does not clump).
  4. Add 2 cans of drained cherries and 1 cup cherry liquid. Mix together with flour and sugar.
  5. Blend in food coloring and almond extract.
  6. Pour into baking dish with other pie crust. Cut desired shapes out of dough (Christmas trees, bunnies, stars, etc.).
  7. Then, cut up 1/4 cup butter into cubes and sprinkle on top of pie crust shapes.
  8. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: For a single pie, cut recipe in half. Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sweet, Homemade Christmas Basket


Courtesy of DK Books - Greener

Happy Holidays Friends,

Try a few of your favorite holiday recipes, and package them in holiday tins to create delectable Christmas gift baskets full of homemade treats your friends and family will eat up.

Give a variety of sweet, homemade produce as a gift: package up chocolate brownies, a ginger cake, nougat treats and fruit jam in airtight tins, pretty boxes and decorated jars, and arrange them in a decorated, medium-sized basket. Add greenery, twine and ribbon for an extra holiday touch.

Truly a sweet, delectable basket you would be proud to gift to family and friends...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Brunch: Spinach and Sausage Strata Recipe


Courtesy of Mick Telkamp

Happy Holidays Friends,

Put your winter garden spinach to good use in this savory casserole. Christmas morning is always delightful lunacy. Kids tearing through the house to see what Santa has brought, wrapping paper flying like confetti, searching for a Phillips head screwdriver small enough to install batteries (not included). The cacophony is both maddening and sublime. It’s all one can do to sneak away long enough to put the coffee on, much less spend the morning trying to prepare a delectable holiday brunch for a hungry throng of merrymakers.

Fortunately, we planned ahead.

A sort of savory bread pudding, strata is an egg casserole perfect for brunch during the holidays when time is at a premium. Layers of bread, cheese and various meats or vegetables are blanketed in eggs to create a dish that is somehow simultaneously gooey and crisp. Strata is very easy to make, but even better, it can be prepared up to two days in advance, freeing up your Christmas morning for more festive pursuits.

Our delicious fresh spinach strata uses spicy sausage, but vegetables like broccoli or mushrooms may be substituted for a meat-free version of this brunch favorite.

Spinach and Sausage Strata
  • 1 pound spicy breakfast sausage
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach
  • 8 cups French bread, cubed
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
Directions
  1. In a deep skillet, brown sausage over medium heat and transfer to a paper towel to drain.
  2. Using the same skillet, sauté onion and garlic in butter until soft.
  3. Add salt, pepper and paprika.
  4. Return sausage to skillet and add spinach.
  5. Stir until spinach wilts and remove from heat.
  6. In a buttered casserole or baking dish, place 1/3 of bread cubes in bottom of dish.
  7. Cover cubes with half of spinach mix.
  8. Combine cheddar and Parmesan and spread 1/3 over spinach in dish.
  9. Add another layer of bread crumbs, remaining half of spinach and 1/3 of cheese.
  10. Cover with remaining 1/3 of bread cubes and top with remaining cheese.
  11. Allow to rest 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate up to two days.
  12. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes (until golden brown).
Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Remember, Spinach and sausage strata can be prepared up to two days in advance.

Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Dinner Recipe for the Novice Host


Courtesy of Kristin Guy

Happy Holidays Friends,

Is it your first time hosting Christmas dinner? Impress your in-laws and other guests with this Hard Cider Roast. This roast will be the star of the table. Easy to prep and filled with unique aromatic flavors of cider and sage, you'll be wishing for leftovers before the dishes are even washed. Here's the recipe>>

Ingredients

Serves 6-8 guests
  • 3 pounds chuck roast
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • grape seed oil
  • 2 bunches of fresh sage
  • 2 cups hard cider
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 bunches of heirloom carrots
  • 2-3 pounds small- or medium-sized heirloom potatoes
  • salt, pepper and olive oil to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. On the stovetop, heat a cocotte or dutch oven on medium high heat with 2 tablespoons grape seed oil. Brown all four sides of your chuck roast, approximately 2-3 minutes a side, and set aside on a plate.
  2. Saute onion, shallots and 6 cloves of garlic in the same pot until golden.
  3. Place chuck roast back into the pot on top of the sauteed vegetables with 1 bunch fresh sage scattered around.
  4. Cover with 2 cups hard cider and 1 cup beef stock (reserve second cup of stock as needed). Roast at 325 degrees F for 4 hours or until center temperature reaches 145 degrees F, checking on the hour to see if more liquid is needed.
  5. Before roast finishes, place whole potatoes, carrots, a few sprigs of chopped fresh sage and 4 bulbs of roughly-chopped garlic on a separate baking sheet or roasting dish. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes until soft.
  6. Before serving, drain any extra liquid and a small portion of cooked onions into a bowl for the gray, and lay roasted potatoes and carrots around the roast. Top with roughly chopped fresh sage, and serve directly from dish.
Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Monday, December 11, 2017

