Party Thyme – 18 Easy Holiday Recipes (FREE eBook)

Looking for some easy and delicious recipes for an upcoming holiday party?  Download a FREE copy of Party Thyme- 18 easy holiday recipes!

Party Thyme free eBook from www.motherthyme.com

The holidays are supposed to be a fun and festive time of year.  It’s a time to gather with family and friends.  If you are having a holiday party whether big or small, planning your party menu with appetizers everyone will enjoy can be stressful.  I know, I’ve been there.

To help make your holiday party menu easy, I created Party Thyme, 18 Easy Holiday Recipes all in one eBook.  These are all my favorite go-to holiday recipes.  It is broken down into six categories, bread, cheese, dips, bites, drink and sweet treats.

The concept is to choose one recipe from a few or each category depending on the size of your party.  This will give you a nice variety to serve to your guests.

Not hosting a party?  You’ll still love these yummy recipes to have on hand.

The recipes in Party Thyme include a few favorites from Mother Thyme, a few recipes you can find in Holiday Thyme, and a few new ones.

Party Thyme free eBook from www.motherthyme.com

Bread
Roasted Garlic Puff Pastry Flatbread — from Mother Thyme
Herb Dipping Oil — from Holiday Thyme
Bruschetta — new!

Cheese
Baked Brie with Pear and Walnuts — from Mother Thyme
Walnut and Date Cheese Ball — from Holiday Thyme
Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheels — from Mother Thyme

Dip
Hot Spinach Dip — from Mother Thyme
Crab and Artichoke Dip — from Mother Thyme
Pizza Dip — from Mother Thyme

Bites
Deviled Eggs — from Mother Thyme
Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs — from Holiday Thyme
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese — from Mother Thyme

Drink
White Cosmo Fizz — new!
Peppermint Stick — from Mother Thyme
Tom and Jerry — new!

Sweet Treats
Peppermint Bark Brownies — from Mother Thyme
Rum Cake — from Mother Thyme and Holiday Thyme
Cream Puff Tarts — new!

All these yummy recipes are now combined into one easy eBook you can download in either PDF or ePub version, depending on what kind of device you have.

To make your holiday party menu planning easier, I also created an easy printable pantry checklist and menu so you can gather all the ingredients needed to create any of these recipes.

Download a FREE Holiday Party Menu that features all the recipes from Party Thyme HERE.

Holiday Party Menu

Download a FREE Holiday Pantry Checklist that features all the ingredients you need for the recipes in Party Thyme HERE.

Holiday Pantry Checklist from www.motherthyme.com Holiday Pantry Checklist from www.motherthyme.com

Check out my video to learn more about Party Thyme  (this video was part of Pantry Crashers.  If you want to know more about what I was talking about in the video, check out Part 1 and 2 HERE.)   

Download your FREE copy of Party Thyme today!  Available in 2 formats to accomodate most devices.  The PDF version is great download to save on your home computer! 

Download a FREE copy of Party Thyme PDF HERE
Download a FREE copy of Party Thyme ePub version HERE

Coconut Cherry Drops

Soft Coconut Cherry Drops filled with sweet coconut flakes, chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries.  These will quickly become a favorite!

Coconut Cherry Drops | www.motherthyme.com

Countdown to Christmas Cookies — Week 3

Have you planned your holiday cookie list yet?  If you like a nice variety of cookies to bake throughout the holiday season, you will want to add these to your list.  They are so easy to make and will quickly become a holiday favorite. 

For me, when it comes to baking cookies I’m all about easy peasy cookie recipes.  On occasion and when I actually have time to spare, I’ll make some cut outs or more elaborate cookies.  Most of the time, I’m all about make, drop and bakeWho’s with me?  

Coconut Cherry Drops | www.motherthyme.com

These Coconut Cherry Drops are so festive for the holidays with the bright red maraschino cherries.  They look so pretty on any cookie platter or even tucked in a little box tied with a ribbon for gift giving.  Of course if you are attending a cookie exchange, these would be great as well.  My only problem with these cookies as I can’t stop eating them.  I love the texture and the flavor, and once you try these I’m sure you will too.

Have you missed Week 1 or 2 of the Countdown to Christmas Cookies?  Be sure to check these holiday favorites below.

Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Pecan Sandies

Coconut Cherry Drops | www.motherthyme.com

Coconut Cherry Drops

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: PT8-9M

Total Time: PT23-24M

Yield: 3 dozen

Coconut Cherry Drops

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, rinsed, drained,patted dry

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer beat butter and brown sugar.
  4. Add in egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Gradually mix in flour mixture until combined.
  6. Slowly mix in coconut flakes, walnuts and chopped cherries until combined.
  7. Drop dough by the tablespoon on prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 8-9 minutes until bottom of cookies begin to brown.
  8. Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Store in an airtight container.
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Gingerbread Muffins

gingerbread muffins

Gingerbread is such a traditional holiday recipe.  From gingerbread men to a warm loaf of gingerbread there are so many varieties.  Rich in molasses and some of my favorite spices such as ground ginger and cloves, these gingerbread muffins are perfect for Christmas morning or to give as a gift in a basket filled with oranges and coffee beans.

Just the smell of these baking in the oven is worth the few minutes it takes to whip these up.  I also like the addition of fresh lemon zest to these gingerbread  muffins that makes the scent of this baking amazing.  

They are topped with a simple streusel topping and then drizzled with a lemon glaze that is used with the extra lemon leftover that was used for the lemon zest. 

You can go ahead and bake these now.  Freeze them and you are set to go with homemade gingerbread muffins to serve Christmas morning. 

For an evening treat enjoy one of these with some vanilla ice cream or  with a warm glass of milk sprinkled with a little cinnamon to end a winter day.

  gingerbread muffins

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in wet ingredients. 

gingerbread muffins

Pour into prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with streusel topping.  Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. 

gingerbread muffins

Gingerbread Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest from one small lemon
  • Streusel Topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Lemon Glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 of one lemon)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 cup muffin pan with liners and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves and mix until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl stir melted butter, milk, molasses, egg and lemon zest. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients while mixing on low speed. Mix until just combined.
  4. Pour into prepared muffins pan filling about 3/4 full.
  5. Streusel topping
  6. In a medium bowl combine melted butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of muffins bake for about 20-25 minutes until tester inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for a few minutes then remove and place on wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Lemon Glaze
  8. In a small bowl stir together confectioners sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle on top of muffins.
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2012 Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 + $50.00 Target Gift Card Giveaway

2012 Holiday Gift Guide It’s the final stretch.  Only 10 more days until Christmas.  Who’s ready?

If you still have last minute shopping and parties to attend, I have a list of more of my holiday gift picks to share.  I have partenered with Apartment Guide to feature my 2012 Holiday Gift Guide.  Apartment Guide also provides a list of the 10 best housewarming gifts to ensure you are always on the party invite list.  Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers tips on how to decorate and host a holiday party to make your guests feel at home on the Apartment Guide blog.

My picks for this list are all great gifts and hostess gifts under $20.00!   I always love to stretch a dollar.  Here are some great gifts that won’t break the bank!

 

 

a.Bodum Double-Wall Travel French Press
Under $20
Take your freshly brewed french pressed coffee on the go.  Perfect for the coffee lover on your list.  Just add your favorite coffee grounds, fill with water and plunge.

b.OXO Pop Cookie Jar, 3-Quart
Under $17
This makes a practical hostess gift.  Instead of filling homemade cookies in a holiday tin or disposable bag, place them in this container tied with a ribbon.

c. Dibon Cava Brut Reserve
Under $15
This crisp and refreshing bubbly was recently recommended to me by my dentist who just happens to be a sommelier.  If you are looking to bring a bottle of wine to a holiday party or even to ring in the New Year this inexpensive brut is an excellent choice.

d. Tovolo Pancake Pen
Under $8
If you are staying with family or friends over the holidays bring the gift of breakfast with this pancake pen.  Place in a cute gift basket with pancake mix, pure maple syrup and some fresh oranges.

e. CucinaPro 270-01 Stovetop Espresso Machine, 1-Cup
Under $15
For the person on your holiday list that loves their morning jolt of espresso, give the gift of this stovetop espresso maker.  Add a bag of espresso beans to complete the gift.

