Christmas

My Top 7 | Holiday Cookies

November 30, 2018

Oh my goodness. Has it really been a year since I’ve contributed something to this space? Well at least I am showing up for the most wonderful time of the year, right! And I’m kicking the season off with my top 7 holiday cookies. Last year I shared 12 but I think that was a little ambitious even for Santa’s helpers. So I’m toning it down a little with these seven numbers that all seem fairly quick and easy with the exception of number 6. Number 6 is a dream cookie. I mean a macaron made with graham crackers, filled with a marshmallow pillow and dunked in chocolate. Yes Please. If you receive this cute cookie from me jut know that you are the type of person I am willing to waste an entire weekend for. Either that or I’m really trying to impress you! Anyways, give one or all a whirl. I am sure your friends and family would appreciate a goodie platter decorated with these rich delights. ‘Tis the Season!

Oh, and number 7 is the recipe a friend gave me some years back. She said they are quite simple and I distinctly remember them tasting quite delicious. I am finally going to give them a try this year.

1. Caramelized Honey Nut Bars.

2. Peppermint Meltaway Christmas Cookies.

3. Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies.

4. Ritz Cracker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie.

5. Rolo Rocky Road Fudge.

6. S’mores Macarons.

7. Homemade York Peppermint Patties (recipe author unknown)

1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
1 Tbs peppermint extract or 3/4 tsp. peppermint oil
6 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 16 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine Eagle Brand and extract. Add 6 cups sugar, beat on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with confectioners sugar. Knead lightly to form smooth ball. Shape into 1 – inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on wax paper – lined baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a 1 1/2 inch patty. Let dry 1 hour or longer, turn over and let dry at least 1 hour.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave set on high for 2 minutes. Stir halfway through the heating time. Melt thoroughly, but do not overheat. Melting the chocolate chips can also be done using a double-boiler over low heat. With fork, dip each patty into warm chocolate (draw fork lightly across rim of pan to remove excess coating). Invert onto wax paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until firm. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.

 

Montana Gift Guide

December 12, 2017

I know these gift guides can be a little repetitive this time of year. But who doesn’t love and need a good gift guide. They serve their purpose for sure and you might get some new ideas from sites and brands you otherwise may not have heard of. Plus this year I am highlighting all Montana Makers so it doesn’t get any better than that! Happy Shopping my friends. XO Kate

Silver Gate Tote. Beargrass Leather ($175) Recently found this leather maker and boy am I lusting over her bags. So many to choose from.

Shaped Straw Hat. Rocky Mountain Hat Company ($50) This father and son duo is definitely worth checking out. John will fit you for a straw hat for $50 and shape it however you want. And the best part is you can get it re-shaped later if you decide it doesn’t suit you are you get bored with that style!

Cedar and Rose Smudge Stick and Lip and Cheek Stain. Wilder Goods ($16 and $12) Perfect gift for a girlfriend. I’ve been using the Lip and Cheek Stain for years!

Chef’s Utility Knife. DeDe Knives ($75) Okay, so he’s out of Colorado but he uses hi-carbon sawmill blades collected from Montana sawmills, which I think is very cool. There is a good assortment on display at a shop around the corner from AW. I forget the name.

All Purpose Cream. Sturdy Girl ($15) Throw in a pair of gardening gloves for a complete package.

Orphan Girl Bourbon Cream Liqueur. Headframe Spirits ($24.99) Say good-bye to Baileys this is a must for the holidays!

ARC Earrings.  Townsend Collective ($46)  I feel like these could be good everydayers.

Baby Romper. Lady and Little Bug ( $34.95) All organic American milled cotton and so so adorable.

Dinner Plates. Shady Grove Pottery ($30) Honestly, the most beautiful dinner plates I’v ever owned. They make me happy every night.

Handmade Wooden Bowls. Stanley Woodworking (varies) I’ve had my eye on one for awhile now. So many perfect sizes for serving big salads during the holidays!

New and Vintage Records. Cactus Records ($varies) My mom gifted me a record player last year for Christmas so we have spent the last 12 months collecting records. Or I always like a new Christmas CD. I bought one last night at the Brasstacular performance featuring special guest Ryan Anthony and the Bozeman Symphony. So good! Oh and if you are in Cactus Records they have a fun vintage Montana made Oro y Plata tee.

Cookies and treats. Homemade (priceless). My previous post links to my Top 12 Picks for the season. Peruse a second hand store for a fun vintage tin to fill. I always think you can’t go wrong with homemade and cookies!

