There are so many simple joys in this world. A warm blanket fresh from the dryer. A fire in the fire place. Huck’s velveteen ears that I cant possibly resist. Cheese. Chocolate. Carbs. My husband with a lumberjack beard. Okay, sorry this list is going to get away from me…
Another simple joy I can’t resist is wrapping my hands around a swimming pool sized mug of hot cocoa in the middle of winter. It beckons me. Hot cocoa the siren song of winter drinks – it’s impossible to resist and you always want more!
During the holidays growing up my big thing was to give away hand made gifts to my friends in school. I didn’t have a lot of spending cash laying around, so I always made something from the heart instead. Now that I’m edging on my 10 year reunion – oh my gosh! – I was thinking, I haven’t made Christmas gifts in a really long time. It fizzled out after I graduated from high school and moved on to college. But this year, I’m taking it back! Homemade gifts are mine again. But the problem is no one has room for “stuff”. I know I don’t, so this is when I turn to edible gifts and simple joys – like homemade hot cocoa.
My end all be all favorite holiday cookie is the Seven Layer Magic Bar. Yes, it’s the same one you find on the back of the condensed milk can. So I combined the two! Look at me being like “Hey guys, I’m such a rebel!” Capresso and I teamed up to create the perfect recipe for their FrothTEC this holiday season. And let me tell you, this is one mini appliance you don’t even know you need until you have it. Seriously.
The Capresso FrothTEC, heats and froths you milk all in one little step. Want a vanilla steamer but don’t want to go to the coffee shop? Add your frothing disc to the pot, pour in your milk and vanilla syrup, select the temperature you want your steamer at and press the button. It froths to it’s hearts content and stops automatically when the milk reaches the right temperature and is perfectly pillowy.
It’s the milk frothing version of a lava lamp, people. I’m easily amused and just stared at it the whole time it was doing it’s thing. So mesmerizing.
And if you’re in a hot cocoa mood – who isn’t?! – select your frothing or steaming disc (if you want foam or not), add in your milk of choice, pour your hot cocoa mix right into the pot, hit Go and you’re off to the races. It’s like Magic!
Capresso wanted to spread some holiday cheer and wants to give one ready a FrothTEC of their very own. And I’m giving you all hot cocoa mix ready for holiday gifting and sipping. It’s truly a win-win!
Giveaway has ended! Thanks to all for participating!
Day 6 is here!! How is it even possible that we’re half way done with the 12 Days of Christmas?! Dang December, you are going by fast. Slow your roll a bit, I’m enjoying these cold (read : oh em gee FRIGID) nights and cozy, cookie eating and hot chocolate sipping evenings with Ben and Huck.
But now that we’re on Day 6, we have to recap!! If you’ve missed any of the other five days of giveaways, you’ve still got a little time to enter the rest.
There are multiple things I love about this giveaway. Let me count the ways…
One. It’s from Australia.
Two. It’s the perfect way to dress up your holiday entertaining. Put a cheeseboard and a cloche on the table and BAM, classy affair!
Three. This giveaway is to YOU from My DAD!
While working in Australia he was always on the hunt for new kitchen gadgets, and musthaves for me. Well, really half the stuff he brought home “for me”, was really FOR YOU! “I thought this would be great for you…to giveaway on your blog!!” I see where I stand in this… He likes YOU guys more than me. Uh huh. See Dad, I told you I would give it away like you said. Yay me, listening!! (Oh hey – BTW’s Happy Birthday!)
This cheeseboard from Salt & Pepper is super fabulous, with a gorgeous glass cloche lid and a 12″ diameter acacia wood embossed board. I had never heard of Acacia wood before – but this is so gorgeous.
The board will showcase all of you favorite cheese at this year’s holiday party. We’re gearing up for some serious shindigs and this will definitely make it a glam affair.
*Fine Print* This giveaway is being donated by me on behalf of my dad. I’m not being compensated for this. It will last until December 11th, 2013. The winner will be randomly chosen and e-mailed. If they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.
There aren’t many cookies that remind me of Christmas the way snickerdoodles do. And there aren’t many things that remind of of Christmas like cookies! The two obviously go hand in hand.
My Christmas cookie association came at a very young age, when my grandma made 15 different cookies every year. And still does. The woman spends days upon days in the kitchen rolling out and making all of the classics she’s made since the dawn of my time, and before. Her prized volcano cookies with boozy cream filling are everyone’s favorite. Love that woman. And NO ONE can make volcano cookies like she can. In all the years of my life, I will never be able to perfect the Christmas cookie like her.
