Friday, December 19, 2014

Goat Cheese Christmas Wreath with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

This Goat Cheese Christmas Wreath with Dried Cherries and Pistachios is as festive looking as it is delicious.
Goat Cheese Christmas Wreath Appetizer with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

I made this Goat Cheese Wreath with Dried Cherries and Pistachios to bring to the annual Christmas party that my aunt and uncle have been hosting for as long as I can remember.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kudos Chili Mac with Cornbread Crust

Chili Mac gets an instant upgrade with a cornbread topping, fire roasted tomatoes and green chiles. This dish feeds a hungry crowd so it would be perfect to serve if you're having friends over for a football game gathering.
Kudos Chili Mac with Cornbread Crust Recipe

My mom was the inspiration for this Kudos Chili Mac with Cornbread Crust after I'd asked her one day what she was making for dinner, and her answer was chili mac. Chili Mac is a dish that mom made many times while we were growing up and one that I always enjoyed and looked forward to. There is  something about the flavor of smoky ground beef when combined with  cooked macaroni and a little crunch from corn that was always very pleasing to me, and felt like home.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies #GreatFoodBloggerCookieSwap

These Peppermint Shortbread Cookies will be the star of any cookie platter. They're all dressed up and ready to party!
Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

I can't take credit for coming up with this recipe, but I wish I could. I found the recipe for these Peppermint Shortbread Cookies in the holiday baking issue (2014) of Taste of Home Magazine.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Amaretto Coconut Biscotti with Amaretto Salted Caramel Drizzle for #SundaySupper Libational Recipes

These crispy, crunchy Amaretto Coconut Biscotti are perfect for dipping in a hot cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. As a bonus, the amaretto salted caramel drizzle will flavor your beverage as well as add a salty, caramely sweetness to these crunchy cookies.
Amaretto Coconut Biscotti with Amaretto Salted Carame Drizzle Recipe.
Libational Recipes. That's the theme of this week's #SundaySupper, and I'm super excited to participate with my recipe for Amaretto Coconut Biscotti with Amaretto Salted Caramel Drizzle.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gingerbread Mountain Cake

This Gingerbread Mountain Cake was inspired by Germany's black forest and can serve double duty as a centerpiece on your holiday table.
Gingerbread Mountain Cake makes a delicious and whimsical centerpiece for any holiday table.

Hi everybody! I'm hoping this whimsical recipe will inspire you to play with your food this holiday season. I think it will delight both young and old alike.  

Many years ago I did something similar to this Gingerbread Mountain Cake and used it for our Christmas eve centerpiece. The only difference was that I used cut pieces of gingerbread cake and stacked them up on a plate. I didn't blog about it then, but it's been on my mind ever since.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Honey Green Beans with White Wine, Bacon and Walnuts

Fresh green beans get special attention with a sauce made of white wine, butter, bacon, walnuts and a drizzle of honey to finish. 
Honey Green Beans with White Wine, Bacon and Walnuts Recipe / Kudos Kitchen by Renee

Hi everybody! I have a wonderful new vegetable recipe for Honey Green Beans with White Wine, Bacon and Walnuts for you that I think you're really going to love.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday Braised Short Ribs for #SundaySupper - Memorable Meals and Traditions

Holiday Braised Short Ribs are cooked low and slow with fruity red wine, beef stock and a bit of prepared horseradish. Their buttery tenderness will melt in your mouth, making them a totally memorable meal and one that holiday traditions are built upon.
Holiday Braised Short Ribs

I don't know about you, but for me when it comes to holiday decorating traditions, we do a lot of decorating with snowflakes. It's not that we don't get enough snow here in Illinois, (because we certainly do), it's just that I've always loved their uniqueness in the thought that no two snowflakes are ever the same. Much like individual people and their own style of cooking.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

German Meatballs Over Mashed Potatoes and Sauerkraut

Ground beef and stone ground German mustard combine to make these wonderfully flavorful German meatballs. Serve them over mashed potatoes and sauerkraut for fantastic old world flavor.
German Meatballs Over Mashed Potatoes and Sauerkraut

I love German flavors. I always have. Must be my German heritage and something deep within that speaks to me. There is something about the bite and tang of the ingredients that set my taste buds to dancing. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cranberry Kringle for #TwelveLoaves Holiday Breads

Nothing speaks more to a scrumptious holiday breakfast than a Cranberry Kringle. Except maybe two! Kringles are perfect for breakfast and brunch celebrations and are stuffed with cranberries and white chocolate.
Cranberry Kringle Recipe

I make delicious things in my kitchen all the time. I'm not trying to brag. I'm just stating how much I adore cooking and baking. Naturally when you love to do something so much you just get better and better at it along the way because you tend to do it as much as possible. I'm by no means a master chef (and never will be). I'm basically a self taught home cook and baker who enjoys challenging myself in the kitchen. That said, this Cranberry Kringle I made for December's #TwelveLoaves challenge is one of the best things I've made in a long, long time! And that's saying A LOT!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Kudos Tuscan Pasta Soup

Kudos Tuscan Pasta Soup is quick, rich and hearty. It's a meatless meal but is still loaded with lots of protein from garbanzo beans.
Tuscan Pasta Soup is a meatless meal but full of protein.

