The Swedish Chef How To Pick A Turkey

You can always turn to the Swedish Chef for help picking your Christmas turkey.

In this short video, which I think is from A Muppet Family Christmas, the Swedish Chef measures up his Christmas bird but in the end opts for a "Gobble Gobble Humongous" bird of a different sort...
 
 
Merry Christmas!
Brenda
 
Quick Links:
 

Bah, Humbug! A Romantic Comedy Novella eBook

In the hustle and bustle of the season leading up to Christmas I always enjoy reading a Christmas novel. This year, I happened to download Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks.

Bah, Humbug! is a romantic comedy novella. A novella, by the way, is a work of fiction that is shorter than a novel but longer than a novelette.

Think Martha Stewart and you`ll have the leading lady in this book who is a young woman with her own lifestyle television show.   Add a very successful and of course handsome children`s author to the mix and you have the cast of the book Bah, Humbug!

One Amazon customer calls this book, "the cutest Christmas story ever." I agree.

When I downloaded it, it was FREE but I see that the price has gone up by a whopping dollar.  If you are looking for something festive and Christmas-y, Bah, Humbug! is definitely worth the price of admission.

Please note that Bah, Humbug! is only available in eBook form.

Merry Christmas
to you!
Brenda

Quick Links:


A Charlie Brown Christmas Coffee Mug


A Charlie Brown Christmas was the first animated television special based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Shulz.

The program first aired in 1965 and while I likely did not watch it in 1965, I did watch it almost every year whilst I was growing up.

Nothing, therefore, says Christmas to me more than Charlie Brown and I was impressed when I discovered this handsome Peanuts themed Christmas coffee mug that features Snoopy and Charlie Brown wishing you a Happy Holiday.

Happy Holidays!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Order your A Charlie Brown Christmas Coffee Mug from Amazon.
Visit my page dedicated to Charlie Brown coffee mugs.

M and M Cookies for Christmas


Last year I had some difficulty locating the red and green Christmas colored M&Ms for my Christmas themed M&M cookies so this year I picked them up early when I saw them. However, this year making the cookies is proving even MORE difficult, if you can believe that.

Our kitchen is under renovation. At this very moment the contractor is removing my kitchen floor, all four layers of it.  That means we don't have a stove -- at least one plugged into electricity -- and we won't have one until next Thursday when the new floor will be installed.  After that, it will still be a while before the kitchen is put back together. We'll be waiting on a new countertop, plumbing, etc. but at least I might possibly still be able to put together a batch of these cookies in time for the return of my grown sons for Christmas.

If you're having any trouble finding Christmas colored M&Ms, I've found them right here on Amazon.

Happy
Baking!
Brenda

Quick Link:

The Best M&M Cookies Recipe.

The Swedish Chef Culinary Catastrophes Poster


 We love the Swedish Chef and his, ah, culinary adventures that really are, as this fun art poster depicts, culinary catastrophes! 
 
See you
in the kitchen!
Brenda
 
Quick Link

Click here to order your Swedish Chef Culinary Catastrophes art poster from Allposters.com.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman (2012)


 
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, written by food blogger Deb Perelman, was released in October.
Reportedly, it is a replica of the popular blog The Smitten Kitchen albeit with many new recipes. It sounds like an amazing foodie gift idea.
 
Reviewers say it contains all of the three ingredients of a great cookbook including great recipes and great photos and being a pleasure to read.
 
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is another cookbook that should be on your wish list. I can't wait to get my hands on it. How about you?
 
Brenda
 
Quick Link:
 

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust Cookbook (2012)

Ever since I first watched Ina Garten in the television show Barefoot Contessa many, many years ago, I have enjoyed her recipes and her easy style so it is with interest that I noticed her new cookbook called Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust.
 
It was released on October 30, 2012, and it is already number 2 on Amazon's hot new cookbooks list. In my mind, that means something.
 