But it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to give it my best shot with my own Christmas cookie recipes. And maybe one day, with lots of practice, I’ll rise to become my grandma’s caliber Christmas cookie baker. I think these eggnog snickerdoodles are a good place to start.
I don’t know what it is about snickerdoodles that makes them so impossible to resist. They’re soft, fluffy, buttery and so comforting. There isn’t a man on this planet that could resist one of these eggnog snickerdoodles.
I’m enamored with these women – they’re confections floor me day in an day out. I just know you’ll find a keeper holiday recipe in here somewhere. Join me and 9 of your favorite foodies as we share our love of baking with Gold Medal Flour. Baking and creating holds special value to each and every one of us.
You can also follow Gold Medal Flour on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTubeand Pinterest for recipes, videos, and tips on baking. Visit GMF for additional baking resources, how-to’s, recipes and inspiration. It’s only a click away.
We’re going to play a little word association game. I say “June Cleaver”, you say….?
High heels and vacuuming with dinner on the table by 5?
Gorgeous, flawless dress?
Yeah, that’s what I’d say, too.
Shabby Apple wants to dress one lucky lady up in vintage style with a party dress this holiday season! I’m in love with their vintage style dresses, cute colors, and flair. They have so many dresses, you could spend hours purusing their site to find the perfect one. I’m in love with all of them.
Yeah, I could go sailing in that adorable little seesucker number up on that photo! Or walk the old walled cities of Tuscany in that color block cuteness.
And of course you’ll see me among the tropical reeds and palms in that orange dress, looking all tan and gorgeous!!
Not to mention – I’ll totally be stepping out walking Huck in that butterfly stunner! There is a dress for every occasion! Okay, well maybe I won’t do all of those things, because inevitably Huck will get his muddy paws on that dress. I’d slip and fall on the palm trees in that orange number, and me on a sail boat is comical. These dresses need to be worn and shown off, and me doing any of those activities in them just wouldn’t do them justice.
To deck you out for the holidays, Shabby Apple is giving away one dress to one winner so they can show off their stunning style this holiday season. Go start shopping now so when you win, you’ll be ready to pick out your favorite dress! I still can’t make up my mind which one I love the most.
*Fine Print* This giveaway was donated by Shabby Apple. I was given a dress to review. I was not compensated for this review or giveaway. All opinions are my own. Giveaway will end on 12/10/2013. Winner will be chosen randomly and emailed. If they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. Dress selection will be from a predetermined list from Shabby Apple. Size availability is not guaranteed.
I could name on one hand the places I learned to cook from. My mom, step dad, dad, grandma and America’s Test Kitchen. Short list, eh? But there is a reason for it – these are my most trusted sources for cooking knowledge, know how and how-to’s. If I have a baking question – to the library of ATK cookbooks to search for the recipe I need, or find out what trick they have up their sleeve. Some of my favorite How-To’s this year came from the things I learned from America’s Test Kitchen!
I found out the secret to perfect bread pudding was toasting the bread before hand – and it turned out magnificent in my Cranberry Bread Pudding with Bourbon Cream Sauce. And when you’re roasting a chicken, the secret is all in what position you roast your bird in! Did you know you had to flip the bird threet times for the perfect roast? I learned all about it from ATK and put it to use in one of my favorite posts of the year on how to roast and carve a chicken!
There is simply no shortage of information and know-how you can gather from America’s most trusted source in cooking. Which is why I am over the moon and so excited to team up with them to give away a ONE YEAR membership to their online cooking school and a copy of their Cooking School Cookbook!
The cooking school is full of lessons on anything you could possibly want to know all broken down into categories, based on their level of difficulty, their main ingredient or their specific technique! And they have new lessons coming out all the time so you will never get bored. With Christmas right around the corner, their new Holiday Cookie lesson will give you instructional video on how to make all of your favorite holiday cookies! Or in my case, get me the recipes that I’ve longed for since my grandmother refuses to divulge her Christmas Cookie secrets to me!!
There are even lessons for every day meals, hearty grains, classic cakes and more! I’ve never made pasta before in my life, so that would be my first lesson!
The Online Cooking School is taught by the same familiar faces that you see every day on America’s Test Kitchen, like Bridget Lancaster and Chris Kimball, among other notable faces. I’ve watched Bridget, Julia and Chris on TV since I was a kid, so learning from them is like learning from a family member. And they’re hilarious. I mean, c’mon Chris Kimball’s bow ties always make me smile.