I came up with my version of Tuscan pasta soup one night while I was looking through my cabinets and pantry deciding what to make for dinner.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Layered Turkey Meatloaf

This is a good way to use up leftover mashed potatoes (if you're lucky enough to have any) from your Thanksgiving feast. Baked in a spring form pan, this Layered Turkey Meatloaf is a real showstopper. 
Layered Turkey Meatloaf baked in a spring form pan.

I've seen a lot of savory dishes lately that are baked in spring form pans. Mostly they've been Italian inspired dishes like lasagna and things like that. What I love about this method of cooking and preparation is the bang you get with your presentation.

Friday, November 21, 2014

13 Cookie Cutters and a Delicious Cookie Book Giveaway

I've scoured through my hundreds of cookie cutters and have selected 13 (a baker's dozen) to send to one lucky winner along with this stunning and whimsical cookie book called "DECORATING COOKIES PARTY" by my friend, Bridget Edwards.

I've planned this timely giveaway with you, my readers in mind, and just in time for holiday baking!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Healthy Honey Cashew Peanut Butter

Roasted peanuts and raw cashews combine in this delicious Healthy Honey Cashew Peanut Butter spread. A touch of raw honey, salt and macadamia oil takes it beyond fabulous!
Healthy Honey Cashew Peanut Butter

I've been using raw cashews a lot lately. I like to grind them up in my smoothies, add them into my yogurt in the morning, and eat them by the handful at times when I want something quick and nutritious but don't feel like taking the time to make something.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Woof Wednesday - Pet Friend's Edtion - Meet Casper and Franklin

Welcome to another edition of one of my favorite new features, Woof Wednesday. Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to two of my reader's adorable kitty cats, Casper and Franklin.
Casper and Franklin
Casper and Franklin belong to Laura and I think they're some of the cutest kitties I've ever seen. Once you read what Laura has to say about them, I know you'll agree that beauty is far more then fur deep.

Here's what makes these two little fur kids so special in Laura's words:

"Casper is a little bit elusive, her favorite toy is a gnarly old felt toy in the shape of a Santa hat. She brings it to me in the night, it’s always next to the bed when I get up. She also leaves it by the door when I’m out working late at night. Sometimes I find it in her bed. She was a stray kitten that we found when we lived in South Boston. She’s a bit snooty with strangers, but is very sweet with me. She brings that Santa hat upstairs and gets in bed with us (usually on my side). She’s also polydactil on her front paws. She’s our very best behaved pet, she doesn’t claw things, or have potty accidents, or steal food, and she waits patiently for us to get up in the morning. Unlike Franklin who knocks everything off the bed side table then pokes you in the face with his claws."

"Franklin is a character. He’s like a dog when it comes to food. He eats EVERYTHING. We have to put baby locks on the food cabinets to keep him out. He’ll steal bread, peanuts, cashews, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, pasta, rice, (raw or cooked). His favorite food is avocado. Which I know is not good for kitties. We have to be very careful to lock them up either in the fridge or in the locked cabinets. He’ll steal a whole avocado and take it into the guest bathroom and eat right through the skin. He’ll try to eat anything. A few weeks ago he took a whole jalapeƱo off the counter and ran off with it. I found it in the living room with lots of bite marks, he didn’t actually eat only of it, just bit it a bunch of times.  He usually sleeps on Dave’s side of the bed and has the loudest, craziest meows when he thinks no one is around. Franklin was a stray that we adopted from the MSPCA in Boston."

"Thanks for featuring my kids!!"

You are more than welcome, Laura. Thank you so much for sharing them with us! I just loved reading about them both and how different they are. Franklin is such a stinker (in a good way) and today I leaned that avocado is bad for cats. I had no idea! And I love how Casper brings you a Santa hat each and every day. What a sweetheart!!! Please give them both a little scratch behind the ears from me :)

Dear Readers:
I hope you've been enjoying the Woof Wednesday - Pet Friends Edition as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you. If you'd like your pet (dog, cat, bird, horse, lizard etc.) feature in an upcoming Woof Wednesday publication, I'd love if you'd send me a photo of your beloved pet/pets along with a little something about what makes them so special to you! I'd love to share them with my readers! Thank you all so much and I'll look forward hearing from you!

Until we woof again,

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lasagna Strata with Italian Sausage

Inspired by my love of lasagna and my love of strata, I came up with this Lasagna Strata. Layers of Italian bread, Italian sausage, grape tomatoes and cheese come together nicely with, what else? Eggs!! Sounds weird, tastes great!
Lasagna Strata. Layers of bread, tomatoes, cheeses, Italian Sausage and eggs combine in this tasty and unique dish inspired by traditional lasagna.

I had an idea to make this Lasagna Strata but wasn't sure how it would turn out. Either it would be a giant disaster or it would be something unusual and tasty. Time would tell, and I was up for the challenge of discovery.

Kudos Kitchen By Renee

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