Amazon customer reviews reinforce my enthusiasm for this cookbook with comments like, "A practical cookbook packed with delicious recipes and helpful tips."
 
The Barefoot Contessa's Foolproof Recipes You Can Trust deserves a place near the top of your Cookbook Wish List.
 
Brenda
 
Quick Link:
 

The Muppets' Swedish Chef: How To Carve A Pumpkin

The Swedish Chef always puts a new spin on things and I could not believe my eyes when I saw how he was going to carve his own pumpkin in this Halloween themed Youtube video named ... The Muppets: Cårven Der Pümpkîn. So without further ado, let's step into the kitchen once again with The Muppets' very own Swedish Chef:


I hope that this does not in anyway reflect how YOU will carve your pumpkin and that it brings a smile to your face.

Happy Halloween!
Brenda

Find The Swedish Chef on Amazon.

Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe

Pudding cake is a simple, delicious dessert best eaten fresh from the oven with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. My family really loves the Looneyspoons version of Chocolate Pudding Cake and I enjoy it, too. I also enjoy the fact that this recipe is a bit healthier than others.

You will find it extremely simple to stir together and your family will love watching the 'magic' as the boiling water you pour on top of the cake transforms into pudding cake when baked.

To find the Best-Ever Chocolate Pudding Cake Recipe, click here.

Enjoy!
Brenda

Colonel Sanders Autobiography & Cookbook

When I was growing up, we did not eat out very often, which I believe was the norm for the times. I remember eating out really only when mom was sick. Of course, that means that mom didn't get to eat out as much as the rest of us but I digress.

Kentucky Fried Chicken was one of the few options we had in the small town where we lived and that is where we ate out. KFC, therefore, has an important place in my memories and I do love it though we do not eat it very often. It is a very occasional treat because, as you no doubt are aware, it is not a very healthy option. 

Because of my 'relationship' with the Colonel and his chicken drumsticks in particular, I would not mind learning a bit more about the man and his recipes and it looks like I will be able to do so on June 4, 2012.  On that date, KFC is going to publish online and at no charge a manuscript written by the Colonel himself.

The book, which is called Colonel Harland Sanders: The Autobiography of the Original Celebrity Chef, opens with the following text from the Colonel himself:

"This book, written in 1966, is about a man’s life and the food he’s cooked, eaten and served. That man is me. The food I’ve liked, the work I’ve done and the way I think are all the same things. It’s not such a farfetched idea. A lot of learned men think people really are the food they’ve eaten."

Reportedly, the manuscript, written in the mid-1950s, was found tucked away in KFC offices.



Anyway, to obtain YOUR free copy of Colonel Sander's 200 page autobiography and recipe book, you will have to like the KFC page on Facebook and then authorize the app. You can click right here to get started.  Be aware that in liking the page and downloading the book you will give the company access through Facebook to your basic information, email address, likes and photos. You will be able to control who sees posts from KFC on your Facebook timeline by setting the option to 'Only Me,' which is what I have done.

If you're a really big KFC fan, you might also like to download the free Kentucky Fried Chicken wallpapers for your computer.

Brenda

Quick Links:

Ninja Food Processor

The Ninja Food Processor performed extremely well when Consumer Reports put it through their tests and I cannot imagine any greater recommendation than that.  They called this small appliance the second best blender and the top food chopper, making it a most excellent choice for our kitchen and yours, too.

You have to love that this unit is economical priced as it is on sale at Amazon and don't forget that Amazon will ship it to you for FREE. 

You can learn more about the Ninja Food Processor  here. You will find the Consumer Reports results there, too.

Brenda

Quick Links:



What's Your Favorite Summer Salad Recipe?

There's nothing that says summer to me more than a SUMMER SALAD. Whether that be a crisp green salad, a potato salad, a macaroni salad or even a fruit salad, enjoying salad is one of the pleasures of summer for me although I do, of course, eat salad all year long.