Make sure you enter to win this member ship! Whether it’s to brush up on old cooking skills or harness new found kitchen god or goddess power, you’re going to love this! I just know it!
Tell me, what do you most want to learn in the kitchen?
Share this Giveaway on FB, and tag “Wanna Be A Country Cleaver”. Leave a comment below.
Share on Twitter, “On the 4th day of Xmas @CountryCleaver gave to me, a @testkitchen Cooking School Membership http://wp.me/p2u2SE-25H #giveaway #12daysofxmas”. Leave a comment below with the Tweet Link.
*fine print* - *Fine Print* This Cooking school membership and cookbook are being furnished by America’s Test Kitchen. I was not compensated for this giveaway, but all opinions are my own. Giveaway will end 12/9/13. Winner will be chosen via random number generator and e-mailed. If they do not respond within 48 hours another winner will be chosen. Unfortunately for my international friends – this giveaway is limited to US residents only. Sorry guys!
**Don’t forget to enter the other giveaways going on at the end of this post!!**
Versatility is key in the kitchen, especially during the holidays. But dealing with multiple larger machine units can be cumbersome, and if you have limited counter space – like I do! – having one compact tool with multiple small attachments that do the same job as it’s larger counter top counter parts is a no brainer.
Whether you are prepping holiday dinner, your weekly meals, or special desserts – this KitchenAid Proline Hand Blender will get the job done and then some!
Check out what KitchenAid says about their new ProThe Pro Line® Series Cordless Hand Blender.
“…With rechargeable 12V Lithium-Ion battery is just as powerful as our corded hand blender and delivers premium performance. With five attachments, five speeds and two blending arms, blending, chopping, whisking, shredding, frothing and pureeing is easier than ever before.”
KitchenAid’s Pro Line® Series Hand Blender clearly does it all! And one lucky winner will get to choose which color they want – from Candy Apple Red, to Onyx Black, Sugar Pearl Silver or Frosted Pearl White.
To Enter:: (mandatory)
Leave a comment and tell me, have you started your Christmas shopping yet?
*Fine Print* This Immersion Blender kit is being furnished by KitchenAid USA. I was not compensated for this giveaway, but all opinions are my own. Giveaway will end 12/8/13. Winner will be chosen via random number generator and e-mailed. If they do not respond within 48 hours another winner will be chosen. Unfortunately for my international friends – this giveaway is limited to US residents only. Sorry guys!
Puppy ears – They’re like a security blanket. Especially Huck’s, they’re the softest.
Antique flatware - #foodbloggerproblems
Pony noses – C’mon you can’t not smile at a pony nose
Vanilla Almond Butter – I eat that ish with a spoon!
Canning jars. – There is no hope for me.
You can’t stop me. They’re one of my favorite things. Everything looks cuter when it’s put into a glass jar. The Weck Jars Tulip jar line is my favorite! I used them for vases at my wedding, for all my canning needs, as votives for candles, as food blog props and as storage containers!
What I love about Weck Jars is that they are uber stylish, durable, and food and dishwasher safe.
And I put my homemade hot cocoa mix in my Weck Jars during the holidays for gift giving! (Wait ’til you see this hot cocoa mix recipe! It’s coming soon, I promise) These tulip and deco shaped jars are definitely my favorite for gifting and presentation.
Well, Weck Jars wants to spread the love and gift your some of these your way for the holidays! Are you a DIY gifter like me? These jars will be perfect for gifting DIY Vanilla Sugar scrub to all your girl friends!
Enter to win three (3) of each of these jars! ::
½ liter Deco Jars
1 ½ liter Cylinder Jar
2 oz Mini Mold Jar
½ liter Tulip Jar
To Enter:: (mandatory)
Leave a comment and tell me, what will you use these jars for?
*Fine Print* These jars are being furnished by Weck Jars. I was not compensated for this giveaway, but all opinions are my own. I use them and love them. Giveaway will end 12/7/13. Winner will be chosen via random number generator and e-mailed. If they do not respond within 48 hours another winner will be chosen. Unfortunately for my international friends – this giveaway is limited to US residents only. Sorry guys!
Let’s kick this thing off right, shall we? It’s officially Black Friday! Are you shopping or staying home? I hope you’re home right now, avoiding the thrown elbows and black eyes of bargain hungry shoppers. It always reminds me of the Hunger Games, but we’re not pitting children against each other as much as grown adults ready to throw down for a limited edition Furby. Did you hear those things are back again? They’re the stuff of my 5th grade nightmares, but they’re bacckkkk! *Hides in the closet*
If you are shopping today – be brave young pada-wan and fight the good fight. But if you’re staying put at home, think of these 12 days of Christmas giveaways as a way to do a little online “shopping”, if you will.
