My Favorite Things Giveaway: $100 Amazon Gift Card

by Shawnda on December 13, 2014

in Giveaways

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There are 11 shopping days left until Christmas. How are you faring? Are you hyperventilating at the idea of the Single-Digit-Countdown coming on Monday? Or are you all done?

I am done. Jason is not.

And if you are not, then I might have a little something for you: a $100 Amazon Gift Card! Because Santa can always find something else to go under the tree.

To enter to win the gift card, simply answer this question in the comments below: What is your favorite holiday cookie/confection?

Me? My mom’s gingerbread and my grandma’s “Fuzzy Fingers” are two of my very favorite things in the world. Grandma always makes a nice spread of homemade candy: a layered peanut butter cup-like dessert, pink peanut patties, and the fuzzy fingers (although I prefer my fingers naked). Fuzzy Fingers are a chewy candy made with date & rice crispies. The “fuzzy” ones are rolled in coconut (no thanks), the naked ones? Those things are all mine.

You can earn up to 3 extra entries by:
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow us on Twitter.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow us on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow the blog’s Instagram feed.

(Bonus entries must be left as separate comments to count as extra entries – your comment number is your “raffle ticket.”)

The fine print:
– Maximum of four (4) entries per person.
– Giveaway ends at 12:01am (Texas time!) on December 19th.
– Winner will be selected by one of those cold, soulless, unfeeling random number generator thingies and announced on this post.
– Winners will receive a $100 Amazon E-Gift Card sent to the email address of their choice.
– Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.
– Winning “extra entry” comments subject to verification.
– Prize can only be shipped to a US address.
– Prize provided by Confections of a Foodie Bride, because we love you guys.
– Official giveaway rules can be found here.

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Bacon, Brie, and Cranberry Sliders

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time to talk appetizers for the #HEBJoyville Virtual Progressive Dinner Party! This week, I’ve joined 4 other Texas bloggers to talk you through some of our favorite entertaining tips, food, and drinks this holiday season:

Monday – Table Decor by Handmade Mood
Tuesday – Drinks & Wine by Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine
Wednesday – Bacon & Cheese!
Thursday – Main Course by A Zesty Bite
Friday – Desserts by The Baking Fairy

You, too, can join in the delicious fun and be entered to win a $100 gift card and a $50 Prize Pack! Here’s how it works:
1. Instagram photos of your favorite holiday dish, drink, and/or decor.
2. Tag it with #HEBJoyvilleSweeps
3. Tag @HEB.

Easy enough, right? And one winner will be chosen each day! Now let’s talk appetizers.

Cranberry and Red Wine Meatballs

My formula for putting together a party spread generally goes something like:
Cheese plate
Hot Dip
Baked sliders
Something Meaty
Something Wrapped in Puff Pastry
Vegetables w/Cold Dip (this is Texas so that means Ranch Dressing)
16 Kinds of crackers (because you can never have too many crunchy, crispy dipper thing)

This isn’t the time I opt to make my own puff pastry – there are baseboards to be cleaned and crayon marks to be magic-erased. I use a mix of pre-made and homemade to keep things efficient and convenient.

Cheese Plate

My love for cheese cannot be understated. And the cheese plate is where I have 57% of the non-margarita fun:
Goat cheese – room temp, with honey drizzled over top just before guests arrive
Brie – sometimes baked, sometimes not
Cranberry Gouda – tis the season!
Berries – whatever is in season and on sale
Nuts – the Spiced Texas Pecans you see up there are fabulous
Crackers – pick up a box of those Rosemary & Date crackers, you won’t be sorry
Something Smokey/Spicy – Smoked Gouda and Chipotle Cheddar are two of my favorites

Now let’s talk about the other 43% of non-margarita joy.

Bacon, Brie, and Cranberry Sliders

Two words: Baked Sliders. You can heat 3 dozen or more in the oven at once. No matter how many of those 3-bites-of-heaven you make, you will never, ever have enough. This year’s sliders are filled with crispy bacon, creamy brie, and tangy cranberry sauce and topped with a bacon vinaigrette. Yeah. I know. And you can get the recipe below.

Crab & Artichoke Wontons Crab & Artichoke Dip

Don’t be afraid to reinvent the wheel. Crab & Artichoke dip is a huge crowd pleaser around here, by why stop at “just” dip? Spread it over a halved loaf of crusty bread or drop a spoonful into a wonton wrapper and bake in a mini-muffin tin for a two-bite treat.

Crab & Artichoke Bread

Use that slow-cooker! It will keep meatballs hot, crab & artichoke dip creamy, and queso the perfect consistency so that you get the maximum drippage when you drop it on the front your shirt. Pro-tip: those slow-cooker liners are magical when making queso. Too bad they don’t make shirt liners.

Cranberry and Red Wine Meatballs

Put a bow on it! Okay, so not an actual bow. Add a festive touch to an old favorite. You know those sweet and sour meatballs that use grape jelly? I know you do – they were everywhere in 1995. You couldn’t out run them if you tried but you didn’t try because then someone else would get to eat your meatballs. Try an updated, more sophisticated version that uses cranberry sauce and red wine.