It is a nice bonus, of course, that my family LOVES a salad, too because then not only am I feeding them but I am usually feeding them nutritious food for even when I make pasta salad, I try to make sure it is loaded with fresh vegetables.

To celebrate our love of salad, I have prepared a resource page that will lead you to a wonderful selection of summertime salads. You can visit it by clicking right here.

How about you? Do you love salad? What's your favorite kind of salad?

Brenda

Quick Link:

The Best-Ever Summer Salad Recipe Collection

Grasslands Leprechaun Irish Coffee Recipe Coffee Mug

Perhaps I'm a bit late for St. Patrick's Day on March 17, but then again perhaps I am not. If you love Irish Coffee, you'll drink it any time of the year.

I stumbled across this fantastic Leprechaun Irish Coffee recipe mug, which I think is smashing and I just had to share with you. This ceramic mug is by Grasslands and features a high-gloss finish (and a wee leprechaun on the handle.) It measures about 5 inches by 3 inches and holds 13 ounces of your favourite hot beverage including but not limited to Irish Coffee. Don’t miss the fact that it has the recipe for Irish Coffee printed right on the back...

And did you know that Irish Coffee has all four food groups? Alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.

See you
at the pub!

Quick Links:

Order this Irish Coffee mug and the matching accessories from Amazon.
Pick out a great Leprechaun movie to watch with the family.


The Big Cook Cookbook Review

It's National Frozen Food Day. This is one holiday that my husband will not clamour to enjoy the way he does when it is National Chocolate Cake Day or National Banana Bread Day. 


We're not big fans of prepared frozen food because of the extra ingredients, calories and sodium often found in it.  I try not to buy too much convenience food but I will admit to buying some. However, the frozen food that we really, really like is homemade and we're having a bit of fun with this somewhat hard-to-find cookbook: The Big Cook

The Big Cook was written by Deanna Siemens, Lorelei Thomas and Joanne Smith. It is one of those books that, when used according to plan, will allow you to prepare 200 meals in a day. I've never done that but I have tried a few recipes from this cookbook and love how it enables me to go to the freezer and remove a package with a meal already prepared.

My son's favorite of the recipes we have tried is the hamburger soup and I apologize, Ian, for not making it the last time you were home from university.  Ian loves homemade soup and really dislikes the cafeteria soup at his university so a hot bowl of hamburger soup would have been a great meal when he was here for reading week, but I digress.


THE BIG COOK is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.  It is a bit hard to find which, unfortunately has driven the price up. However, if you are looking for a guide to help you "fill your freezer with delicious, nutritious main-course meals" you might want to consider this cookbook.


See you 
in the kitchen!
Brenda


Quick Link:


Order your copy of The Big Cook from Amazon.com.

The Looneyspoons Collection Cookbook Review

It's been since November 25, 2011, that we have been using and LOVING the new Looneyspoons Collection cookbook by Janet and Greta Podleski. While every meal that we have eaten since then has definitely NOT come from a cookbook (that would be too amazing), the meals that we have had from a cookbook have mostly been from The Looneyspoons Collection and, without exception, they have been delicious.

Perhaps my favorite recipe is cunningly called Thai One On and is an "exotic sweet potato and coconut soup with shrimp." The next time we try it, it will be without shrimp, to better suit my husband's dietary needs. However, if you like Thai cuisine, you will want to try this soup.

More suited to my husband's requirements is the Salmon Cowell recipe for grilled salmon in an orange-ginger marmelade. YUMMY. The doctor says to eat fish three times a week. If we had this salmon recipe every time, that would be no problem.

We've enjoyed the Hot Fudge Monday, a "heavenly fudgy cake smothered in a hot, chocolatey sauce." Really a pudding cake by another name, it was delicious and it was my grown sons' first experience with the interesting phenomenon that is pudding cake.