f. Gingerbread Recipe Kitchen Towels
Under $5
Instead of wrapping presents with paper, for the perfect size gift use a kitchen towel like this Gingerbread Recipe Kitchen Towel.

g. Ergonomic Salad Hands
Under $15
Bringing a salad to a holiday party?  After the salad is tossed and served, leave these adorable salad hands for the hostess.  Perfect to use for salads or pasta.

h. Prodyne Fruit Infusion 93-Ounce Natural Fruit Flavor Pitcher
Under $18
Make natural flavored water with this infusion pitcher.  I own this pitcher and love it.  Gift the pitcher alone or if you are bringing this as a hostess gift, fill it with fresh fruit and crisp water ahead of time so everyone can enjoy a refreshing drink at the party.

i.Organize Now! A Week by Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Life
Under $11
How many people do you know that are trying to get organized, especially after the holidays.  I am reading this book now and it is filled with amazing tips and ideas to help simplify your life.  It is a great gift for anyone on your holiday list that is trying to become more organized.  Gift this book in a basket with organizing labels (you can find a ton of printable labels online), a sharpie and either a memo board or dry erase board.

j. Hamilton Beach 51101R Single-Serve Blender with Travel Lid, Red
Under $20
For the person on your holiday list that loves smoothies, give the gift of a travel smoothie maker.  Just make and go for fresh smoothies everyday.

ApartmentGuide.com
Want to know what I like to give?  My friends at Apartment Guide are giving a $50.00 Target Gift Card to one lucky Mother Thyme reader!   If you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you search for the perfect apartment community.

Want your chance to win?  Enter in the giveaway box below!

Happy holidays and good luck!

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

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More holiday ideas!
· How to Host a Holiday Dinner for Eight People Under $50
· How to Host a Holiday Cocktail Party

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Orange and Balsam Simmering Potpourri

orange and balsam simmering potpourri

It should come as no surprise when I mention I love the smell of the holidays.  I say it often, and recently mentioned that my house has the aroma of fresh citrus and balsam.  Unfortunately, we have artificial trees.  Yes trees, we have two in our home.  This year, I had to come to terms with leaving the silver and gold ornaments off the trees or they would have become toys for the twins.  So this year thanks to my daughter I now how a tree filled with her stuffed animals.  I cherish these moments.  I had my years of having the perfect tree with the perfect decorations.  What is more important now is keeping Christmas magical for my kids.  If that means Dora and Elmo on my tree instead, so be it. 

Since we don’t have real trees, I like to capture the smell of fresh balsam in other ways.  I don’t like to use a lot of candles, again because of my kids.  Plus I love the smell of natural scents.  The way I get my home to smell so lovely is making an orange and balsam simmering potpourri filled with fresh oranges, sprigs of balsam and rosemary.  I just love this combination it is so inviting and perfect for the holidays.  It perfumes the house so nicely, and naturally.

Obtaining this scent so easy to do and there really isn’t any method or amount, just your preference.  The water and pot will look pretty at first, but it will quickly get dark and the needles will fall off the stems.  That’s fine.  You can keep adding more.  And just keep enough water in the pot to keep it simmering on low to medium low. 

Simple, easy and smells amazing! 

orange and balsam simmering potpourri

Orange and Balsam Simmering Potpourri

The combination of fresh orange slices, balsam, rosemary, cinnamon and cloves create a beautiful natural aroma for the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1 large orange
  • 6-7 sprigs of fresh balsam
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 4-5 cups of water.
  2. Cut 6 slices (about half) and put in water along with sprigs of balsam, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, cloves and vanilla. Take the other half the orange and squeeze the juice into the pot then place in saucpan.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to simmer. And continue to simmer, adding water if necessary.

You can also add in orange slices and sprigs as the day goes on. By the end of the day my pot usually has almost 2 oranges simmering and 10 sprigs of balsam. I let the water level go down so the balsam sits on top the oranges that are emerged in the water. You should be able to get a few days of use out of this before you will need to replace it.

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Cowboy Cookies [Countdown to Christmas Cookies]

The Countdown to Christmas Cookies series is back!

For the next 6 weeks I will be featuring a cookie perfect for your holiday baking.  Last year I featured cookies such as Red Velvet Cookies, Rum Balls, and an all-time favorite Lofthouse Sugar Cookies.

