Cheese Danish

Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day!

I don’t always celebrate this arbitrary food holidays, but National Cheese Lover’s Day is just one I couldn’t ignore.

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Cheese danishes are a favorite of mine. Whenever we find ourselves somewhere with a spread of pastries, I always snatch up the cheese one before anyone can take it on me. Knowing how ridiculously easy it is to make them at home? Really dangerous.

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Tomato Asiago PDO Soup #UncommonFlavorsofEurope

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #UncommonFlavorsofEurope. I received product samples from the sponsor to aid in the creation of this post. All opinions are mine alone.

Do you know where your food is from? Do you know what’s in it? It’s a perpetual goal of mine to do better when it comes to food quality. We’ve made some big strides by joining our local CSA, but I’m always learning – and have learned there are some things you just can’t get locally.

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Take, for example, Asiago PDO. True Asiago PDO is made only in the Asiago Plateau region of Italy – and has been made exactly the same way for more than 1000 years. PDO stands for “Protected Geographical Indication”, and is issued by the European Union. Foods baring the PDO designation have the strongest possible links to historical practices.

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Barbecue Chicken Spaghetti Squash Boats

The winter can be a tricky time to eat healthy. Coming off the holidays, I know my body wants things that will actually fuel it, but I’m still craving all the cold-weather comfort foods. This dish is a fantastic compromise.

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These spaghetti squash boats are warm and comforting like a casserole, but chock full of veggies and lean meat instead. And if you’re looking for healthy barbecue sauce to use, I’ve linked an easy recipe for one below.

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Apple & Honey Overnight Oats

How is everyone doing on their new year’s resolutions? Going strong? Already struggling? Mine are a bit of a mixed bag, but one that I’m nailing so far this year are healthy breakfasts.

apple honey oats 3

I’m happy with healthy options at breakfast, but if I don’t plan ahead, I’m more likely to just grab a slice of toast or a bowl of cereal. So, one of my goals for the year is to keep planning ahead. When I saw that this month’s #ImprovChallenge was Oats and Honey, I knew overnight oats would be on the menu.

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Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwiches

Are you participating in #Veganuary? Even if you’re not, these Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwiches will have you drooling!

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I don’t normally cook vegan, but I’m always up for a challenge, so when The Baking Fairy said she was putting together a vegan roundup for #veganuary, I jumped right in.

If you have any preconceived notions of vegan food, you’ll need to drop them before digging in here. Whether you’re vegan or not, you will love these sandwiches.

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Best of 2018

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a sucker for end-of-year recaps. I love the chance to look back and reflect on what the year has brought and plan for what’s to come.

2018 Top 10

Which means, of course, I love looking back on what’s been most popular on the blog this year. This year, everyone was all about the sweets – not a single savory recipe made this year’s top 10! That’s a first for me, but it’s also reflective of the year around here.

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Black Forest Cheesecake #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I always feel a little more nostalgic about my German heritage at Christmas. I think it’s a remnant of Opa’s Christmas cookie packages, which were synonymous with Christmas for all of my childhood. Without even thinking about it, I end up planning some German-inspired dessert for our holiday table – like this Black Forest Cheesecake.

Black Forest Cheesecake

This is obviously not traditional, but the flavors are there – and, I’ll be honest, this is going to be easier than your traditional Black Forest Cake.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I am all about a festive breakfast for holiday celebrations – and these delicious doughnuts are a perfect treat for Christmas morning!

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 3

These pack a big punch of flavor thanks to LorAnn Oils Chocolate Hazelnut Flavor. Just a little gives these a great, complex flavor – and it’s balanced nicely by the vanilla icing. Sweets & Treats sprinkles make them extra festive and perfect for the holiday!

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Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Fluffy and soft on the inside, but crisp around the edges, these Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies will be your new favorite to leave for Santa!

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Chocolate and orange is a nostalgic Christmas flavor pairing for me, thanks to years of chocolate oranges in our stockings! These cookies taste just like that childhood treat.

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The bright orange flavor in these cookies are thanks to LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion. Unlike an alcohol-based extract, their bakery emulsions are water-based, so the flavor won’t bake out.

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The beautiful look of these cookies is thanks to being rolled in Dixie Crystals powdered sugar before baking. They puff up when the bake, giving the distinct “crinkle” effect.  The contrast between the dark chocolate dough and the white powdered sugar makes for a really stunning effect.

