Appetizers For Your #HolidayMenu

18 Dec

The Holidays are here and the New Year will be here shortly after. It’s time for parties, family gatherings and lots of Holiday cooking.  I recently had the opportunity to work with California EndivesNudo Olive Oil, and Rios de Chile Wine to come up with some starters for the Holiday season.

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Endive is a great alternative to bread, chips, and crackers.  Because our Holiday meals are so heavy, having a lighter/ low carb starter is a great alternative to loading up on chips and dip.  There are endless ways to use endive. You can put them in a salad, spread your favorite dip on them, or “stuff” them.  These two starters will please your guests this Holiday season:

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Endive Stuffed With Cranberry, Quinoa, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese

This recipe is so simple to make.  Chop butternut quash into small cubes.  Make the quinoa according to instructions however use chicken stock instead of water to give it added flavor. While the quinoa is cooking, use a little Nudo Olive Oil, water, and fresh garlic to saute the butternut squash, cover for a bit to cook.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Once the quinoa and butternut squash are finished cooking, mix together in a bowl, adding in the cranberries and goat cheese.  Spoon into an endive leaf and plate. Drizzle a little Nudo Olive Oil on top and enjoy.

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Taco Endive Boats With Sriracha Sour Cream:

Another easy recipe and I had most of the ingredients at home already.  Cook ground turkey with fresh garlic, onion, cayenne pepper & a bit of Nudo Olive Oil. While cooking, chop avocado into small cubes. When the meat is done cooking, mix in corn and cheddar cheese.  Spoon into endive leaves and top with avocado. In a small dish (I used an egg cup), mix sour cream & sriracha to taste.  Spoon a small amount of sriracha sour cream on your “taco boat” and enjoy. These are also perfect for football Sundays.

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Once your appetizers are complete, set out on your table and enjoy with a glass of Rios de Chile Sauvignon Blanc.

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Click here for more great endive recipes!

About California Endive: Endive is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole, frisee and curly endive. It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness — great served raw or cooked.  Click the image to learn more.

About  Nudo Olive Oil: Ideal for drizzling, dipping and holiday cooking. Nudo Olive Oils are produced in the Marche region of Italy so it is easy to impress your guests with the freshness and flavor of 100% Italian olives.  Click here for more information or to order.

About Rios de Chile Sauvignon Blanc ($10):  It comes from the Central Valley Region of Chile.  Tasting notes say that it is a very fresh wine with an intense aroma of tropical fruits with fine mineral notes and citrus accents.  It has a lively palate and pleasing finish.  I am no wine expert which is why I used the tasting notes.  I really enjoyed the taste and thought it was refreshing, especially after being in a hot kitchen.

 

Happy, Healthy Eating This Holiday Season!

 

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received samples of products to come up with sides or starters for the Holiday season.  All images unless noted are my own.  All information in italics came from the home site linked in the about sections or from press.

Wowza Giveaway #WowzaGiveaway

10 Dec

It’s Giveaway Time, and Suburban Wife, City Life, Globetrotting Mommy, MommaLew, and Tastefully Childish have teamed up with some favorite brands to bring a giveaway like no other. It’s so good we’re calling it the #WowzaGiveaway!

What’s better is we’ve broken it down into 5 different prize packs so we’ll have lucky 5 winners! So scroll down to check out the prize packs and enter today!

 

Strolling Stylishly Prize:

High fashion meets high function in the Affinity Stroller by Britax. This refined, innovative design combines exceptional comfort and durability. Mix and match frame and Color Pack help create a stroller that is both elegant and enviable. Add the Cozy Toes to keep your little one warm and you’re set! Winner gets to pick frame and Color Pack! For a closer look check out Suburban Wife, City Life’s thoughts at the Britax Affinity Launch Here

 

Wake me up Prize:

Say Hello to the Keurig 2.0 K550 Brewing System. The first system that features revolutionary Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology which is designed to “read” the lid of each K-Cup or K-Carafe pack to brew the perfect beverage every time. The K550 brewer allows you to brew a 4-cup carafe with the same ease and convenience of brewing a single-serve cup – all at the touch of a button. It’s so smart, and so simple! Check out Momma Lews thoughts here.

Cuddle Up Prize:

When it comes to decorating for the holiday Teleflora puts thought into each item they create. This is not only a beautiful arrangement, but you’ll be able to store your treats year after year in this adorable cookie jar. Decorating for the holidays is easy and festive with Teleflora and since they use local florists it will be hand delivered and smelling wonderful in no time. For some Teleflora Holiday Decorating Tips check out Suburban Wife, City Life.

