Braided Cinnamon Roll Wreath

With Christmas around the corner, I am giddy with all the baking possibilities up ahead. I really love a good cinnamon roll, but I’m always wary about the excess sugar and butter in store-bought rolls. Here, I used this recipe by Totally Love It, and estimate the calories to be about 300-400 calories per serving, which is a far cry from almost 1,000 calories for a classic Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Although it’s still an indulgent treat, I feel that sometimes it’s worth it, especially around the holidays. Not to mention your home will be smelling like cinnamon sugar for hours. Yum!

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Winter Polar Bear Gingerbread

With the holidays right around the corner, I couldn’t help but get into the spirit with soft and chewy gingerbread bears. They add just the right amount of festive charm to your table, and you can snack on them with your morning coffee or after a meal. After trying out different gingerbread recipes, I found this one yielded the softest dough with the right amount of spice.

My son is going to learn all about hibernation soon at his preschool so these will make adorable little take-away gifts for the kids!

11 Easy Fall Harvest Tarts

It’s finally baking season—which means it’s time to turn that oven back on and start getting inspired by the new fall harvest. Right now, pumpkins are aplenty, apples are picked fresh, and cranberries won’t be limited to just the freezer section. Take advantage of these seasonal fruits by trying some easy and delicious tart recipes.

Check out the recipes here

Image by: Green Healthy Cooking

Healthy Apple Pie

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s easy to let indulgences get out of hand. That’s why I’ve already prepared myself a healthier version of the all-American favorite, the apple pie. With limited butter and sugar, I would say this is about half the amount of calories as the real deal, and it tastes great too!

For the Pie Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
2⁄3 cup butter or 2⁄3 cup shortening
5 -7 tablespoons cold water

For the Filling:

4 Gala apples cut in slices
2 tbsp. butter, dash of sugar, dash of cinnamon

Assemble and bake pie crust at 375 degrees until cooked through. In the meantime, cook the apple slices in butter, sugar and cinnamon on the stove until soft. After the pie crust is done assemble the apple slices in a rosette pattern, starting from the outside. Voila!

 

 

 

Easy Tomato Tart Recipe

For an easy, vegetarian dish that will use up the last of the summer tomatoes, look no further than this rustic tart. All you need is a frozen pie crust thawed, chive and onion cream cheese (7.5 oz), 2 eggs, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese and ripe and juicy tomatoes. Combine the cheeses with the whisked eggs and pour into pie pan, placing sliced tomatoes on top. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until slightly browned edges. YUM!

8 Spooky Halloween Party Ideas

The scariest day of the year is just around the corner (no, not April 15th), but Halloween! With both kids and adults enjoying the fun of this holiday, why not create a perfect Halloween party that will be remembered for years to come? Here are 8 creative party ideas for your next spooky soiree.

  1. Hire a Fortune Teller

Hiring a professional entertainer takes an otherwise ordinary party to another level. Keep your party guests amused by hiring a real-life fortune teller for personalized readings. It doesn’t stop there because there’s countless other professionals just waiting to be hired for your next gig. Think scary clowns, hypnotists, psychics, and even sword swallowers!

  1. Escape Room

Who says you need to host a party home? Why not have it at an ever-trendy Escape Room? Gather your guests, dress up (if you wish), pay the entrance fee and get ready for a mind-blowing experience. Basically, your group will be locked in a room and you must solve puzzles and riddles to escape. You must succeed before the time runs out or you’ll be trapped forever…foreveeeer. Kidding, but it is a unique party idea that will be a hit for ages 8 and up.

  1. Sinful Sips

No party is complete without a signature cocktail, and for Halloween time there are countless drink recipes (both boozy and non-alcoholic) out there that will add a little fun to the party menu. Like this Blackberry Margarita, or even this whimsical Witch’s Heart Martini. Take the drink prep off your shoulders on the big day by hiring a bartender for your event, some may even dress up in the theme of your choice!

  1. Creepy Private Venues

If Halloween is THE holiday for you, why not rent an entire venue for your event and invite all the ghouls and monsters you know? This is a cost-effective way to host corporate events, large family gatherings and school functions with minimal cleanup and an all-included price. This isn’t limited to hotel banquet halls, but laser tag centers, bowling alleys, or (gasp!) graveyards. Deck out your space in fun, eerie decorations and leave the rest to the professionals.

  1. Photo Booth (With Plenty of Scary Props!)

We’ve all heard of photo booths at weddings and birthdays, but Halloween seems like a fantastic opportunity too. Stock up the prop section with plenty of masks, vampire teeth and cat ears or go an easier route with these free printables.

  1. Eerie Treats

With bakers at the ready this holiday season, it’s as easy as a phone call to get some one-of-a-kind desserts for your next Halloween party. Simply show them photos of your idea and leave it to the professionals. The sky’s the limit with ghost cupcakes, vampire cookies, or these ever-so-creepy monster truffles.

  1. Haunted House at Home

Haunted houses and Halloween go hand-in-hand, and this party idea is made easy with professional prop rentals. Did you know there’s no need to buy that pricey fog machine you’ve been eyeing? Instead you can rent it, along with lighting, skeletons, and a graveyard. Haunted house made easy!

  1. Fright Night Games

Planning games is a way for kids and adults alike to get in on the Halloween fun. Think simple like pin the bowtie on the skeleton, pumpkin decorating contest or the classic bobbing for apples. Make it even more memorable by getting professional carnival games brought to you!

Photo by: Michael Whitbank

10 Savory Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

It’s no secret pumpkin feels right at home in pies and lattes, but this versatile fall vegetable also works in warm soups, rich pasta sauces, and even French fries. With its heavenly scent and many health benefits, pumpkin should actually be used every single day. Here, we rounded up 10 savory pumpkin recipes that will have even avid PSL drinkers seeing their favorite ingredient in a whole new light.

Find the recipes here

Photo by: Love Lola Blog

Fall in Love with Pears, Again.

It’s officially FALL! Bring on all the flavors that epitomize this wonderful season like apples, persimmons and my personal favorite- PEARS! I love baking with poached pears because they turn out so soft and easy to eat. I usually buy the brown bosc pears, peel them, and stick them in boiling water with some cinnamon, honey and sugar. In about 10 minutes the entire house smells like literal heaven.

Once your pears are cooked, you can prep your pre-made puff pastry by defrosting it from the freezer. Once soft, you can cut the pear in half, de-seed and place on the puff pastry (keeping the stem, of course!). Lightly brush the sides with eggwash, stick in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until edges are brown. Once done, drizzle with caramel sauce, dulce de leche or simply powdered sugar. Voila! An easy, classically Fall dessert!

Exploring Saint Remy de Provence, France

If you are a foodie in France and want some authentic French cuisine alone with an impeccable night’s stay I highly recommend checking out Le Chateau des Alpilles in Saint Remy de Provence. It is a charming place with gorgeous design in every room, a spacious pool and an amazing on-site restaurant that allows you to sit outside, listen to the cicadas and sip your favorite wine.

Find more about my European trip on my Instagram and check out the fabulous chateau here.

20 Dessert Recipes Using Lavender

Lavender isn’t just for scents and soap anymore, it’s now making its way into the kitchen—and we aren’t complaining. If you’re wondering how to take ordinary desserts to the next level using the delicate scent (and color!) of this edible flower, we’ve got you covered. Most of these 20 delicious recipes call for dried lavender (unless otherwise specified) and will immediately transport you to Provence.

Click Here For Recipes!

Feature Image by: Cookie Named Desire