Eat. Drink. Love.

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Top 10 Recipes of 2014

Here we are just a couple of days away from 2015 and I can’t believe how fast 2014 went by! This was an interesting year for me in terms of blogging. I spent most of the year being pregnant which meant the first part of the year was spent with me avoiding the kitchen and then trying to keep things as simple as possible since I was so dang tired. I’m excited to spend 2015 back and busy in the kitchen cooking away for you guys and also sharing more on life as a new parent and maybe some baby-friendly recipes!

Here are the Top 10 Posts of of 2014!

Top 10 Posts 2014

Cranberry Sangria

Cranberry Sangria

You guys. It’s cocktail time. It’s been so long. I haven’t posted a cocktail recipe since before I was pregnant. So yes, I’m super excited about this! Not that I am a big drinker or anything, but I have seriously missed being able to have a glass of wine! And what better way to get back to making drink recipes than with one of my favorite drinks, sangria! You need this recipe before Christmas and New Years! Make a double or triple batch and serve it in a nice punch bowl or in one of those fancy schmancy drink dispensers.

Cranberry Sangria

Sangria is so versatile. There are so many possibilities with the type of wine, fruits, juices, and other liqueurs that you can use. I love experimenting! If any of you ever want to have a sangria party, I’m totally down.

This cranberry sangria is the perfect cocktail for the fall and holiday season. Obviously, being cranberry sangria, it’s made with cranberries and cranberry juice, but it also has diced apples and a hint of orange thanks to the triple sec and orange juice. You can add some cinnamon or a cinnamon stick for garnish if you want it to have that spiced holiday flavor.

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

Everyone needs a basic homemade pizza dough recipe. The thought of making homemade dough used to intimidate me. Well, having to make anything with yeast scared me. But, it really ain’t no thang. Homemade pizza dough is not that difficult. It only requires a few ingredients: yeast, water, flour, oil, salt, and sugar. Before the baby arrived, I tried to make a lot of different dinner options for the freezer and frozen dough was more certainly one of them! It’s a good thing too because I have had little energy to cook anything and have been lucky to eat dinner by 8pm every night if we are lucky!

Homemade Pizza Dough 4 mark

This recipe makes enough for two pizzas so you can prepare one right away and freeze the other for another day! I sometimes even divide the dough into 4 servings for mini pizzas or for quick mini loaves of bread to serve with dinner so you can use it for more than just pizza if you want.

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

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Homemade Pizza Dough

Yield: 2 (12-14 ) inch pizzas

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus rise time

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Total Time: approx. 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 standard packet dry instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment, pour in the water followed by the yeast. Gently stir together and let stand for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts to get foamy. 
  2. Add in the flour, sugar, salt, and the oil and mix by hand or with the dough hook for about 2 minutes. You can add more flour if needed if the dough is too sticky or more warm water if it seems too dry. Once combined, either knead with your hands on a floured surface or with the dough hook for about 5-7 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.
  3. Grease a bowl with more oil. Place the dough ball into the bowl and roll around to coat the ball with some of the oil and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for about one hour in a warm environment (I like to turn my oven to about 200 degrees F) and place the bowl on top of the stove to rise.
  4. Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface. Divide the dough ball in half and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out to about 1-inch thickness. Top with desired toppings and bake in oven at 425 degrees on a pizza pan or stone until golden (about 10-15 minutes depending on toppings). To freeze the unused portion, wrap in plastic wrap and then seal in a freezer-safe bag.

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

Madeline: One Month Update

Ok, I have been promising you guys a post about the baby for almost a month now. If you are already a parent, you can probably understand why it’s taken me so long. I knew having a baby would totally throw my life into complete chaos. Everyone said it would, but you don’t really understand what they mean until you are there. I can barely grab a shower without her screaming! And now here we are with Madeline (pronounced Madelyn for those of you who have asked) at just one day shy of already being 1 month old!

Madeline: One Month Update

Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot Cocoa Mix

Okay, I’ve got one more sweet Christmas recipe for you guys. This homemade hot cocoa mix is perfect for homemade holiday gifts for friends, family, co-workers, teachers, you name it! Everybody loves a warm mug of hot chocolate. While I do buy the pre-made packets, homemade mix is always a special treat. There are no weird added ingredients and you can get creative with the mix. It’s made with just 4 ingredients: powdered milk, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and some chocolate. You can use dark chocolate powder and dark chocolate if you want a richer hot cocoa. I also highly recommend a good quality cocoa powder (like dutch process) if you can as I think it can make a difference with the overall taste of the hot chocolate.

Buy some jars, cute labels, and pretty ribbon and make some sweet little gifts for your loved ones! I think it would also be really cute to do a hot cocoa kit complete with a jar of the hot cocoa mix, a couple of cute mugs, and some mini marshmallows for the topping!

Hot Cocoa Mix

Gingerbread Recipe Roundup

It’s that time of year…Gingerbread time! And there are so many great and innovative ways to enjoy this holiday favorite! I’m sharing some of my favorite gingerbread recipes on my blog as well as recipes from other popular bloggers. The gingerbread possibilities are endless!

Gingerbread Recipe Round Up

(from right to left, top to bottom)

1. No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecakes
2. Gingerbread Martini
3. Gingerbread Pancakes
4. Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
5. Gingerbread Donuts
6. Gingerbread Cookie Balls

Other Gingerbread Recipes from some of my favorite blogs: