Every year we scramble to get together a little something to give to teachers, neighbors, crossing guards, bus drivers – all those people you want to say Happy Holidays to at the end of the year. These red paper bag Santa hats hold a little package of cookies perfectly. And they’re so easy to make, kids can help too.
Click through instructions…
Dessert tables at parties have been all the rage the last several years (I blame Amy Atlas for blowing them up!) I love dessert tables but they can be tricky to get just right. If you aren’t careful they can end up looking a little sad. The first one I ever made I spent a lot of time and effort and the table came out looking flat and sparse. I eventually figured out the trick and today I’m going to give you my favorite tips for a successful dessert table.
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Butternut squash is a very versatile winter squash. It can be roasted, mashed, pureed for soups, used in muffins or bread – AND can also be used to make these pretty Thanksgiving or holiday name “cards.” They can also adorn the top of pie with the words “Save Room” or “Thankful” or really anything else your heart desires.
Click through for instructions!
Today I’m sharing a recipe from Blue Apron and giving an update on the service after using it for several months. I tried it earlier this summer as part of a sponsorship and loved it so much I signed up myself. I have been using them ever since (I swear they aren’t paying me to say that!) it works perfectly for our family’s schedule. If you haven’t heard of Blue Apron, it is a meal service where the fresh ingredients are planned and shipped for each meal. It’s like someone else does the meal planning and shopping for you. I gave a thorough review of the company last time (click here to read) but thought I would add a few points now that I’ve been using it for a while.
1. There is a lot of chopping. My husband jokes it should be called “Chef’s Knife” instead of Blue Apron because you get some real quality time with your knife. For us this has been a good thing because the kind of food I like the most usually involves lots of chopping (read: fresh food). Committing to Blue Apron just means that we force ourselves to cook even on nights we don’t want to because we don’t want to waste our order. It has created really great habits.
2. Blue Apron allows other people to help you cook. We share the cooking responsibilities pretty evenly in our house. But having a meal plan and recipes ready means that other people can help. My husband definitely takes charge more now there is a clear plan for what to eat (none of that figuring out what to eat for dinner.) When we have family in town or a babysitter they have been able to cook some of the meals before we get home from work. It’s really practical in that way.
3. The Ingredients are Sourced Well. The ingredients we get in our box are really good quality. For example the Fish Taco Recipe (below) used the Tortillas from some fancy tortilla place (Tortilleria Nixtamal.) They are made using whole dried corn kernels instead of corn flour. I love that they are ingredients that are artisanal and hard to get. I usually buy my produce from our weekly Farmer’s Market and the ingredients I get in my box are of comparable quality. (Once in a while I’ll get a less-than-stellar piece of produce but that is rare.)
4. The Meals are Good and Diverse. It’s almost like a cooking school. I’ve found myself making things I never would make on my own and we love them. I try new techniques like breaded fish or making homemade aioli. When we find a recipe we really like I’ve even remade it when I’ve had friends over for dinner. In the last 3 months we’ve cooked 36 new meals! About once a month we’ll get a recipe that we just don’t like. When it hasn’t worked out it is usually because either we just don’t like the recipe (I’m not a huge fan of certain ingredients) or else it has been human error. Considering how many new recipes we’ve tried I’m genuinely surprised how much I like the food.
Meals are $9.99 per person with free shipping. If you’d like to give them a try, right now they’re offering the two free meals to the first 100 readers who sign up. Check out their video below and make sure you click through for the Crispy Fish Taco recipe we tried this week!
Click through for the Crispy Fish Taco recipe!
I know, I know – normally you’re aiming for ‘spooky’ or ‘scary’ when it comes to Halloween decorations. But if you’re looking for something a little, well, cuter – then look no further. These bat toppers are just so cute! A few black pom poms, paper and toothpicks and you’re all set. Bonus points for using a craft punch that usually only sees action during the winter holidays!
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