Monthly Archives: December 2013

Blackeye Peas Recipe

New Year’s Day Blackeye Peas Recipe

Start that stove top and get to brewing some good luck for the New Year! Eating blackeye peas on New Year’s Day is a long-standing southern tradition, with recipes passed from parents to children in the hopes of bringing on a bit of luck for the upcoming year. My mother has made this recipe for as long as I can remember, and now it is my turn to bring this tradition to my new family and our friends this season. Though this year is the first time I have prepared this dish by myself, I know I will get the recipe perfect because my taste-buds have an excellent memory! Continue reading

Bake until Golden Brown

Garlic Crouton Recipe

After eating all those rich holiday foods, my body craves salad. Now, there is no reason to jump feet first into the deep end of health-nut eating straight away. You can still enjoy a small splurge now and then to help wean yourself off of the fattening and sugary meals your body has grown accustomed to over the last few weeks! My go-to post-Christmas meal is a fresh, green caesar salad with croutons. This salad goes great with many holiday leftovers like turkey and ham. Make the salad extra delicious with this simple, homemade garlic crouton recipe.
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Hot Apple Cider

Hot Apple Cider Recipe

This weekend we attended our neighborhood block party. We had such a great time chatting with neighbors and voting on the best light decorations. Each couple was asked to bring their favorite holiday dessert, cookie or drink. I opted to bring hot apple cider and a bottle of amaretto (in case anyone wanted hard apple cider!). You can buy bottled apple cider at most grocery stores, but I never like to serve this cider straight from the bottle; the flavors are too muted. I use this hot apple cider recipe to spice up my store-bought cider. The cider was a big hit, even though it was only 75 degrees outside. As the first few cups were served and the scent of cider wafted through the gathering, more and more neighbors ventured over to help themselves to this much-loved holiday treat. Serve this at your next holiday party to get family and friends in the holiday mood!
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5 Delicious Holiday Treats that Make Lovely Gifts

5 Delicious Holiday Treats & Gifts

If you are looking for some easy and delicious ways to tell a friend, neighbor or loved one that you are thinking about them during the holiday seasons, there is no better way to do so than with homemade baked goods. Easy enough to do on your own, but lots more fun if you have family or little helping hands with you, these five full-proof recipes and decorating ideas are sure to be a big hit. You only have to worry about having enough left over after taste-testing to give away! Continue reading

We're Moving

De-Stress your Military Move with Checklists

Even if you are the type of person that gets all excited about travel and seeing new places, I bet that even you get stressed about a military move. Permanent change of station (PCS) orders come whether you are ready for them or not. But, there are resources available to make PCS as smooth a transition as possible. De-stress your military move with these checklists. Continue reading

Scent of the Season: Stovetop Spiced Apple Cider

Scent of the Season: Stovetop Spiced Apple Cider

As a child in my household, come December, my first moment of morning wakefulness would be full of the tantalizing aroma of spiced apple cider. Though this concoction was potable, we rarely drank apple cider; instead, my mother simmered her stovetop spiced apple cider each day to fill our home with this pungent scent of the season. Spiced apple cider is an iconic fall and winter treat, and in our household it always reminds us that Christmas is near! The family recipe consists of readily available ingredients. Continue reading

Scent of the Season: Clove Oranges

Scent of the Season: Clove Oranges

The spicy and tangy aroma of clove oranges fills the air in my home every winter with this lovely scent of the season. My mother began the tradition when my brother and I were children. We would sit at the kitchen island in front of a pile of bright, fresh oranges and a bowl of cloves with Christmas carols playing over the stereo. The activity is fun, simple and a wonderful tradition for the family to enjoy. Continue reading

Homemade Peppermint Bark Recipe

Homemade Peppermint Bark Recipe

Many years ago, my Aunt gifted me a jar of peppermint hot chocolate. That holiday season I drank several steaming mugs of hot cocoa, and a new passion for this refreshing, peppermint-and-chocolate combo was born. While delectable hot chocolate may be a “necessity” in any cold (or cool…) climate, in warmer climates, I find it difficult to consume hot beverages to my heart’s content. The only solution was to eat it instead in the form of Peppermint Bark! This homemade peppermint bark recipe is a wallet-friendly way to satisfy your holiday cravings, or you can package it to gift to friends, family, coworkers and your secret santa this holiday season. Continue reading

Aloha Stadium. Photo courtesy of Google

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet & Marketplace

I checked out the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet & Marketplace over the weekend and was blown away by the number and variety of vendors. Now, if you are looking for farmers’ market type raw goods (fresh produce, fruit, herbs) you should go to a different market. But, if you want locally-made peanut butter, jams and honeys, plants, lanterns, carvings, Hawaiian-themed clothes and tourist gifts then you are at the right place! It took me two hours to walk around the stadium and pop into various stalls. The vendors were friendly and attentive, the parking was close and convenient, and the stadium bathrooms are open to the public! Continue reading

12 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

I find myself at the commissary or off-post grocery store at least twice a week. I try to write a weekly grocery list for a one-stop shopping experience, but inevitably I forget something, like an ingredient or toilet paper, or I need to replace something, like spoiled milk, and I find myself back at the store. Since at least one trip per week is unplanned, I arrive at the store a willing victim to brand name products, individually packaged items, and impulse buys. To avoid the most common mistakes of grocery shopping, I put together this list of 12 ways to save money on groceries. Continue reading