On this the first day of Christmas giveaways, LeCreuset and I are teaming up and giving away a 5.5 quart round Cherry Red enameled French oven.
These are one of the most versatile pieces of cookware you can have in your kitchen – they bake bread (I know!), braise stews, make the most fabulous of gravies and go from stove top to oven in a snap. Seriously, if you don’t have one – enter now.
Are you entering?
Get on it!
GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING.
To Enter:: (mandatory entry)
Tell me – Are you shopping this Black Friday or staying home and shopping online? (Mandatory Entry)
Tweet This : “One the 1st Day of Christmas @countrycleaver & @LeCreuset Gave to me a 5.5qt French Oven! http://ow.ly/reLBr #giveaway #12DaysofXmas”
*Fine Print* This giveaway will end December 6th, 2013. The giveaway will be randomly chosen and be sent an email notifying them of their prize. They will have 48 hours to reply or another winner will be selected. This prize was furnished by LeCreuset and I was NOT compensated. All opinions are my own. Sorry, this is also open to US residents only.
It’s been a banner year, wouldn’t you say? I hope it has been for you all, too. As we wind down in the year and reflect on all that has happened, all the things are are thankful for, and all that is yet to come – I wanted to tell you all how thankful I am for each and every one of you who stop by and visit Country Cleaver. If you’re new here, or come back often – I’m so excited to wake up every day and share my love of cooking, food, Nutella, and Labradork ears with you. Thank you. Gosh you are patient people.
As my way to say thanks for another fantastic year, we will be having TWELVE days of giveaways!!
The holidays are meant for family, cheer, and food, obviously. But spending all of your holiday time tucked away in the kitchen, away from your family isn’t how it’s supposed to be. During the next twelve days, there are going to be giveaways for neato burrito tools, treats, gadgets and even a fancy dress to help you put on a smashing holiday tete.
Here are a few of the giveaways that will be popping up the next couple of weeks – you’re bound to find something that will help bring a little added cheer to your Christmas!
Le Creuset French Oven in Cherry Red – Let’s be real, it’s a beaut and any dish will look stunning coming out of this French enameled cast iron pot!
America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Membership Giveaway – I swear by ATK for learning all the best tips and how to’s of cooking. This online cooking school has interactive videos and tutorials to make you the kitchen master!
Weck Jars - You can’t say these aren’t versatile, gorgeous and perfect for sylish home organization!! You’ll win a kit chock full of Weck jars of all sizes for your holiday gifting, cookie storage (if you don’t eat them all first), and organization!
(PS – The recipe for this hot cocoa is coming soon!)
Capresso Froth TEC Milk frother - You won’t believe what lusciousness comes out of this gem!! This is the frother to have for your homemade morning cappuccino, hot chocolate, or latte. No more spending $5 a pop on your morning coffee shop drink. This has you covered!
And what’s a holiday party without a party dress?! Shabby Apple is giving away a gorgeous vintage dress to one lucky reader to jazz up the holidays in style!
Salt and Pepper Cheeseboard with Glass Bell Cloche - #PutAClocheOnIt This one is super special – because this one is from MY DAD to you!! He brought it back all the way from Australia with a special request that it goes to one of you friends who bring me so much joy every day. Awww, he’s such a sap! This elegant board will be a great appetizer center piece to your holiday feasting!
And this is just a brief glimpse into some of the stuff that will be given to you these next two weeks. So let the Thanksgiving dinner settle and get your mouse finger ready for clicking. And if this helps save you any time and Black Friday elbows to the face, than my job here is done! Cause no one wants a black eye for the holidays! Consider this a public service.
Are you still planning your Turkey Day feast? Have you shopped? Yeah, me neither. But I’m here to help you with those last minute meal ideas. Want easy? I got it. Need cheesy? You betcha! And of course – there is dessert all around! Because there is no such thing as too much pie on Thanksgiving. AMIRIGHT?!
And if you want to catch up on your Turkey Day cooking skills – brush up with some handy how-to’s to make your a carving master!
Welcome to Country Cleaver, where country comfort and convenient cooking come together. Follow my adventures of self-reliant country cooking and baking from scratch with a little life mixed in for kicks! ...more