Pesto Palmiers

Less can be more, and just as delicious. A sheet of puff pastry + a small jar of pesto = Pesto Palmiers.

Now that we’ve talked appetizers, let’s get ready for the big show. And don’t forget to Instagram your favorite #HEBJoyvilleSweeps holiday shots!

Bacon, Brie, and Cranberry Sliders

Sliders filled with crispy bacon, creamy brie, and tangy cranberry sauce and topped with bacon vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen dinner rolls, split horizontally
  • 2 lbs bacon, cooked to a crisp*
  • ~2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 24 ~1.5 inch strips of brie from an 8oz wheel
  • Bacon Vinaigrette (I used Better Than Good brand, purchased)
  • *I make the bacon in the oven on a rack in a large baking pan. Two batches, 425 until crispy.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a baking pan with foil.
  3. Spread cranberry sauce over the split halves of the rolls.
  4. Break the slices of bacon into 1/3rds and spread evenly over the rolls.
  5. Top with a slice of brie and the roll top.
  6. Brush bacon vinaigrette over the top and bake for ~15 minutes.
  7. Serve hot, warm, or cold. You'll have no leftovers but they allegedly reheat very well.

Notes

Yields: 24 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from H-E-B for my time and participation in the H-E-B Virtual Progressive Dinner. Although we have material connection to H-E-B, any publicly stated opinions of H-E-B and their brands remain my own.

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The 3rd item of our Favorite Things giveaway is for the Cake Baker: a shiny, silver KitchenAid 6-Quart Stand Mixer.

While the Pilgrims and pioneers made it through just fine(ish) without a stand mixer, I’ve played countless rounds of Oregon Trail in my day to know that anything that can make life a little easier and a little dysentery-less is totally worth the money.

I use my mixer several times a week – while it’s main job is mass-batch-of-chicken-breast-shredder, it has seen countless cookies, bread/pizza doughs, cakes, brownies, frostings, and the world’s most irresponsibly-fattening batch of mashed potatoes.

I trust you’ll find great uses for her in your kitchen.

To enter to win the cookware, let’s 180 from last week. Put the grinch back in the closet (with 19 days left, he’ll have plenty of time to rear his snarky head) and answer this question in the comments below: What is – and who sings – your all-time, most favorite Christmas song?

Update: And the winner is…. #265 Julie, whose favorite Christmas song is Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree!

I absolutely adore a good O Holy Night and Martina McBride’s is my favorite (although John Berry and Josh Groban are right there, too). I will never ever ever be able to hit those notes but that has never stopped me from trying to unleash my inner Martina. Even when the windows are open and I know the neighbors are thinking “What large animal is dying over there?!”

You can earn up to 3 extra entries by:
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow us on Twitter.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow us on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow the blog’s Instagram feed.

(Bonus entries must be left as separate comments to count as extra entries – your comment number is your “raffle ticket.”)

The fine print:
– Maximum of four (4) entries per person.
– Giveaway ends at 12:01am (Texas time!) on December 12th.
– Winner will be selected by one of those cold, soulless, unfeeling random number generator thingies and announced on this post.
– Winners will receive a KitchenAid 6-Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixer (KSM6573CU) in contour silver (maximum retail value of prize = $300).
– Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.
– Winning “extra entry” comments subject to verification.
– Prize can only be shipped to a US address.
– Prize provided by Confections of a Foodie Bride, because we love you guys.
– Official giveaway rules can be found here.

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It’s December and, around here, that means my weekends are packed solid with get-togethers with friends, more friends, fringe friends I see once a year at these parties, and family. It also means goodies abound! And if those goodies aren’t loaded with tequila, butter, or sugar, then you know what that means:

Bacon. And cheese.

Because ’tis the season, y’all.

Next week, I join some fabulous bloggers and we’ll be talking recipes, tips, entertaining ideas – and while I cannot speak for the other bloggers, at least I will be talking about bacon :) for the #HEBJoyville Virtual Progressive Dinner Party!

Monday – Table Decor by Handmade Mood
Tuesday – Drinks & Wine by Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine
Wednesday – Appetizers by me!
Thursday – Main Course by A Zesty Bite
Friday – Desserts by The Baking Fairy

You, too, can join in the delicious fun and be entered to win a $100 HEB Gift Card and a $50 Prize Pack! Here’s how it works:
1. Instagram a photo each day of your favorite holiday dish, drink, and/or decor.
2. Include the hashtag #HEBJoyvilleSweeps
3. Tag @HEB.

Easy enough, right? And one winner will be chosen each day!

Be sure to give a follow on Pinterest as we’ll be curating our favorite holiday dishes and decor ideas throughout the week!

Happy Friday! And bacon.

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from H-E-B for my time and participation in the H-E-B Virtual Progressive Dinner. Although we have material connection to H-E-B, any publicly stated opinions of H-E-B and their brands remain my own.

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