This year I have another great lineup in store. So start baking now and freeze your cookies.  You’ll be happy you did when you need them during the holidays!

First up are these Cowboy Cookies.  A few weeks ago I featured a Brunch Pizza that was in the Taste of Home special edition Best Holiday Recipe.  One Mother Thyme reader was lucky to win a copy of these holiday publications.  If you didn’t win last time, I have some great news!  My friends at Taste of Home are giving another Mother Thyme reader a copy of these special edition holiday publications!

This recipe for Cowboy Cookies is featured in the Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies and Candies.  There are so many fabulous cookie recipes that I had Mr. Mother Thyme pick;  I think he made a good choice.  If you are a coconut, walnut, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookie lover, these are the cookies for you.

Last year I did Cowboy cookies in a jar as gifts. My thought is to do the same thing this year with this recipe. You will just need to cut the recipe in half to put in a one quart mason jar excluding the wet ingredients, of course. The recipient will just need to add butter, and egg and vanilla.

Whether you decide to turn this into a holiday gift or to make for a cookie exchange, these will be a perfect addition to your holiday cookie collection!

 

Cowboy Cookies

Yield: 4 1/2 dozen

Cowboy Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread coconut and nuts on a large baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes until toasted, stirring every few minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt and gradually add to creamed mixture.
  5. Stir in toasted nuts, coconut, oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop tablespoon size balls onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until brown. Cool on wire racks.

Adapted from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies and Candies 2012

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Chocolate Avocado Pancakes

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Mornings are pretty routine.  The twins usually wake between seven and eight.  Once they are up the day begins starting by brewing some fresh coffee in the French press, getting the kids their breakfast and letting the dogs outside.  Once I have two happy and fed kids I clean up the kitchen and grab myself another much needed cup of coffee.   The day seems to fly by and before I know it I am doing the same thing all over again the next morning.   

I rotate a variety of breakfast dishes for the twins.  One day it might be hot oatmeal tossed with fresh berries like blueberries, strawberries and mashed bananas with cinnamon and honey;  the next would be a variety of pancake recipes I circulate through.  

Not long ago I was testing a recipe for Chocolate Avocado Cookies (recipe still to come) when I decided to give it a shot in pancakes.  The avocado really adds to the texture of these pancakes making them moist and delicious.  I have made these several times.  Usually when I make a batch of pancakes I get two days worth of breakfasts but for some reason when these are made they are eaten up with no leftovers.  Honestly I have found myself nibbling on these pancakes throughout the day, even cold.

I love the combination of chocolate and cinnamon so I toss in a handful or so of cinnamon baking chip morsels into these pancakes which add another element to these already tasty pancakes.  

Thankfully my kids like avocado.  They love guacamole, they enjoy Avocado Pasta and I toss avocados it into smoothies.  Avocados are packed full of good and delicious nutrients so I am happy I can incorporate it into their meals when I can.  

These are delightful pancakes and for fun I use a cookie cutter to cut them into shapes.  Since it is close to Valentine’s Day I choose to make them into hearts.  Perfect for breakfast in bed.


Chocolate Avocado Pancakes

Ingredients
1/2 all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/3 cup cinnamon baking chip morsels (optional)

Directions
In a large bowl mix together flours, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Make a well in the center and add in milk, egg and avocado.  Stir together until smooth.  Fold in cinnamon chips or chocolate chips (optional).

Preheat a large greased skillet over medium heat.  Pour in desired amount of batter and swirl to make round.  Flip pancakes when pin size bubbles begin to form.  

Use cookie cutter if desired to shape pancakes.

Valentine’s Day Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies

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I couldn’t resist sharing these again.  When something is this good it bears repeating.

During my Countdown to Christmas Series last year I featured these adorable little cookies for the holidays.   Needless to say they were extremely popular on the site.  Since then I received many emails and comments about these delicious cookies.  Many have asked about making cut outs.  In the original recipe they were made into simple round cookies.  In this recipe although the ingredients are the same I share how they are rolled out and cut into cute little shapes, like these Valentine’s Day hearts.  

I am excited to be the weekly Time at Home contributor for Mothertime Marketplace.  Click HERE to head over to Mothertime Marketplace to catch all the details on this Valentine sweet.