Three Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Brunch (Recipe: Cran-Raspberry Smoothie)

Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity

Brunch is one of my favorite meals. Why? Probably because most mornings we don’t have time to make a big fuss over breakfast.  The times we do make the effort and linger over breakfast or stretch it into brunch, it automatically feels special and the food somehow just tastes that much better. Although the lingering is fun, it doesn’t mean we want to slave away all morning and be tired out before the day has begun.

There are many ways to have a spectacular brunch without the stress so that you can enjoy your time with your guests and get some relaxing time yourself. Today I’m sharing three of my favorite tips that will help things go a bit smoother.

[Read more…]

Two Versatile Homemade Chocolates for Gifting

Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity

I always love making homemade edible gifts to give to people over the holidays. I do, however, try to keep them simple so that they’re not an added stress to an already busy holiday season, so that you can make your loved ones feel special and still be able to actually spend time with them.

Homemade chocolates are a perfect gift to make because not only do they store well in the freezer (if someone is already overloaded with goodies) but they are extremely easy to make and do not require a candy thermometer.

You can get the kids involved too, giving them a fun project on those cold days when you’re all stuck inside. I’m sure they’d be proud to give a batch to their grandma knowing that they had a hand in making them (Grandma will like that too).

I share two of my favorite homemade chocolate recipes below, which are both easy and versatile. For each, I’ve provided a basic recipe along with some of my tried and true flavor combination as well as ways that you can adapt it to make it your own.

[Read more…]

Two-for-One Meal Ideas (Recipe: Cordon Bleu & Apple Panini)

Most of us look forward to the schedule of fall. Summer days are a blast but just as with coming home after a long vacation, it feels good to get back into a fall routine. Finding that routine again after finally opening your home planner can sometimes be a little strenuous. We’re not used to the full days and finding time to get supper on the table as well as plan lunches can be a little daunting.

One easy way to plan ahead for those busy days is to make two-for-one meals. What does it mean to make a two-for-one meal? Simple. For each meal you make earlier in the week, you make extra of one item to cut prep time for a completely different meal later in the week.

The prime example of this is a Roast Chicken. The leftover chicken can be used in casseroles, soups, salads and wraps or pretty much any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.

Basil & Prosciutto Chicken Cordon Bleu

The other benefit to planning two-for-one meals is that there is less waste and you don’t have to stand, staring at your fridge, wondering what to do with the leftovers.

[Read more…]

Pasta Primavera – All Year Long

The end of summer marks the time that we start scrambling to use up all the fresh produce bursting from our gardens. It can be hard to find ways to use up so many vegetables at one time. That’s why the Italians created Pasta Primavera.

If you’ve got a plentiful array of vegetables that need to be used up then a fresh batch of Pasta Primavera may be just what you need to help clean out your garden.

You can use any vegetables you like in this dish, you will just need to be aware of their individual cooking times and whether they are best boiled or thrown into the skillet to sauté.

Vegetables that are Best Boiled and their Cooking Times: [Read more…]

Canning 101: Freezer Jam (Recipe: Nectarine Raspberry Freezer Jam)

Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity.

Freezer Jam is a great way to break into the preserving scene. The recipes are made in smaller batches, require little to no cooking (which gives them a fresher taste) and need no special canning equipment.

All you need to do is puree or mash some fruit, mix it with sugar and pectin and throw it in the freezer! [Read more…]