If you love olives the way I love olives then you must try this bruschetta! It is hands down the best bruschetta I have ever had!!! I love that with a little chopping and slicing this appetizer comes together in very little time too! Try this recipe with flavored olive oils, such as the oils at The Bodacious Olive in Pensacola, Florida. This appetizer is perfect for any holiday party! You can serve this warm or at room temperature.
- 24 slices French bread, cut ¼-inch thick
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 c. chopped pitted ripe olives
- ½ c. chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tbsp. Italian salad dressing (I use Olive Garden brand)
- ¾ c. cream cheese, room temperature
- Cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters, optional
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Place bread slices on baking sheet. Lightly brush tops of bread slices with olive oil. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove bread from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix olives, garlic, and dressing.
- Spread cream cheese evenly over toast slices. Top with a tablespoon olive mixture. Garnish with a cherry tomato, if desired.
*You may use all pitted ripe olives or all pimento-stuffed green if desired.
*If you prefer to serve these appetizers warm, After you top the cream cheese with the olive mixture return to the oven for about 6 minutes, or until warm. Remove from oven, add tomato half, and serve.
One of my favorite parts of Christmas was always helping the kids get ready for Santa’s visit. We baked cookies and sat up a special table near the tree. They would write him notes and leave a snack for Rudolph too. I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids or me.
How about a special treat for Santa this year? Instead of just leaving him a boring glass of milk, leave him this belly warming Frothy Vanilla Milk. So delicious that you will be making it for yourself too! A delicious change from regular old chocolate milk.
Frothy Vanilla Milk
- 4 c. whole milk
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1½ whole vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
- Whipped Cream, for garnish, optional
- Ground nutmeg, for dusting, optional
- In a large saucepan, combine the milk and both sugars. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the middle of the beans into the saucepan and also add the split beans. Bring the milk to a simmer; cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the vanilla to flavor the milk.
- Discard the vanilla beans and rewarm the milk over moderate heat, whisking vigorously, until frothy and warm. Serve in mugs with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Christmastime for most of us is filled with traditions. Traditions are a big part of what makes the season so special to me. Many of those traditions revolving around food. When the kids were small, we always baked cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. They are older now but I still bake cookies on Christmas Eve. Christmas candy is something my mama always made, and I have continued that tradition at my house.
My kids decorated a gingerbread house every year when they were younger. Wes stopped doing helping with that in his early teens, but Savannah continued, and we had a gingerbread house in the center of the table every year. That is, until last year. With Savannah’s busy schedule she just could not find the time to decorate one last year. I’m not going to lie. The table looked a little lonely and sad.
This year I have decided to change up the tradition a bit. We will have gingerbread at the house but in a different form. I will be making this delicious gingerbread loaf to snack on during our time together. This loaf fills the house with a wonderful aroma as it bakes. It’s perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or as a snack, or even for dessert. It also makes a great gift for neighbors and coworkers.
In testing this recipe I used 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup sorghum syrup. Sorghum is not quite as strong as molasses, and therefore a better choice for my family.
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- ¼ c. packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ c. molasses
- 2 lg. eggs
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. confectioners' sugar
- 1 tbsp. milk (more if needed)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice,and cloves.
- In a separate mixing bowl whisk together melted butter, molasses, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined. (Mixture may look curdled.)
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- For glaze: Whisk together the milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled loaf.
- If desired decorate the top with chopped nuts, dried cranberries, or whole fresh cranberries.
In testing this recipe, I used ½ c. molasses plus ¼ c. sorghum syrup.
I have always been more of a pound cake baker than a layer cake baker. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe it’s because they are just so darn easy and they tend to get better with time. My favorite pound cake recipes seem to get moister the longer they sit.
Here’s a wonderfully moist cake that I love making this time of the year. I prefer to use my homemade applesauce but any applesauce will work. It is not only delicious but it is lovely when sprinkled with powdered sugar and would be beautiful on a holiday dessert table!
Spiced Applesauce Pound Cake
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 c. no-sugar applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan well and place it on a large baking pan, set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Place the baking pan/bundt pan onto middle rack in preheated oven. Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely before inverting on a cake plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.