Posts Tagged holiday

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Brownies

With the holidays fast approaching, there’s no better way to get yourself and your family into the spirit of the season than with foods and desserts that suit the holidays. Practically everyone loves brownies, but there must be a way to spruce up your everyday brownie recipe, right? Yes! Pumpkins have always been a significant attribute to the fall and winter seasons, but why only use them for decoration? These Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Brownies is a delicious way of incorporating the sweet taste and aroma of pumpkin into one of your favorite desserts.

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Brownies
Yield: 9-12 brownies

Ingredients You Will Need:

1/2 cup of light brown sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flower
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 tablespoons of butter, softened
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
(optional) your favorite chocolate chips

Before continuing further, preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Directions For Baking
In a large bowl, combine your sugar, (granulated and light brown) vanilla extract and eggs and mix well for about four minutes or until ingredients have a frothy texture. An electric mixer is best used if you have one. After you have reached the desired consistency, add your baking powder, salt and flour and beat for about one more minute or until you have thoroughly mixed the ingredients together. Now you can set this batter to the side for later use.

In a large pot on your stove, boil some water (about 2 cups will do.) Once the water is boiling at a high temperature, place a bowl which is heat safe on top of your pot of boiling water and add your butter and the chocolate you chose for this recipe. The boiling water in the pot will melt both the chocolate and the butter to a creamy texture. Until you have reached the desired consistency be sure to stir thet butter and chocolate so as to avoid a lumpy result and burning in the mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine and mix your pumpkin, cinnamon, oil and nutmeg until smooth. Your butter and chocolate mixture should be thoroughly melted by now you will be able to add it to your mixture of oil and spices. In a third bowl, add your peanut butter and microwave it for about 20 seconds or just until your peanut butter has melted.

Now you’ve reached the fun part! Evenly distribute your brownie batter among the three bowls of chocolate, peanut butter and pumpkin mixtures. In your baking pan, add a little of each mixture at a time, swirling the batters together, until you have used your entire batch of brownie batter. If you desire a little more flair to your Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Brownies, sprinkle some of your favorite chocolate chips across the top layer of your batter.

For the best results, bake brownies for 40-45 minutes or until the center of your brownies are fully bakes. To test this, insert a toothpick into the center of your brownies. If the toothpick is clean as you remove it, your brownies are fully baked. Before cutting, allow the brownies to cool for about ten to fifteen minutes.

Each of the three distinct flavors in these brownies make a statement and are delicious. With it’s cake-like texture and indulging aroma, you can’t go wrong with this amazing treat.

 

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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Chocolate desserts, cakes and cookies, cupcakes and…. Christmas spirit? You betcha! The arrival of the holiday season brings about a wealthy amount of Christmas desserts and other holiday recipes to be suggested for your holiday menu.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red velvet cake and cheesecake have both long been favorites among many millions of people who appreciate cookies and cakes. This holiday season you can have the best of both worlds with this delicious red velvet cheesecake complete with a burst of Christmas spirit. The unique snowflake pattern on the topping of this cake and passionate colors combined with the delicately sweet taste is certain to have you coming back for seconds. With that thought, you better make two!

Baking Notes
*Preparation: Approximately 45 minutes
*Bake Time: 1 hour
*Cooling Time: 1.5 hours
*Chill Time: 4 hours or more

Ingredients:
1 pound chopped milk chocolate
1/2 cup of butter
1 (9 ounce) package of chocolate wafer cookies (you will need about 40-45 wafer cookies)
1 cup semisweet milk chocolate pieces
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (8 ounce) carton of sour cream
1/3 cup of fine granulated sugar
1/3 cup of buttermilk
1 (1 ounce) bottle of red food coloring (2 tablespoons)
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
Chocolate leaves (optional)
Unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

Step 1: In a medium sauce pan over a low heat setting, melt your 1/2 cup of butter and chopped chocolate. Once your mixture has completely melted, remove from heat and transfer to a separate bowl so that it can cool. Reserve for later use.

Step 2:In a large food processor, combine your chocolate wafer cookies, semisweet chocolate pieces, chopped almonds and light brown sugar. Cover the food processor tightly and process until all of the added ingredients are finely ground and mixed thoroughly. Once this is done, add your other 1/2 cup of butter and process the ingredients again. When this is done, transfer the crumb mixture to a 10×3-inch pan that has a removable bottom. Press the mixture firmly to the bottom and along the sides of the pan, leaving at least a half-inch of space at the top of your pan. Set this aside and reserve for later use.