Finally, we took the Merry Cherry Cheesecake to my brother and sister-in-law's home as our contribution to dinner one night just before Christmas. It was lighter than the traditional no-bake cheesecake and it was lemony, too. The recipe was perfect for a crowd, feeding nine of us with leftovers for the hosts after we departed.

We love the educational tidbits strewn throughout the book as well as the cartoons. To see a few of them, why not 'like' our Facebook page, Culinary Favorites From A to Z, and share the fun!

Would we recommend The Looneyspoons Collection? DEFINITELY. We've loved the cookbooks and the recipes by Janet and Greta Podleski since their very first cookbook was released. 

Want to add The Looneyspoons Collection to your collection? You can buy it directly from Amazon by clicking right here

See you
in the kitchen!
Brenda


Quick Links:
Order your copy of The Looneyspoons Collection from Amazon.com.
Order your copy of The Looneyspoons Collection from Amazon.ca.

Cuisinart Griddler

According to customers on Amazon.com, fans of grilling who want to grill indoors will not go wrong if they choose the Cuisinart Griddler.  Any kitchen item with more than 680 five-star reviews on Amazon is a top-rated product, at least in my opinion. 

Like many products, it is not 100 percent perfect and the Amazon customer reviews also give you an insight into any issues customers have with a product but, when the great reviews far outweigh the bad reviews, you can rest assured that you are getting a solid product. 

The Cuisinart Griddler wins top marks because it heats quickly and evenly, because it is very versatile functioning in several different ways and (most important to me, given the experience I have had with my Panini press) because it is EASY to clean.

Do you love your Griddler?

See you
in the kitchen!
Brenda

Quick Links:


Learn more about the Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N.
Read more about the Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N on Amazon.

Celebrate National Pie Day By Sharing Your Special Pie Memories and Recipes

Since homemade pie is my favourite dessert, I thought I should drop in and say happy National Pie Day, since today, January 23 is National Pie Day.

My favorite pie? It is pretty hard to pick when you like them all but fruit pies like blueberry and apple are definitely at the top of my list. When I was growing up my mother often made two pies on Sunday: a lemon meringue pie for my sister and my mother and an apple pie for my father and myself.

However, I also love a good homemade chicken pot pie. There's nothing in my mind quite as yummy as a homemade chicken pot pie served with a crispy side salad and a glass of white wine.

How about you? Do you love pie? Can you name a favorite? Do you have a pie memory you would like to share? A link to a great pie recipe?


Happy Pie Day!
Brenda

P.S. I'm going to have to admit that I didn't prepare a pie for my family today. There are only two of us here tonight and one of those two is being very careful about what he eats. A traditional pie is definitely be out of bounds.

Quick Links:

A page full of pie birds.
Order the Le Creuset pie bird from Amazon by clicking here.
My chicken pot pie recipe.
My easy pumpkin pie recipe.

Host A Chocolate Fondue Party With Our Recipe & The Best Fondue Pot

It's been a while since we've had a chocolate fondue but that's not because we don't love it. A couple of years ago, we discovered the simplest recipe possible for chocolate fondue and you will be pleasantly surprised when you discover that it really is easy to pull together a magnificent fondue for your lover or your family, or both.

Our best-ever chocolate fondue recipe can be found by clicking right here.  On this page, however, we want to share two of the best chocolate fondue makers and a fondue cookbook that we have discovered.

The first fondue pot is the Cuisinart Chocolate Fondue Maker, which is Amazon's Best Fondue Maker.  The Amazon customer reviews voted this fondue pot to the top of the list and that is not surprising, given comments like, "Just plug it in, turn the knob to the setting you desire and put in the fondue" and "It heats evenly and quickly" and the nonstick surface means that "absolutely nothing sticks."  Nothing is perfect, but after reading the reviews, this is would be my choice of fondue pot. You can read all of the Amazon customer reviews for yourself by clicking right here.  Right now, Amazon has this fondue pot marked down by 58 percent and they will ship it to you for free.

