Homemade Red Wine Vinegar

Ever end up with leftover red wine? Yeah, me neither. We’re hobbyist home vintners. Over the last 4 or 5 years, we’ve bottled (and drank!) several varietals. We started a merlot that promised to be outstanding. And then life got in the way… and I pushed that outstanding merlot too far. We were left with [...]

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12 Days of Homemade Christmas: Hot Chocolate/Cocoa Mix

One of the most popular recipes on my blog is Homemade Chocolate/Hot Cocoa Mix. With vanilla beans and two kinds of chocolate, it’s richer, more decadent, and levels above any mix you can buy from a store. I’ve included a bag of mix in our goodie baskets for the last several years. Pick up cellophane [...]

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12 Days of Homemade Christmas: Salted Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

Salted Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

The difference between the Day 2 goodie and the Day 8 goodie is only a few degrees but I felt that even that smallest difference deserved its own mention. When cooked to the appropriate temperature, this rich, buttery sauce will produce perfect caramel candies. When cooked for only a few minutes, you end up with [...]

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12 Days of Homemade Christmas: Orange Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Pecan Bread

No goodie basket is complete without a festive mini-loaf of quick bread. Cranberries and pecans pair beautifully in this moist bread. Is it breakfast or is it dessert? There’s no wrong answer – that’s my kind of question! You’ll find disposable mini loaf pans in your grocery store’s baking aisle. You can leave the bread [...]

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12 Days of Homemade Christmas: Christmas Biscotti

Red, White, and Green Biscotti

I think I would be banned from attending The Foodie Groom’s family Christmas events if I showed up without biscotti. His grandmother, mom, and aunt are this cookie’s biggest fans. I even received an email from a reader who made these cookies and won 1st place in their office cookie bake-off. They’re festively colored and [...]

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12 Days of Homemade Christmas: Chocolate Chunk-Peppermint Cookies

Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Christmas ain’t Christmas without chocolate and peppermint. Christmas also ain’t Christmas until somebody cries… but that’s a different story Take a fudgey, confection-like cookie and add peppermint extract and a crushed peppermint garnish. What do you have? One of the most popular Christmas cookie I’ve ever made for our goodie baskets. Get the recipe: Chocolate-Peppermint [...]

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Project Black and White Cranberry Tarts

We interrupt the 12 Days of Homemade Christmas to bring you heavy cream, butter, chocolate, and cranberries. Josie selected this week’s Project Pastry Queen recipe: Black and White Cranberry Tarts. Three delicious ingredients rolled onto a single dessert: Oreo crusts and a white chocolate-cranberry filling. I made a couple of changes out of necessity… Because [...]

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12 Days of Homemade Christmas: Homemade Vanilla Extract

Tahitian Vanilla Beans

Another staple in our holiday goodie baskets are bottles of Homemade Vanilla Extract. Each bottle contains homemade vanilla extract and a fresh, split vanilla bean pod. Good vanilla is expensive and for good reason – vanilla beans are the second most expensive spice in the world. And vanilla extract is ridiculously easy to make. I [...]

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