Wednesday, November 11, 2009
WOW. Is it seriously almost Thanksgiving?! No, really, I mean it. HOW IS IT NEAR-HALFWAY THROUGH NOVEMBER!!??
Since time is very much FLYING, I thought I'd talk about SAVING time instead! Over on the Sweet Life Kitchen Facebook page I asked ~ WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY TIME SAVERS?! ...and that's what I wanna know! Here I will share some of mine, and in 30 days when I've gathered some feedback, ideas from you fabulous people I'll share a fun, helpful list of truly terrific time saving tips!!
I make enough cookies each December to feed a small army of REALLY hungry cookie-monsters. I do this while throwing & attending Holiday parties, working (PS the jewelry biz tends to get a wee bit busier this time of year), plus balancing all those other little things that make up the usual day-to-day... and then some!
About 4 years ago I started a time-saving tradition that seriously changed my life in the cookie department!!
The Sunday after Thanksgiving I spend the ENTIRE day making cookie DOUGH...I double wrap the batches in Press-n-Seal, then double bag them in heavy duty freezer bags. This way I can thaw and bake the cookies on weeknights or Saturdays through out December with out a mess in the kitchen or any major dishes to do!
Read more HERE
I also always take a day or half-day off work in early December for the extra errands, getting the holiday cards sent out, and making some week night dinners and appetizers that freeze well to get through to the New Year. I also always make MY CHILI in the crock pot that day, for our dinner that night AND yummy leftovers!
Visit our FACEBOOK FAN PAGE or post a comment here and share YOUR favorite tips!!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I told you all a while back that I received a sample of Singing Dog Vanilla and was VERY excited to use it!! Top notch vanilla is one of those things in the kitchen that is well worth splurging on. I feel like Singing Dog is very well priced considering that it is a fantastic, quality vanilla extract. This was my first experience with a 100% Organic Vanilla extract and I did find that though it had a slightly different flavor than vanilla I had purchased in the past, it was excellent. I like the fact that this is an "all natural, fair-trade, organic" product, companies that share these beliefs are more fun to shop with because they are working hard to promote ethical practices and sustainable agriculture.
The first go I had with this was making PEACH GINGER VANILLA ICE CREAM, and it was delicious! The primary flavor of this recipe was vanilla so we got a good opportunity to really get a taste of it and really liked it!! The last time I made vanilla ice cream I used vanilla beans and Nate had no idea that I hadn't done the same this with this batch, so I give that a thumbs up~
Next up I made APPLE BUTTERMILK SPICE CAKE , which was a recipe I made up on the fly one weekend to use up some apples.
Then I made the PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE PIES and often add vanilla to any cheesecakey goodness I am making, so this one was fun and tasted fantastic with the Singing Dog Vanilla!!
I also used it in the CARAMEL BOTTOM GINGERSNAP CHEESECAKE , of course!
I've still got a good amount of it left, and just found THIS ARTICLE on About.com listing the The Very Best Premium Vanilla Extract Brands and there's Singing Dog at #8, woooohooo!! YAY!