2 jars Original Peanut Butter, 2 jars Peanut Butter & Chocolate.

Getting your peanut butter fix just became a whole lot easier. Just add boiling water to make Peanut Hottie at home, work, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Available in Original Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter & Chocolate flavors it should be on everyone’s Wal-Mart shopping list.

We’ll Always Have Paris is a delightful mother-daughter travel memoir by Jennifer Coburn. Jennifer processes her dad’s death while navigating her way through motherhood and around Europe with her daughter for eight summers. Their adventures are full of colorful locals, visits to familiar tourist sights and many unexpected moments. See Globetrotting Mommy’s review here.

This Christmas is a three-novella collection by Jane Green, Liz Ireland, and Jennifer Coburn

 

Mom & Me Prize:

Help meet the unique needs of families worldwide and receive this gorgeous draped beaded necklace. This necklace is handmade by an artisan
in Bali who helps children get the education she never received herself. 

A NYC centric curated children’s boutique specializing in the most thoughtful, unique gifts for those looking to set themselves apart from giving the typical presents to kids. You’ll find the perfect “it” gift that includes a dash of nostalgia and a taste of your own personal past brought to life with the collection of kid tees, toys, music, books and more.

Lightweight, durable and soft, the quilted Cary Love Tote is not only the perfect diaper bag, but it is also an easy everyday tote overall. For each Carry Love Tote Diaper bag sold, 5% proceeds will be donated to Every Mother Counts. Check out Globetrotting Mommy’s thoughts here.

Time for Fun Prize:

This will be a hit with any junior fashionista on your holiday list. The kit contains an array of art supplies and fashion template so kids can create their own designs. From there, the designs come alive on the virtual runway thanks to a coordinating app. So much fun for kids and adults too! See what Globetrotting Mommy thinks about it Here!

More than just a watch, VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch lets young photographers take photos and videos. Plus, play mini learning games and tell time for learning fun on the go!
Wowza, right! We’re so excited about all the items available and hope you are too. So click on the rafflecopter below and start entering! Open to US entries only. Must be 18 or older to enter. Items can not be guaranteed in time for the holiday.
Click to enter to win!

5 Gifts That Give Back

9 Dec

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of the Holidays because we focus on what’s going on the “list” or where Snowflake will be the next morning.  I try to teach my girls, especially during the Holiday season, that there are many children and families that aren’t as fortunate to have good health, a home, toys and food.  Every year we take part in coat drives and toy drives during the Holiday Season.  You can give gifts to family and friends that also give back to those in need.  Here are a few of my favorite Gifts that Give Back:

World Vision has more than 250 items, ranging in price from $10 to $39,000. They are available online and in the World Vision catalog to help improve quality of life for women, children, and families in the U.S. and around the world.  One of my favorite picks for this Holiday Season is the Balinese Multi-Strand Necklace, handmade by an artisan in Bali who helps children get the education she never received herself.  It’s a beautiful piece that is perfect for your mom, your sister, or a friend.  It’s the perfect necklace to wear with jeans and a t-shirt or a maxi-dress during the summer days.

 

Image from World Vision

Image from World Vision

MD Anderson Children’s Art Project has a wide selection of gifts with the artwork created by children in the pediatric center at MD Anderson in Texas.  Through the sale of merchandise featuring designs created by young cancer patients, the program funds important programs that touch more than 26,000 pediatric patients and families, current or past to help them return to normalcy.   Every year, new artwork is selected, voted on, and turned into new products for the shop.  We have found many gifts for birthdays and Holidays (click links for more information).  This year I love the Presents Ornament Frame with our favorite Holiday photo to give to grandparents.

Image from MD Anderson

Image from MD Anderson

Headbands of Hope: A beautiful stocking stuffer for the Holiday Season. For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.   I love the option to Create Your Own and the Chiffon Bows.

Image from Headbands of Hope

Image from Headbands of Hope

Stella & Dot has so many wonderful pieces of jewelry.  When I was at the Stella and Dot showroom for the Momtrends Holiday Event, I learned the beautiful Stella & Dot Enlighten Bracelet benefits Every Mother Counts.  Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. A great gift for a mom or a daughter.

Image from Stella & Dot

Image from Stella & Dot

FEED’s mission is to create good products that help FEED the world.  I love this FEED + Links of London Bracelet.  The impact of giving this gift is 500 days of clean drinking water for one child.