Step 3: For the filling of your red velvet cheesecake, you will need to beat together your cream cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, sugar, red food coloring and the cooled chocolate mixture that you prepared earlier. The best way to achieve the desired result is to use an electric mixer on medium or high speed. Once thoroughly combined, add your 4 large eggs and 2 egg yolks simultaneously and continue to beat with an electric mixer on low speed until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Step 4: Pour all of your combined ingredients into the cake pan that you set aside earlier. Set the cake on a shallow baking pan and place in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees. When you can gently shake the cake and the outside edges appear to be set for at least 2 inches, your cake is ready to be removed from the oven.

Step 5:Remove your springform pan from the shallow baking pan and allow your cake to cool on a wire rack for approximately 15 minutes. When the appropriate amount of time has passed, gently loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan using a spatula. Cool for an additional thirty minutes before removing the sides of the pan completely and cooling for a remaining 1 hour. When your cake has cooled sufficiently, refrigerate it for at least 4 hours before serving.

Step 6:To garnish your red velvet cheesecake with the snowflake, place a paper doily in the shape of a snowflake on the top of your cake and sift powdered sugar over your cake. Remove the paper and voila! You have a beautiful holiday cake ready to complete the finishing touches on your holiday meal.


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Free Christmas Tree Wallpapers for iPhone, iPod, Android and iPad

You don’t have to look very far for a great Christmas tree wallpaper anymore thanks to the abundance of Christmas tree photos to be found throughout the holidays. Now you can have the best Christmas wallpapers for all of your favorite gadgets during the holiday season without having to search far and wide and pay high costs for mobile downloads.Christmas tree wallpapers are a great way to keep a burst of Christmas spirit at your fingertips.

How about a sushi Christmas tree? Sports fans this Christmas will love this Mets baseball Christmas tree wallpaper while those who enjoy baking cupcakes and other desserts will likely fall in love with a Christmas tree cupcake wallpaper.

If you’re a fan of the bokeh photo effect, you’ll love this pink Christmas tree that’s accented with white bokeh to give the appearance of Christmas lights. Are you a dinosaur fan? Check out this cute dinosaur that somehow found his way into a Christmas tree. But if you’re looking for a basic yet beautiful Christmas tree wallpaper, you can always download this Christmas wallpaper.

Again, all of these Christmas tree wallpaper downloads are completely free and make a beautiful decoration for your iPod, iPhone, psp, Android or computer. If you’re looking for even more Christmas wallpapers, check out these wallpapers for ipods and iphones.

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Christmas Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Holiday Gingerbread Cookies for Santa

When the holidays roll around, gingerbread cookies tend to get a lot of recognition, and for good reason. A great gingerbread cookies recipe can go a long way in delivering some Christmas spirit. The spiced aroma and elegant appeal of these snowflake gingerbread cookies is certainly a recipe that will warm the soul during the Christmas season.

Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies

You Will Need:

6 tablespoons of golden maple syrup
2/3 cup of butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of water
3 teaspoons of ground ginger
2 tablespoons of all spice
2/3 cups of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Edible Glitter

Directions:

For this specific gingerbread cookie recipe, the first thing that you will need to do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan over low-heat, combine your maple syrup, water, ginger, all spice and sugar. Stirring constantly, bring your ingredients to a low rolling boil. When you have reached the desired temperature, remove from the heat and add your butter and baking soda to the pan, mixing well. Add flour to your ingredients slowly until you have formed soft dough.

Dust some loose flour onto a cutting board and roll it out until it is approximately 1 cm in thickness. You can opt for rounded gingerbread cookies for this recipe or choose instead to use a snowflake cookie cutter. Once you have cut out the desired shape for your cookies, place them in the oven and allow to bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool before decorating.

To achieve the beautiful design of these cookies, fondant is the recommended ingredient. Although the picture here features pink fondant, you can choose any color of your choice. For the snowflakes, a snowflake fondant mold is likely your best option for achieving the desired look.

Finally, dust your gingerbread cookies with edible baking glitter and your cookies are ready to be served.


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Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe for Santa

 

Decorative Sugar Cookie Holiday Hats Santa Will Love

The Christmas season is an excellent time for baking festive cookies, but this sugar cookies recipe certainly has an extra dose of holiday cheer. If you’re on the hunt for that perfect cookie recipe for Santa, he’ll love these Santa hat cookies just as much as you will love baking them. With vibrant red icing and coconut garnish for the fur, these Christmas cookies are as much fun to look at as they are to eat and may even earn you a little something special from Santa himself this year.

You Will Need:

1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of salt
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 batch of your favorite frosting (recommended: buttercream)
red food coloring
coconut flakes
miniature marshmallows

Directions:

Using an electric mixer set on a medium-high heat setting, whip the butter until creamy and then gradually add the sugar. Beat in the large egg until your ingredients are thoroughly mixed, then add the pure vanilla extract and the salt. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir your flour into the mixture until all of the ingredients are blended evenly and you have formed a soft dough.