We have to admit though that we love the Emile Henry Fondue maker, too.  It is another quality product, albeit a bit more expensive, but in our minds, the color makes it perfect for a romantic or even a Christmas time fondue.  Amazon customer Nicole  A. Stewart summed it up nicely when she said she hosted a fondue party using three types of fondue makers and that "the Emile Henry pot cooked the best, by far."  You can read for yourself the Emile Henry Fondue Maker reviews by clicking right here



Of course, if you are own a fondue pot, you will want a fabulous fondue cookbook.  Whether or not you are familiar with The Melting Pot fondue restaurants, you might want to try out  The Melting Pot  cookbook, Dip Into Something Different, which was the top-rated fondue cookbook a couple of years ago when we shared our chocolate fondue recipe online, and, apparently, still is.   You can read more about this cookbook by clicking right here.


Is there a fondue in your future?


See you in the kitchen!
Brenda


Quick Link:

Visit our chocolate fondue recipe page.

Stackable White Iron & Glass Cake Stand Set

What would a cake be without an attractive cake stand? I like this set of three white iron and glass cake stands that is available from Amazon.

I like it firstly because of its style that combines white iron, glass and beadwork. It is versatile and could be elegant or just plain fun.

I like it secondly because it will allow you to stack all three pieces to make a very attractive cupcake stand. You could use the three levels to arrange whatever it is you are serving, be it sweet treats or savory bites or sandwiches.

However you choose to use it, I think this set would be a fun addition to your collection.

If you're looking for something a bit more colourful or cuter, don't miss this page that I discovered called Cute Cake Stands, which was written by my friend Dianne and which is packed with fun cake stands.

See you
in the kitchen!

Order these cake stands from Amazon.

Homemade Harry Potter Butterbeer Recipe

Harry Potter butterbeer leapt from the pages of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling and came to life at the grand opening of Wizarding World in Orlando, Florida.

Many Harry Potter fans like myself who are unable to travel to Wizarding World turned to the Internet to find a great recipe for homemade Harry Potter butterbeer.

After some research, I assembled a resource page about butterbeer. If you're curious about what butterbeer is, you will be able to find that information on my page about butterbeer recipes. You will also discover the recipe that we tried and a long list of other recipe choices.

Here's a well done video by Working Class Foodies, showcasing Harry Potter's butterbeer and sharing an interesting version of a recipe that they developed for butterbeer:



Of note, butterbeer (in the Harry Potter books) had a 'warming' tendency and a low concentration of alcohol, which was enough to get house elves drunk. Harry Potter once wondered what Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley might get up to after drinking butterbeer at Professor Slughorn's Christmas party so butterbeer could not have been a non-alcoholic drink. Most of the recipes I have seen online are non-alcoholic versions, suitable for all ages.  You can, of course, add alcohol to your homemade butterbeer recipe by adding a shot of bourbon, as recommended in the video.

Cheers to Harry Potter!

See you
in the kitchen!
Brenda

Quick Links:

What is the Best Recipe for Harry Potter Butterbeer?

Kopi Luwak: One of the World's Most Expensive Coffees

Kopi Luwak coffee is one of the most expensive coffees you can buy.

It is the coffee featured in the Jack Nicholson movie called The Bucket List.

It is the coffee that is made from the droppings of the Asian Palm Civet.

It is the coffee that my husband received under the Christmas tree from his sister and has yet to try...perhaps because he is a bit nervous about drinking a beverage with the background of this one.

Intrigued? Learn more about Kopi Luwak coffee, one of the most expensive coffees in the world, by clicking right here and subscribe to this blog or bookmark this page to read my follow up post when my husband finally does brew some Kopi Luwak coffee.

If you've already tried Kopi Luwak, be sure to let us know whether you liked it or not. If you've yet to try it, we're curious about whether you would drink it if you were given the opportunity.

See you
in the kitchen!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Check out Kopi Luwak coffee at Amazon.
Learn more about Kopi Luwak coffee.
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