Image from FEED

Image from FEED

 

Have a wonderful Holiday season!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a sample from World Vision however this did not change my opinions. All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics are from the sites linked.

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Holiday Gift Guide: All Things Frozen

2 Dec

We went to Disney on Ice Frozen last week and it was pretty magical. My girls were singing the songs at the top of their lungs with all the other girls, boys and parents in the audience. I know our love for Frozen isn’t going away any time soon (or ever) so this gift guide was inspired by that. Here are our Frozen picks:

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Frozen Nightgown from Target
Olaf Pillow Pet
A Sister More Like Me
eKids iHome Frozen Headphones
ROXO Frozen Charm Bracelet
Olaf’s in Trouble by Hasbro
Olaf Waffle Maker
Olaf Snow Cone Maker

Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer: This was not a sponsored post. I did receive one sample for posting however this did not alter my opinions. All opinions expresses are my own. All images came from the linked sites!

Holiday Gift Guide For Girls

1 Dec

Happy December!
It’s hard to believe the Holiday Season is in full swing. This morning our Elf Snowflake Chippy made her big arrival from the North Pole reminding us there are only 23 more days. This week, I’ll be sharing a new gift guide every day. Today’s guide is all about my girls wish list. Whenever we go shopping or see a friend with something they like they add it to their list. Here are some of their picks:

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Ozobot Robot
Glow Pets
Hasbro Littlest Pet Shop Style Sets
American Girl Isabelle & Accessories
Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror
Stella & Dot Mini Mariposa Necklace
Lands End Monogramed Girls Lily Cozy Boot
Gap Kate Spade Girls Purse

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. I received some samples. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday Funday: Getting To Know Ozobot

23 Nov

The past few days have given us a glimpse of what winter will be like.  I see many states blanketed in snow and the temperatures are ridiculously cold.  Finding engaging activities when stuck inside is challenging.  It’s easy to throw on sweats or pj’s and turn on the TV.  My girls love technology and they love drawing.  We were recently introduced to Ozobot, an interactive robot.  Ozobot teaches robotics and coding through fun, creative and social games. The perfect activity for cold, rainy or snowy days.

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How Ozobot works:

Turn on your Ozobot.  Let it calibrate and start playing.  Ozobot comes to life when you create mazes, tracks and playgrounds on paper, game boards and digital screens.  Ozobot follows a set of instructions by detecting color sequences you create. Once Ozobot recognizes the color sequences it flashes its light letting you know it read the code and continues to move.

There are several ways to play:

  • You can let your child explore or create different play grounds, mazes using different codes on the FREE OzobotDraw App.  There are two types of codes used.  Static codes which are short color segments and Flash codes which are rapidly changing combinations of colors.  You speed, direction, when to start and when to stop.  You can create your own or use pre-made mazes for Ozobot.

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  • Your child can create their own path using markers to create various codes found here.  Your child is in control and sets the boundaries as to where Ozobot goes, if it turns, speeds up, slows down, spins, and more.  They can make a small maze on an index card or a large maze on a piece of computer paper.  Learn how to draw and create codes in the Drawing Area.

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An example of a printable activity.  Image from Ozobot.com

An example of a printable activity. Image from Ozobot.com

Single box sets are available in crystal white or titanium black for $49.99.  Each set includes 1 Ozobot, 1 cover skin, game & instruction cards, 1 protective carrying case, 1 micro-usb cable for charging. Purchase a set here.  Also available at brookstone.com, momastore.org and amazon.com.

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Our thoughts:

My girls and I enjoyed getting to know Ozobot together.  They are still a little young so it’s taking us a little while to learn how to use Ozobot independently.  They enjoy helping me come up with instructions for their Ozobot, especially when we add the spin and zig-zag commands.  My oldest attempted to make her own mazes using markers because she LOVES to draw.  At first she made the codes too thick and long.   When she realized they weren’t working she made them a little smaller.  My husband saw her working on it and was so amazed that our six-year was learning how to code.  Our mazes are starting out simple but as we get to know Ozobot more we hope to make more complex activities and instructions for Ozobot to follow.  We think Ozobot would make an amazing gift for any boy or girls this Holiday season.

Ozobot is really cool and you can make your own patterns on paper.  My favorite activity was making my own maze on the paper with my markers and watching Ozobot follow. -My 6 year old

Wow, this is so cool! You have to tell my mom to get me this for Christmas! – My daughters 6-year-old friend who was over for a play date

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For more information, how-to-videos, games, and more visit www.ozobot.com.  Click to see Ozobot in action.