Roll out your dough and, cutting into thirds, place each of the three portions onto a sheet of plastic wrap and allow them to chill for about two hours, until the dough has become firm and cold, yet not rock solid. One portion at a time, use a rolling pin on a floured surface to roll out your dough to measurements of about 1/4″ thick and 4.5″ in width. Place the dough onto a baking sheet and allow them to chill for about 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove your dough from the refrigerator and, trimming off the longer sides of the dough, cut out 4-inch tall triangles and pinch the corner to create a “fold” in Santa’s hat. Using one baking sheet at a time, bake your Santa hat cookies for approximately 10-13 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool before you begin decorating them.

Separate your icing into two small separate bowls and add a few drops of red food coloring to one until you have achieved the desired shade of red. Using a butter knife, spread the red icing onto the tops of your cookies, leaving the furry rim of the hat uncovered. Next, use your uncolored icing to decorate the white furry band of Santa’s hat. To finish this sugar cookies recipe for beautiful Santa hats, garnish the band with shaved coconut and press a miniature marshmallow to the tip of Santa’s hat.

If you’d like a little more pizazz to your sugar cookies, consider dusting them with edible baking glitter.


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Hot Christmas Gift for 2010: White Topaz Personalized Ring

When shopping for Christmas jewelry, one popular style that is adored among many is the the white topaz ring. Since it is the purest form of topaz, with no impurities, it is often used in the place of a diamond. Since it is so beautiful, yet much more affordable (usually within $100 – $400) than diamonds are, you may often find that white topaz is used as a common replacement for the birthstone of those who were born in the month of April. But it certainly isn’t the imitation factor that makes white topaz rings so desirable. In fact, it is instead the meaning behind the gem.

Two Hearts as One Personalized Garnet and White Topaz Reversible Ring

Whether it is for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or just because, giving a white topaz ring is an excellent way to say “I love you” with genuine emotion. There is perhaps no other gem that is so capable of expressing trust, love, communication and warmth than with white topaz. In fact, there are even those who hold the belief that the gem itself has the power to protect against misfortune and calm the soul. For this reason, the popular gem has become a common placement in promise rings for those who wish to say something that will forever be remembered.

 

Another great feature of this type of topaz is that when there is a thin layer of titanium placed underneath the topaz, there is an ending result of “Mystic Topaz” which results in a shimmering burst of many colors when light strikes the gem in a particular way. In truth, it doesn’t matter what occasion calls for these beautiful rings or even if there is an occasion. When it comes right down to it, these particular gems make a wonderful gift that will ultimately be treasured for an entire lifetime to come. That’s the kind of gift that essentially becomes priceless.

 

 

 

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How to Curl Ribbon for Presents and Gifts

How to Curl Ribbon

With the Christmas holidays coming up and the many other gifting occasions throughout the year, learning how to curl ribbon can help make those gifts even more beautiful. Your friends and loved ones will appreciate the extra creativity that you put into wrapping their present.
The great thing about learning how to curl ribbon is that there are endless possibilities when it comes to what you can create. All it takes is a pair of scissors and some ribbon of your choice. It can be decorative Christmas ribbon, polka dotted ribbon or simply varying solid color ribbon of your choosing. Unlike ribbon which is already curled and has limited options in colors and designs, curling your own ribbon provides an opportunity to be creative. You may wish to coordinate your ribbon with the look of the gift wrap or gift bag that you are using or you can choose contrasting colors that compliment your gift wrap. The choices really are endless.

To start, cut a section of your selected ribbon approximately 10-12″ in length. The width of the ribbon isn’t very important. In fact, you can alter the look of your finished gift by using curling ribbons of varying widths and lengths, just be sure that they are of sufficient length to achieve the desired curl.

With the blades of the scissors opened and a firm grip on one handle and blade, press one end of the ribbon firmly between your thumb and the blade. Maintaining a firm grasp, pull the entire length of the ribbon tightly with your other hand across the blade of the scissors. When you complete the length of the ribbon, release it and you will have a newly transformed, and curly, ribbon.

If, by chance, your first attempt at learning how to curl ribbon is unsuccessful, simply repeat the above procedure until you have achieve the desired look.

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Beautiful Christmas Bouquet Flower Arrangements

Best Christmas Flower Arrangements and Gifts

Aside from those who may have allergies, there are few people who don’t like receiving flowers as a gift.  Many people associate flowers with spring time, anniversary’s and Valentine’s Day, but the Christmas holidays are just as appropriate of a time as any to give flowers as a gift.

