Looking through my mother’s cookbooks the other day, I was reminded of my mom teaching my brother and I how to create a weekly meal plan when we were younger. She worked full-time outside the home, so she put our ass to work whenever she could to help out around the house. . . . we survived! You can download a meal planner and grocery list below. A meal planner and a shopping list are the best ways to save money when planning meals for your family – big or small.
I inherited a few of my mom’s cookbooks – I like looking through them to see her notes, I miss her handwriting. I was going through her Emeril Lagasse’s cookbook and it brought up memories of her and I watching his first-of-it’s-kind cooking show “BAM” – “Kickin this up a notch” and a few of his other sayings, along with Emeril’s storytelling and let’s not forget the LIVE band which made it an awesome show. I have such wonderful memories of Ms. Bev (my mom) and myself hanging out – laughing and telling stories in the kitchen.
***Enjoy the recipes – my mother made both of these delicious dishes***
Do you have stories of cooking with your mom?
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Peace Harmony & Happy memories!
These cookies are on the sweeter side due to all the powdered sugar added in, so make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder!
Makes 15 cookies
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder –
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar –
3 egg whites –
1 tbsp vanilla extract –
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
*To make them Christmas Festive – melt Nestle Toll House White Chocolate Chips and drizzle over cookies – add christmas sprinkles*
Allow the cookies to set on baking mat, forming a sort of hardened “crust” for 30 minutes before baking. This is a vital step because if not done the cookies will expand too much in the oven
Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes
ENJOY . . . . . .
Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl
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8 Simple Secrets to planning an Awesome Holiday Office Party
If the thought of planning the holiday office party has you hoping that the Grinch DOES steal Christmas – Just hang on, I can help you out along with taking away all the stress of planning.
- Get Organized – Recruit a couple of Elves (your teammates) No one should do it all on own! You can create a list of tasks and then delegate to your Elves (teammates)..
- Get Ideas – First, you need to get ideas for the party from the employees. There are two ways I have done this, that’s by setting up an online questionnaire, I use Survey Monkey . The setup is easy, but since you are delegating task this is a good one to give to your Tech Department Elves. The other way of collecting ideas is a simple Suggestion Box (they still are the best)!
- Choose a Theme – After, you have collected all the ideas, now choose a theme for the party. If you usually are partying around all your daily equipment-desks, computers,xerox machine, it’s kind of hard to get into the Festive Holiday Spirit. Think of unique and different options – Here is a short list of suggestions: Art Galleries, Museums, Wineries, Country Inns, Community Barns are fun, you can create a New England Christmas in Connecticut feeling!
- Donation Area – Tis’ The Season For Giving. Employees love to give – set up an area for your employees to bring a non-perishable food and/or Toy. Choose 2 charities, arrange to have items picked up the night of the party by a certain time. Announce that the items need to be in the boxes by 7:30 pm for example. What a great way to spread some Holiday Spirit and Magic!
- Hire Music – Hire a live local band that you know does a Unique Christmas Repertoire or hire a DJ that will keep the party in a positive party vibes.
- Make it Night-Time – Make the party an evening event, this way the employees can invite a guest, their spouse, or family.
- Designated Driver – Set up with Uber night of party, if anyone needs a ride home (paid for or discount) or with your Employees, create a designated driver program, they can earn merchandise or money.
- Give Real Gifts – As a meeting service concierge I have cleaned up after many of company Christmas parties – I had observed my first year that employees would leave behind the box or bag with the certificate and card. You know, the one you have to go online and order your gift for a certain value. I have seen employees leave certificates worth $1000 and over. They want the Real Stuff – The gift they can take home and share with their family.The gift that when they look at it makes them feel good that their management took the time to think of them.
Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl
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Chocolate Toffee “Crack”
“Christmas Crack” SHHHhhhh . . .
Chocolate Toffee “Crack” (The BEST dessert idea for a party!)
A.K.A. “Christmas Crack”. This quick and easy recipe is a classic that never gets old. Just as the name implies, it’s absolutely addicting! I make it every year for holiday parties and it’s always a hit. It’s made with just 4 ingredients! Then top it with the candy of your choice to fit the season or occasion (M&Ms, candy corn, toffee bits, peppermint, nuts, sprinkles, candy eyes, etc.)
