Holiday Baking With Nielsen-Massey

Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Holiday Supplies

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means you’ve probably already started preparing food and gathering recipes. And what would the holidays be without delicious homemade desserts? Pumpkin pie, cookies, and cake tops the list of best-loved baked goods to serve this time of year. If you still need to make a last-minute dash to the store before you get stuck in baking, why not pick up a few bottles of Nielsen-Massey vanilla and flavoring to help you along? I received some complimentary bottles recently, and I am very excited to use them in my holiday treats:

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract - One of the signature trademarks of my baked goods is the fact that I am very liberal with my usage of vanilla – usually, I don’t even measure, I just pour in a generous helping! If you love vanilla as much as I do, then perhaps this premium vanilla will be just the ticket!

Pure Almond Extract – You’ll need this if you plan on making almond cookies, Biscotti, sweet bread, or any number of deliciously festive recipes. I also love adding my own twist to recipes by experimenting with different flavoring combinations!

Pure Peppermint Extract – I am seriously obsessed with peppermint this time of year. Peppermint fudge, peppermint cookies, peppermint brownies – I’m already drooling at all the wonderful things than can be made with this!

To find Nielsen-Massey products, click here for their store locator. You’ll also want to check out all their delicious recipes here!

Recipe: Skillet Chili Made With a Teflon Pan

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Holiday Supplies

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to feel swamped. After a day of fighting through crowds at the mall, baking cookies for the neighbors, visiting with out-of-town friends, and wrapping presents, you probably don’t have much energy left at the end of the day to cook a five-course meal. That’s when that leftover cookie dough sounds more and more like a balanced dinner! ;) With that in mind, Teflon Cookware and I have teamed up to show you a very quick and easy one-pan meal that you can make during those hectic nights with a minimum of prep and only one pan to clean up!


Skillet Chili Recipe

Gold Teflon Skillet

Gold Teflon Skillet

Check out this fabulous, limited-edition Gold Teflon Skillet created in celebration of DuPont’s 50th Anniversary that I received courtesy of Teflon Cookware. It sparkles and shimmers – perfect for those with glittery fashion sensibilities such as myself, not to mention that it’s appropriately festive for the holidays! I mulled over what to make for my first attempt cooking with this skillet, and decided to assemble a quick and easy chili from my pantry. Here’s how to make this simple one-pan meal:

Step 1: Add Onion!

Step 1: Add onion to the pan. I had pre-chopped, frozen onion in my freezer from the 17 pounds of onion I bought back in May, but fresh would work fine too!

Step 2: Add Kidney Beans!

Step 2: Add kidney beans to the pan. I cooked a double batch of kidney beans recently and froze half of them; I thawed some of the frozen beans and added them to the pan for this dish. Fresh or canned beans would work equally well.

Step 3: Add a Can of Crushed Tomatoes!

Step 3: Add one large can of crushed tomatoes.

Step 4: Add Seasoning & Hot Sauce!

Step 4: Add garlic salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. I used Elves’ Workshop Hot Sauce and Rudolph’s Revenge Hot Sauce from Mossy Bayou that I won in a giveaway last year.

Step 5: Cook!

Step 5: Cook over a medium heat until it begins to boil, then reduce to simmer. I don’t use any precise cooking times, and if you’re in a rush, you probably don’t, either – just cook it until it’s done. ;)

Step 6: Add Cheese!

Step 6: Add a handful of cheese to the top. I used “Pasteurized processed topping” from Dollar Tree because it’s inexpensive and tastes surprisingly good when it’s cooked into a dish, although it doesn’t melt completely like real cheese. Cook until your cheese is melted; or if you’re using a non-cheese topping such as this one, just cook to your taste, since it won’t melt in the same way.

Skillet Chili

Step 7: Eat!

Step 7: Serve on tortillas and enjoy!

Teflon skillets are available at a variety of fine retailers – click here to locate a store near you. These pans would be useful during the holiday rush, and make great gifts!

Holiday Gift Guide: Quick & Easy Christmas Cookbook Review

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Holiday Supplies

Quick & Easy Christmas

Baking and Christmas an inextricably linked for me. Whether it was eating my mom’s delicious seasonal fare as a child, sampling the annual fudge and almond toffee that my friends and family make (and I look forward to year-round!), or baking mince pies as Christmas carols play, food is a huge part of celebrating the season and getting into a festive spirit for me. So what more appropriate for the holidays than a cookbook chock full of Christmastime recipes?

Quick & Easy Christmas is a cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. This fantastic cookbook covers every meal of the season, from delectable gingerbread cookies to Christmas breakfast. Spiral-bound and cleanly laid out, this book is easy to peruse and contains a plethora of mouth-watering recipes. Each of the 220 recipes in this cookbook is accompanied by charming, festive illustrations. The recipes are simple, with many taking 30 minutes or less to prepare; there is even an entire chapter devoted to slow cooker recipes. Throughout the cookbook, they also include great holiday tips as well as short holiday stories recounting special memories from the season. These recipes have been submitted from people around the country, sharing what makes these foods “Part of the season” to them. This book is so festive and fun to read – it really gets you into the mood for the holidays and makes you want to bust out the apron and rolling pin! I loved the personal touch of all the stories and traditions shared in here; I love hearing about what the makes the holidays special to other people. I got so hungry reading all of these delicious recipes!

This book will come in handy for anyone who loves Christmas baking as much as I do! This would also make an excellent gift for the family chef, mom, grandma, or anyone who enjoys a good home cooked meal!

Quick & Easy Christmas is available on GooseberryPatch.com for $16.95. You can also access free recipes & tips by visiting the Gooseberry Patch blog. I received a complimentary cookbook for the purposes of this review.

Holiday Gift Guide: Fun With GF/LG Food by Debbie Johnson e-Book Giveaway – 3 Winners – Ends 11/20 – Worldwide

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Holiday Supplies

Fun With GF/LG Food by Debbie Johnson

Food is an integral part of the holiday season. For those on restricted diets, it may be a time of frustration with such a plethora of inedible holiday treats at every family gathering and party. Fun With GF/LG Food by Debbie Johnson is an e-Book specifically catering to those requiring gluten-free and low-glycemic-index recipes – just in time for whipping up holiday meals! And THREE lucky Contest Corner readers will each win a copy of this e-Book, so read on!

Chef Debbie Johnson wrote Fun With GF/LG Food in a bid to help those on special diets enjoy delicious meals despite ingredient restrictions. If you need help creating fabulously festive dishes on a gluten-free/low-glycemic diet, then you might want to check out this eBook! Johnson is the former owner and executive chef of The Golden Chalice Restaurant & Gallery, a 100% gluten-free, sugar-free, low-glycemic, organic, allergy-friendly establishment, so this field is her specialty. Fun With GF/LG Food is packed full of recipes and preparation tips, with dishes suitable for everyone from allergy sufferers to vegans. This cookbook features appetizers, side dishes, sauces, main courses, desserts, as well as tips for ordering allergy-friendly food in restaurants and more. Each person has different dietary needs, as Johnson notes in the beginning of the e-Book, so this is meant to simply be a source of inspiration for those who may be having difficult coming up with meal ideas that work with their special diet. This cookbook will be especially appreciated around the holiday season thanks to its clever substitutions for classic holiday meal fare – contained within this e-Book you’ll find recipes for Mashed Rutabagas, String Beans With Mushrooms And Onions, Quick Gravy, Ginger-Pumpkin Custard Pie, and much more. The recipes in this book certainly look good, whether you have a restricted diet or not!

Fun With GF/LG Food by Debbie Johnson is available to purchase on GlutenFreeFun.com for $27.00.

Gluten-Free Quiche


Giveaway Time!

THREE lucky Contest Corner readers will each win a copy of the e-Book Fun With GF/LG Food by Debbie Johnson! This virtual cookbook will be delivered as a PDF file via email to the winners. Here’s how to enter:

1. For your first entry, just leave a comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to win! This step is required to qualify for the drawing.

