Try This— My Favorite 4 Healthy Christmas Brunch Recipes

I’m pretty bad at all those get fit, over-haul-your-diet kind of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve decided, instead, to end this year on a healthy note. Kind of a tall order considering Christmas cookies and New Year’s drinks, but I’m pretty determined to get a jump on all the healthy promises I make to myself come January 1st. The thing is, I like sweet and yummy. Is that a crime?! I think not. These recipes will have you thinking you’re in the Matrix because they’re so damn good, and so good for you. This is not a dream, Neo, it’s just Christmas brunch. You must try this!

Make Ahead Baked Gingerbread Pecan French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf hearty white bread, sliced
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup brewed gingerbread coffee (see note if you don’t have gingerbread coffee on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Butter a baking dish generously.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coffee, vanilla and spices.
  3. Arrange the bread in the baking dish in a staggered (staircase-like) manner.
  4. Pour the liquid over the top of the bread, fully coating each piece.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  6. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Take the plastic wrap off the baking dish and spoon whatever liquid has not been absorbed over the tops of the bread.
  8. Sprinkle the nuts and brown sugar on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until the liquid is cooked and the tops of the bread are starting to turn golden brown. You can broil for 1-2 minutes at the end for an even more toasted look.
  9. Remove from the oven, garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm with maple syrup and butter.

Winter Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 2-3 navel oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 2-3 medium pears, any variety, cored and sliced
  • 2 ripe persimmons, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, cut into thin ribbons, or torn into pieces

Directions

  1. Place the citrus fruit, pears, and persimmons into a serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and set aside.
  2. Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Working over a bowl set in the bottom of the kitchen sink, hold the pomegranate in your hand, cut-side down. Hit the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon. The seeds will fall from the membranes into the bowl. Fill the bowl with cool water. Any of the leftover membranes will rise to the top and can easily be separated from the seeds. Drain and sprinkle over the top of the other fruit.
  3. Sprinkle the fresh mint over the top and serve immediately.

Quinoa Granola With Cranberry and Pistachio

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well to remove bitterness and well-drained
  • 1/4 cup slivered raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup golden flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the quinoa, almonds, pistachios,and flax seeds; stir well. Heat the maple syrup and the coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl on high for 20 seconds. Stir in the cinnamon, and salt then pour the wet ingredients over the dry and toss to coat.
  3. Spread the quinoa mixture in a thin layer overthe prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring twice during the cook time. Add the chopped cranberries during the last 5 minutes of cook time.
  4. Cool completely on the baking sheet, as it cools the granola will harden and begin to clump together. When cooled break up any large pieces of granola into small clusters and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  5. Serve along side yogurt or with milk

Simple Kale Frittata

Ingredients

  • 8-10 kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 extra large (or 8 large) eggs
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk (non-dairy, unsweetened is fine)
  • a little water
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash the kale well, dry and rip into pieces or cut into ribbons.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, 10-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet. Add the diced onion and cook until it softens and turns golden brown, about 15 minutes. (You can speed up the process by adding some water to the skillet and letting it evaporate as the onions cook.)
  3. Add the garlic and kale to the pan along with a little water to keep the kale from sticking to the pan. Continue cooking and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the milk. Add a little more salt and pepper to the eggs. When the kale has wilted and cooked down, remove the pan from the heat and pour the eggs over the kale and rearrange as necessary so everything is evenly distributed in the pan.
  5. Place pan in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool slightly before cutting into wedges.
  6. Serve with home fries.

Source: Cafe Johnsonia and Hello Glow

Countdown to Christmas + Cyber Monday Deals

Hey, you guys!!! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, or at least one that wasn’t filled with too many awkward family moments and unwanted house guests. We did alright over here. There were only a couple of cringe-worthy moments, but we managed to balance it out with liqu— er, I mean, laughter. Anyway, this time of year, this countdown to Christmas time, is pretty much my fave. I love the planning, I love the decor, I love the lights, I love the shopping, and I love the eating.

So to help you along with your countdown to Christmas, I wanted to share some of my personal favorites

For the Beauty Obsessed

Whip up this quick and easy eggnog hair mask to save your tresses from the winter blues, or try one of these soothing Winter skin treats.

For the Fragrance Obsessed

Homemade Winter Potpourri (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Almost nothing is more inviting and cozy than the sweet smells of the holiday season. Fill your home with the soothing aromas of this DIY stovetop potpourri or try one of these ideas to make your home smell like Christmas.