- 1 sleeve Ritz Crackers (about 16 crackers) (I use the square Town House Crackers – only because they fit better in my pan!)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- candy of choice for topping (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with Ritz crackers. It doesn’t have to be pretty! Just fit them in there in a single layer as best you can.
- Combine the brown sugar and butter in a pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes WITHOUT stirring.
- Immediately pour the mixture over the Ritz crackers in your pan. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly over the crackers. Bake for 5 minutes to thicken and set the caramel.
- Remove from the oven, and then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top. Place the pan back in the oven for about 2 minutes or until he chocolate is soft enough to spread.
- Immediately spread the melted chocolate chips with a spatula so that you have a nice even layer.
- Top with the candy of your choice (optional). My favorite is crushed peppermint candy! You can also try topping it with M&Ms, nuts, sprinkles, etc.
- Let it cool for several hours before removing it from the pan and breaking it apart, otherwise it’s a bit of a mess! I couldn’t wait to dig in this time and the chocolate was still runny. Feel free to place it in the fridge for a bit if you need to speed up the process.
Enjoy . . . Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl
Pumpkin Ricotta lasagna
Recipe by Lori Hirsch Stokoe – Found On: glutenfreeliving.com
- ¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped, plus more whole leaves for garnish
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 15 ounces ricotta
- 10 ounces pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Béchamel Sauce aka White Sauce
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 4 tablespoon gluten-free flour
- 2½ cup milk, warmed
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- First, prepare the Pumpkin Ricotta Mixture: Fry the sage in butter until crisp. Remove to paper towel. Then combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Next, make the Béchamel Sauce aka White Sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to cook the flour, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk and continue to stir. Bring to barely a boil then immediately turn down the heat. Cook, whisking until thickened for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Spread ½ cup of the White Sauce over the bottom of a greased 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dish. Place 2 sheets of no-boil lasagna noodles atop the sauce in a single layer.
- Top lasagna noodles with a third of the ricotta mixture. Layer with a quarter of the mozzarella. Then top with a third of the remaining White Sauce. Top sauce with 2 more sheets of lasagna noodles to build the second and third layers the same way.
- For the top layer, place last 2 sheets of lasagna over the White Sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella.
- Bake at 375° F for 35 minutes, covered with foil. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the lasagna is bubbling hot and the top is browning. Remove from the oven and let sit at least 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with fried whole sage leaves.
https://www.glutenfreeliving.com/ – I live on this website!
I live gluten-free, I am a #Hashi (Hashimoto autoimmune disease) I was diagnosed in 2014 – I have been living gluten-free since then. I went from a size 16 to size 6 / 200 Lbs to 130Lbs – My overall physical and mental health taking a more positive turnaround is priceless. If you would like help to start living a gluten-free life, contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will try to answer any questions you may have or I will find the answer.
Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl
CCHC can help with event planning & coordinating for a dinner party at home for 6 or a gala for 600 – No detail overlooked!
We can set up a planning session after the initial free consultation to organize everything from birthday parties, family reunions, corporate events, a dream wedding, children’s parties, every kind of event imaginable. We will help you coordinate every detail to produce the most amazing event. CCHC works alongside the trusted professional caterers you hire – we are there with you from conception to completion.
Would you like help with your Event Planning? If you’d like to schedule a 30+ minute free consultation with me and learn how Event Concierge Service can help you plan the most extraordinary experience. Call me (860)961.6824 or Email me: email@example.com
Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl
Well, I found this place in Manchester CT, it’s called Dream Dinners.
What an awesome concept for families to spend time together, single people that hate to cook by themselves with the plus side being, messing up someone else’s kitchen instead of your own . . .
Here are two videos that give you more information about the process.
Depending on how you go about it, meal planning can be the misery of your existence or your weekly lifesaver. And while it does require a bit of thinking in advance, I’m all about helping you make it easy to save both time and money.
Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl