There's something about Valentine's Day that makes me want to indulge in everything. Maybe it's just the season of love causing me to love myself so much that I don't even consider the negative effect of sugar, fats and alcohol on my body. Or, maybe it's still winter and I know that I have a few more months to hide behind large sweaters and flowy tees. Either way, I have most definitely been catching up on all the baking I've been wanting to experiment with.
These delightful cookies make a stunning display and because they are filled with fruit preserves and fresh fruit creme they are as delicious as they are beautiful.
There is no sweeter way to show love to your friends and family than with hand crafted goodies and sweets eats. On a chilly afternoon last weekend we invited friends over to craft valentines and snack on yummy treats. The kids (and adults!) had so much fun and all left with plenty of handmade cards to spread love for days.
A perfect date night out usually consists of my hubs and I going to small restaurants and lounges sampling small bites and cocktails at each one. I rarely order an entree and instead choose lots of appetizers.. even the most simple roasted nuts or olives can be stellar when paired with the right atmosphere and beverage.
When the need for an indulgent night out hits midweek or during a busy weekend when childcare is not an option, I head to the grocery store to create a date night at home. A variety of yummy bites and a good bottle of wine or bubbly is all that is needed. We try to ignore the screaming kids, endless sibling fights and general chaos that is our home and enjoy good food, drink and conversation.. usually hiding on the back porch where it takes a few minutes for them to find us.
This rustic soup featuring the flavors of sweet italian sausage, creamy white beans, hearty kale, savory onion, garlic and spicy red pepper is so delicious and complex it's hard to believe that it can be on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes.
Continuing with the January soup theme, I am sharing the recipe for my family's favorite soup. Classic split pea soup, although not inventive or sexy, is super filling, economical and delicious. Naturally gluten and dairy free but it is perfect with a big chunk of crusty bread or homemade biscuits.
January is the perfect time for soup. I love soup all year long but there is just something about cold temps and the focus on health that makes me turn to these warming nutrient packed bowls of deliciousness after the new year.
My favorite soup is also the easiest and most customizable. You can make creamy curried vegetable soup by simply throwing some veggies in a pot, bringing to a boil, adding spices and blending.
After all the baking of the holidays the last thing I wanted to do was bake more sweets, but sometimes necessity wins out. My kids are home all day for winter break and all they want to do is eat and argue. As much as they argue there is one thing that they all agree on, banana bread. I have been making this same recipe for years. The kids love how delicious it is and I love the simplicity and versatility.
I do not like fudge. Too one note, usually dry and over the top sweet, it's just not something I ever want to eat. I don't even like the word fudge. It makes my stomach turn and my face sour just thinking about it. If I was super creative I would come up with a different word for this delicious little peanut butter morsel, but alas, I can not. So, fudge it is. Silky peanut butter fudge with a smooth salted chocolate ganache topping.
These soft and chewy ginger cookies are my absolute favorite cookie and a go-to on my holiday cookie gift plate. Crisp outside, soft inside spiked with ginger, clove and cinnamon and molasses, they're delicious and super addicting.