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Both LorAnn and Dixie Crystals have fabulous prizes for the ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway! Make sure you take a minute to enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Candy Cane Crunch Milkshake from The Redhead Baker
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Toddy from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Frozen Blue Hot Chocolate from For the Love of Food
Grumpy Grinch Punch from For the Love of Food
Merry Mistletoe Cocktail from Who Needs A Cape?
Raspberry Thyme Prosecco Punch from Take Two Tapas
Vanilla Milk Punch from Cooking with Carlee

Breakfast:

Cranberry Orange Make Ahead French Toast Bake from With Two Spoons

Candies:

Cookie Butter Balls from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Homemade Peppermint Patties from Everyday Eileen
White Chocolate Bark from Family Around the Table

Desserts:

Apple Cheddar Hand Pies from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Sparkling Wine, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Layer Cake from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies from Kate’s Recipe Box
Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Cranberry Orange Crinkle Meltawats from Love and Confections
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake from The Crumby Kitchen
Gingerbread Cookie Cups from Moore or Less Cooking
Gingerbread Sprinkle Cookies from Daily Dish Recipes
Grandma’s Chocolate Pie from Tip Garden
Italian Butter Cookies from April Golightly
No Bake Eggnog Pie from Our Good Life
Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Bread from Sweet Beginnings

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 6

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies
(adapted from Little Bits Of)
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Dixie Crystals powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and oil until it comes together.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and Orange Bakery Emulsion.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Roll each ball in powdered sugar to cover, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet to cool completely.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

Grinch Cocoa with Peppermint Marshmallows #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

There are two things my four-year-old is loving this season: hot chocolate and the Grinch. I combined the two for him in this fun, festive treat.

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Welcome to #ChristmasSweetsWeek 2018 hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with food and a fun giveaway? 44 bloggers from around the country have come together to share over 180 sweet Christmas recipes!! Deck the halls and get ready for very merry sweet treats, like fudge, cookies, Christmas morning breakfasts, layer cakes, martinis, cocoa, and more! Our #ChristmasSweetsWeek sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and would love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!

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Prize #1 Dixie Crystals

Dixie Crystals is giving one winner a Keurig K-Select Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker.

Since 1917, Dixie Crystals® has been the South’s choice for high-quality sugar and sweeteners. For generations, Dixie Crystals has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations. Our pure cane, non-GMO sugar products guarantee that treasured family recipes will turn out right every time. Bake with love and Dixie Crystals.

Prize #2 Cabot Creamery Co-operative

Cabot is giving one winner a cheese gift set, including a Cabot Cheese slate cutting board, small cheese cleaver, Cabot custom Bee’s Wrap, an assortment of Cabot’s finest cheeses.

Cabot Creamery Co-operative, makers of naturally aged, award-winning cheeses and dairy products is owned by 1,000 dairy farm families in New England and New York.

Prize #3 LorAnn Oils & Flavors

LorAnn is giving one winner a collection of 6 LorAnn Bakery Emulsions, a collection of three LorAnn Oils vanilla extracts, a candy making cookbook, The Sweetapolita Bakebook, and a 12-unit variety pack of LorAnn super-strength candy oils.

Our flavors. Your creations. For over 50 years, LorAnn Oils has been supplying professionals and home chefs with the finest quality candy and baking flavors, essential oils, and specialty ingredients. Visit us at LorAnn Oils & Flavors to shop, learn, and discover new recipe ideas.

Prize #4 Joyjolt 

Joyjolt is giving one winner an Aurora Whiskey Decanter Set. Our Aurora Whiskey Decanter set has a timeless and sophisticated design that adds both class and style to any table. This set is hand made with top quality lead free crystal glass and cutting edge materials. The sets quality, design and upscale packaging makes the Aurora a perfect addition to your home, bar, hotel, restaurant, club or office. DRINK WITH JOY. ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

Here at JoyJolt we believe that so many of the moments you enjoy most include raising a glass. From the jolt you get from that first sip of coffee in the morning to toasting a milestone with close friends. Thats why we have created glassware equally as special and unique as your happiest moments.




Prize #5 Sweets & Treats

Sweets & Treats is giving one winner the Year of Sprinkles Box at a $150 value. It contains holiday mixes, classic sprinkles, and some of their most popular sprinkles.

Sweets & Treats, a party and baking supplies manufacturer and wholesaler, started out of a baking industry need for truly greaseproof cupcake liners. From there, the company expanded into a handful of specialized categories including the latest, Sweet Sprinkles, their one of a kind sprinkles and sprinkle mix line. With hundreds of truly unique products, they are a one stop shop for your next party!

Prize #6 Torani 

Torani is giving one winner a year supply of Torani: 12-750ml glass bottles, flavors will be winner’s choice, plus pumps for each bottle.

Torani inspires you to taste life, one flavorful experience at a time. Even though people all over the world recognize our iconic Torani bottle, we’ve remained a family-owned company — adhering to the high quality standards that Rinaldo and Ezilda set over 90 years ago. Each and every syrup, sauce, and smoothie is created with care and pride. Way back we started with just five syrups. Today, you can use more than 100 of our naturally flavored syrups, sauces and beverage bases in coffees, sodas, teas, smoothies, cocktails and more. And we’re excited to bring you new taste traditions and flavors as we move forward.