Want extra entries? Do any of the following, and leave a separate comment for each one:

2. Write a post on your blog linking to this giveaway and GlutenFreeFun.com. Then come back here and leave me the link!
3. Write about this on Twitter, then come back and leave me the link to your tweet! One Twitter entry per person. You can use the button at the bottom of this post to tweet with one click!
4. Subscribe to my blog updates by clicking here. Then come back and leave me the email you subscribed with!
5. Become a follower of my blog by clicking the “Follow” button in my sidebar! Then come back here and let me know in a separate comment!
6. Post Contest Corner’s button on your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

7. Add the Holiday Gift Guide 2011 badge to your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

Rules, regulations, and other important stuff: Giveaway ends on November 20th at 11:59 PM, PST. Winner will be chosen the following day via Random.org. Winner has 48 hours to respond to my notification email, or a new winner will be chosen in their place. Giveaway is open to worldwide entrants, 18+. I received a complimentary e-Book for the purposes of this review.

Holiday Gift Guide: Christmas, The Holiday Journal Review

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Holiday Supplies

Christmas Journal

Christmas, The Holiday Journal is a unique book that is one part planner, one part diary. This spiral-bound notebook provides you with a way of organizing and remembering Christmas every year, with sections for your card list, an area to note gifts given and received, a page for recipes, and sections to jot down special memories from the holiday and the prior year. The neat thing about this book is that you don’t have to be a writer to use it; the journal provides fill-in-the-blank prompts, such as “Christmas Eve was celebrated at/with…” to make it quick and easy for anyone to record observations. This book is a generous size, allowing you to use it year after year to keep track of information and reminisce about years past. I’ve been journaling since I was 10, and it really is meaningful to be able to look back and remember details and events that would otherwise be forgotten. This book helps anyone do that, even if they’ve never kept a diary before – and it serves practical purposes of organizing your card and gift list in one place, too! The only thing I might change about this book would be to perhaps give more space for the gift and card lists, since I’ll be using this to keep track of that information prior to the holiday this year and I’m not sure if there will be enough space to list everything.

JournalsUnlimited.com offers a plethora of ways to get organized and record your life. These are great tools for keeping track of everything during the holiday hustle and bustle, and they would also make great gifts!

Christmas, The Holiday Journal is available on Amazon for $18.95 and can also be purchased directly from JournalsUnlimited.com. You can also sign up to be notified of coupons and sales by clicking here to register for their email newsletter.

Holiday Gift Guide: Renuzit Holiday Fresh Accents – Ends 11/09

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Holiday Supplies

Renuzit

With the holidays comes decorating and preparing for guests. Would you like to try a product that does double-duty as an air freshener AND festive holiday decoration? One lucky Contest Corner reader will win three coupons good for a free Renuzit Holiday Fresh Accents air freshener, so read on!

Renuzit Holiday Fresh Accents

As a Purex Insider, I had the opportunity to sample this new product from Renuzit before it was available in stores. These holiday air fresheners come with a small plastic base that has an adorable snowflake pattern on it. When you insert the gel air freshener pack, it creates a cute stained glass effect. Renuzit Holiday Fresh Accents come in two scents: Winter Berry and Festive Snow. I put the Winter Berry in my bathroom, and the scent was very strong at first, but it toned down after a day or so and I’ve enjoyed the decorative touch it’s added to the room. These last for up to 30 days, so it will keep your home cheery and fresh all holiday season!

Renuzit Holiday Fresh Accents are available in grocery stores and retail for around $2.29.


Giveaway Time!

Renuzit Coupons

One lucky Contest Corner reader will win the three coupons pictured above, each good for a free Renuzit Fresh Accents Holiday air freshener, up to $2.29! Coupons expire December 31st, 2011. Here’s how to enter:

1. For your first entry, click here to visit Renuzit’s website, then come back here and leave a comment on this post mentioning another product you’d like to try! This step is required to qualify for the drawing.

Want extra entries? Do any of the following, and leave a separate comment for each one:

2. Write a post on your blog linking to this giveaway and Renuzit. Then come back here and leave me the link!
3. Write about this on Twitter, then come back and leave me the link to your tweet! One Twitter entry per person. You can use the button at the bottom of this post to tweet with one click!
4. Subscribe to my blog updates by clicking here. Then come back and leave me the email you subscribed with!
5. Become a follower of my blog by clicking the “Follow” button in my sidebar! Then come back here and let me know in a separate comment!
6. Post Contest Corner’s button on your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

7. Add the Holiday Gift Guide 2011 badge to your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

Rules, regulations, and other important stuff: Giveaway ends on November 9th at 11:59 PM, PST. Winner will be chosen the following day via Random.org. Winner has 48 hours to respond to my notification email, or a new winner will be chosen in their place. Giveaway is open to US residents and APO/FPO addresses, 18+.