My Top 12 | Holiday Cookies

November 28, 2017

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving gathered around the table with familiar faces and maybe some new ones too. After all, ‘Tis the Season to take it easy and enjoy the company of friends and family. To eat, drink and be merry. So don’t be silly and start a diet, keep the ball rolling and let’s be 100% Christmas!

To kick off the Christmas season my sister and I are hosting a cookie swap this weekend and in preparation I’ve selected my top 12 picks for 2017. There’s a good mix here. Some healthy, others not so much. Different shapes and sizes that will fill a platter nicely. I also tried to select recipes that seemed quick and easy so I could whip up a couple different kinds. I made number 9 last night while dinner was cooking.

I would love to hear which ones you try and if they were the first to disappear. 🙂

1.    Chocolate + Peanut Butter Fudge.

2.   Slice n Bake Vanilla Brown Butter and Pecan Cookies….Dipped in Chocolate.

3.   Ultimate Ginger Cookie.

4.   Rocky Road Bars.

5.   Chai Spiced Cookies.

6.   Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls.

7.   Nut Quinoa and Chocolate Bars.

8.   Peanut Butter Blossoms.

9.   Coconut Macarons.

10.   Peanut Butter Bliss Balls.

11.   Brown Butter Shortbread.

12.   Peanut Butter and Pretzel Bars.

 

 

Highlands Egg Nog Cocktail. It’s not a cookie but I am quite certain it would pair perfectly with these holiday treats. Cheers!

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

January 21, 2015

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

It use to be my mom who hosted every holiday dinner. Now, my sister’s and I contribute Christmas Eve dinner. Its predictable that I am designated salad and dessert every year. For some reason, my sister’s believe I am some kind of green salad goddess. I repeatedly tell them to use quality oils but they would much rather refuse the advice and eat my greens. So for Christmas Eve dinner this last year, I decided to substitute the standard leafy greens for shredded Brussels sprouts.

I think it’s safe to say this salad is tried and true. I started the recipe prior to Christmas. Adding a little more of this and a little less of that and have been eating it ever since. So I am bit tired of shredding and eating sprouts. On a positive note, it keeps well in the fridge so leave a little for the next day. I generously garnished a veggie burger and called it lunch for multiple days. I won’t say how many!

Give it a try while you can still find fresh Brussels and pomegranates. It’s seasonal and healthy and good way to keep that new year’s resolution from vanishing.

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad / Serves 6 to 8 as a side salad

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1 lb of Brussels Sprouts, shredded (thinly by hand or use a food processor)
Olive Oil
1/4 – 1/2 red onion, diced
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
4 oz. feta
1/2 orange, zest and juice
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
Extra virgin olive oil

HOW TO MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE
Whisk together the zest and juice from half lemon and orange with 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

HOW TO MAKE THE SALAD
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Drain rinsed garbanzo beans and pat dry. Spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbs. olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cayenne. Bake for 20 minutes and then scrape baking sheet with a spatula. Bake another 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Set aside.
Heat a large cast iron pan to medium high and add 2 Tbs. olive oil. Swirl pan around so olive oil coats the entire surface. Once pan is hot, add shredded Brussels sprouts. Saute for about 7 minutes until softened with brown bits. Transfer to a serving bowl and continue with the second batch of shredded Brussels sprouts. If you have a large enough pan you may get by doing this once but I prefer two batches so the sprouts cook evenly with plenty of brown bits.
Add diced onion to serving bowl. The size of onion will dictate whether to use only a quarter or up to half. Spend the extra time dicing away. No big onion chunks in this salad.
Add roasted garbanzo beans, pomegranate seeds and feta to serving bowl (reserve a little feta and pomegranate seeds for garnish). Toss all ingredients together with vinaigrette. Top salad with remaining feta and pomegranate seeds.
Enjoy the New Year with this festive and vibrant salad!

Eat seasonally, Stay Healthy!

Bourbon + Apple Cider + Kombucha

December 20, 2014

Cocktail

Christmas Cocktail

It’s really quite simple with only three ingredients. And to be honest, I make it often minus the kombucha. But with only two ingredients, be mindful in selecting a bourbon and apple cider. Quality is key here. I use the apple cider made with the apples from our trees each year. It’s fresh and unpasteurized.  So I often bring it to a boil with warm spices like cinnamon, star anise, and clove and let it simmer and perfume the kitchen for a bit.

Apple Cider Cocktail // 1 drink
Ice
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. apple cider
1 oz. gingerade kombucha
Brown sugar
Orange

Place ice in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon, apple cider and kombucha. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the cocktail glass and dip in brown sugar. Strain the drink into the glass. You can add more ice to the glass if you like. Garnish with a thin slice of orange peel.

Be Merry and Bright!

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