For the Checklist obsessed

You can download and print some pretty useful checklists here. And for a super cute Advent calendar DIY project, you can find the tutorial here.

For the Decoration Obsessed

There are tons of ways to add holiday flair to your home. Even in the tiniest spaces, on the most meager of budgets you can add a little something festive and transform your home for the holidays. Check out some amazing Christmas tree ideas here, and some even more amazing style tips for small spaces here.

For the Brunch Obsessed

Try This---Eggnog French Toast

Add this amazing eggnog french toast recipe to your holiday brunch menu. While you’re at it, check out these 46 Christmas brunch ideas that are all just perfect for your holiday gathering.

For the Drink obsessed

Whether you’re in the mood for a cocktail or a hot winter treat, you’ll find the perfect drink recipe here.

For the Wrapping Paper obsessed

Take your gift wrap to the next level with these 21 ways to upgrade your butcher paper gift wrap.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve only got 4 weeks left until Christmas! Hopefully, I’ve given you some helpful tips. There’s certainly more where this came from. Stay tuned throughout the month of December for some cool ideas to get you into the holiday mood!

Also, as promised, you should check out these links to my fave Cyber Monday Deals from Houzz and Overstock!

Overstock Cyber Monday Sale – Valid through – 12.7.17 @ 11:59 PM MST

Houzz—Up to 80% off highest-rated home products

5 Last Minute Vegetarian Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Menu

I love you all. I really do, but I have suffered through many a Thanksgiving hosted by well-meaning, non-vegetarian friends where the feast pickings were slim. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that my crusade against leaving your vegetarian guests hungry at Thanksgiving rages on. Last year I gave you some tips on how to not starve your vegetarian guests on Thanksgiving. Hopefully you heeded my advice, and had an amazing vegetarian friendly holiday. This year, I want to share some of my favorite last minute Thanksgiving recipes that are not only easy to prepare, but also super delicious!

Vegetarian Vegetable Stew

via The Curvy Carrot

Simple Pumpkin Soup

via Minimalist Baker

Mushroom Pot Pie

via Savory Simple

Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Balsamic Sage Brown Butter

via Salt and Wind

Mushroom & Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato crust

via First Mess

13 Last Minute Halloween Party Ideas and Recipes

It’s not too late to throw an amazing Halloween party this year! These ideas are perfect for a low-key celebration.  Put on your favorite Halloween movie, and gather in the living room with these 13 simple ideas to ghoul up your menu and decor!

 

Dessert Buffet

Vampire Fang Cookies

Poison Apples

Butter Beer

Pumpkin Cake Pop

Graveyard Cupcakes

Eyeball Ice Cubes

Pumpkin S’mores Blondies

Black and Orange Halloween Bark

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream cheese frosting

Vampire Blood Tomato Soup With Muenster Sammies

Mummy Hot Dogs

Try This—Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

So I broke my Huel diet last night on the most divine sandwich I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t feel much like cooking some elaborate meal so I opted for the tried and true grilled cheese sandwich. I usually put sliced tomato directly on a grilled cheese instead of making a side of tomato soup. Two birds, one stone. But alas, I had no tomato. I had no tomato soup. I didn’t even have any cheddar cheese. So as it goes with most tasty new recipes, last night’s sandwich was born of a combination of desire and improvisation. I bring to you the Spanakopita Grilled Cheese. You must try this!!!

Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 4 slices good-quality bread
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • One 10-ounce bag baby spinach, or 2 big handfuls
  • Pinch salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 4 thin slices provolone cheese

Directions

  • Preheat your panini press (you can make this on the stove top, but for next level sandwiches you really should invest in a panini press).
  • Divide butter evenly between the four slices of bread, spread thinly on one side of each slice.
  • In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add the garlic and shallot, and cook about 4 minutes, or until the garlic is golden-brown. Add spinach and salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes, until the spinach is wilted and most of the moisture is cooked out. Add dill and feta, turn off heat, and mix.
  • Assemble the sandwiches by placing two slices of bread butter side-down on your press or pan, add one slice of provolone to each, then divide the spinach mixture in half and place half on each slice. Top with the remaining 2 slices of cheese and slices of bread, butter side-up.
  • If using a panini press, put the lid down and cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. If using a pan, flip after about 5 minutes, then cook on the other side for 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Source: Alexandra V. Jones