Disclaimer:  I received an Ozobot single pack for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics (not bolded) are from ozobot.com.  All images are mine unless otherwise noted.

Holiday Photos at Big Apple Portraits (review)

20 Nov
This year my girls had the opportunity to have their portraits done at Big Apple Portraits on the Upper West Side (143 72nd). This wasn’t our first time at Big Apple, we went a few years back around Easter for a photo session with chicks when it was known as Portrait Bug.
Both times we’ve had portraits done, the staff has been incredibly friendly and helpful in having my girls warm up to the idea of having a picture taken. During our photo session with the chicks, someone noticed my youngest was scared of the chicks and not wanting to be involved. He quickly played hide and seek behind a curtain, making funny faces when he popped out.  Both of my girls started giggling making for a natural look.
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In our most recent Holiday session, Kim provided the most adorable faux Hot Chocolate in addition to winter hats and scarfs. My youngest, again nervous for the shoot, was made to feel comfortable as Kim talked with her and let her choose the props she wanted to wear.
Big Apple Portraits was fabulous for our holiday photos and past family photos.  It is a studio setting so you will get a simple background but the pictures turned out adorable.  Framing your favorite photo(s) for loved ones are great gifts for the Holiday season.
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When you have your 30 minute session, there is no obligation to buy, however, it’s hard to resist the great shots they get.  There are different packages available- whether you want discounts are provided towards products at Minted.com and other photo sites. In addition to Holiday photos, Big Apple Portraits provides many other services like a First Birthday Cupcake Smash session. Find out more at http://www.bigappleportraits.com/.
Happy Holidays!

 

Getting Ready For The Holiday Season With Momtrends

18 Nov

Last week I joined Momtrends for their annual Holiday event.  Every year Momtrends brings together bloggers and great brands to showcase Holiday fashion trends as well as entertaining and gift ideas for the Holiday season.  This years highlights included:

Image from Momtrends

Image from Momtrends

Holiday fashion styled by Lands End and Stella and Dot. I had the opportunity to model a Holiday outfit from Lands End with four other great bloggers. For my Holiday look (pictured below), I’m wearing the Sleeveless Ponté Sheath Dress with Pockets, Women’s 3/4-sleeve Classic Cashmere Dress Cardigan Sweater & Emory Low Heel Boots (so comfortable) from Lands End. My accessories included the Pegasus Necklace (an amazing piece that makes a statement) & Déjà Vu Double-Sided Studs by Stella and Dot.  I will definitely be wearing it to my Husbands holiday party and every other gathering this Holiday season. 

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In addition to having fabulous outfits, Lands End has wonderful gifts for the entire family from wool hats to Holiday pajamas.  Stella and Dot also has amazing gifts for mom, grandmother, and daughters (they have a girls collection).

Lands End Gift ideas

Lands End Gift ideas

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Stella & Dot

I’ve always loved Little Me.  I miss the days when my girls wore Little Me especially after seeing the Holiday collection at the event.     Their super cute clothes go up to size 4T.  Perfect if you are looking for a gift for a new baby this Holiday or if you need an outfit for your little one.   I love the Holiday pj’s, below.  Adorable!

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One of my favorite things to do, especially during the Winter Months is cuddle up on the couch and read books with my girls.  We are always looking for more books to add to our collection.  I See Me Personalized Books showcased their latest books for personalization.  I love that they have Holiday books.  A great gift for the Holiday season because what’s more exciting than a child having their name in the book.  My daughter received a fairy book for her birthday one year and absolutely loves it.

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Cookie Decorating with Walkers Shortbread.  Walkers has been around since 1898.  It’s hard not to love the delicious shortbread cookies.  They now have festive shapes which can make decorating cookies this Holiday season easier for you as well as for the kids, no baking needed.  All you need are icing writers and sprinkles.  The cookies are outlined so kids can fill in areas with different colors or draw the outlines of the shapes. Perfect for last-minute Holiday play dates or to bring to holiday parties. Note: the box states that it is not suitable for nut allergies.

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I know what our Holiday Fun Friday is going to be spent doing.  We’ll be making duct tape crafts.  The Duck Brand has so many wonderful craft ideas, not to mention amazing deigns, on their site. You can also find more on pinterest.  Look at these fun ideas for your Christmas lunch/ dinner featured at the event,pictured below:

place mat, name card, utensil holder & gift box

place mat, name card, utensil holder & gift box

My daughter suffers from peanut/ tree nut allergies.  I was excited to learn about Vermont Nut Free Chocolates.  Their Holiday boxes are perfect to have at your Holiday party or a host/hostess party.  They make a great gift for teachers, friends and loved ones. No need to worry about any nuts.  Dying for another bite of the caramel truffle. Delicious!

