The beginning of a year is the perfect time for a fresh start. A change in eating habits, more exercise, life goals and more relaxation always seem to be on the top of our priorities list. I try and keep these priorities not as only “new year” goals but all year-long goals because they are all such a part of healthy living. Eating well shouldn’t seem like effort, because, as well know, if it is a lot of effort or sacrifice, it’s hard to maintain. Having the right flavors can make all the difference. That is why I am obsessed with this cranberry salsa. With no added fat and just a small amount of sugar, this is a no-guilt snack I enjoy all the time.
I love cake – moist layers with frosting in between and on top – how could the not be good?! Layer cakes are beautiful and fun, but sometimes they just aren’t practical. Large potlucks, family gatherings, picnics or feeding a child’s teammates call for a quicker cake that can serve a lot, but be just as delicious (or what I call a basic go-to cake). For me, this is the Texas sheet cake I grew up with. Mom would make this when we had a church potluck and my mouth would be drooling as I could hardly wait for the potluck to come! This is simple and practical, but something your family will want time and again!
Let’s face it: recipes are endless today. The internet is laden with so many options. I love to draw inspiration and create new and different dishes from the many recipes I read through daily. While I am always trying new foods, I also have staples that bring comfort and can be made quickly. Usually they are recipes I grew up with, that I remember my mom and grandma making.
These are recipes I have coined as “basics” – ones that I keep going back to (sometimes tweaking because a recipe is never truly finished) and making again and again. Some are comfort foods and others are staples that I feel any home cook would want to know.
First up is a homemade chocolate pudding. It’s so useful and so much more delicious that anything from a box! Used as a dessert or a snack, it’s a simple comforting staple!
The holidays go way too fast. Every year, I think I will somehow learn to slow down and relish in the season, but the parties, events and all together busyness get in the way and it’s all of a sudden over! After a few deep breaths, it’s already New Year’s Eve and I never remember to plan ahead for what to take to a party or what to serve at my own. Crostini are ultimately my go-to answer when in a pinch or when a large quantity is needed. They can go together last minutes and can be made for a few people or a large crowd.
These are three of my favorite varieties. As the perfect appetizer or light meal with drink, I won’t even give quantities as you can adjust to whatever amount you need!
We are devoted to bringing you simple, classic, and timeless ideas for entertaining, decorating, gardening, baking, and living a beautiful life.