The festive colors in these Christmas flower arrangements set them apart from standard flower bouquets, with beautiful splashes of reds, golds, whites and greens. In fact, these particular bouquets have so much Christmas spirit that they would even be excellent choices if you’re looking for that perfect Christmas centerpiece for your holiday dinner table.

Candlelight Christmas Centerpiece (Christmas)

Candlelight Christmas Flower Arrangement and Centerpiece

Candlelight Christmas Centerpiece features vivid red and snow-white blossoms nestled in fragrant evergreens with pine cones, berries, bows, and twin taper candles.

Candy Cane Basket Bouquet

Say ‘Season’s Greetings’ with a cheery basket bouquet of fresh pine, traditional red and white blossoms, and festive holiday trim.

Very Merry Basket Flower Bouquet

This popular holiday bouquet features festive red and white flowers, fragrant pine, and all the trimmings in a compact little basket bouquet that’s perfect almost anywhere.

 


Buy Flowers Online at FlowerDelivery.com

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Best Christmas Gifts for Mom in 2010

Cook or Be Cooked, Wii Game

With Christmas just around the corner, finding the best Christmas gifts for Mom is a high priority on many Christmas lists. Sometimes, coming up with gift ideas for mom can become hectic as the holiday season gets into full swing, but fortunately, this Christmas gift guide will help you find a perfect gift for mom. Whether you’re searching for jewelry, perfume or unique gifts for mom, you won’t have to look much further for that perfect Christmas gift.

Presents for Her: Perfume

What woman doesn’t love a great perfume? This Christmas, the best perfumes are going quickly, so you may want to get your hands on that perfume gift set before you miss your chance. When it comes to perfume 2010 gave way to many new scents that are absolute must-haves this Christmas. Beyonce Heat perfume by Beyonce, is a huge hit among women and having just been released, this one is flying off of shelves quickly. If you’re looking for something a bit more classic, Obsession Gift Set by Calvin Klein Gift Set for Women is another great gift option that almost never fails with Mom. Pleasures Perfume by Estee Lauderis also classic scent that Mom will love, while Coco Pure Perfume by Chanel is a great choice if you’re looking for something a little fancier.

Jewelry for Mom This Christmas

This Christmas, capture the love that rests in every mother’s heart by giving Mom a beautiful piece of jewelry that she can cherish for years to come. The Forever In A Mother’s Heart Personalized Heart-Shaped Birthstone Pendant is a spotlight gift this year and a personal favorite of mine because you can personalize this heart-shaped necklace with the birthstones of each of her children. Another great idea is to give her a special piece of jewelry that will always remind her of this Christmas. The Gift Of Love Sterling Silver Diamond Gift Box Pendant Necklace: Gift For Mothers is a great gift idea this Christmas that will forever hold a special place in her heart. Setting atop the 24K present is a genuine hand-set diamond. 

Unique Gifts for Mom

If Mom loves spending time in the kitchen, consider getting her a video game that she will actually love. The Food Network Cook or Be Cooked, Wii Game will give Mom a chance to be a pro chef in her very own virtual kitchen cooking up more than 30 different gourmet recipes. Even better, she’ll love that each of the recipes are authentic so when she’s done playing, she’ll be able to try out those great recipes for real.

With any luck, hopefully this guide has given you some great ideas for Christmas gifts for Mom, but you’d better hurry, there are only a few days remaining until Christmas, so get your hands on that perfect gift while you still can.

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Light Up Your Christmas Tree Photo Using Your iPhone

 

How to Light Up Your Christmas Tree Photo Using Your iPhone

If you’re like many this time of year who are snapping photos of your Christmas tree, you may be looking for a way to brighten up those cell phone pictures. As far as Christmas trees go, it doesn’t get much brighter than Christmas trees, so why not add your own digital lights to that photo before sending it to friends or uploading it to Facebook?

Step One: Take a photo of your Christmas tree.

Step Two: Download the app “Glow Coloring”

Step Three: Tap the star icon in the lower right hand corner and select “Import a Picture”.  Select your Christmas tree photo from your Camera Roll.

Step Four: Next to the star icon you will see the icon that allows you to choose your selected paint brush for coloring your photo. To add Christmas lights, choose the small rounded circles and the color of your choice from your color palette, which is the square icon in the middle bottom half of the screen.

Step Five: Add “lights” to your Christmas tree as I have done with the one above with varying colors of your preference. Whether you choose a rainbow of many colors or a pattern for your Christmas tree lights, you’re well on your way to a newly transformed Christmas Tree photo.

Step Six: Once you have added the amount of lights that you wish to add, consider further updating your photo with the snowflake paint brush or any of the 30 paint brushes that you can choose from in the Glow Coloring iPhone app. When you’re ready to save, simply tap the icon in far left corner and select save or upload your photo to Facebook or Twitter.


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