Holiday Gift Guide: Coconut Flour Giveaway – Ends 11/08 – US & Canada

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Holiday Supplies

Coconut Flour Breadmaker Loaf

Baking is an integral part of the holiday season for me. Whether it’s baking Christmas cookies, mince pies, cake, or other festive goodies, homemade treats are a staple of the season. That’s why Tropical Traditons and I are teaming up to offer a giveaway just in time for all your holiday baking needs: One lucky Contest Corner reader will win a 2.2 lb bag of Organic Coconut Flour, so read on!

Although sweets make up the bulk of my holiday baking, they’re not the only homemade goodie I whip up for parties and special occasions. I use my breadmaker constantly, and I’ve become known for my homemade bread. I love making bread for parties and gatherings, because it’s SO simple to make and always gets rave reviews. Because of this, when I received a bag of coconut flour to review last year, the first thing I looked up was how to use it in a breadmaker. I couldn’t find any information on this, so I ended up creating my own recipe for “Coconut Flour Breadmaker Loaf“, which has become a very popular article. This loaf is simple and delicious to make, so if you have a breadmaker, click here to read my recipe and give it a try for your next gathering!

I haven’t been able to do any baking in a long time because I’ve been laid up with this knee injury, so I’m really looking forward to being more mobile and getting in the holiday spirit by trying some new festive coconut flour recipes! Tropical Traditions’ Organic Coconut Flour is available for $11.99 at TropicalTraditions.com.

Here’s another great coconut flour recipe, courtesy of FreeCoconutRecipes.com:

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

* 15 oz pumpkin
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
* 2 large eggs
* coconut flour pie crust (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare pie crust.

Place pumpkin and spices into a small saucepan and heat gently over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Heat just until slightly warmed through.

Place the eggs and sweetened condensed milk into a bowl and add pumpkin. Whisk to combine and pour into prepared crust.

Bake for 13 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for another 35 – 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Coconut Flour Pie Crust

* 1/4 cup cold butter
* 2 tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil, solid
* 1 cup coconut flour
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon honey
* pinch of Himalayan salt
* 1/2 cup shredded coconut
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1 egg white-beaten

In a medium sized bowl cut the butter and coconut oil into the coconut flour until mixture resembles irregular pea sized clumps. Add remaining ingredients except egg white. Mix together with your hands until a soft dough has formed. Pat dough into a 9 inch pie pan. When you are done forming the crust, take the egg white and beat it with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, brush the crust with the egg white just before filling.

Recipe by Sarah Shilhavy, provided courtesy of FreeCoconutRecipes.com.


Giveaway Time!

Organic Coconut Flour

One lucky Contest Corner reader will win a 2.2 lb bag of Organic Coconut Flour, just in time for holiday baking! Here’s how to enter:

1. For your first entry, click here to subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter. Then come back here and leave a comment on this post with the email address you used to subscribe! This step is required to qualify for the drawing.

Want extra entries? Do any of the following, and leave a separate comment for each one:

2. Write a post on your blog linking to this giveaway and Tropical Traditions. Then come back here and leave me the link!
3. Click here to visit Tropical Traditions’ Free Coconut Recipe website. Then come back here and leave a comment mentioning your favorite recipe!
4. Write about this on Twitter, then come back here and leave a comment with the link to your tweet! One Twitter entry per person. You can use the button at the bottom of this page to tweet with one click!
5. Click here to follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter. Then come back here and leave a comment with your Twitter username!
6. Subscribe to my blog updates by clicking here. Then come back and leave me the email you subscribed with!
7. Become a follower of my blog by clicking the “Follow” button in my sidebar! Then come back here and let me know in a separate comment!
8. Post Contest Corner’s button on your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

9. Add the Holiday Gift Guide 2011 badge to your website – just copy and paste the following code, and let me know where you put it:

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Rules, regulations, and other important stuff: Giveaway ends on November 8th at 11:59 PM, PST. Winner will be chosen the following day via Random.org. Winner has 48 hours to respond to my notification email, or a new winner will be chosen in their place. Giveaway is open to residents of the lower 48-state area, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada, 18+.