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Teleflora is one of my favorites for decorating any time of year.  Not only do they have beautiful arrangements that can transform a room, once the flowers are gone there are other uses for their containers whether you are storing your Holiday cookies or using a mug your arrangement for your morning coffee.  It’s the perfect gift for the Holiday season, not to mention they have collaborated with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and arrangements come with delicious treats and recipes.

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The most important tip for the Holiday season came from Momtrends founder, Nicole Feliciano.  She reminded us that the Holidays are for the kids and though it can get a little crazy it’s important to set aside special times with your little ones for hot chocolate or even a weekly ice skating session.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful start to the Holiday season!

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a gift bag for attending the event in addition to the outfit and accessories.  Thank you Lands End & Stella and Dot for my outfit for the Holiday season.  Thank you to all the sponsors and a big thanks to Momtrends for a wonderful event.

Fun Friday: Pajama Day & Cozying Up This Winter With Pajamagram

7 Nov

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Now that my girls are older, they always ask if they can wear my clothes and shoes when they get a little older. Or they ask if they can get it in their size. It’s cute. They love to match each other but when they can match mom too— it’s even more exciting.

Every holiday season, the girls pick out a new pair of seasonal Pajamas.  They are the pair they wear on Christmas Eve and open their gifts in on Christmas morning.  We also love our seasonal pajamas for cold and wet winter days, perfect for spending the day in your pajamas. 

This year the girls will be wearing PajamaGram.  And the bonus, I will get to match too. PajamaGram has sets for the entire family–even the pets. The PajamaGram Company is all about giving gifts that remind the ones you love to take a little time for themselves…to help them kick back, relax, and unwind.

Image from pajamagram

Image from pajamagram

Recently my girls and I received a set of  Pajamagram Pajama’s for the Holiday season.  It’s hard to decide which style to pick but my girls favorite was the Nordic style.  We each got our names personalized on the front. Each pair of pajamas came nicely packaged in a blue gift bag (ready to give as a gift).  

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Last weekend (and yesterday), the weather gave us a little taste of what’s in store for this winter.  It was wet, freezing, and the perfect day to stay home in pajamas.  So that’s exactly what we did.  The perfect pajama day was spent in our pajamagrams:

Eating Holiday themed pancakes.

Eating Holiday themed pancakes.

Playing our favorite games.  Our absolute favorite this season is Olaf's in Trouble

Playing our favorite games. Our absolute favorite this season is Olaf’s in Trouble

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Watching movies and eating popcorn

Baking cookies together (recipe here)

Baking cookies together (recipe here)

At the end of the day, I asked my girls what they thought of their new pajamas they said they were cozy, comfy, stretchy & soft.  I think they are cute & fun, especially for the Holidays.  They are a great gift for friends and family this season.  Our Elf usually brings a gift when she returns–this year she’ll be flying in with a pair of matching PJ’s for daddy (shhh….)

For more information or to order a gift for this Holiday season visit http://www.pajamagram.com/.

Have a happy Winter with lots of Pajama days :)

Disclaimer:  I received sets of pajamas for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics came from pajamagram.  All images are my own unless otherwise noted.