Peacock Feather Wreath


Courtesy of Iridescent Peacock Feathers
Photography by Lori Ann

Happy Holidays Friends,

Welcome holiday guests with a wreath that shimmers. Iridescent peacock feathers add a sophisticated shimmer to this fanciful wreath.

Materials and Tools:
  • 5 peacock sword feathers
  • 5 peacock eye feathers
  • 1-2 green chandelle or turkey feather boas
  • loose green feathers
  • foam wreath form
  • green spray paint
  • spray adhesive
  • wide purple ribbon
  • Peacock Feather Sword Detail


NOTE: Peacock "sword" feathers form the sides of a male peacock's tail.

Steps:
  1. Paint wreath form green and allow to dry thoroughly.
  2. Coat wreath form with spray adhesive and attach feather boa (or boas) while glue is still tacky. Fill in with loose feathers until all parts of wreath form are covered with feathers. Note: Depending on fullness of feather boa, more than one may be needed to cover wreath completely. Peacock Feather Eye Detail
  3. Tuck peacock sword feathers and eye feathers into feather boa, pushing the quill ends into the foam wreath form to secure them.
  4. Wrap top of wreath with ribbon to create a hanger.


NOTE: Peacocks molt their feathers once mating season has ended. The peacock eye feather, shown above, makes up the majority of a male's characteristic fan.

Be inspired with these easy-to-follow instructions so you can create your very own iridescent peacock feather wreath; it will impress your family and friends...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sea Glass Christmas Ornaments


Courtesy of Michelle Aleff

Happy Holidays Friends,

Shatterproof Christmas balls get a beachy update with the addition of sea glass in an array of watery colors. They're easier to craft than you may think and are a fun project to tackle with help from the kids.

Materials and Tools:
  • clear shatterproof Christmas balls
  • sea glass (found on beach or available at craft stores)
  • clear silicone adhesive
  • glitter spray
  • tile nips
Steps:
  1. Attach sea glass to ornaments with clear silicone adhesive. It's best to attach the glass in sections, allowing time for the glue to set up in one area before moving on to the next. Tip: If ornaments will be hung, secure the caps with a drop of heavy-duty glue before adding sea glass.
  2. Continue adding sea glass to ornament, using tile nips to create small pieces, when necessary, to fit tight spaces.
  3. Add the finishing touch by lightly dusting finished ornaments with glitter spray.
To create these ornaments, Michelle followed the same steps but substituted glass gems for sea glass.



These glass chips and gems in watery colors bring a seaside touch to your holiday decorations; don't you agree?

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Live well,
Yvonne

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Tutorial Collection by Jones Design Company


Compliments of Jones Design Company

Merry Christmas Friends!

In honor of the upcoming holiday season, Jones Design Company created a collection of projects they call the Christmas {tutorial} collection.



Emily and Nonna have had such fun creating these projects, decorating the trees and getting into holiday mode, even if their tree is up a month earlier than normal!.

The entire collection is in download form with instructions for wreaths, garlands and ornaments perfect for decorating your home, your tree or giving as gifts. Also included in your download are images and inspiration for three uniquely decorated trees that will encourage you to think creatively when decorating your home this holiday season. The projects use inexpensive materials (things found at the thrift or craft store) are simple to create and are great ideas for crafting with a group of friends or alone while watching your favorite Christmas movie.

Download Christmas {tutorial} collection instructions HERE.

Enjoy, and thanks again to the Jones Design Company for sharing this awesome Holiday tutorial with us, the perfect gift...

Happy Holiday decorating...

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Live well,
Yvonne