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7 Holiday Must-Makes!

Can it really be December?!?  What have I been doing for the last three months?  Beats the heck outta me.  I know what I haven’t been doing… cooking and blogging, that’s what.

Want to know what I’ve cooked most these past three months?

My Cousin Emily’s Delicious Corn-Dip.

(Maybe she’ll even let me share the recipe with all of you sometime soon.  It’s beyond addictive.  I kid you not when I say the husband and I have eaten it as our dinner at least once a week, often more than that, since mid-October when she brought it into our lives.)  Corn dip is where it’s at!

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The holiday season is upon us, however.  And for me that means the time has come to begin madly, feverishly baking cupcakes.  For showers, parties, and other small events, yes.  But the MAIN event… the Big Kahuna… is coming up on New Years Eve.  I’m making cupcakes for a wedding!  (My brother’s, to be exact.)  Click Here if you want to see a sample of the design I plan to do on the fancy cuppies!

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So since I’ve offered ZIP in the way of holiday baking advice and yummy recipes, I thought I’d share with you a few that I consider to be “Holiday Must-Makes!”  These recipes are all truly scrumptious, tested & approved by ME, and decidedly festive.  Try them!  I know you’ll agree.

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1) First off: These Vanilla Bean Cupcakes!  You can’t imagine how good these are.  Nothing this simple should be this delicious!  This cake needs no adornment.

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See the vanilla beans sprinkled throughout?  This cupcake is treacherous!

 And though it needs no adornment, I strongly urge you to make it festive with one of the following variations…

YUM!

Strawberry Vanilla Cupcakes.

And YUM YUM!

White Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes.

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Alright, enough about cupcakes, dagnabbit!

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Let’s move on to…

2)  Cracked Wheat Bread.  The perfect wholesome, chewy, and barely sweet bread for breakfast or snacking.  Make it for guests this Christmas and smear it with jam.

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Next up, another savory.

3)  Delicious Roasted Mushrooms Over Polenta.  Rich, woodsy, cheesy, and delightfully filling!  This is my died-and-gone-to-Heaven dish.  It’s a splurge to be sure (calorie-wise, I mean) so that’s why I say make it around holiday time.

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Back to sweet.  My #4 Must-Make for the Holidays is…

4) Chewy Ginger Cookies Dipped in White Chocolate.  Trying to eat just one is impossible (and that’s saying something since they are softball-sized!)

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5)  Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree this year!  Don’t throw away all those poor little pumpkins from your porch.  Do something usefeul with them… they were originally created to be used for food, after all.

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I’ll end with two recipes I found elsewhere on the internet.  Both are delicious little hand-held snacks (which are a staple at every holiday family gathering.)  Holiday family gatherings simply must have a table devoted entirely to sweet little nibbles, and I insist that these be featured on that table.

6) Peanut Butter Bretzel Bites.

Perfectly salty and sweet.  Perfectly portable.  Brought to us by Two Tiny Kitchens.

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Aaaaand

7)  Nutella Hand Pies.  I made these as part of my husband’s surprise birthday party this year.  They’re a bit of a labor-of-love, which is why they fall into the “holiday” category for me.  But, like other labors of love, the effort shows in every bite.  And it really is nice to have something your guests can pick up and walk around with.  (Translation: You don’t need a plate.  When people don’t need a plate, it’s like they don’t actually have to count it as “dessert.”)  Many thanks to The Showfood Chef for these.

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And there you have it.  My top 7 recommendations for your 2011 Holiday Cooking & Baking Extravaganza!

Please feel free to shout out your own holiday favorites in the Comments Section.  I always love hearing what specials meals and desserts make other people’s holidays meaningful and delicious.  I might even swipe a few from ya!

~Carissa

3 Responses so far.

  1. anna irwin says:

    i just love your blog! i have made several batches of the ginger molasses cookies already (dangerous b/c of course I have to sample them before sharing)! great looking recipes to try! thank you! love you cousin!

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