Monthly Archives: December 2012

In my opinion Thanksgiving is for the ambitious, adventurous and excited cook. It’s also all about the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the corn casserole (I still need to get that recipe from you Michelle!) the laughter, and the leftovers.

Christmas is for the kids and for the kid in all of us. It’s about family, love, and traditions; new and old.

New Years Eve is all about you! It’s about new beginnings, sparkly drinks and welcoming in this new year with party favors and kisses. You don’t need to be an executive chef or a professional gift giver to throw a party for this super fun holiday. All you need to do is invite over a house full of people, stay up until midnight and be prepared for an impromptu dance party after the kids have gone to bed. You might also want to know how to put together a cheese platter that will pair perfectly with all of those sparkly drinks.

Cheers, kisses and happy new years to you!

So how do you feel about one more holiday treat recipe?

What if I told you that there will be zero baking involved?

What if I said that you could give these away as last minute gifts to your neighbors and friends?

Hold on! I almost forgot to mention that these are super fun to make with your kiddos!

Still not buying it? Hmmm…

Dark chocolate, creamy peanut butter and salty pretzels.

Ha! I knew that would getcha!

Running a household consisting of all boys can sometimes turn this mother into a drill sergeant.

“Attention, soldiers!! The time is now 1400, pick out a snack and eat it, pronto!!”

“Heads up troops! 1500 and you know what that means, homework time! Book, pencils, spelling words, let’s do this”!

“Alright recruits it’s 1700, time to hit the showers! Soap em’ on up and move em on out!”

“1900, chow time! Soldiers that do not eat their veggies do not get a dessert!”

“2100, lights out! Don’t forget to brush your teeth and say your prayers! Good night!”

But sometimes one of our troops needs to veer off schedule. A hug needs to be had, a long story about what happened at school needs to be told and drill sergeant mommy needs to put her itinerary and whistle away. Every now and then running behind turns into being perfectly on schedule and taking a moment to listen, appreciate and enjoy this season with my boys is never time lost. In all of our busyness I am always so thankful for one pot meals like this slow cooked rosemary stroganoff. After a little prep, into the oven it goes and on with homework, projects, conversations and cuddles for us! That always makes this drill sergeant mommy say “Hoorah!”

You know me, I’m not a baker.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy baking every now and again, it’s just not the kind of cooking venture I often feel called to. Up until a few Sundays ago I was more than happy to purchase a grocery store cake for my boy’s birthdays. I loved picking up a beautifully decorated sheet cake with their name and new age artfully written in frosting. I loved unveiling it at the birthday party and snapping photos of our birthday boy blowing out the candles on his race car, dinosaur or Transformers themed confection. But what I really loved was cutting into this cake, serving it to our friends and family and enjoying a little slice of sugary heaven with those we love the most.

This love for grocery store cakes came to a screeching halt at my son’s 5th birthday party. Yes the cake was beautiful but that’s where it ended. I could taste the freezer burn in the cake itself and the raspberry filling was nothing more than a red gelatinous mess. The overly sweet buttercream frosting was slightly gritty and I got more “no thank you’s” vs “yes please’s” when cake time rolled around. After that birthday party I vowed to never again torture my family with a kind-of expensive, super gross grocery store cake ever again. While my cakes will never be the perfectly airbrushed (stale) works of art found at the bakery department they will most definitely be fluffy, moist and deliciously made with love!

Sounds like I have a new birthday cake calling and this simple vanilla bean sheet cake with candy cane buttercream frosting was a good place to start.