Baking, Bonding and Getting Ready For The Holidays + GIVEAWAY

1 Nov

This is my favorite time of year.  With the Holidays quickly approaching and the weather getting colder, baking is one of our favorite after-school activities.  We bake for friends, family, parties, and Holiday gatherings.  I always include my girls in our baking activities because it’s a great way to bond, talk about the day, and it’s a wonderful learning experience.  They learn which ingredients go into mixtures.  My oldest is learning to read, so she works on reading the recipe and helps find ingredients while we are shopping. 20141101-084017-31217875.jpg 20141101-084020-31220728.jpg We recently spent a few afternoons making the most delicious Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi (recipe and giveaway at end of post). When baking with kids, it always takes a little longer (or double the estimated time).  To start our baking adventure, we were lucky to work Driscoll’s and made home-made Rasperry Jam which was absolutely delicious. We used Driscoll’s rasperries and this recipe.  It was such a fun activity, especially since it was a rainy day, and it makes enough to give as a gift or use for breakfast or lunch.  It takes a while so I recommend making it a day or two before you plan to make the cookies. Jam 20141101-084016-31216029.jpg Next, up was making the cookie dough.  Before you start keep in mind the dough needs to be refrigerated so if you don’t have enough time to do it all in one day, you can place it in an air tight container and finish the next day.  We ran into that problem but it worked.  We started putting all the ingredients together to make the dough.  My daughter couldn’t believe that we didn’t need eggs.  After the dough was ready, I had my girls pick a few cookie cutters. Dorie uses a 2-inch round cutter but since it was the Holidays my girls wanted to add a twist and make a few other types of cookies.  We tried to find cutters that would be easy to fill and pinch together to keep the jam from spilling out the sandwich. The dough can crack easily.  Use a little water and push it back together. After the cookies were finished, we added decorations (because my girls love to decorate after baking) and colored sugar sprinkles instead of regular sugar. DSC_0041 jamcookie Here’s what we made: DSC_0221 Halloween Ghosts & Pumpkins DSC_0233 20141101-084014-31214180.jpg DSC_0229 Hearts DSC_0235 DSC_0236 DSC_0239 Frozen Lovers or Winter Wonderland DSC_0252 We shared our cookies with friends and left some for dad when he came home.  Everyone thought the cookies were “amazingly delicious”.  We can’t wait to bring some to Thanksgiving.  We are also excited to bake more of Dorie’s desserts this Holiday season. GIVEAWAY:  One lucky reader will have the opportunity to win a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi and $15 in Driscoll’s Coupons.  Enter HERE for your chance to win!  Good luck and happy baking!

Thank you to everyone for following and entering, I hope you have a happy Holiday season!

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Dorrie Greenspan’s Jam-Filled Sandwhiches (Makes about 12 sandwich cookies. Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup (60 grams) Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 oz; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (43 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 3/4 cup (240 grams) jam, for filling
  • Sugar, for sprinkling
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions: Position a large strainer over the bowl of your stand mixer, or over a large bowl if you are going to use a hand mixer, and shake the confectioners’ sugar through it.  Drop the pieces of butter into the bowl, add the sugar and beat at low speed with the paddle attachment or hand mixer, until smooth. Put the strainer over the bowl again, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, stir them around to combine and shake them onto the butter mixture.  Pulse the mixer a few times, so you don’t have flying flour, then beat on low speed until the dough comes together.  You’ll hit a stage where the dough is crumbly, mix on.  In another minute or so, the dough will come together and just about clean the sides of the bowl, your signal to stop mixing. Turn the dough onto the counter and divide it in half.  Shape each half into a disk, kneading the dough gently if necessary to pull it together and shape it. Put one piece of dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and roll it to a thickness of about an 1/8 inch.  Don’t worry about the shape of the dough. Slide the papaer-sandwiched dough onto a cutting board or baking sheet.  Repeat with the second piece of dough (you can stack the pieces).  Refigerate the dough for at lease two hours.  (Wrapped well, the dough can be refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to two months.  Defrost frozen dough for 5-10 minutes before cutting.) WHEN YOU’RE READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheers with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pull one piece of dough from the refrigerator and cut out the cookies.  (Leave the bottom piece of paper in place so that if the dough gets soft and needs a quick chill, you can easily trasport it.) Use a 2-inch round cutter, but you can cut these a little larger, if you’d like (of course the yield will be less).  Dorrie doesn’t advise using smaller than 2-inches because they’ll be too difficult to fill.  Place the cookies on the baking sheet, an inch or so apart, and refrigerate while you cut the second piece of dough (reserve scraps).  Put the second set of cookies on the other baking sheet; refrigerate. Gather the scraps from both pieces of doug, press them together and roll the dough until it’s an 1/8 inch thick, then chill until firm enough to cut and make more cookies. Spoon a little jam onto the center half of the chilled rounds- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon is sufficient for a 2-inch cookie.  Dip your finger into a bowl of water and, one at a time, lightly moisten the edges of each round, top with an uncovered round and press gently to seal.  Sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes, rotating the pan at the midway point, or until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and colored only around the edges.  The tops may crack, and thats fine.  Carefully transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool to room temperature. Bake the second sheet of cookies, then cut and bake the remaining dough, making sure the baking sheet is cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if you’d like, right before serving. Disclaimer: I received a copy of Baking Chez Moi and coupons and a gift card to Whole Foods for ingredients.  All opinions expressed are my own.  The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking Chez Moi.  Thank you to Driscoll’s Berries for introducing us to this amazing recipe.  We can’t wait to try more!

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