You can enter to win all of those fabulous prizes here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate Mix from The Spiffy Cookie
Christmas Flip from Our Good Life
Easy Cranberry Orange Madras from Love and Confections
Glogg from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Grinch Cocoa with Peppermint Marshmallows from Kate’s Recipe Box
Salted Caramel Toffee Martini from Family Around the Table
Sparkling Snowfall Cocktail from Seduction in the Kitchen
Sugar Cookie Martini from The Redhead Baker

Breakfast:

Christmas Cranberry Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Easy Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree from Jonesin’ For Taste
Overnight Caramel French Toast from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Candies:

Cherry Mash Truffles from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Chocolate Covered Orange Cheesecake Truffles from Cooking with Carlee
Dark Chocolate Cherry & Peppermint Snowflake Bark from Sweet Beginnings
Grinch Fudge Topped Brownies from Big Bear’s Wife
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Fudge from Lady Behind the Curtain
Red Velvet Fudge from Live Love Texas

Desserts:

Black Forest Tiramisu Parfait from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Chocolate Bundt Cake from Juggling Act Mama
Chocolate Eggnog Cupcakes from The Crumby Kitchen
Christmas Chocolate Chip Sprinkles Butter Cookies from Moore or Less Cooking
Cookie Butter Pudding Cups from The Beard and The Baker
Cranberry Almond Ecstasy Bars from Tip Garden
Date Filled Cookies from Platter Talk
Easy Snickerdoodle Cake from Daily Dish Recipes
Eggnog Blossom Cookies from Blogghetti
Eggnog cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Gingerbread Cheesecake Trifle from My Suburban Kitchen
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Glazed Gingerbread Loaf from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Marbled Star Cookies from Eat Move Make
Mint Chip Cookies from The Mandatory Mooch
No Bake Peppermint Eggnog Pie from Who Needs A Cape?
Peppermint Shortbread from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Pepper Jelly Rugelach from Take Two Tapas
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from April Golightly
Sugar Cookie Cheesecake from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Toffee Thumbprint Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Ugly Sweater Cake from Mildly Meandering
Vanilla Yogurt Mousse with Cinnamon Apples from With Two Spoons
Vegan Hot Chocolate Layer Cake from The Baking Fairy
Winter Wonderland Snack Mix from An Affair from the Heart

This Grinch Cocoa is an easy treat that packs a big bunch of fun. Thanks to a little food coloring, this vanilla cocoa looks delightfully Grinch-y. And, of course, you need his heart to complete the look. These peppermint marshmallows cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutters are the perfect accompaniment! (And yes, I totally cut them in three sizes!)

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You’ll want to whip up the marshmallows in advance for this cocoa – but the good news is they can be made up to three weeks ahead of time. That means you can make them today and they’ll still be awesome for Christmas!

The cocoa itself is quick and easy – only about a 10 minute time investment. With the marshmallows made ahead, this is an easy treat to whip up during a party or while baking cookies.

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The Torani vanilla syrup adds just the right sweetness and flavor to the cocoa, and the marshmallows melt in to create a fantastic peppermint layer on the top. And these mugs from JoyJolt show off the fun colors perfectly!

This is a drink you’ll definitely want to add to your holiday list!

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Grinch Cocoa with Peppermint Marshmallows
(adapted from Big Bear’s Wife and Beantown Baker)
Serves 8

For the marshmallows:
3 pkgs. unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
12 oz. sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray
Red food coloring

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the gelatin. Pour 1/2 cup of cold water over.

Spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Dust the sprayed pan, making sure everything is covered. Tap excess into a bowl.

In a small saucepan, mix together remaining water, 12 oz. sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover, and cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover, and place a candy thermometer into the pot. When the mixture reaches 240 degrees, remove from heat immediately.

Using the whisk attachment on the stand mixer, slowly pour the cooked sugar mixture into the gelatin while mixing on low speed. When all added, increase the speed to high and beat for 12-15 minutes, until thick and lukewarm.

During the last minute, add in the extract and food coloring.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Spread out evenly and dust the top with the reserved sugar and cornstarch mixture. Let sit uncovered for at least 4 hours.

Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into hearts using a cookie cutter. Dust all sides with remaining powdered sugar and cornstarch.

Finished marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

For the cocoa:
6 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
16 oz. chopped white chocolate
6 Tbsp. Torani Vanilla Syrup
Green food coloring

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, heavy cream and white chocolate, stirring often, until the white chocolate is melted and fully incorporated. Stir in the Torani Vanilla Syrup. Add food coloring until desired color is reached.

Serve topped with peppermint marshmallows.

Grinch Cocoa

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.